Posted by: Kathy Temean | March 4, 2021

Book Giveaway: Little Dandelion Seeds the World by Julia Richardson

Julia Richardson has written a new picture book, Little Dandelion Seeds the World illustrated by Kristen & Kevin Howdeshell and published by Sleeping Bear Press. It is available in bookstores on March 15th. 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 Julia, Kristen and Kevin.

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:

Did you know dandelions thrive on all seven continents? The cheery blooms are among the most resilient and adaptable in the world. In this lyrical book, learn how the crafty plant travels on the wind and hitches rides in all manner of ways in order to spread far and wide. Includes a map and backmatter on dandelions.

BOOK JOURNEY:

The idea for Little Dandelion Seeds the World sprang from my sons’ interests when they were young. One of them adored animals and the other was fascinated with different parts of the world. I wanted to write a book that combined these two topics, a book that both of my boys would have loved. But how?

For months, I wracked my brain for an original way to weave the two topics together. I was at a complete loss until the day my yard bloomed in drifts of dandelions. (For those of you opposed to dandelions, I find them delightful.) The golden blooms seemed to be everywhere. Everywhere? That thought spurred me into action. I raced to my computer and quickly discovered that dandelions bloom all over the world. Since they are spread by animals and loved by children, dandelions morphed into the nugget of my story. Even better, the addition of seed travel added a STEM component.

At first, I wrote a clunky character driven story about a dandelion named Dandee who wanted to ‘seed the world’. Because I wanted Dandee to reach all seven continents, it was a challenge to keep the word count down. My gut told me the story was too long, especially for busy parents, but I ignored that. Armed with my mantra, “Today’s mighty oak is just yesterday’s nut that held its ground,” I charged ahead and submitted it seven times to both editors and agents. And . . .

Not one peep from the cherished land.

Then, one day while visiting the local library, I discovered the picture book Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry. The sparse text partnered perfectly with the illustrations to convey the plot. It dawned on me to try something similar with my dandelion story. Could I remove the character-driven aspect and eliminate the clunkiness? I soon had a 180-word lyrical draft, which I submitted to three agents. And . . .

Four!! beautiful paragraphs from the cherished land!

A highly respected agent complimented the story and offered suggestions for revision. It wasn’t acceptance, but it was manna for my malnourished writer’s soul. I made the suggested revisions, which brought the word count up to 300, and resubmitted it to the agent, fully expecting a response. But I heard nothing.

A year later I had the opportunity through KidLit college to facetime and discuss a manuscript with Sarah Rockett, an editor from Sleeping Bear Press. I chose the dandelion story. This was the pitch:

Swirl round the world with a seed. Bloom amongst animals from all seven continents. This concept book, LITTLE DANDELION SEEDS THE WORLD combines two popular topics for children, geography and animals, and weaves them together with the science of a dandelion seed.

Sarah Rockett made a few minor suggestions for revision and asked me to resubmit. I remember thinking she wasn’t interested or she would have made more suggestions. By that time, the manuscript had been rejected so many times that I assumed it needed a complete overhaul. It took about 20 minutes to make her suggested revisions. I stared at it for the next few days and then resubmitted. A few weeks later these lovely words arrived in my inbox:

We had an acquisition meeting last week and have decided to move forward with Little Dandelion! Everyone LOVED this story. It topped all of our lists at discussion. We’re so thrilled to add it to our publishing program!

 After five years of dedicated effort, the cherished land was at my feet!

JULIA’S BIO:

Julia Richardson sees beauty. Her writing inspires children to fall in love with the world. Though Julia adores being a children’s book author, when she was young reading and especially writing were difficult for her. In first grade, Julia was diagnosed with a severe case of dyslexia. Because of this, she struggled to read and wrote every letter upside down and backwards. Fortunately, dedicated teachers helped Julia overcome these challenges. By the time she reached middle school, Julia loved to read, but writing continued to be a challenge. Julia’s path to publication will encourage children to believe in their dreams. With hard work and determination, anything is possible. Little Dandelion Seeds the World is Julia’s debut picture book. Her second picture book is coming from Sleeping Bear Press in summer 2022.

KRISTEN AND KEVIN’S BIO:

Kristin and Kevin are a husband and wife illustration team based in Kansas City that began collaborating 10+ years ago on our senior thesis stop-motion animation, “A Very Hairy Christmas.” (A werewolf Christmas story, of course).  Since then we’ve started a studio and taken on the freelance world of illustration working on projects for magazines, packaging, tshirts, musc album, educational, & our absolute love, children’s books.

Growing up, kid Kristen spent many hours drawing the stories in her head in order to share the stapled pages with her family.

Meanwhile on the other side of Missouri, kid Kevin loved super heroes.  He drew entire comics in order to give life to the world he imagined. But mostly Wolverine ripoffs.

The love of telling stories, although with many varying methods, has never felt more important to our now grown-up hearts.  With three kids of our own, the tradition of the bedtime story, although in reality can be a bit hectic, has become absolutely important to our nightly routine.  It’s become a time of bonding, sharing, and affection.

Thank you Julia, for sharing your book and journey with us. I loved the lyrical form of this book. I made me feel like I was making a wish on a dandelion. It almost magical how dandelions seeds can spread across continet, take root and grow. The back matter, world map, a scientifc facts about dandelions will let parents and teachers form an easy lesson plan. Good luck with the book!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. This looks beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. how pretty

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful book! Can’t wait to read it in person.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cool concept! I just love book origin stories (and dandelions!)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This looks wonderful. Can’t wait to see it!

    Kathy, I follow you blog and have reposted to Facebook and Twitter. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fascinating and encouraging publication story. Yeah for mentor texts! Thanks,

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Gorgeous! I need my own copy for sure. Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I LOVE dandelions! And no, I didn’t know they were found around the world…can’t wait to read this!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I just read that dandelions are not weeds but part of the sunflower family – love this wonderful book! I have a whole new appreciation for these flowers. Thanks for sharing and congrats!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I love dandelions and actually grow them for my house rabbits! Am so looking forward to your book (I had no idea dandelions grow around the world)–kudos!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Like most people I did not know dandelions grew on all seven continents, how about that. It looks like a lovely book, I’d love to have a copy.
    I’ve tweeted a link: https://twitter.com/carlrscott/status/1367508877688725505, and shared an image on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.es/pin/336573772158537920/
    I also follow daily: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com
    Have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow! Thanks for sharing your book journey with us, Julie! Congrats on this cute, informative book. Lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Congrats, Julia, Kristen & Kevin! This looks great. (I’m signed up for emails, too.)

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I enjoyed reading about this book’s journey from idea to publication. Thank you for sharing your acceptance message too! Congratulations on your book. I also can’t wait to read it as I enjoy STEM books and am trying to write my own. I am an email subscriber and shared this post on Pinterest, tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook:

    Liked by 1 person

  15. What a wonderful story of perseverance and dedication. Thank you for your persistence.
    Did you know that the dandelion is the official flower of the military child?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This book sounds wonderful! I have always felt like dandelions deserve more positive attention, and now you’ve given them a voice!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Thanks for sharing your journey, Julia! I’ve always loved dandelions. I find them magical. Can’t wait to read the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Looks and sounds lovely! I’ve always been a fan of dandelions, even as my parents tried to eradicate them from our lawn (unsuccessfully). Love how this story found its way to publication. Quite the metaphor for itself.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I love everything about this book. My kids love dandelions and I love the idea of learning about the world through a dandelion’s travel. I’ll be buying this one if I don’t win a copy!

    I’m also subscribed to this blog=)

    Liked by 2 people

  21. I love seeing dandelions too! Thank you for sharing your book’s journey!

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Looks like a sweet book. Thanks for the post. I am a subscriber.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. This looks adorable! I can’t wait to read it. Thanks for sharing your journey to publication. I’m happy to share the news on twitter & Facebook.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. It was fascinating to read how your story evolved. It sounds like you ended up with the perfect tone and structure. Those illustrations are gorgeous, too! (Kathy, I subscribe to this blog.)

    Liked by 2 people

  25. I love this! Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Congratulations Julia!

    Like

  26. What a beautiful story you have written. I love the premise, the lyrical language, and the illustrations. Congratulations on your debut!

    Like

  27. Who doesn’t love dandelions? This story is beautiful! Congrats to all!

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

    Like


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