Posted by: Kathy Temean | February 3, 2021

Book Giveaway: SQUISH SQUASH SQUISHED by Rebecca Kraft Rector

Rebecca Kraft Rector has written a new picture book, SQUISH SQUASH SQUISHED illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte and published by Nancy Paulsen Books. It hits the bookstores on February 16th, but it is available for pre-order on Amazon, now. Rebecca has agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner living in the United States.

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 Rebecca and Dana.

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!

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

A pair of kids learn what it is really like to be squished together during one hilarious and eventful car ride!

When Max and Molly can’t stop complaining about being squished in the back seat of the car, their clever mom knows exactly what to do–offer rides to their animal friends, who are happy to pile in and come along! As the back seat fills up with a wiggly piglet, two flitting ducklings, and three woofing puppies, soon Max and Molly are not only squished–they’re SQUISH SQUASH SQUISHED! So when they notice Mom slowing down to wave at Scooter Mooter and his calves, Max and Molly don’t say a word–they hush-mush. Thankfully, Mom keeps driving–and after everyone’s dropped off and it’s time to hustle-bustle home, Max and Molly are happy to stretch out in the back seat of their suddenly gracious-spacious automobile.

BOOK JOURNEY:

I first wrote SQUISH SQUASH SQUISHED 20 years ago. After many rejections I put the story away. In 2017, I applied to the Super Children’s Book Boot Camp with Pat Cummings and Denise Fleming at the Highlights Foundation. Initially I was rejected for the workshop, but they asked if I had another story I’d like to use for my application. So I dug through my million and one old stories and submitted SQUISH SQUASH SQUISHED. I was accepted.

The concept of the workshop was that participants would get feedback from peers and faculty. Then we’d present the story to a panel consisting of an editor, agent, and art director.

When I presented the story to the panel, I had my paper and pen ready to write down all the things they’d inevitably say needed to be improved. Instead, they loved it! All three of them! I was blown away.  Before I left the workshop, the agent, Erica Rand Silverman of Stimola Literary Studio, slipped me a note: Email me! The art director, Cecilia Yung of Penguin Random House, said she would show the text to Nancy Paulsen of Nancy Paulsen Books. Ken Geist, Vice President and Publisher at Scholastic also expressed interest.

My flights home were delayed and then cancelled and I ended up spending the night at the airport, but it didn’t matter. They’d loved my story!

A few days later I had an offer from Nancy Paulsen Books, a follow-up email from Scholastic, and I was in correspondence with Agent Erica. I soon signed with Erica and accepted the offer from Nancy Paulsen Books. Illustrator Dana Wulfekotte came on board in April 2018 and her fabulous illustrations brought the story to life. Nancy and Cecilia let me have input on the art right from the start. I made a few suggestions on the sketches and interiors, you know, really deep and professional comments like “I think Molly needs the ducklings on her head on page 28.” It’s been a wonderful journey and soon children will hold my picture book in their hands. I can’t wait!

A week later I had an agent and publisher. Illustrator Dana Wulfekotte came on board in April 2018 and her fabulous illustrations brought the story to life. Soon children will hold my picture book in their hands. I can’t wait!

REBECCA’S BIO:

I’m a twin and the oldest of four children. Our many car trips did not inspire me to write SQUISH SQUASH SQUISHED because we were always absolute angels. Absolute. Angels.

For as long as I can remember, I loved reading and writing stories and poems. So, it’s no surprise that I became a librarian and writer. But I’ve also worked as a cleaner, babysitter, shampoo girl, filer, typist, reading and study skills teacher, and elementary school network manager.

My cats Ollie and Opal keep me company while I write. I don’t care for coffee, so my writing is fueled by dark chocolate chips, often eaten on graham crackers.

Although I’ve had more than 30 books published, SQUISH SQUASH SQUISHED is my first picture book. My second picture book LITTLE RED is coming from Aladdin in Spring 2022. You can find me online at RebeccaKraftRector.wordpress.com.

DANA’S BIO:

Dana Wulfekotte (wolf – kah – tee) is a freelance animator, comic artist, and children’s book author-illustrator. She was born in Seoul, South Korea, raised in New Jersey, and currently lives in Queens with her boyfriend and two rabbits.

As an animator/designer, she has worked on various animation projects for HBO, PBS, Google, and many others. Her debut picture book RABBIT & POSSUM came out in February 2018 and was published by Greenwillow/HarperCollins. She also illustrated the 2019 Schneider Family Honor picture book THE REMEMBER BALLOONS (written by Jessie Oliveros, Simon & Schuster).

For book inquiries, please contact Sean McCarthy – sean [at] mccarthylit.com. For all other inquiries (work or otherwise!) please email me at dana.wulfekotte [at] gmail.com.

Rebecca, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. I don’t have a copy of the book, but it looks like a fun ride with pigs in pink tutus, puppies with backpacks, and ducks on the kids heads. I can hear the little children laughing at this story while their parents read it to them. Dana’s illustrations are perfect and add to the fun. Good luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. What a clever way to draw on an old folk tale! The account of how it was brought into the world after sitting on the back burned for years is amazing, too.

    Like

  2. Oh what fun. Love the art, the story, and a wonderful Highlights success story too! (I’m a blog follower…and you rock, Kathy!)

    Like

  3. I enjoyed this interview and the original concept of this book. As someone who is studying picture books and hopeful to one day be published, I always enjoy hearing how writers connected with agents and publishers. I follow this blog and am so happy to have subscribed. I shared this post on tumblr and twitter: https://yesreaderwriterpoetmusician.tumblr.com/post/642118572292947968/via-book-giveaway-squish-squash-squished-by

    Like

  4. I love the story of how you got signed by your agent, Rebecca!

    Moni

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  5. *waves at fellow 21 for the Books member*
    I love hearing the success story behind the story! Highlights workshops have been a big part of my journey to publication as well!

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  6. Wow what a back story! Congratulations Rebecca! Your text and Dana’s art look so entertaining! I am excited to read this book!

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    • Kathy I receive your blog and shared on Twitter!

      Like

  7. Congrats, Rebecca and Dana! This looks adorable. (I’m signed up for the emails as well.)

    Like

  8. What a great story! Thank you for sharing!

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  9. This brings back memories of family car rides! I enjoy your daily blog, Kathy.

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  10. Thanks everyone for your kind comments. And many thanks to Kathy for the interview and everything that she does to keep the kidlit community informed. ~Rebecca

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  11. This looks so cute! I am a blog follower. Thanks for the post.

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  12. Both stories (the story and the story behind the story) are awesome! Congrats on feeling the Highlights magic!

    Like

  13. Your story shows how important it is to Never give up. Thank you for sharing. Congratulations!

    Like

  14. Such an inspiring interview to keep everything we write because you just never know. Loved reading about Rebecca’s exciting Highlights weekend. I found myself feeling so happy for her as she described how it all played out beyond her wildest dreams!

    Like

  15. Loved this “how I got published” story and love the book even more! Can’t wait for this one. Congrats Rebecca and Dana!

    Like

  16. This book sounds adorable. And so relatable! And the language sounds perfectly read-aloudable!

    I just signed up for new post alerts.

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  17. Wow, Rebecca, 20 years ago? Good writing takes time for sure. So glad you pulled this one out in 2017! What a fun take on family car rides with your playful language and with Dana’s fun illustrations.

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  18. What a fun story!

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  19. ❤️❤️❤️❤️ love the story and illustrations! I’m one of eight. Oh the car rides🤦🏻‍♀️

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  20. What a great idea to write about the dreaded car rides–and make it funny!

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  21. Congratulations, Rebecca! Your story sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing the journey to getting it published!

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  22. Wow! What a wonderful story! I loooove imagining Erica slipping you a note after the presentation! Absolutely inspiring!

    Like

  23. Wonderful looking book, Rebecca and Dana! Congrats!

    Like

  24. The illustrations shown are enticing, I think my granddaughter will find this a fun read. Thank you for showcasing such an endearing story

    Like

  25. Congratulations on your new book! So excited to read it. Thank you for a chance.

    Like

  26. What a great backstory to what seems like a really fun book. Reminds me of my childhood days squish, squashed in the back of our very small car with my 6 siblings.

    Like

  27. I love this book and want to own it!!! Who can’t remember being squished. Your story is great and gives me hope for some of my file aways!

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  28. What a great story. Congratulations.

    Like

  29. Such a fun story! I love that you shared that you first wrote this story 20 years ago. Amazing and inspiring!!

    Like

  30. Thank you for sharing. I receive your blog.

    Like

  31. What fun! Congratulations and thank you for sharing your story, Rebecca!

    Like

  32. I love it! This is so cute! (and funny) Congratulations and best wishes!

    I follow by email and will tweet this post, Kathy. 🙂

    Like

  33. […] Angie Quantrell won SQUISH SQUASH SQUISHED by Rebecca Kraft Rector […]

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