Posted by: Kathy Temean | March 21, 2021

Book Giveaway: CLARINET & TRUMPET by Melanie Ellsworth

Melanie Ellsworth has written a new picture book, CLARINET & TRMUPET illustrated by John Herzog and published by HMH Books for Young Readers. It is available in bookstores March 30th and available for pre-order on Amazon now. Melanie 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 Melanie and John.

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 charming and funny picture book featuring the harmonious friendship between Clarinet and Trumpet. But what happens when their friendship falls flat? Featuring a music-making shaker built into the book! Perfect for fans of Stick & Stone and Spoon.

“Trumpet, you’re a blast!”
“Clarinet, you’re sharp!”

Clarinet and Trumpet are friends from the very first note. But their friendship falls flat when a new woodwind – Oboe – sets the tone in the music room. Trumpet tries everything to get Clarinet’s attention again, but Clarinet doesn’t change her tune. The story crescendos until the woodwinds face off against the brass section in an ear-splitting musical duel. How will Clarinet and Trumpet bring the band back together again and save their melodious friendship? With pun-filled text and emotive illustrations, Clarinet and Trumpet honors the important role music plays in creating community. Shake the book, and you can join the band, too!

BOOK’S JOURNEY:

Thank you, Kathy, for the opportunity to share my book’s journey!

Clarinet & Trumpet is a bit autobiographical. I played the clarinet from elementary school through my college years in various bands, orchestras, and pit bands. There was often a friendly rivalry between the woodwind and brass sections. The clarinetists felt out-blasted by the brass sitting behind us, and the brass cringed every time the woodwinds squeaked. I thought it would be great fun to write a friendship story between two buddies with a competitive streak – Clarinet and Trumpet. I also liked the idea of introducing children to individual instruments within instrument families. As I started writing this picture book, I realized how much pun potential it had. It was a blast to write (pun intended)! On a more serious note, as a musician, I learned that each instrument adds its own voice to make a bigger and even more beautiful group sound. I love how music creates community.

The first draft of Clarinet & Trumpet flowed more easily than my first drafts usually do.  A three-month mentorship with author Beth Ferry earlier that year (through the Writing with the Stars contest) had helped me prune and find the heart in several of my manuscripts, and I decided to take on the challenge of writing a friendship story. After getting invaluable feedback from my two critique groups, I took Clarinet & Trumpet to the “Agents, Editors, Writers” conference in September 2017 in Belgrade Lakes, Maine. It was one of the manuscripts pulled from the “slush” pile and read anonymously during the agent/editor panel. It was well received, so after a bit more revising, I submitted it to a few members of the panel and heard back from an editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt who was interested in it. I revised, resubmitted, and received an offer from HMH about a year from the date of writing the book.

Having a contract in hand, as well as several other picture book manuscripts to share, helped me get an agent. (Fun fact: my agent played the clarinet, and my editor played the trumpet!) Joining the Soaring ‘20s debut picture book group has been a great follow-up step for me, helping me learn about marketing and preparing for the book’s launch. Clarinet & Trumpet was originally scheduled to come out in August 2020 but was pushed to March 30, 2021 due to the effects of Covid-19 on the publishing industry. John Herzog’s clever, funny, and heartfelt illustrations have brought the characters to life, and I can’t imagine the book without his vision.

(For anyone who can’t get enough of instruments, orchestras, and drama, check out Mozart in the Jungle on Netflix!)

MELANIE’S BIO:

Melanie Ellsworth dreams and writes in lovely mid-coast Maine, where her family (especially the dog), provides daily inspiration for her picture books. Over the years, Melanie has played a variety of instruments, including the piano, the saxophone, and the clarinet. She has yet to try out the trumpet. Her picture book Hip, Hip…Beret! (HMH, February 2021), illustrated by Morena Forza, also features whimsical characters and fun word play.

As a former ESOL teacher and literacy specialist, Melanie loves all parts of the writing process, from gathering ideas to revision to sharing books. You can find Melanie on Twitter (@melanieells), Instagram (melaniebellsworth), and at her website (www.MelanieEllsworth.com).

JOHN’S BIO:

John Herzog is an award-winning illustrator and educator. He teaches illustration classes at Ringling College of Art and Design. John is a member of the Society of Illustrators and SCBWI, and received the 2018 SCBWI Magazine Merit Award for his Highlights High Five cover illustration. His clients include Hasbro, DreamWorks TV, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Scholastic, and Highlights for Children. He also teaches illustration at Ringling College of Art and Design.


John is a member of the National Cartoonists Society and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, where he received the 2018 SCBWI Magazine Merit Award for his Highlights High Five cover illustration. He lives in Florida with his wife, two kids, a pair of geckos, a bearded dragon, and a tarantula.

Melanie, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. I loved reading your journey. How right from the beginning you realized the story was full of pun potential. How my friend, Beth Ferry helped shape the book, and moved on to others who helped you enrich the story. Then John stepped in and provided the finishing touches that visual brought your characters (muscial instruments) to life. I can almost hear the notes and rhythm. Good luck with the book!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. Congrats, Melanie and John! I also have a manuscript about anthropomorphized musical instruments, so I’m excited to read this book.

    I retweeted, and I’m signed up for the emails.

    Like

    • Thanks, Susan! There aren’t enough books about instruments out there, so I hope we get to see yours in print soon!

      Like

    • What a darling story idea! I would love to share this story with my students and gift it to our music teacher!
      I have RT about it on twitter and I’m signed up for emails.

      Like

      • Thanks, Melissa! So glad to hear that.

        Like

  2. Can’t wait to read this musical picture book. I can see it’s full of fun and heart. Bravo!

    Like

    • Thanks, Danielle! It’s a story from my heart, for sure.

      Like

  3. Congrats (from a fellow HMH author)–this book sounds like a fun + cacaphonous/harmonious duet! Kathy, I receive your blog.

    Like

    • Thanks, Nancy, and congratulations on your HMH titles! Unstoppable sounds amazing!

      Like

  4. Music puns are so fun! Congrats Melanie and John!

    Like

    • Thanks, Cathy. I just love puns!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This looks like a really cute book. The illustrations are great. Thanks for the post. I will pass on the giveaway.

    Like

    • Thanks, Rosi. John really brought the characters to life!

      Like

  6. What a clever concept and great back story. Seemed like a hit from the start. I retweeted and receive your blog daily.

    Like

    • Thanks, Ashley. It was fun to use my childhood experiences to shape this book!

      Like

  7. I need to read this hilarious book! I play the flute and my daughter plays the oboe. I am missing my concert band now, but still keep up my practicing for someday returning. Congratulations on your clever book! I’m an email subscriber and shared to pinterest, facebook, tumblr, and twitter:

    Like

    • Thanks, Danielle. You’ll definitely find the flute and oboe in this book!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. What a cute looking story! Great work, Melanie and John!

    Like

    • Thanks, Marci!

      Like

  9. Hip, Hip…Beret is terrific. I’m sure Clarinet & Trumpet is just as much fun. Congratulations, Melanie and John. (Kathy, I subscribe to your blog.)

    Like

    • Thanks, Janet! Maybe you’ll win this one, too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Love this! I played the clarinet and my boyfriend played the trumpet, so this book hit the right note for me fun and sure to for others, musicians or not!

    Like

    • YAY!

      Like

    • Thank, Cathy. Clarinet and Trumpet make a good duo!

      Like

  11. Oh, dear. I play the violin and piano. So I’m feeling a little left out of the band, LOL. This looks like a fun book!

    Like

    • Sequel??? Thanks, Jilianne.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. You had me at the book description Melanie! This story looks fantastic! I love the snippets we get. The wordplay, puns and message of friendship seem adorable. I cannot wait to read this book. I tweeted this post on Twitter! Wishing John and Melanie the best of luck with this book. Thank you for sharing Kathy. 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks so much, Lindsey!

      Like

  13. So excited for this book. We are a Mary’s magnet school so this fits right on. Thank you for a chance and congratulations!! 🎺🎼

    Like

    • So glad to hear that this book works well for your school, Jodie!

      Like

  14. Love the wordplay! Congratulations!

    Like

    • Thanks, Anita. It was so much fun to write!

      Like

  15. I shared on Pinterest, FB, and Twitter and follow your blog! Looks adorable.

    Like

    • Thanks for sharing.

      Like

    • Thanks so much, Carol!

      Like


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