Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 4, 2021

Book Giveaway: What the World Could Make by Holly McGhee

Talented agent and author Holly McGhee has a new picture book WHAT THE WORLD COULD MAKE, illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre and published by Roaring Brook Press. Today is it’s birthday, so it’s out in the world for everyone to read. Holly is giving away a copy to one lucky winner.

If you would like to win a copy, please leave a comment, reblog, tweet, or talk about What the World Could Make on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Check back to discover the winner.


From writer Holly M. McGhee and illustrator Pascal Lemaitre, the bestselling creative team behind Come with Me and Listen, comes a story of hope, abundance, and the unfailing possibilities the world holds.

The friends thought it a wonder―
winter white flakes a gift from the sky.
They let them land . . .
the snow melting against their warmth.
The friends could sit there forever, just like that―
watching what the world could make.

Bunny and Rabbit are kindred spirits who celebrate the gifts of the seasons together―from the smell of lilacs to the wonder of gingko leaves, from the taste of sea pickles to the silent beauty of the first snowflakes melting against their warmth. What the World Could Make is a joyous reminder that if we pay attention, hope can always be found in our friendships, in nature, and in generosity toward one another.


“In the depths of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer.”

—Albert Camus

I first met Belgian artist Pascal Lemaitre in 2001, and our friendship has grown closer each passing year . . .  And I first met writer Kate DiCamillo in 2000, and our friendship has also grown closer each year.

Both of these relationships have been lynchpins in my life, reminding me always that even though so much may not be okay in the world, there is limitless beauty and hope to be found—in our friendships, in nature, and in generosity and openness toward one another.

Nearly a decade ago, I had a dream about Kate and me. We were on a roller coaster above the ocean—in a single cart on a single track, 12 feet above the waves. Our cart started moving, and we went up, and up and up, sitting side by side. But at the very top of that first incline, our cart stopped moving. We sat there. Kate looked at me and I looked at her.

She said, “What do we do now?”

I said, “We lean forward.”

For Christmas that year, I asked Pascal to draw this dream for me and Kate, and he obliged. But he turned us into bunnies, to show gentleness, whimsy, humor, and the universal quality of friendship.

And every Christmas since then, Pascal has drawn an image of the bunnies, based on something essential between me and Kate.

One year, he drew us huddled, with axes falling around us from the sky . . . but we were safe.

Another year, he drew us lying side by side on a pillow—this image came from an experience in our waking life—unbeknownst to each other, Kate and I had each bought exactly the same pillow sham and comforter, with the same loud and distinct pattern, far away from our usual sensibility—I didn’t know what to say when I saw her comforter and sham, at her house. . . Kate didn’t know what to say either. But it mattered to both of us, deeply—it was a hint at the mystery of the universe.

And then in this year’s bunny image, we are simply holding each other, sharing a mask.

Inspired by this extraordinary friendship, Rabbit and Bunny materialized from dream to book. I am “Bunny,” and Kate is “Rabbit.” We are ona journey together, a journey of noticing, a journey of gifts, a journey of the seasons. But more than anything, a journey about the unfailing possibilities the world holds, always and forever, despite everything. As Kate wrote to me once, “We have built ourselves a small steady flame in the lake of the woods of the world, and we are warm.”

It is this journey of hope and warmth that I wish for everybody, of every age.


Holly M. McGhee is the author of the New York Times bestseller COME WITH ME as well as LISTEN, a Brainpickings Favorite Book of the Year, both illustrated by Belgian artist Pascal Lemaitre. Her middle-grade novel, MATYLDA, BRIGHT & TENDER, was a Bank Street, Amazon, Book Riot, Mighty Girl, and ABC Best Book of 2017. 

McGhee is also the Founder and President of the boutique literary agency Pippin Properties, Inc., located in Bryant Park, which represents some of the finest authors and illustrators at work today. A mom of three, she divides her time between Maplewood, NJ and the Upper West Side.


Pascal Lemaitre is a freelance author and illustrator based in Belgium. His editorial work has appeared in The New YorkerThe New York TimesLe MondeLibérationLe 1LacroixAstrapiJ’aime LirePom d’Api and Dorémi , among many other publications. Pascal’s illustrations for children and adult books can be found in the catalogs of many American, Belgian and French editors such as L’École des Loisirs/PastelL’AubeSimon & SchusterScholastic, and Penguin Books.

He has had the enormous privilege of working with authors Toni and Slade Morrison, Stéphane Hessel, Edgar Morin, Boris Cyrulnik, Jean-Claude Ameisen, Pierre Rahbi and Rascal. In 2015, the museum Tomi Ungerer curated an exhibit titled “Tomi Ungerer invites Pascal Lemaitre”, featuring Pascal’s children books’ illustrations. Among them, The Book of Mean People by Toni and Slade Morrison prompted legendary illustrator and author Bill Steig to exclaim: “These drawings are wonderful, and you can quote me!”

Pascal Lemaitre is the illustrator of many more children books, including Who’s Got Game? The Ant or the Grasshopper? (Simon & Schuster, 2003), Who’s Got Game? The Lion or the Mouse? (Simon & Schuster, 2003)—both New York Times bestsellers—as well as Who’s Got Game? Poppy or the Snake? (Simon & Schuster, 2004), and The Book of Mean People (Hyperion, 2002), all by Toni and Slade Morrison. Pascal also created the artwork for Supercat (Workman, 2002), Supercat to the Rescue (Workman, 2002), and Baby Goose (Hyperion, 2004), all by Kate McMullan, Do Not Open This Book! by Michaela Muntean (Scholastic, 2006), and the Doctor Ted series by Andrea Beaty (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2008). Pascal’s more recent books include Hush Baby Ghostling by Andrea Beaty, Always by Alison McGhee, Let’s Get a Checkup by Alan Katz, Bulldog’s Big Day by Kate McMullan, Goodnight Dragons by Judith L. Roth, and a retelling of Pinocchio by Kate McMullan. He also illustrated Come With Me by Holly McGhee.


Thank you Holly for sharing your book and journey with us. What a sweet story. With everything that is going on in the world, this is a much needed book. I love the calming way you remind us of the importance of a friend and the hope you can find with them and in the ebb and flow of nature around us. Pascal’s illustrations always are wonderful and these illustrations add so much to the calming feel of this story. The two of you are perfect together. Good luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Delightful illustrations!


  2. What a wonderful book! Thanks for sharing! Kathy, I am a newsletter subscriber.


  3. What a beautiful story! Congratulations, Holly and Pascal!


  4. This looks adorable! I love that the friends were recreated as bunnies. How cute! Congratulations and happy book birthday!

    I follow by email and I will tweet this post. 🙂


  5. This looks amazing! I’m adding it to my TBR right now.


  6. What a beautiful book both in illustrations and text! Congratulations on your accomplishment!


  7. This looks like a fantastic book, and especially love how Pascal drew you and Kate as bunnies (I rescue rabbits)! Kathy, I subscribe to your blog.


  8. What a wonderful book! I love stories of hope and wonder. I tweeted, posted to FB, and reblogged this. Thanks Kathy and Holly!


  9. This looks like an absolutely perfect picture book. My heart is happy just reading this post. I can’t wait to read the book.


  10. Reblogged this on Darlene Beck-Jacobson and commented:

    An opportunity to win a beautiful new picture book from Holly McGhee


  11. This looks like a really sweet book. hanks for the post.


  12. Congrats on the release of your beautiful new book. I’d love to have a copy.
    I’ve tweeted:, and shared:
    I also follow daily by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com
    Thanks, have a great day!!


  13. This book will make excellent gifts. I love the idea and illustrations. I’m an email subscriber and shared on social:


  14. What a beautiful story, with such wonderful characters to go with it. Congratulations Holly & Pascal!


  15. This looks amazing. Congratulations! (I also Tweeted about it!)


  16. “We lean forward.” Yes. Congratulations to Holly and Pascal on this lovely book.


  17. Congrats, Holly and Pascal! (I’m signed up for the emails, too.)


  18. I’m a big fan of Catch That Cookie!. It’s impressive that Holly can write in such different styles. And Pascal’s illustrations are adorable. How wonderful to celebrate these decades-long friendships in a book. (Kathy, I subscribe to your blog.)


  19. This sounds beautiful. And such a wonderful title. Congratulations!


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