Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 16, 2022

Book Giveaway: ALPHABEDTIME by Susanna Leonard Hill

Susanna Leonard Hill has a new picture book, ALPHABEDTIME, illustrated by Betsy Snyder and published by Nancy Paulsen Books on October 25th. Susanne has agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner.

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 the other things you do to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Thank you for helping Susanna and Betsy!


A cast of adorable alphabet characters make this clever bedtime story a standout!

Suppertime’s over. Everyone’s fed.
Alpha Mom says, TIME FOR BED!

It’s a busy night for the Alphabet Family—after all, there are 26 kiddos to get ready for bed. A, B, and C declare they are not ready, and Impish I and Jazzy J don’t want to settle down, but by toothbrushing-time the crew seems to be headed in the right direction. Bath time requires six bathtubs and is super-splashy—and getting into jammies is no joke—but finally, after a story has been read and they are all tucked in tight, peace should reign. Except what’s this? When Mom turns off the light, it’s an Alpha pillow fight! Toddlers are sure to get a huge kick out of this lively alpha family—and hopefully following each and every little letter’s antics will tucker them out!


Thank you so much for having me, Kathy!  It’s an honor to be on your blog!

Every book has its beginning somewhere.  Most of mine have started because of something I heard or saw, something that caught my interest that I thought kids would like too, or something remembered from childhood or from my children’s growing years. But ALPHABEDTIME was different.

It was writing time on a cold, gray morning in January 2010, but as I sat at the kitchen table looking out at the snow I had no idea what to write. Nada.  Zip.  Zippo!  We are writers, though, and writers need to show up and write even when inspiration is on vacation somewhere warm and sunny and we are holed up in a snowstorm.  So, I noodled around a bit and decided (very arbitrarily) that today, I would write an alphabet book.  Why not?

But what kind of alphabet book to write?  There are quite a few very good ones out there.  It had to be something that hadn’t been done.  It had to be entertaining.  It had to be fun.


Have you ever noticed how easy it is to come up with a concept, idea, or title, how amazing that idea can seem in the moment it enters your head, but then how incredibly hard it is to take it from Wow! What a great idea! to an actual story… in writing… on paper? A lot of times those initial wow moments fizzle out because there’s not enough there to carry a story.  But the alphabet is the alphabet.  There had to be something!

“Something” turned out to be a lot of crumpled up bad ideas tossed in the general direction of the wastepaper basket.

Perhaps I should go clean the tile grout in the kids’ bathroom.  Really.  There was no better time than a stormy day in January for getting down on my hands and knees with a toothbrush.

Sigh. You know you’re in a bad way when tile grout seems like a better idea than writing. I pulled myself together.

Putting my sharply-honed literary skills to work, I wrote the alphabet at the top of the blank page that was taunting me, just betting me that I couldn’t come up with anything to write on it. A B C D E F G. . . Hah!  Take that.  The mostly blank page was unimpressed, as was I.

I hummed the alphabet song in my head and thought about song, and rhyme.

I thought about things I could connect the alphabet to – vehicles, fruits and vegetables, costumes, animals. . .

No, no, no, and no.

I wrote alphabet three times in a row.

I read aloud what I had written.  “Alphabetalphabetalphabet. . .”  And it started to sound like alphabed.  And that make me think of bedtime.  And suddenly I had my idea!  Alphabedtime!  A story about putting the alphabet to bed!  I was pretty sure it hadn’t been done. And it sounded very fun to me!

From there on out, it was fun!  I wanted it lively.  I thought it should rhyme.  And I knew that 26 kiddos were not going to line up nicely and go obediently and peacefully off to bed!

The original version had more words and included descriptors like Acrobat A, Clown-Around C, Skydiver S, etc…  The second draft had personality descriptors like Bouncy B and Daredevil D. In both drafts there were not descriptors for all the letters (that would have been too much) but for a number of them.  But that all seemed a little cumbersome, so by the third draft (and this was quite a few days later, by the way – I got the idea that first day and scribbled out the basic concept of the story, but the actual writing then took place over many days) so by draft three I had dispensed with most of that and gotten down to just the letters, for the most part.

I also thought that by leaving descriptors out I would give the eventual illustrator more room to have fun and be creative.  I had a lot of fun getting those alphababies up the stairs, tooth-brushed, bathed, jammied, read to, and tucked in bed, knowing all the while that they were not going to stay there.  I also got a kick out of adding in “alpha” in a few places where it was fun to read aloud – e.g. Alpha Mom J

As the story is in rhyme, there was the added fun and challenge of telling the story in a way that made the rhyme and meter work, a kind of puzzle I always enjoy when writing in rhyme.

When I saw Betsy’s finished art I was thrilled beyond measure. It was so exactly what I had hoped for! I invite you to look closely at the spreads provided here and see just how much thought and creativity she put into each and every character, each and every page.

I hope kids are going to love this story.  I do! And I hope moms and dads are going to relate to it as well. I am the mother of 5, so I have some idea of what it’s like corralling the rampaging herd at bedtime.  But Alpha Mom certainly has me beat with 26!


Susanna Leonard Hill is the New York Times bestselling author of Moon’s First Friends, as well as many other award-winning books for children. She does frequent school and library visits, teaches picture book writing, and offers picture book critiques.

Her first published book was The House That Mack Built, released by Little Simon in 2002.

Since then, she has published twenty-seven more books including 3 New York Times Bestsellers

Susanna’s books have been translated into French, Dutch, German, Japanese, Chinese, Turkish, and Thai.

Sourcebooks Wonderland in February 2021,published A MOTHER’S BLESSING

Nancy Paulsen Books will publish ALPHABEDTIME!, illustrated by Betsy Snyder, on October 25, 2022.

Sourcebooks Wonderland will publish WHAT LITTLE GIRLS ARE MADE OF, illustrated by Talitha Shipman and WHAT LITTLE BOYS ARE MADE OF, illustrated by Natalie Vasilicaforthcoming on December 6, 2022.


Author and illustrator BETSY E. SNYDER has twenty years of experience creating books for the children’s market. She is also a seasoned illustrator-designer of children’s greeting cards.

Betsy’s smile-inspiring art can be found on everything from social expressions products, board games, plush, decor, fabric, wallpaper, and of course—children’s books! Since making her publishing debut in 2007, Betsy has teamed with a diverse mix of publishers, earning recognition from groups including the Society of Illustrators, The New York Times, Scholastic Parent & Child Magazine, Indie Next List, the Cooperative Children’s Book Center and Please Touch Museum. Her newest titles, I Can Dream and I Can Explore (May 2018), join the earlier I Can Dance and I Can Play in an innovative board book series with Chronicle Books.

Betsy lives in northeast Ohio, where she enjoys cozying up to doodle with her art-loving family of four and venturing out to schools and libraries to encourage kids (and even grown-ups) to share their stories and chase their dreams. Learn more about Betsy and her books at

Susanna, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. What a fun way to help children learn their alphabet. I never could imagine a house with 26 children, so I am glad you could give me and other a glimpse into that chaos. I am sure kids will get a kick out of this book and parents will enjoy readin about a family they could never imagine. Good luck with the book!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. What an interesting way you came up with the story. I can’t wait to read it. I shared on Twitter and I receive you daily blog in my email.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations, Susanna!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This story sounds adorably fun! And the illustrations are wonderful. I can’t wait to read it. I shared this on Twitter. Congratulations, Susanna and Betsy!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a fun book! Congratulations, @SusannaHill! Wishing you all the best of S U C C E S S!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations Susanna for coming up with such a funny idea and Betsy for these exciting illustrations. My grandson has trouble sleeping and need more laughter!! Can’t wait to read him this book. Will post up on FB and Twitter. Good Luck!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for sharing on social media, Penny! Good luck with your not-so-sleepy grandson! I hope he’ll enjoy the book!


  6. How I love the ABC’s this one here belongs with me! Beautiful book and wonderful approach.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Incredible story Susanna! I want to read it to myself before bedtime! What a fun and new take on an alphabet story:) Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for sharing how you developed your idea and revised to leave room for the illustrator. I love this book idea and can’t wait to read it as mentor text. I’m an email subscriber and shared on Pinterest, tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Danielle! I’m glad you enjoyed the post, and I so appreciate you sharing on social media!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. To be honest, alphabet books don’t always hold my interest all the way to letter Z… But I can see from these pages that this one is an actual story, with tons of humor and fun. Very appealing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have had the same problem with some alphabet books, Janet, and I hope I avoided putting anyone to sleep by F 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I love hearing how book ideas came to be, and this one sounds so cute. I can’t wait to read it! Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like that too, Linda! I always like reading about where the inspiration for books came from! I hope you enjoy it!


  11. How adorable! Congrats, Susanna! Those illustrations are so fun! I want to study each page! I’m an email subscriber and shared on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Dedra! Betsy did the most amazing job. I feel like every time I look at the pictures I find things I didn’t see before. One of the most recent things I noticed is on the dedication page. Betsy and I both dedicated the book to our kids (and in my case grandkids too) and I only just noticed that the letters in the alphabet soup on that page are all of their initials 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  12. This one looks so fun!!!! Congrats Susanna and Betsy!!!
    Retweeted and email subscriber

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Move over Chicka chicka boom boom! this looks wonderful Susanna!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Lauri! Imagine any book of mine being mentioned in the same sentence with the likes of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!


  14. Wow, what a clever take on the ABC concept. This looks wonderful! Lovely illustrations. Congrats to you both!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Sounds so much fun !


  16. I’ve seen many of the alpha babies on Instagram and they are adorable! Looking forward to seeing them all in book form and to reading their story. Congratulations, Susanna and Betsy!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. This sounds adorable! A good alphabet book is always a hit, but I think the readers at my school would really love this one.

    Liked by 1 person

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