Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 14, 2022

Book Giveaway: Good Morning Sunshine by Lorna Schultz Nicholson

Lorna Schultz Nicholson has a new picture book, Good Morning Sunshine, illustrated by Alice Carter and published by Sleeping Bear Press. They have agreed to share a copy of the book to 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.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks for helping Lorna and Alice!

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. Thanks!

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Joey Moss first became known to many Canadians because of his work with the NHL Edmonton Oilers hockey team. Joey loved connecting with people. Whether he was singing “Oh Canada” on a jumbotron screen at a hockey game, welcoming a new friend with a playful wrestling match, or dancing on a runway for a charity fashion show, Joey loved making people feel good. But his impact and influence started long before he joined the Oilers. Joey was born with Down syndrome at a time when many children like him were institutionalized. Instead, Joey lived at home, surrounded by his supportive family who was determined that he should receive the same opportunities as others. From this loving environment grew a caring, energetic man who went on to show the world that people like him could do many things and contribute greatly to society. The inspiring true story of Joey Moss, a champion for all to have an opportunity to live a full, purposeful life, comes alive in this heartwarming picture book for young readers.

BOOK JOURNEY:

Thank you, Kathy! I’m so honoured to be on your blog with GOOD MORNING SUNSHINE: The Joey Moss Story. It is a joy to share my journey about this book, and the wonderful Joey Moss.

Eight years ago, my husband took a job with the Edmonton Oilers, a hockey team in the NHL. I’d heard about Joey Moss, as he was a bit of a legend in Alberta. Everyone knew about Joey Moss. Joey was born with Down syndrome and worked for the Oilers as their assistant equipment manager. His smiling face was always on the Jumbotron at games, signing Oh Canada. He was always around the arena, giving people hi-fives. At the first Oilers staff Christmas party, I was talking to Joey and the song La Bamba came on. We immediately hit the dance floor and I had a hard time keeping up to him, as he moved to the rhythm of the song. I had such fun dancing with him.

At the time, I was also writing a young adult novel (BORN WITH: Erika and Gianni) featuring the Best Buddies Club and a female protagonist who was born with Down syndrome. I had become friends with many people from the Edmonton Down syndrome Society as they were helping me with research. When it came time for their biggest fundraiser, a fashion show at one of the major hotels in Edmonton, I was asked to be a model. When I got backstage, there was Joey. He too was a model. But, let me tell you, he was a way better model than I was. When it was his turn, he strutted and danced and blew kisses to the crowd. I had to follow him on high heels and a long dress and all I could do was walk in a straight line so I wouldn’t trip. He was the life of the party.

When Joey passed away on October 26, 2020, the out- pouring of love for him from all over the world was remarkable and so heart-warming. He had become such a legend, in such a positive way. As a writer, who values a good story, and believes in the power of books, I knew this was one that needed to be told. This was going to be my job to do this for Joey and his family, to make sure his legacy was preserved in book form.

At first, I wasn’t sure how to write the story. Did I fictionalize a character and make a middle grade or young adult novel? Did I write a biography for adults? I sat down at my computer to write out my thoughts and… what kept coming to me was how he made people smile. I wrote a little bit, and it came out as a children’s picture book. I think Joey’s dance moves gave me that picture book rhythm. This story needed to be told for young kids, to help them respect people born with Down syndrome. I talked to my agent about what I’d written, and we agreed the only way I could write it was with the support of the family. Joey comes from a huge family, and I contacted his older sister, Pattie. All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you to Pattie. She told me so many stories, many of which didn’t get into the book because of space, but they all made me laugh and smile. That was the toughest part of the writing process; figuring out what to put in the story. I also talked to people who had worked with Joey from the Oilers and the Edmonton Football team. The first draft was titled: MAKING PEOPLE SMILE. My agent sent the finally finished manuscript out and within a week two publishers responded. My intuition clanged bells that Sleeping Bear Press was the right home. Heather Hughes is the publisher and her husband, Pat Hughes, had played for the Edmonton Oilers. He knew Joey’s legend.

My editor for the book was Barb McNally, and I feel blessed and grateful and so much gushy stuff for the opportunity to work with her. One thing she really helped me with was the ending. In the initial draft, I had tied the book up with Joey’s passing. But Barb chatted with me about leaving it on a high note. Amazing. That was most definitely the right suggestion. I loved working with Barb.           

Sleeping Bear Press also was incredibly clever to pick Alice Carter as the illustrator. Alice did an outstanding job capturing Joey’s personality and making him sunny and bright. Alice didn’t know Joey, as she lives in Ottawa, so I got photos from the family, and they were sent to her. She came up with the idea to make the book like a scrapbook. I just love the page of his siblings and how she made them like school photos on a fridge. Her choice of using yellow as the cover colour, just makes the book pop. (Yes, I’m in awe of her work.)

The book came out in September 2022, the exact same time the Joey Moss Elementary school opened. Yeah! I attended the opening and got to read the book to every student in the school. And…they unveiled an oil painting of the cover of the book which will hang in the school! Yes, I cried.

I hope as you read the book, and perhaps read the book to children, that the book opens up discussions about how we can all be a force for good in the world, no matter who we are. I hope the book makes you happy too, as you read about such a beautiful human being: Joey Moss.

LORNA’S BIO:

Lorna Schultz Nicholson is full-time writer who divides her time between Edmonton, Alberta and Penticton, British Columbia. She has published children’s picture books, middle grade fiction, YA fiction and non-fiction sports books. Lorna’s books are about family, friendships, and, well, the ups and downs of life. We all have those, right? They are also diverse, featuring many different characters. Many of her books are about sports, (yes, hockey), so she can answer a lot of questions about that too. Of course, she loves talking about writing and her process, and she loves giving tips to students on how they can make their writing better. Lorna is a lively presenter and has been in schools across Canada. She loves instilling her love of reading and writing to any grade. Please, visit her website for information.

Lorna was raised in St. Catharines, Ontario, Nicholson obtained a B.Sc. in Human Performance from the University of Victoria. With her degree, she worked as the Fitness and Recreation Co-ordinator at the University of Victoria where she also coached rowing. Nicholson now resides in Calgary, Alberta with her husband, former Hockey Canada President Bob Nicholson. She has been an active presence in Canadian media, on television, radio and in print.

www.lornaschultznicholson.com

ALICE’S BIO:

Alice Carter is an illustrator, writer and chaser of dreams. She has a passion for sharing her whimsical imagination and believes in the magic of a great story. She is inspired by people watching, music and nature.

Alice is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design, and is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, the Canadian Children’s Book Centre and CANSCAIP. She lives in Ottawa in Canada, with her family of silly humans, a quirky puppy and a wise old cat.

Alice is the illustrator of many picture books including; Angus All Aglow, written by Heather Smith (Orca Book Publishers), My Puppy Patch written by Theo Heras (Pajama Press),and the Pierre & Paul Series by Caroline Adderson (Owlkids Books).

My Puppy Patch was chosen for the 2020 IODE Jean Throop Book Award shortlist! Angus All Aglow was chosen as an OLA Best Bet of 2018!

Lorna, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. I did not know Joey’s story. I love that you are introducing him to all of people in the world who never heard his story. It is such a heartwarming book. How he rose above being born with Down syndrome and accomplished so much while winning the hearts of some many people. What a great message for children and adults – so uplifting. I love Alice’s illustrations and her idea to present the story as a scrape book was a brilliant idea. Good luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. What an amazing story and it sounds like you had just the right editor. I love the scrapbook style illustrations. Congratulations!

    Like

  2. It’s all about making people smile! I would love to share this story with children! Beautiful story, beautiful book!

    Like

  3. I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing this; no need to enter me in the drawing. Thanks for the backstory!

    Like

  4. This is so cool! My son has Down syndrome and I’m definitely going to have to buy him this book!

    Like

  5. This is such a heartwarming story and I’m so happy it’s out in the world. I didn’t know about this incredible human being before and can’t wait to get to know Joey. I’m an email subscriber and shared on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and tumblr.

    Like

  6. Thank you Lorna for creating such a positive book about a person differently abled. As a Special Education Teacher every September for Disability Awareness month I try to share as many books about people with disabilities as possible. Your book will be a great read aloud. Also, Posting FB and Twitter. Hopefully I will win book!

    Like

  7. Thank you so much Lorna for creating such a positive BIO of a differently abled person. As a special Education teacher each September during Disability Month I need more books about this important topic. I will post on FB and Twitter with extra chance to win book. Good luck.

    Like

  8. I love the idea of this book. I’m including the article in my Creative Juice post tomorrow on my blog, ARHtisticLicense.com.

    Like

  9. […] A heartwarming book about an exceptional man, Joey Moss. […]

    Like

  10. Loved the story. Every child deserves to be loved and nurtured to be the best they can be.

    Like


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