Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 1, 2021

Book Giveaway: MILO’S MOONLIGHT MISSION by Kathleen M. Blasi

Kathleen Blasi debut picture book MILO’S MOONLIGHT MISSION, illustrated by Petronela Dostalova and published by Yeehoo Press will hit bookstores on June 15th and is available now for pre-ordered. Yeehoo Press 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 Kathleen and Petronela.

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:

Outer space is waiting to be explored, and Captain Milo is ready for takeoff! If only he didn’t have to wait for his Second-in-Command—or as he also calls her, Mom—to report for duty. Mom’s list of daily tasks grows ever longer, and she can’t launch until they’re done. So, like any good captain, Milo offers to help! Work? Check. Dinner? Check. Cleanup? Check. When the weather forecast predicts a middle-of-the-night meteor storm, Captain Milo wants desperately to witness it. But will his Second-in-Command have enough time to accomplish this magical mission with him?

Despite Mom’s claim that she has an early meeting with a very important person, Milo plots a midnight adventure to witness, with her, the once-in-a-lifetime meteor storm. Fill the tea pot? Check. Set the counter for breakfast? Check. Pack lunches? Check. Still, will his Second-in-Command have enough time to accomplish this magical mission with him?

In lyrical prose and charming illustrations, Kathleen M. Blasi and Petronela Dostalova capture how the most spectacular night skies are revealed when we plan for the perfect moment—with loved ones by our sides. This heartwarming tale is perfect for space fans and young budding astronauts!

BOOK JOURNEY:

Writers are always on the lookout for story, even if they don’t fully realize it. Jane Yolen calls this “gathering.” Sometimes that gathering could take the form of a passing incident or image. Sometimes it’s a conversation heard in public, the nature of which might land in a story. And once in a blue moon, we gather a family experience that finds its way into a picture book.

It’s ever-surprising how a vision can inspire a story that evolves, and finally arrives at its final form–in unexpected ways.

When I began writing Milo’s Moonlight Mission, I didn’t fully grasp the impact my daughter and nephew would have on the story. When I started out, I managed to capture its literal truth—the wonder of a meteor storm. But at its heart, the story is about something bigger, as depicted in this photo of Meg and Chris.

Here, he is comforting her during a frightening scene in Lady and the Tramp. Having watched the movie many times, he knew this scene scared her, so he scooted over and draped his arm around her. Nice, right? But what does this photo, which embodies the warmth of a cousin relationship, have to do with Milo’s Moonlight Mission? 

More than twenty years ago, Milo’s Moonlight Mission was born, based on a very special moonlit adventure of our own. My husband, Meg, and Chris, who was sleeping over our house, heard about a forecasted meteor storm—hyped as what could be the most intense in decades. At 4AM, we bundled up and trudged outside with blankets and chairs, to watch the sky put on a show. I’d never seen anything like it, and it remains, for all four of us, one of our most vivid, cherished memories.

The next morning, I wrote down my impressions and over the years the story developed and changed. My critique partners saw many rounds of revision and helped me make it a better manuscript each time. There were long periods of time when I set it aside and focused on other projects. Eventually, I realized that the story was as much about the time spent together as it was about the meteor storm, itself. I changed the cast of characters and made the urgency more poignant—by depicting a busy well-intentioned mother and a space-loving, helpful little boy. At its heart, the story is about time. Precious time. Time that seems more difficult than ever to harness in our crazy world.

In March of 2020, a dear friend and colleague introduced me to Yeehoo Press. I submitted two manuscripts to them, and they liked this one. At the time, the title was Clear Skies, Storm Likely, and since this version that captured the attention of Helen Wu was now about much more than the meteor storm, we changed the title to Milo’s Moonlight Mission.

Although, as is standard, I did not have a say in the illustrator, I’m completely pleased with Yeehoo’s choosing Petronela Dostalova. I got to see the art along the way and was able to offer feedback. The collaborative nature of working with Yeehoo Press and Petronela was wonderful.

I especially appreciate the imaginary world Petronela brought to the story. My text did not reflect an imaginary world, only Milo’s real world. But bringing this element to the story through the illustrations adds so much.

 

I’m over-the-moon grateful for that magical night many years ago, spent with my husband, daughter, and nephew and seeing it depicted so beautifully in Milo’s Moonlight Mission. Even with the change in characters and the added fantastical elements, for me, the beating heart of the story will never change.

AUTHOR KATHLEEN’S BIO:

Kathleen Blasi writes books for young readers. She is drawn to telling stories that feature quiet heroes—like strong-willed Gaetana (A Name of Honor), community advocate/street musician Hosea Missouri Taylor, Jr. (Hosea Plays On), and young Milo (Milo’s Moonlight Mission), who helps his mom at every turn, in order to carve out quality time for the two of them.

An eager learner, Kathleen participates in conferences and workshops, including those sponsored by the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Kindling Words, The Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature, The Highlights Foundation, and Jane Yolen’s Picture Book Bootcamp.

Active in the children’s writing community, Kathleen has served as Co-President of Rochester Area Children’s Writers & Illustrators and is former Co-Director of the Rochester Children’s Book Festival, for which she and her Co-Director received the 2015 New York State Reading Association Literacy Advocate Award.

Active in the children’s writing community, Kathleen has serves on the Board of Rochester Area Children’s Writers & Illustrators and is former Co-Director of the Rochester Children’s Book Festival, for which she and her Co-Director received the 2015 New York State Reading Association Literacy Advocate Award.

Kathleen holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English, with a Concentration in Writing, and lives in western New York, where, along with writing, she enjoys fostering the curiosity of young storytellers, through author visits and writing workshops for elementary school students.

Kathleen lives in western New York, where, along with writing, she enjoys fostering the curiosity of young storytellers. Visit her at kmblasi.com.

ILLUSTRATOR PETRONELA’S BIO:

Petronela Dostalova graduated from the Cambridge School of Art with a MA in Children’s Book Illustration. Before the MA she was studying Fine Arts at the University of East Anglia.

In 2015 her children’s book The Reds and Greens was highly commended for the Creative Conscience Award. The project promoted equality. Petronela comes from a Czech-Slovak-Hungarian background but decided to nest into the heart of Suffolk where she currently lives and works with her partner and their dog Haribo. If you don’t find her drawing at her desk, she will be out traveling or cycling somewhere. She likes to be near, in, on, or underwater at any time of the day except when she is drawing–she is still working on a way to be able to do these things at the same time. Visit her at https://www.petroneladostalova.co.uk/.

Kathleen, Thank you for sharing your book and jorney with us. Kids will love Milo amd his quest to rocket off into outer space. The illustrations are so vibrant, I am sure parents will be happy to read it over and over when their child asks to hear the story again. Good Luck with the book!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. this sounds like one that so many kids would love

    Like

  2. Oh this looks absolutely lovely! Thank you Kathy for sharing this story and little bit about Kathleen’s journey with us! I can’t wait to read this book.

    Like

  3. I love the illustrations! Can’t wait to read it. I subscribe =)

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  4. I think my begindergarten students would love this book. Of course, we would need to build rockets after reading it.

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  5. Congrats, Kathleen! This book looks fantastic. (I’m signed up for the emails, too.)

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  6. I can relate your story evolving over time, being about relationships as well as the meteor storm. (https://twitter.com/ManjuBeth/status/1399797180777603077)

    Like

  7. What a beautiful story! And the illustrations are wonderful. Congratulations!

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  8. Congratulations! Lovely story and the illustrations pop!

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  9. I can’t wait to read this one! Thank you for sharing it here, Kathy. I enjoy following your blog!

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  10. Congratulations! Your new book looks fabulous! Can’t wait to read it. 🙂

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

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  11. So happy for Kathleen and for all the children who will get to read this beautiful book!

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  12. That photo of your daughter and nephew is so sweet. This book must be extra-special to them. I’m sure it will touch a lot of readers, too. (Kathy, I subscribe to your blog.)

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  13. So happy to see another fabulous YEEHOO PRESS book! Can’t wait to read this one!

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  14. This looks like such a sweet book! Can’t wait to check it out.

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  15. Love this fantastical adventure. Children need to spend time making up wonderful new places. This summer teaching Summer Bridge and will include a unit on Space and the Planets. This book will be fun springboard to bring joy and creativity to my class. Also will post on FB. Good luck.

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  16. […] Quantrell won MILO’S MOONLIGHT MISSION by Kathleen M. […]

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  17. […] for sending me a copy of this fun, adorable picture book! I won a copy from Kathy’s blog, Writing and Illustrating. Two of my grands are really into outer space right now, so this book is perfect! My youngest grand […]

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