Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 21, 2021

Book Giveaway: VENETIAN LULLABY by Judith L. Roth

Judith L Roth has written a new picture book, VENETIAN LULLABY illustrated by Kendra Binney and published by Page Street Kids. They have agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner.

All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know other things you do to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Judith and Kendra.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!


The sounds of lapping water and dipping oars ease readers into the famous canals of Venice, Italy. With mother as gondolier and father singing his calming song to baby, a family floats serenely through this one-of-a-kind historic city, past features as unusual as stone winged lions and golden masks and as comfortably familiar as babbling neighbors and drying laundry. The baby drifts deeper and deeper into Venice’s maze and―finally―sweet sleep.

Children cuddling on parents’ laps anywhere in the world will be blissfully transported to wondrous Venice before nap- or bedtime by this dreamy lullaby and its peaceful pastel illustrations.


Venice is probably my favorite city in the world (that I’ve visited so far, that is). I went there the first time with a circle of friends after high school graduation, on a 5-week study tour through Europe. I vowed I’d go back because three days was not enough time to explore Venice. I’ve had the good fortune to make it back several times and there is still more to see and experience. It’s a magical place. It’s even more endearing if you settle into a neighborhood and try to see it more through the eyes of the locals.

I wanted to write something about this special city. I began in August of 2011. One of my writing techniques is to simply write, so Venetian Lullaby started without much thought—just the refrain that started in my head, “Hear the water lap, lap, time to take a nap.” And then the work began.

I had an agent at the time, so by September I’d had the manuscript critiqued by my writing friends and revised it and my agent sent it out. He was never able to sell it.

Partly because of the good feedback I’d received for this manuscript, I believed in it. After I left my agent, I continued to make small revisions and cut words, sent it out and continued to hope. Venetian Lullaby got into two contests, but still languished.

Then in February 2019, I tweeted a pitch on #PBPitch. Allison H. Hill at Page Street Kids asked me to send it and then asked for rewrites. One rewrite suggested was to change the gondolier from the papa to the mama (a gondoliera). A nice idea, but it took some getting used to as there was only one gondoliera in Venice. In May, Allison offered a contract.

After acquisition, the revision process continued with extreme polish. The editorial process at Page Street Kids of making the book the best it can be is exceptional. They also showed me the work of three illustrators they were considering and asked for my thoughts. Fortunately, they were able to get the wonderful illustrator that I preferred, Kendra Binney. Her color palette was what I was hoping for in the book. I love the enchanting way she approaches her subjects.


Judith L. Roth has been an editor and a youth minister, but was always primarily a writer. She was born in a beach town in Southern California and lived in that area for about 30 years. She got her B.A. in English and music from Fresno Pacific College and her M.A. in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. Moving to Indiana in 1990 enabled Judith to spend more time writing and caring for her sons.

Judith has had three picture books published, including Goodnight, Dragons (Disney-Hyperion, 2012). Her most recent work of fiction is a middle grade novel-in-verse called Serendipity & Me (Viking, 2013). She is currently working on several picture books, plus an historical novel and a soccer novel. The novels are for middle grade readers.

Her hobbies include reading, music, traveling, kayaking, and learning languages. She currently lives in Elkhart, Indiana with her husband and three cats. Her two sons are now grown but still inspire her writing.


Kendra Binney was raised in a small mountain town with no shoe stores. Most of her time was spent barefoot treading through the minuscule world of spiders, snakes and all things hiding in the grass. She transfers this closeness with the small and obscure into her paintings. Through scenes of dripping landscapes and insecure, vulnerable characters, she illustrates a world draped in memories, remorse, and fragile realities. Seen through pastel washes and shiny candy coatings of resins, her works evoke both nostalgia and contempt. They are at once gentle and cruel, sweet and unsettling.

Though her paintings have been exhibited, sold, and published around the world,  Kendra herself spends most days in a small studio in Portland, OR. There she paints, daydreams, and paints some more. Past clients include Microsoft, Sanrio, Vinyl Films, and Collage Greetings along with numerous commissions for private collections.

For questions about commissions, licensing artwork, or to request the link to my wholesale page please contact me here 

To keep up to date on new paintings, ideas, or to become new best friends please visit me on instagram

Judith, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. I have the book and the text and illustrations are so soothing that I could almost feel like I was floating in a gondola safe in my father’s arms. Good luck with the book! Don’t miss clicking the link to Judith’s blog. She has some wonderful real life pictures of Venice. I can see how they inspired the book. 

Talk tomorrow,



  1. This book intrigued me. I love Venice, I’ve been twice and agree that there is never enough time there. The illustrations look delightful. I can’t wait to see and read it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful book! My mother is from Florence, Italy, so seeing your book on Venice is heart warming. I love the illustrator you chose too. Another thing in common, I’m from Indiana and went to St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame. Excited to read your book!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d love to take an Italian trip that included Venice someday. Thanks for showing a new generation some of the beauty of the outside world.
    I’ve tweeted a link to this post:, and shared an image on Pinterest as well:
    I also follow your blog daily by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com
    Thanks again, have a great day everyone!


  4. Love Italy, so love this book already -looks absolutely wonderful -congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love Venice! These illustrations are gorgeous, so I can’t wait to see the full book. (I’m signed up for the email as well.)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sounds like a lovely story, Judith. Congrats on publication. The dreamy, calm pictures are beautiful, Kendra.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a rhythmic, beautiful book. Congrats, Judith and Kendra!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ahhh…Veneto…bellissimo! Congratulations Judith and Kendra…it’s a beautiful book! (signed up for emails too)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This sounds like a beautiful book. Congratulations to Judith!


  10. Such fond memories! I hope the rising ocean relents to keep Venice safe for generations to come. Congratulations on perseverance and publication, Judith and Kendra.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This book is gorgeous. I can’t wait to read it. I shared on tumblr, twitter, and Facebook:


  12. Looks lovely. I shared on Pinterest, FB and twitter

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I can’t wait to travel again and this book looks lovely. I enjoy your daily blog, Kathy.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It’s great to read about the author’s perseverance succeeding in getting her book published – Congratulations to Judith and Kendra on their beautiful book! I love the wonderful dog! (I am also a subscriber to your blog and love getting the email messages, thank you!)


  15. Congratulations, Judy! I’ve been looking forward to Venetian Lullaby being released into the world. Can’t wait to read it! Will Tweet!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I love Venice, and it looks like this book suitably depicts the romantic qualities of that gorgeous city. As one who spends lots of time in the nonfiction writing realm, I, too, was surprised at first glance by a female gondolier, but I’m not surprised that an editor requested the change, given the emphasis on female empowerment/firsts. Did you know that the only gondoliera is actually transgender, that he was born with a female body and rejected the idea of being a girl from early on in childhood? His story, while an international sensation, transformed into something out of his control, so there really isn’t a female gondolier in Venice. In any case, taken outside of this context, this book does sound like a lovely story that is beautifully illustrated. Congrats!


  17. Couldn’t be more proud of my writing group friend Judy Roth! This book has been a long time coming. Congratulations, Judy! And Kendra, as well, for bringing Judy’s soothing words so beautifully to life. Kathy, this is a great tribute to the book and its creators. I’ve shared it on my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts and posted a link on my personal author website news page. I also shared Judy’s release tweet on my Twitter feed. Thanks for the opportunity to help spread the word about this lovely addition to Judy’s books.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh, I remember this from PBParty (I think that was the contest). It caught my eye, and I’m so glad to see that Page Street snapped it up. The pictures look like a perfect fit for the text. (Kathy, I subscribe to your blog.)

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Love this in so many ways! How lovely to travel back to Venezia in a book! Wishing you all the best.


  20. This book is gorgeous! I went to Venice once. This story brings back memories. Best wishes to you!


  21. This is beautiful! Can’t wait to read it! Congrats and best wishes!

    I will Tweet this and I follow by email. 🙂


  22. Lovely!


  23. Venice is magical, and this books seems to capture its beauty and serenity in such a lovely way.


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