Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 12, 2021

Book Giveaway: Once Upon a Christmas by Dawn Young

Dawn Young has a new picture book, ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS, illustrated by Kenneth Anderson and published by Worthy Kids. It is available in bookstores on October 19th. Dawn 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 Dawn and Kenneth.

If you have signed up to follow my blog, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!


Turn “Ho ho ho” into “Ha ha ha” with this zany Christmas picture book featuring Santa, Bigfoot, Little Red Riding Hood, unicorns, dragons, and more!
In Once Upon a Christmas, the Three Bears’ Christmas party gets off to a rocky start: Bigfoot can’t stop photobombing, the dragon burns the fruitcake, and Jack Frost inadvertently triggers the storm of the century–knocking Santa’s sleigh off course and straight into a lake! A soaked St. Nick finds eager helpers in the partygoers, a varied cast of mythical creatures and familiar fictional favorites. The unlikely team rescues the sleigh, just in time to continue the festivities and get Santa on his merry way. Humorous twists and action-packed illustrations will make this story an instant family classic for the Christmas season.

In 2017, I read a post by the wonderful Kathy Temean informing us that WorthyKids Publishing was seeking holiday stories, so I submitted THE NIGHT BAAFORE CHRISTMAS, and in Oct 2019, it was published. Soon after, THE NIGHT BAAFORE EASTER and THE NIGHT BAAFORE THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL were published too. Thank you, Kathy!

Then one day, my editor asked if I’d be interested in writing a holiday story that would cross mythical/fairy tale characters with holiday celebrations with humorous results, and my response was… “Absolutely!”

I immediately got an idea, based off a fractured fairy tale I had written, and the story started to come together. Full of holiday traditions, puns and wordplay, ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS was festive, fun and humorous. It had fairy tale characters and nursery rhyme characters, but, as my editor so kindly reminded me, it was missing something – the mythical characters. I had gotten so carried away with the story, that I lost sight of the original idea, so it was time to get back to work. I have to admit, I was a bit stressed. I had to get that story out of my head and figure out a way bring the mythical and fairy tale worlds together. After a few sleepless nights and some dead-end ideas, I finally got it. A party! Parties can bring everyone together, including fairy tale and those elusive mythical characters.

At first, I had the Three Pigs hosting a giant celebration and Santa stumbling upon the Three Bears’ house, but there was way too much going on for a 32-page picture book. I had to cut it down and found myself faced with the possibility of having to remove my favorite part. Determined to find a way to keep it, I moved party locations and removed some characters and lines, and ended up with what is now ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS, and my editor loved it.  As for those characters and lines that got cut, they’re quietly waiting their turn, hoping that someday there will be another ONCE UPON A…story.

In the meantime, I learned that Kenneth Anderson was going to be the illustrator and I couldn’t have been more thrilled. His work is amazing. His illustrations are fun and festive, enchanting and magical. They make ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS the perfect addition to everyone’s holiday collection!


Dawn graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, and later with an MBA.  For years, Dawn worked as an engineer and, later, as a manager at a large aerospace company, until her creative side called her to pursue her dream of writing children’s books. After reading and writing hundreds of corporate documents, none of which were titled The Little Engineer Who Could or Don’t Let the Pigeon Fly the Airbus, Dawn is thrilled to now be reading and writing picture books instead.

Dawn is also a math enthusiast. When she’s not busy writing and reading, she can be found doing math problems, sometimes just because… In high school, Dawn’s dream was to have a math equation named after her, but now, she believes having her name on the cover of books is a million times better! Dawn lives with her husband, three children and golden retriever in sunny Arizona. Dawn is an active member of SCBWI and many other children’s writing groups.


Kenneth is a character designer and illustrator based in Scotland with 16 years’ experience working between games, animation and illustration. He works predominantly as a character designer for children’s TV animation and has also turned his hand to board games, magazine illustration and more recently, children’s picture books.

Kenneth’s specialties are story driven and character based illustration and character design for a variety of mediums, in particular children’s television development and picture books.

He has a background in traditional 2D animation having worked on Sylvain Chomet’s Oscar nominated film “The Illusionist” (2010) as an inbetweener followed by animating on the French feature, “Titeuf: Le film” (2011).

In 2009 he started his business Character Cube with the aim of becoming a freelance character designer and illustrator. He has since worked with numerous companies around the world such as Nick Jr, Seasame Workshop, BBC Ceebeebies, Brown Bag Films, ImagineFX and others on a wide variety of projects.

He is represented world wide by Lemonade Illustration Agency.

You can visit him at:

Dawn, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. I am so happy you keep coming up with books two add to this series. This looks like another winner filled with fun and hijinks. Kenneth’s illustrations add to lively Christmas party. Kids will love this book. Good luck with it! 

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Congratulations, Dawn! The book sounds adorable!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I must ho – ho – ho – have this for my Christmas Book Collection! Best of luck and a happy holidays to all! [Newsletter subscriber]

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can’t wait to read this book -it should be delivered to me October 19th! Congrats, Dawn, on another fabulous book! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Can’t wait for this book! Congrats, Dawn and Kenneth!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations, Dawn! Sounds like another winner! Thanks for sharing about the books journey, too. I receive your blogs daily, Kathy, and I posted this on Twitter:

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved reading about how this story evolved!
    (I’m a subscriber. )

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sounds like quite an adventure for all concerned. I’m sure the kids will love it. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
    I’ve tweeted:, and shared:
    I also follow daily by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com
    Thanks again, have a great day!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Congrats, Dawn & Kenneth! (I’m signed up for the emails, too.)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This book will be so much fun to read out loud to nieces and nephews! The illustrations are adorable. I’m an email subscriber and shared:

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This sounds like a fun and clever twist on a holiday stories. I can’t wait to read it. Christmas is a holiday my kids love. Congratulations! Shared on Twitter and I received the blog posts daily.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This sounds very cute, Dawn. I love stories that add in fairy tale characters!

    Liked by 1 person

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