Posted by: Kathy Temean | March 2, 2021

Book Giveaway: LET’S POP, POP, POPCORN by Cynthia Schmerth

Cynthia Schumerth has written a new picture book, LET’S POP, POP, POPCORN illustrated by Mary Reaves Uhles and published by Sleeping Bear Press. It is available in bookstores, now. SBP 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 Cynthia and Mary.

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:

Told through exuberant rhyme, a group of children shows the step-by-step process of how America’s favorite snack comes about. Beginning with the planting of seeds, the cycle moves through the caretaking of the plant (watering and weeding), all the way to its harvest. Finally, it’s time to shuck, then pop the kernels, and enjoy the finished product! Complete with back matter that includes scientific facts and activities, Let’s Pop, Pop, Popcorn! offers a fun introduction to the process of creating popcorn.

BOOK JOURNEY:

Before I describe my book journey, I’d like to thank Kathy for giving me this amazing opportunity to share my debut picture book Let’s Pop, Pop, Popcorn on her blog.

Let’s Pop, Pop, Popcorn was actually written rather quickly and, out of frustration.  My critique partner and I were talking about writer’s block, something we were both experiencing at the time.  I reminded her of something we writers hear over and over—write what you love.  Well, I love popcorn, so that’s what I decided to write about!  Researching popcorn was so interesting.  Learning how simple the process of popping was surprising.  It made using popcorn in a story even more appealing, and I knew it was a process very young readers would also understand.

I initially wrote it as a simple farm-to-table book and it had a single child as it only character.  Along the way, I changed the single character to a group of children.  That gave the story more depth, expanding the opportunity for illustration. I also wanted to add some of the scientific terms into the text, making it even stronger as a STEM book. The challenge was keeping the rhythm and rhyme scheme I had while incorporating some rather unusual words, like: germ, endosperm and pericarp.  After many drafts and much hard work, Let’s Pop, Pop, Popcorn was ready for submission!

Three months after submission, it was acquired by Sleeping Bear Press. The news couldn’t have come at a better time—my dad had just been diagnosed with cancer and our family certainly needed some positive news.

I first met with my Editor in August 2018.  I was a bit disappointed to learn that the book wasn’t slated for release until September 2020, but it was so exciting when my editor said the manuscript was “perfect as is.”  That is something I’m really proud of!  In the end, we did end up changing three words in the manuscript, but I consider the lack of need for edits a real accomplishment.

When my Editor next emailed me in June 2019, she told me that, due to trends and sales requests, the release date for the book was being delayed until sometime in 2021, my heart sank.  No illustrator had been hired and doing so would also be postponed, as this publishing delay would push the book into a new fiscal budget.  All I could do was wait.  I put Let’s Pop, Pop, Popcorn in the back of my mind and kept writing and submitting other manuscripts.

Six months passed before I found out that the fabulous Mary Uhles had been hired as the illustrator for the book.  I couldn’t have been more pleased—her work is amazing!  I was excited to see what she would do with the book.   And then, once again, I waited.

This time, however, I had some homework.  My editor suggested we add an experiment and/or a project along with the back matter already submitted. I researched experiments and found several that were age-appropriate.  I tried them out myself and sent two of them on to Sleeping Bear, along with a couple ideas for an art project.  I thought I was done but my editors wanted a little more.  I had already done the experiment they chose to use, but they wanted me to try the experiment again using different types of popcorn, and then collect and compare data to ensure it would produce an observable outcome.  They also wanted to make sure the science project was safe.

I asked, Lucy, my 6-year old great-niece, to be my assistant for the experiments. We had a blast (pun intended) and I got valuable feedback about what a 6-year old can do, likes to do, and some ideas for things I wanted to change. During this time I also met with several elementary school teachers to make sure the back matter was what they looked for in a book.  I also verified that the experiment and craft were something they would be able to utilize in class.

Time flew by and in April 2020 a wonderful surprise showed up in my inbox—the pencil sketches for the book!  Mary had done a great job and I couldn’t have been more excited.  It wasn’t until October 2020 that I got to see the final art work and cover, but it was well worth the wait.  A week later Let’s Pop, Pop, Popcorn was off to the printer!

On December 23, 2020 I received an unexpected early Christmas present.  The doorbell rang and there on the porch was a box holding my advance copies of Let’s Pop, Pop, Popcorn.  There is nothing like the feeling of holding your debut book in your hands—it was both surreal and thrilling!

Let’s Pop, Pop, Popcorn is scheduled for release on March 15, 2021.  I can’t wait to share this book with you and your children—I hope you all enjoy it!

CYNTHIA’S BIO:

Cynthia Schumerth knew she wanted to write picture books since her own children were young.  She worked to hone her craft, writing on and off while raising a family and working full time in a Maximum Security Prison.  Twenty-five years later, she decided it was time to concentrate all her efforts into getting published or put her pen away.  Let’s Pop, Pop, Popcorn (Sleeping Bear Press) is Cynthia’s debut picture book and will be release March 15, 2021. I Am Horton (Random House Books for Young Readers), her second book, was released first, in September 2020.

Cynthia enjoys spending time outdoors. You’ll often find her hiking, swimming, kayaking, or trying to keep up with her husband on a bike ride.  Cynthia and her husband live in Wisconsin with their rescue dog, Chance.  She has two amazing grown children who can’t wait to share their mother’s books with their own children someday.

MARY REAVES UHLES’ BIO:

Mary Reaves Uhles has created illustrations for numerous books and magazines. Her newest picture books include A TUBA CHRISTMAS (Sleeping Bear) and THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS IN TENNESSEE (Sterling), both available Fall 2018. She has also illustrated THE LITTLE KID’S TABLE by Mary Ann McCabe Riehle (Sleeping Bear); KOOKY CRUMBS by J. Patrick Lewis (Kane Miller); and BEYOND THE GRAVE Choose Your Own Adventure Series by Dottie Enderle (ABDO Magic Wagon Press).

Mary has twice been awarded the Grand Prize for Illustration from the SCBWI Midsouth Conference and her piece, EAT was a finalist in the 2014 SCBWI Bologna Book Fair Gallery. Prior to beginning her career as a freelance illustrator, Mary worked as an animator on projects for Warner Brothers and Fisher-Price Interactive. As Midsouth Illustrator Coordinator of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Mary lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee. Since creating characters and stories is her favorite thing in the world (even more than perfect iced tea) she feels mighty lucky to do it every day in her hilltop studio.

Cynthia, thank you for sharing your book and journey. This is a very cute book. I loved that you remind everyone how long the road is for our favorite treat to reach us. It is a great, unique STEM book for science and nature school units. I have always been a big fam of mary’s artwork. She did a fabulous job. Good Luck with the book!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. This looks like a super book to share with kids!

    Like

  2. I love popcorn too! I can’t wait to devour this book.

    Like

  3. This book looks fabulous! Congratulations Cynthia and Mary! I can’t wait to read it.

    Like

  4. Reblogged this on Terry Pierce and commented:
    This look likes the kind of book I would have used in my classroom. LET’S POP, POP, POPCORN!

    Like

  5. What a fun and lively book! Gotta love corn 🙂 Kathy, I am a newsletter subscriber.

    Like

  6. I love popcorn! And this book looks just as tasty. Congratulations! I might have to swap out my normal corn seeds and plant popcorn this year for my grands.

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

    Like

  7. What a deliciously fun book -congrats!

    Like

  8. What a fun book! Can’t wait to get a hold of it!

    Like

  9. Sometimes I forget just how much fun it is to make and eat popcorn. Of course our dogs love it too. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
    I’ve tweeted a link: https://twitter.com/carlrscott/status/1366799917784571907, and shared on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.es/pin/336573772158517112/, I also follow by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com.
    Thanks again, stay safe and get your shot!

    Like

  10. Congrats, Cynthia and Mary! This book sounds fun. (I’m signed up for the emails, too)

    Like

  11. Thank you for sharing your journey with this fun book–I love that your editor said the book is perfect as it is and that is such an amazing writing accomplishment. I am an email subscriber and shared on pinterest, tumblr, twitter, and Facebook: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570620215293576030

    Like

  12. I really enjoyed Cynthia’s description of her path to publishing this book—thank you!

    Like

    • PS I will retweet.

      Like

  13. Congratulations, Cynthia and Mary! Your book looks amazing! I follow this wonderful blog, and I’m on the email list.

    Like

  14. Your book sounds amazing. Congratulations Cynthias and Mary from a fellow SCBWI-Wisconsin writer.

    Like

  15. Great recap of your journey to publication, Cindy. Now a new adventure with your book out in world begins!

    Like

  16. How cute! I think my mom would consider popcorn one of the major food groups:) I’m happy to tweet & post a Facebook comment about your book. Congratulations!

    Like

  17. What a cute story!! Congrats, Cynthia and Mary!

    Like

  18. Thank you for sharing this book’s journey, Cynthia. I’m so excited for you and your debut!! Congratulations to both you and Mary!

    Kathy, I follow your blog and tweeted. 🙂

    Like

  19. This book looks like a lot of fun. Thanks for the interesting post. I am a subscriber to your blog.

    Like

  20. Now teachers can give Pop quizzes with your book.

    Like

  21. Congratulations, Cynthia! This sounds like a fun book.

    Like

  22. I can’t wait to read this book. The story and illustrations seem like such fun.

    Like

  23. Happy to share this on Twitter @PBWorkshop with hashtags for STEM, early childhood educators. The rhyming is fun, and the illustrations are so inclusive and inviting. Cindy, popcorn’s long and patient journey to our bowls reminds me that long journeys in writing are also worth the wait! Thanks for this interview and giveaway.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. This book sounds amazing! I know how hard research is and how hard rhyme is! I can’t wait to read this one. Thanks for sharing. I will be sharing this one! Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. This book looks like it is such a fun story. I would love to read this for my students. Showing children the beauty in literary works is so important and especially essential during this time.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. This sounds like an awesome book! (I enjoy both popcorn and gardening.) Best to you always! Enjoyed your zoom SCBWI presentation.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. This looks like so much fun! And, being a rhymer myself, I always get very happy when another rhyming PB comes out in the world! Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I would love this book for my students!

    Like


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