Posted by: Kathy Temean | September 1, 2022

Book Giveaway: AND I THINK ABOUT YOU by Rosanne Kurstedt

Rosanne Kurstedt has written another picture book, AND I THINK ABOUT YOU, illustrated by Ya-LIng Huang and published by Kids Can Press on September 20th. They have 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 Rosanne and Ya-Ling.

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:

A mother bear at work all day never stops thinking about her child in this reassuring story with a heartwarming message.

In this tender picture book, a mother bear tells her child about her workday. She describes one activity after another, and follows each description with “And I think about you.” Illustrations show her at her tasks, with a corresponding activity she imagines with her child in a thought bubble beside her. Then, turn the page, and the child is shown participating in a parallel activity at school. So, the mother bear reads her emails, and thinks about reading to her child, while the child reads on the carpet in the classroom. She shares a project with her coworkers, and thinks about sharing time with her child on the sofa, while the child shares a pinwheel during circle time. The rhythmic pattern will enchant and delight young readers — all the way to the surprising end!

Rosanne L. Kurstedt beautifully captures the loving connection between a parent and child in this sweet story told in a gentle singsong narration, with sound effects. Ya-Ling Huang uses layers of watercolor and colored pencils to create a soft, transparent visual effect. The repeated refrain — “And I think about you” — is relatable, comforting and true, perfect for reassuring a child that, even out of sight, they are never out of their parents’ thoughts. This book will encourage sharing stories, and could spark a wonderful routine for readers. It offers an excellent opportunity to explore what parents do all day at work as well. It is also sure to resonate with parents.

 BOOK JOURNEY:

The first draft of the manuscript was written about 20 years ago when I was living in Hong Kong with my family. At bedtime, after reading books, my oldest son and I used to tell each other about our days and at the end we’d say, “And I thought about you.”

I was in a Hong Kong SCBWI writer’s group at the time and realized And I Thought About You was a great title and began drafting the story.

I sent it to publishers. I revised a few times for Walker books but in the end they passed. I had another editor interested. She said she’d send me editorial notes, but after a few exchanges that lasted about a year, I decided to send it to other places.

But alas, crickets.

In the States (we had moved back at this time) I went to school to get my doctorate and my children’s book writing was put on hold.

When I finished my doctorate, I began writing again and revisited the manuscript. I sent the manuscript to more publishers.

But alas, crickets.

I decided to self-publish And I Thought About You. My decision to do so is beyond the scope of this blog but in my email signature, I had a link to the book.

I then started attending NJSCBWI events (where I met Kathy) and soon became a volunteer and then ultimately the Co-ARA. As part of my volunteering, I became acquainted with Liza Fleissig from the Liza Royce Agency. We connected immediately, so I submitted many manuscripts to her, but she passed on all of them.

Part of being in the kid lit community is supporting other authors. My friend Robin Newman (one of the first people I met at SCBWI) is represented by Liza, so in addition to interacting with Liza at NJSCBWI events, I would see Liza at Robin’s book events.

She kept encouraging me to send her manuscripts.

At one of Robin’s book events, Liza came up to me and said, “Why didn’t you send me And I Thought About You? And Why haven’t I heard of it?” (Liza noticed the signature when I RSVP’d to Robin’s event) Long story short or shortish – she asked me to send it to her in a word document. She read it and offered me representation. After several revisions, she began sending it to publishers.

And at last, the 20-year-old manuscript finally found a home at Kids Can Press and I couldn’t be more excited.

You might have noticed the title change from And I Thought About You to And I Think about You. The present tense added immediacy to the story and added a layer of interaction that didn’t exist when written in the past tense.

In the present tense we see the mother throughout her day reminded of the child, thinking about something they had done together in the past or what the child might doing in school. And then, at the page turn, the reader gets to see what the child is actually doing.

For example, the mother bear reads her emails, and thinks about reading with her child.

Turn the page to see the child reading on the carpet in the classroom.

The mother bear waters her plants that are growing so big and thinks about how big her child is growing too.

Turn the page and see the child reaching for the pinwheel saying “I can get it myself.”

Moral of the story. Don’t give up. Engage with the kid lit community and be open to looking at your manuscripts in new ways.

ROSANNE’S BIO:

Rosanne L. Kurstedt, Ph.D. has been an educator for over 20 years. She’s been an elementary school teacher, staff developer, administrator, adjunct professor, literacy coach, curriculum writer, and most importantly an advocate for children and teachers. She is a co-author of Teaching Writing with Picture Books as Models (Scholastic, 2000) and author of the 100+ Growth Mindset Comments series (Newmark Learning, 2019) for grades K-6. She is currently the Associate Director of READ East Harlem/Hunter College and is so excited about the launch of her new picture book KARATE KID (Running Press Kids)—on sale September 3, 2019.

Finally, she is the founder and president of The Author Experience, a 501(c)(3) organization committed to the transformative power of sharing stories. In collaboration with students, families and educators, The Author Experience provides sustainable experiences that build a culture of literacy—one that elevates connections and delivers lasting impact. Please check us out at www.theauthorexperience.org and become a part of the story!

Rosanne can be found on Twitter and Instagram @rlkurstedt and on Facebook @rlkurstedtauthor.

 

YA-LING’S BIO:

Ya-Ling’s background is Fine Art undertaken at Taichung University of Education in Taiwan and completed in 2010. During her study at university, she found her true interest in storytelling and illustration.

Ya-Ling completed her MA in Children’s Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art in 2016. In the same year, her works were selected for 2016 Bologna Book Fair, highly commended in Macmillan prize and awarded 2nd prize in Poland Katowice “A Well Designed Book”.

Her illustrations are mostly drawn by hand in watercolour, gouache and colour pencil, along with the application of a little humour in her work. Her first author-illustrated picture book This is the way in Dogtown publishes with Frances Lincoln Children’s Books ​in Spring 2020.

​Instagram: @yaling.jade 
Twitter: @yalingjade
cargocollective.com/jadehuang

Rosanne, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. I love how much I personally related to this book. Everyday when my son was little, I would go to work and think about him. Wondering about his day as I went about mine. I think parents will love reading this book to their young child and their child will love listening to this book and feel loved. Ya-Ling’s illustrations were as sweet as this book. Good luck with AND I THINK ABOUT YOU.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. Reblogged this on Rosanne L. Kurstedt's and commented:
    Today I’m discussing the journey of AND I THINK ABOUT YOU at Kathy Temean’s blog. It was a long road but couldn’t be happier.

    Like

  2. So thrilled for you Rosanne! XO

    Like

  3. Reblogged this on and commented:
    A wonderful post by my good friend, Rosanne Kurstedt! XO

    Like

  4. 20 years…WOW!!! Congratulations! I can’t wait to read it.
    I tweeted this blog post and I receive your blog posts daily.

    Like

  5. What a very special & needed story! So glad it is in the world now. Thanks for sharing your journey. Congrats!

    Like

  6. For some reason, this post gives me hope! Thank you. I’m thinking about you.

    Like

  7. I love your journey to agent and publication, and I love this book and can’t wait to read it. Congrats! I will post on Twitter and my IG stories!

    Like

  8. What a great story – the picture book as well as the publishing story. I love the text and the illustrations – sweet and beautiful. I had a similar experience with publishing my illustrated picture book Birds of Paradise. I wrote it when pregnant with my son while participating in a university adult program on creative writing; the professor told me “you should get this published!” I found the story 36 years later in my files, and published it when my son was 38. 🙂

    Like

  9. This book’s journey to publication is inspirational for me. I love how the author never gave up on her heartwarming manuscript. I am an email subscriber and shared on pinterest, FB, Twitter, and tumblr.

    Like

  10. Congratulations! Love this story of an older manuscript resurrected and becoming even more perfect.

    Like

  11. So cute! I love the characters. Congratulations, Rosanne and Ya-Ling!

    I follow by email and I tweeted this post, Kathy.

    Like

  12. A lovely book–the writing and the art are warm and friendly–kid-friendly and adult-friendly!

    Like


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