Posted by: Kathy Temean | February 28, 2021

Book Giveaway: THE OWL WHO ASKS WHY by Michelle Garcia Andersen

Michelle Andersen has written a new picture book, THE OWL WHO ASKS WHY illustrated by Ayesha L. Rubio and published by Page Street Kids. It is available in bookstores, now. PSK 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 Michelle and Ayesha.

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:

Little Owl and Little Wolf have so many questions for their parents. “Why can’t we move our eyes?” “When will I no longer be a pup?” But owls don’t ask “Why?” They ask “Whooo?” And wolves don’t ask “When?” They ask “Hoooow?” Mom and Dad say it’s silly to even consider asking those sorts of questions.

All the forest creatures laugh when Little Owl asks “WHY?” and Little Wolf asks “WHEN?” Everyone knows owls ask “WHO? And wolves ask “HOW?” . . . but WHY? It’s just how it’s done. But Little Owl and Little Wolf want to ask their own questions. The inquisitive pair doesn’t think anyone will ever understand, so they take off on an adventure to find a new place far from those that try to hold them back.

Feeling teased and misunderstood, Little Owl and Little Wolf decide to run away from home for good. After straying too far from the path, the pair discovers that they’re lost in the forest and begin to wonder if they’ve made the right decision by leaving the pack. Little Owl and Little Wolf realize that the only way to make it back to their families is to not be afraid to ask the right questions, their own way.

This heartwarming tale of friendship from author Michelle Garcia Andersen and artist Ayesha Rubio will remind young readers that by staying true to yourself and embracing what makes you unique, good things come to you.

BOOK JOURNEY:

Thank you, Kathy, for featuring my debut picture book THE OWL WHO ASKS WHY! I’ve known I wanted to write children’s books ever since I was in high school, but for many years, I’ve kept this part of myself very guarded and told very few people. So to be able to share this journey with you today feels extraordinary. Thank you!

The idea for THE OWL WHO ASKS WHY came to me several years ago when I was sitting in my studio trying to come up with ideas to write about. I had my windows open and I heard an owl hooting and it got my attention. I live in the country and I’m always listening to the various sounds of wildlife, mostly out of curiosity, but also for reasons of safety.

This little owl would not stop, to the point where it went from amusement to a major distraction. Who? Who? Whooo? I remember thinking to myself, jeesh, wouldn’t it be great if this little owl could ask a different question! And that was my ‘aha!’ moment, and I started writing immediately.

I knew I wanted to write about an owl that was different from the others, and I thought it would be fun if she found a friend who experienced these same feelings of uniqueness and confusion. At the beginning of the story, I wanted the first few spreads to mirror one another. Little Owl asks Mama Owl all kinds of why questions, and we turn the page and the setup is almost identical but Little Wolf is asking Papa Wolf what questions. My editor, Courtney Burke, at Page Street Kids suggested that Little Wolf ask when instead of what. I knew right away it was a good suggestion because little kids are always asking when and it would feel more child-like. But boy, I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy switch.

This story went through several revisions before being published. I wish I were someone who could write first and revise later, but unfortunately, that’s not how my brain works. I always make changes as I go along and consequently, this means I’m not exactly a fast writer. It was in 2016 that I first came up with the idea for this book. At that time, I had just started taking my writing seriously, and I worked on this manuscript for a while, and then I put it aside to write others. This was my process for the whole first year.

This repetition of creating, revising, putting drafts aside to write something new was great training. It made me a more creative person. It seemed that within a few months, ideas starting coming to me with much more ease. When I went for a run, took a shower, even while grocery shopping, ideas started to present themselves. And still to this day, when I am not writing regularly and I get out of practice, ideas are harder for me to come by.

When Page Street Kids offered to publish my book (at that time it was called A HOOT AND A HOWL), they did something that I think is quite remarkable. They asked me to choose some adjectives to describe the manuscript. Their team came up with their list as well. Then they gathered to discuss the adjectives they chose and matched it with a list of illustrators who’s worked also exemplified those traits. Then to my amazement, they shared that list with me. It felt so great to be included in this process and I thought it was incredibly kind of them. I knew that any illustrator they would choose would do a beautiful job, but I am thrilled to be partnered with Ayesha L. Rubio. I love her illustrations and I was so intrigued by her color scheme. I knew the majority of the book would take place at night, and I wondered how she was going to create a book that wasn’t monotonous and overly saturated in dark tones. I LOVE what she came up with!

The entire experience working with Page Street Kids has been a dream come true. I am so grateful and feel so lucky. When I open my email and receive photos and videos of kids sitting down with my book, I’m overcome with gratitude and a lot of disbelief. There’s nothing quite like it! And it’s an honor to be included in blogs and interviews such as yours. Thank you for allowing me to share my story!

MICHELLE’S BIO:

Michelle Garcia Andersen is a member of SCBWI and belongs to many other online writing organizations. She was a teacher for several years and loved teaching kids to read. Now she spends her days writing books for kids to read. Michelle is passionate about children’s literacy and writes books for all ages for the educational market. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Arts in English and from Pacific University with a Masters in Teaching. When Michelle is not writing, you will most likely find her outdoors enjoying nature.

Michelle lives in southern Oregon with her husband and three kids and lots of pets. She’s an outdoor girl, and loves hiking, kayaking, and laying in my hammock, reading a good book.

AYESHA’S BIO:

Ayesha L. Rubio was born in Madrid, Spain, one cold evening in February.

Like many other children, she loved to draw, but unfortunately for her family, any surface was an empty canvas for her, until her grandfather taught her to draw horses and to choose paper, instead of furniture or walls, as a better material to draw on.

Years later, she studied Fine Arts in Spain and England and began to work as an illustrator, collaborating with national and international publishers.

At present, she has three books of her own, translated into various languages and has collaborated with many others. Lately, she has made some incursions in the animation world.

Check her Vimeo page here.

Some of her clients:

Alfaguara, Astronave, B de Blok, Baula, Cambridge University Press, DK, Edelvives, Editorial Planeta, Fnac, Hachette Children’s Group, Hallmark, Harper Collins, Lerner, London Royal Opera House, Loqueleo, National Center for Youth Issues, Oxford University Press, Page Street Kids, Parragon, Penguin, Puffin, Santillana, Scholastic.

Thank you Michelle for sharing your book and journey with us. Fun story about WHO asking WHY and HOW asking When pays of forlittle Owl and Wolf. Very cute story with delightful illustrations. Good luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. Thank you for sharing this book! Best of luck to you, Michelle and Ayesha! Kathy, I am a newsletter subscriber.

    Like

    • Thank you, Lynn Marie. Boy, did I luck out with such a talented illustrator!

      Like

  2. I love this book’s concept and the owl who was different

    Like

    • Thank you, Beth. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a fun story! Let’s all give ourselves permission to ask the right questions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely! Thanks, Amy!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What fun…reminds me a bit of Abbot and Costello’s Who’s on First. Congratulations Michelle and Ayesha! (I am a blog subscriber, too.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yay! That’s what I was hoping for! Thank you, Donna.

      Like

  5. What a perfectly charming idea for a book. Thanks for the post. I am a subscriber.

    Like

    • Thank you, Rosi!

      Like

  6. Thank you for sharing your publishing journey–your experience working with Page Street Kids is amazing. I would love to have a similar experience. I am an email subscriber and shared this post on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and tumblr:

    Like

    • I wish you tons and tons of success, Danielle! Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi, Michelle, this is so stinking cute! I love the word play, the art, and whole concept. Congratulations!

    Like

    • Thank you, Dee! I feel so very lucky!

      Like

  8. These two look like such good friends. I’m sure they’ll figure out their dilemma. Can’t wait to share their story. Thanks.
    I’ve tweeted a link to this post: https://twitter.com/carlrscott/status/1366086069175812098, and shared an image on Pinterest too: https://www.pinterest.com.mx/pin/336573772158494417/.
    I also follow daily by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com
    Thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Carl!

      Like

  9. Why can’t I have this book?

    Like

    • 🙂 Thank you, Natasha!

      Like

  10. This sounds wonderful, I would love to read this!

    Like

    • I hope you enjoy it, Charlotte! Thank you!

      Like

  11. Congrats, Michelle & Ayesha! (I’m signed up for the emails, too.)

    Like

    • Thank you, Susan!

      Like

  12. Wow, Page Street’s process of choosing an illustrator really was remarkable. That’s the first time I’ve heard of something like that. Your book looks terrific! (Kathy, I subscribe to your blog.)

    Like

    • It was a first for me too. I couldn’t be more grateful. Thanks, Janet. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow, this book looks wonderful. Wonderful idea and writing, beautiful illustrations. Congrats, Michelle and Ayesha!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Kathy, Michelle, & Ayesha thanks for a wonderful post! I love the premise of this book and am looking forward to reading it. Congrats & best wishes for a fun & successful launch. (Kathy, I subscribe & shared on Twitter & FB)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Maria! And congrats to you!

      Like

  15. Thank you for sharing your story, Michelle. This sounds like a fun and wonderful book! (I am a blog subscriber, Kathy)

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are most welcome! Thanks for reading it!

      Like

  16. What a fun idea for a story. My toddler just started with the asking why. I receive your blog posts daily and shared on on Twitter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I just love that stage! Enjoy your little one, Ashley! And thank you!

      Like

  17. This looks adorable! Congrats! (I will share on Twitter as well @WriterRebeccaGL)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Rebecca!

      Like

  18. I love it! An owl who asks, well, not just WHO! Congratulations!

    Sharing on Twitter and I follow by email. 🙂

    Like

    • Ha! Thank you, Angie!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I just saw all of these kind comments! I don’t know how I missed them before, but I thank you all sincerely. What a wonderful way to start the week. Thank you to everyone for making me feel so very special this morning.

    Like


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