Posted by: Kathy Temean | February 4, 2021

Book Giveaway: STANDING ON HER SHOULDERS by Monica

Monica Clark-Robinson has written a new picture book, STANDING ON HER SHOULDERS illustrated by Laura Freeman and published by Orchard Books. They have 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 Monica and Laura.

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!


A stunning love letter to the important women who shape us — from our own mothers and grandmothers to the legends who paved the way for girls and women everywhere.

Standing on Her Shoulders is a celebration of the strong women who influence us — from our mothers, sisters, aunts, and grandmothers to the women who fought for equality and acceptance in the United States.

Monica Clark-Robinson’s lyrical text encourages young girls to learn about the powerful and trailblazing women who laid the path for their own lives and empowers them to become role models themselves. Acclaimed illustrator Laura Freeman’s remarkable art showcases a loving intergenerational family and encourages girls to find female heroes in their own lives.

Standing on Her Shoulders will inspire girls of all ages to follow in the footsteps of these amazing women.


The idea for Standing On Her Shoulders came first at the baby shower I was given before the birth of my second daughter. A lovely friend led us all on a guided meditation as part of the party, asking us to imagine the women who came before us, standing in concentric circles around us and supporting us. I loved that image so much, and I imagined both the women in my family and the famous women who paved the way for all of us. That image just wouldn’t leave my head, so I finally decided to give a try at turning it into a picture book.

The text of the book went through many, many changes. It was first a much longer book, with a central lyrical text and individual poems for each woman featured. My agent urged me to keep it simple and focus on the main text, so I dropped the individual poems—though I still hope to use them somehow in the future. After several more rounds of revisions, we sent a mostly non-rhyming lyrical picture book to a handful of editors. I was thrilled when it was picked up by Orli Zuravicki at Scholastic—I was a Scholastic book fair fan as a kid, so my adult self was giddy that I would have a book with them! Orli and I went through another round or two of revisions before it was ready to go to the illustrator. I was so happy when I learned that Laura Freeman had been asked to do the art—I loved her previous books and thought she was a perfect fit.

But then—plot twist! Orli left Scholastic to pursue other career goals and the art director we’d been assigned left, too. We were book orphans, without an editor or art director. A few months passed before I got a cheery email from the new editor, Katie Heit. She immediately took the book in hand, along with the new art director, and we went through more revisions. Katie told me that where she thought the book was the most powerful was in the rhyming section. She encouraged me to work on making the whole book filled with rhyme, and I think it really made the text sing.

Deciding which women to feature was once of the hardest things about this book—for every woman we chose, there were twenty others we wanted to include! In hindsight, I so wish we had decided on using Kamala Harris and Stacey Abrams. Their roles have increased exponentially over the past year, but those decisions were made way back in 2019, sadly.

It’s my hope that this book will help young readers see themselves as part of a chain of powerful women, both those behind them and those who will come after. They are at once both standing on the shoulders of their ancestors and also a strong pair of shoulders that future generations will stand on.


Monica is passionately in love with stories–the stories that connect us across culture, race, and age.  She thinks the right story, at the right time, can change a child’s life. She is most interested in bringing forward stories that are being forgotten or misremembered. 

Monica writes picture books, contemporary middle grade fiction, and YA fiction. My debut picture book, LET THE CHILDREN MARCH, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in January 2018. It was a Coretta Scott King Honor Book for Illustration and a Kirkus Best Book. She lives in Arkansas with her family. I’m also a professional actor, former children’s librarian, and voice-over artist, and I live in a yurt in the country with one husband, too many cats, and just the right amount of daughters.

Monica is currently represented by a fantastic agent, Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Literary Agency:


Laura Freeman received a BFA from the School of Visual Arts and began her career working for various editorial clients. She has illustrated over thirty children’s books, including Hidden Figures written by Margot Lee Shetterly, the Nikki & Deja series by Karen English and Fancy Party Gowns by Deborah Blumenthal.

Laura won the 2019 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor for Hidden Figures. She also won the 2019 NAACP Image Award – Outstanding Literary Work for Children for Hidden Figures. That same year she won the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award for Pies From Nowhere. In 2018, Hidden Figures was Selected as a Children’s Book All Young Georgians Should Read. 

Below are some of the early sketches and color studies for the book that Laura did before it changed direction.

In addition to illustrating books and editorial content, my art can be found on a wide range of products, from dishes and textiles to greeting cards. Originally from New York City, she now lives in Atlanta with her husband and their two children.

To see more of Laura’s books and awards, you can visit Laura at:

Thank you Monica for sharing your book and journey with us. I loved every minute I spent working on this book feature and catching a glimpse of the strong women you highlighted. Lauren’s illustrations really makes your text sing. The two of you have created an amazing book. Good luck with the awards STANDING ON HER SHOULDERS will surely be in contention to win.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. wonderful


  2. Beautiful work! Beautiful book!


  3. This looks fabulous, Monica! Can’t wait to see it. Congratulations!


  4. Tremendous concept and those illustrations are truly wonderful. Thanks very much for the chance to win a copy.
    I have 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!


  5. Congrats, Monica and Laura! This book sounds fantastic. (I’m signed up for the emails, too.)


  6. Gorgeous illustrations!


  7. The way this book idea came to you is amazing to me. This book will be a joy to read and use as mentor text. I am so happy for you that another editor and art director took up your orphaned project. I am an email subscriber and I also shared on Facebook, tumblr, and Twitter:


  8. Such a scary thing, to lose your editor. I’m so glad your new editor was excited about the book and did her best to get it out into the world. Congrats!


  9. This post gave me goosebumps. There are so many women on whose shoulders we all stand. I can’t wait to read this book. Congrats! I will tweet, and I do get the emails.


  10. Looks like a powerful story. Congrats, Monica and Laura.


  11. This would be a wonderful addition to our ‘book nook’ at the after school program I work in here in Detroit. The illustrations look beautiful. I subscribe to your blog and get your newsletter every day.


  12. Wow, what a wonderful new book! Congratulations, Monica and Laura! Best wishes!

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


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