Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 14, 2022

Book Giveaway: Who is it, Whoodini? by Roman Yasiejko

Roman Yasiejko has a new picture book, WHO IS IT, WHOODINI?, illustrated by Gustavo Ramos and published by Yeehoo Press. Yeehoo Press has agreed to send a copy to the one lucky winner in the US.

Just leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Let me know other things you did 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 Roman and Gustavo.

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. If you want to make sure you don’t miss seeing that you won, please click “Notify Me of Follow-Up Comments By Email” box. I will leave a comment in reply if you win the book. Thanks!

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Follow the clues to reveal an unexpected surprise in this rhyming mystery read-aloud!

Eyes wide with surprise and necks twisting to see, 
two owls whoo-hooted, “Now who could that be?”

When a mysterious bird crashes into a tree, two curious owls–Cahoots and Whoodini–set out to investigate. They fly down to interview their barnyard friends, but after gathering all the clues, they’re still stumped . . . until Whoodini overhears an unexpected hint.

Clever clues, teamwork, and a delightful surprise ending await young detectives in this charming mystery.

BOOK JOURNEY:

Someone once asked me, “You’re an architect – how did you start writing children’s books?”  Well, it’s something I wanted to do for a very long time, but was too busy as an architect designing buildings.  The passion was always there inside me.  So, when I retired from my career as a municipal architect, I revisited my passion for children’s stories and started writing.

You might think that designing a building is completely different from writing a book, especially a children’s story.  Yes, it is, but the creative process is similar, though the medium is different.  With architecture and design, I develop a building program and then I sketch and erase, sketch and erase, and repeat.  I have others critique my work (clients, other architects, neighborhood interests, and more as needed), then make changes and take the design to each succeeding level until I achieve the final design that’s ready to be built.

When I write, I develop a story line; decide on the story structure (rhyme or prose); visualize and outline the scenes; then move on to sentences; and finally word selection.  In between all that, I write and revise, write and revise, and repeat.  I have others critique my story (writing group, other children’s book authors, editors, school librarians, and my wife), then make changes and take it to a level that’s ready to submit to editors for publication.

A lot of people will tell you to write what you know.  I’ve always enjoyed mysteries, especially Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Sherlock Holmes” stories.  I admired the way Conan Doyle had Holmes and Watson work together and collaborate to gather the facts and deduce the means, methods, and motives of the various culprits and criminals in his books.  I thought it would be fun to take that same Sherlock Holmes formula and develop a lighthearted mystery for young readers.

I wanted to have children follow the clues sprinkled throughout the story and have fun trying to guess at the ending. Then have them go back to review the clues they might have missed.  I felt that “investigating” a mystery could help children listen more carefully to every word, written and spoken, and look closely at each illustration to put all the clues together.  And, more importantly, have some fun in the process while playing detective.

The problem I needed to solve was to determine who these two new detectives would be. Who? Who? Hmmm……of course — owls!!!  They’re wise, right? Their cunning and smarts are legendary in the animal kingdom.  One male, one female.  Once that was settled, it was time to weave a tale of mystery and suspense with Cahoots and Whoodini to answer the question, “Who is it, Whoodini?”

I wrote Who Is It, Whoodini? (Yeehoo Press, 2022, illustrated by Gustavo Ramos) in rhyme. When my children were little, my wife and I would read them stories every night before bedtime.  Dr. Seuss was their favorite, and  mine, too!  I always felt that children were attuned to the rhythm, the cadence, the  beat of a  rhyming story.  It’s music to their ears.  And so much fun to read aloud and watch as their smiles curl the corners of their lips and light up their faces.

I had previously written a draft of another Cahoots and Whoodini story.  My wife loved the characters and the possibilities they presented for all kinds of mystery, mischief and mishaps.  She asked me to write another story and even suggested the idea for this book,  And, of course, it didn’t hurt to throw in a surprise ending to an engaging mystery with fun characters and a formula that could captivate adults as well as children.

I want children to know that they can tackle a problem or solve a mystery by listening carefully and looking closely at things around them. Clues can be hidden anywhere and a child can start developing the wonderful skill of problem-solving by learning to look and listen.  I hope every child grows to have the   courage and creativity to be successful critical thinkers, and become their very own best detectives.

I feel it’s important as an adult writing for children to remember and dig into my own childhood memories. Then, while writing, to be confident enough in my characters to “step aside” and to let them “speak for themselves,” and get in and out of their own mess.  That’s how and why I wrote another picture book, Where the Best Stories Hide (Beaming Books, 2020, illustrated by Ben Whitehouse), also in rhyme. I got the idea and wrote the opening lines to that story 31 years before it was published. But that’s a story for another day!

ROMAN’S BIO:

Roman Yasiejko went from doodling as a child to drawing and designing buildings as an adult.  He’s an architect who lives in upstate New York with his wife, Rosemarie (and their stealthy cat, Misty).  Together, they have two adult sons and two young grandchildren to whom he loves reading stories. He may have been followed by a couple of owls still sleuthing around in the woods behind his backyard.

He served as the County architect for Dutchess County, NY, for 28 years prior to retiring from municipal work to serve another passion – writing stories for children. His first book was Where the Best Stories Hide published by Beaming Books in 2020.

GUSTAVO ROMOS’ BIO:

I’m a Brazilian Illustrator specializing in children’s content. I could study Illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design, in Savannah (USA), until the year of 2015. Since them I’ve been collaborating with main Brazilian publishers such as Editora Positivo, Somos Educação and Editora Moderna.

Illustrator and visual development artist currently studying at The Savannah College of Art and Design For contact, please send me an email at: ilustregustavo@gmail.com

Roman, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. I enjoyed the rhyme and love the ending. It was a surprise to me. Such a cute idea to have two owl detectives looking for clues to solve the mystery. Gustavo’s colorful illustrations are wonderful and so interesting. Love the painterly look. I am sure children will want to have this book read many times to them. Good luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. Congratulations, Roman and Gustavo! Love the idea of a mystery! Cool!

    I follow by email and tweeted this post.

    Like

  2. Whooo doesn’t ❤ a good mystery? Congratulations, Roman and Gustavo! (I also follow by email 🙂 )

    Like

  3. This books looks like so much fun!! Love the characters’ names and the concept!! Shared on Twitter 🙂

    Like

  4. I would love to add this to my collection

    Like

  5. I’ve admired this book since it came out. Clever, interesting, and wonderful inviting illustrations. I would love to win a copy. Thanks Kathy, Roman, and Gustavo.

    Like

  6. Love this story & the illustrations

    Like


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