Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 22, 2021

Book Giveaway: Bubble Kisses

Vanessa Williams has written her first picture book, BUBBLE KISSES illustrated by Tara Nicole Whitaker and published by Sterling Children’s Books. It is coming out tomorrow, June 23rd. Sterling 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 Vanessa and Tara.

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!


From singer, actress, and dancer Vanessa Williams comes a sweet, sparkling story about a young girl whose beloved pet fish has wonderful, magical powers. 

She gives me bubble kisses, bubble kisses as she swims by in the water.
She never misses with her bubble kisses. And I’m so glad I got her.

A young girl adores her goldfish, Sal. But Sal is no ordinary pet: while she can’t fetch a ball or curl up on a lap, she can give bubble kisses that transform the girl into a mermaid and transport her to a world of underwater adventures. There, beneath the sea, they play, sing, and dance with other mermaids. The catchy, breezy, rhymed tale is perfect for bedtime, and the book includes a CD plus a link to a digital download.


Tara Nicole Whitaker:

Bringing the story of “Bubble Kisses” to life was truly a magical journey! It is such a sweet and whimsical story of two best friends, and the wonderful places they go together. I was beyond delighted when I was asked if I was interested in being the illustrator! I did not have an agent at the time, so I was reached out to directly through my portfolio website contact page. I’d been working in the animation industry for many years, and illustrated several children’s books, as well as a graphic novel about mermaids.

I jumped at the opportunity to illustrate mermaids again, with the additional surprise that this adorable story was by one of my favorite singer/actresses… Vanessa Williams! I grew up listening to her music, and was beyond honored to bring one of her sweetest and catchiest songs to life! I’ve always been fascinated by sea life underwater and mermaids, and their world beneath the waves. Reading the manuscript, I loved the friendship between the characters, as I felt it mirrored the friendship between my beagle-mix and I. Two best pals on an underwater adventure, toss in a splash of magic and mermaids? How could I resist?

The lyrics were so conducive to bringing the images to life; I immediately imagined underwater sea adventures for the characters and dove (pun intended!) into the sketching process. I started sketching out rough ideas for the illustrations in Procreate on my Ipad, using the Apple Pencil. I often sketch out rough ideas on my Ipad, and then finalize the artwork on my desktop computer in Photoshop, drawing on a Cintiq. One of my favorite moments to paint was when the characters first see the mermaids waving to them!


VANESSA WILLIAMS is one of the most respected and multifaceted performers in the entertainment industry today. Her critically acclaimed work in film, television, recordings, and the Broadway stage has been recognized by every major industry award aliate. Vanessa’s autobiography, You Have No Idea, cowritten with her mother Helen Williams, was a New York Times Best Seller. A strong advocate for equal rights, Williams received the Human Rights Campaign “Ally for Equality” Award for her humanitarian contributions.

She is the mother of four— Melanie, Jillian, Devin and Sasha. Vanessa divides her time between homes in Los Angeles and New York. Bubble Kisses is her first book for children.


Representation in children’s books is so important to me, and I am so delighted and honored to have been a part of bringing this lovely and magical story to life!

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Tara Nicole fell in love with children’s books from visits to the local library. This passion for illustration developed into one for animation, as well.

Her education in art began early, from classes at Pratt in her youth, to more formal training at RISD and California Institute of the Arts, earning her a BFA in Character Animation in 2002. Since graduating, she has designed for Dreamworks, Nickelodeon, Fox Animation, PBS, CBS, Cartoon Network, and most recently, Disney. She loves dogs and her mini.

She lives in Burbank, CA. Find her online at her website (, on Twitter @nicoledessine, and on Instagram @taranicolewhitaker.

Tara, thank you for sharing Bubble Kisses and your journey with the book. I enjoyed your illustrations. They really brought the book to life. I am sure all little girls will see themselves in this cute little girl and will thrill to hearing about how she has a magical fish that can turn her into a mermaid. Good luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. This looks great!


  2. I love the multi-media aspect of this new book. I think a lot of authors and publishers will take this direction in the future. Thanks.
    I’ve tweeted a link:, and shared on PInterest:
    I also follow daily by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com
    Thanks again, have a great day!!


  3. What a precious book! Thank you for sharing your illustrator’s journey. I love learning about the thought process illustrators face. Congratulations on your book!


  4. Adorable illustrations, Tara! Congratulations! Great interview. I follow daily, Kathy, and I’ve shared on Twitter.


  5. I love the illustrations! I’m an email subscriber and shared on social:


  6. Aww, cute! Bubble kisses! Congratulations, Tara and Vanessa!

    I follow by email and I tweeted this post. 🙂


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