Posted by: Kathy Temean | September 20, 2022

Book Giveaway: MR. THATCHER’S HOUSE by Kristin Wauson

Kristin Wauson has written and illustrated a new picture book, MR. THATCHER’S HOUSE published by Sleeping Bear Press. 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 Kristin.

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:

Mr. Thatcher has been working to build the perfect house. And working. And working . . . and so, quite by accident, the house grows and grows in size. But it never seems quite like home. When a crowd of characters from his storybook neighborhood show up looking for a place to stay, Mr. Thatcher cries It’s not perfect yet! You don’t want to stay here! But soon he finds that what makes a house a perfect home has nothing to do with the craftsmanship and everything to do with the friends and family inside it.

BOOK JOURNEY:

In January 2018 I wrote down the idea that became Mr. Thatcher’s House. I was having a discussion with a friend over lunch about the magic that can come from combining your passions.

When people know you write children’s books, they often like to offer suggestions about what you should write. While their intentions are always good, many of these ideas aren’t viable. So when Roberto suggested that I find a way to connect my passion for children’s book illustration with the family home-building business, I smiled and agreed it was a great idea! Then I promptly forgot about it. But good advice has a way of creeping back in.

That evening, it occurred to me that nearly every classic story I remembered from childhood had a house problem. Once-Upon-a-Time-Land MUST be filled with pigs and bears and ragamuffin children who needed a place to stay! What if I created a character who could help? I pulled out my journal and wrote:

“Rabbit is building a craftsman bungalow. All of the storybook characters come to his door to move in for various reasons. 3 Bears having a prob. w/ break-ins; old woman in a shoe’s children have destroyed the shoe (not strong enough).

3 pigs – even strong materials can’t make up for shoddy workmanship. Hansel & Gretel ate house.”

My father-in-law, Steve, has been remodeling his own house for nearly two decades. One day, it will be his dream home — if he ever finishes. I imagined what it would look like if my main character started building and never stopped. What if he added onto a small, modest house for years and years?

I was participating in Tara Lazar’s Storystorm (as I did every year). So, I had written down many ideas that month, but as soon as I began to imagine the whimsical and elaborate house this story would need, my heart started to beat faster. I drafted the whole thing that same evening, borrowing characters from classic fairy tales. I wanted it to be funny, so I included phrases that would evoke the original stories:

“This house is well built! I’d bet the hairs on my chin-chin-chin that no amount of huffing and puffing would blow it down!”

And …

“This house is just right!”

That year, I worked on the dummy for Mr. Thatcher’s House. I shared it with my critique group and at SCBWI conferences where I got encouraging feedback, but nothing that led to an offer. I submitted it to agents and received rejections. In 2019, a last minute decision to participate in the Twitter pitch event #PBPitch led to signing with my agent, Adria Goetz. She helped me get the dummy submission-ready, but soon after it went out, COVID began to disrupt publishing. For a long time, things were pretty quiet. But in May of 2021, Sleeping Bear Press bought the rights to Mr. Thatcher’s House and it finally published last month!

When I was creating this book, I had so much fun thinking of reasons that fairytale characters might need a new home: Hansel and Gretel have eaten the witch’s house, leaving her homeless; Snow White is tired of living with all of those men; Rapunzel needs to move out of the tower. You can even find some characters who didn’t make it into the story on the copyright page.

Most of all, I LOVED imagining and building the world that Mr. Thatcher lives in — like the spiral staircase that wraps around a tree trunk, his personal library, and the unique fairytale houses of his storybook neighborhood. I hope that my enjoyment of the process shows and that everyone who reads it enjoys getting lost in his world as much as I did!

 

My Bio

Since she learned to hold a pencil, Kristin Wauson has been making pictures and stories. She grew up in the Texas Hill Country, inspired by fairy tales, C.S. Lewis, music, horses and classic Disney animation. A graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, and former graphic designer, Kristin came to kidlit after rediscovering picture books via her two sons.

In 2015 she was awarded the SCBWI Austin Emerging Voice Illustrator Mentorship, and in 2019 she was nominated for the Cynthia Leitich Smith Writing Mentor Award. She’s a member of many groups including Puddle Jump Collective, The Big Dillustrators, and the 6 Ladies and a MANuscript Critique group. When she’s not perfecting her craft, you’ll find her cooking, or possibly upside down doing yoga. Kristin loves whimsical stories with lots of heart and elements of magic. Her debut picture book, Mr. Thatcher’s House(Sleeping Bear Press, 2022), is out now!

Kristin is represented by Adria Goetz of P.S. Literary Agency.

Kristin, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. I love how your book emphasizes the importance of family – families we choose – friend families – non-traditional families, and foster families. It reminds all of us that things don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. Kids will enjoy seeing the witch and her gingerbread cookies, the three bears checking out the chairs, the three little pigs playing their musical instruments knowing no one will be able to blow Mr. Thatcher’s house down, ect. And I love how your illustrations capture the feel of the old classic fairytales. Great job! Good luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. This book looks so adorable!! I can’t wait to check it out.
    Retweeted and follow by email 🙂

    Like

  2. Love the theme of this delightful book. I tweeted, and posted to FB.

    Like

  3. What a wonderful concept! So well done. I can imagine this book as a foundation for so many lessons, and just for fun as well. Beautifully done!

    Like

  4. Oh, so much fun! I love the layering of the house construction and all of the fairy tale characters moving in (with great reasons!). Very clever and adorable! Congratulations, Kristin!

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

    Like

  5. What a beautiful book! Can’t wait to read and enjoy it. [Newsletter Subscriber]

    Like

  6. This idea is so clever and the message so heartwarming. I’m an email subscriber and shared on Pinterest, Twitter, tumblr, and Facebook.

    Like

  7. Very creative and and so many storybook readers can relate to it.

    Like

  8. This book looks so charming!!! Love the illustrations and the concept of fairytale characters wanting to stay at Mr. Thatcher’s House! (Newsletter subscriber)

    Like

  9. So creative! And perfect for all of us who live in imperfect houses! (Kathy, I subscribe to your blog.)

    Like


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