Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 22, 2022

Book Giveaway: A POEM GROWS INSIDE YOU by Katey Howes

Katey Howes has written a new picture book, A POEM GROWS INSIDE YOU, illustrated by Heather Brochman Lee, and published by The Innovation  Press today. 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 Trinka.

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!

We all hold the seed of something wonderful inside us, just waiting for the right moment to bloom. In A Poem Grows Inside You, the seed of an idea waits for the rhythm of the rainfall to awaken it, then takes root and begins to grow. At once a celebration of the deep connection creatives have with their art and an acknowledgement of the courage it takes to let it into the sun, this beautifully illustrated picture book encourages readers to nurture their talents and boldly share them with the world.


Katey: Several years ago, author/poet Laura Shovan shared a story. I think it was on Twitter, maybe Facebook.  I wish I could hunt down the details – but you’ll have to bear with my flawed memory instead. As I recall, she posted that a student had come to her a year after having had class with her, to share a poem with her. He had held onto the idea generated in class for a long time, but hadn’t felt ready to write it down. It had lain dormant in his heart until he had what he needed to bring it to life. And when he finally did, he brought it back to Laura to share it with her.

This little window into that student’s experience touched my heart deeply. I had absolutely felt the same way about ideas many times, especially for poems. I know well that often a person needs to be in the right space emotionally, physically, and even spiritually to tackle some topics in their writing. We aren’t always equipped to process the emotions and experiences life gives us- but when we are, poetry can be such a beautiful and healing way to do it.

I held onto the idea of a seed of a poem, planted in the heart, for quite awhile. Checked on it. Dreamed about what it would grow into. Supplied myself with the tools I needed to  nurture it into life. Found its rhythm. And then I began to write.          

The feelings the character in this book experiences are so true to my own experience in creativity. He feels the poem rooting itself deep inside him, twining through his whole being. I feel that, too.

He knows the poem needs light to grow further, but he is scared to let it out into the sun – scared of what other people will think of it. I feel that, too.

But when the character in the book lets his poem out into the light, he finds that it gives back to him. Air to breathe, fruit to eat. He finds that having it out in the open means that others can help prune and weed it – and I most certainly felt that!  

In fact, between my critique partners (who I list in my dedication), the incredible word gardeners at The Innovation Press (publisher Asia Citro and editor Jessica Peterson), and the kind and generous encouragement and feedback of Laura Shovan, this poem was given much more nurturing and care than I ever could have managed on my own. It grew in ways I never expected.

And then, Heather Brockman Lee agreed to illustrate the book. And it bloomed and stretched and twined onto completely new levels! Heather, can you tell the readers a bit about your journey with this book?


This was the first picture book I was offered to illustrate (although it’s the second to come out, because publishing is funny that way) and I was absolutely thrilled and blown away by the opportunity. I really connected with the story, loved Katey’s words and how she talked about the growth and fear of creativity, and had so many ideas right away. Then Covid hit pretty much immediately after I said YES!

The publisher understandably decided to delay the publication date, which meant I had almost a year to think about the story and experiment with different mediums and techniques before they even wanted to see thumbnails. While I was excited and impatient to get started, I think that extra time of letting it live in the back of my head while I collected inspiration and grew as an artist ended up benefiting the book. While I was painting the images, Katey’s words would repeat in my head so much that even now when I look at a certain page the words just pop into my brain!

I remember finishing the last painting and while there is always a sense of accomplishment and relief when you finish a big project, I also felt a little sad that I wouldn’t be spending each day in that world any more. Of course soon I will be able to revisit it every time I read it!  To me, this is a book that will encourage all its readers to create, take risks, and let themselves be seen.


Katey Howes is an award-winning picture book author. She’s passionate about raising kids who love to read, and about helping kids recognize that they are makers, inventors, and creators!

A former physical therapist, Katey is fascinated by physics and biology, reads everything from classic children’s lit to modern neuroscience, and has strong opinions about commas.

When not writing for children, Katey contributes to websites such as Nerdy BookClub, KidLit411, STEAM-powered Family, and Imagination Soup. She has presented at NCTE and several nErDcamps and taught picture book writing and revision at the SCBWI NJ Fall Craft Weekend.

You can hear Katey interviewed on podcasts such as Reading With Your Kids, Lu and Bean Read, and All the Wonders.

Katey lives in Bucks County with her husband, three children, and a pup named Samwise Gamgee. She and her family enjoy making everything from cupcakes to castles to catapults, exploring their wooded property, and traveling to new and exciting places.

Katey is represented by Essie White of Storm Literary Agency. 

Author Bio: Katey Howes is a haphazard gardener, a good rhymer, and a fun mother. She’s also the award-winning author of RISSY NO KISSIES, BE A MAKER, and a growing assortment of other books. Katey is looking forward to the release of A POEM GROWS INSIDE YOU, illustrated by Heather Brockman Lee (The Innovation Press, Fall 2022) and WOVEN OF THE WORLD, illustrated by Dinara Mirtalipova (Chronicle, February 2023). You’ll find Katey scribbling down ideas under a big tree on a small mountain in Eastern Pennsylvania with a tub of caramel corn and a rescue pup named Samwise.  Or find her on Twitter @kateywrites, on IG @kidlitlove, or at


Heather Brockman Lee is an award winning illustrator specializing in children’s illustration and images for licensing.

You can find her work in issues of Ladybug and Babybug Magazines, and in her upcoming debut picture books “A Poem Grows Inside You” with The Innovation Press, written by Katey Howes, and “Hattie Hates Hugs” with Beaming Books, written by Sarah Hovorka.

Heather won of the Grand Prize Portfolio Showcase, 2021 SCBWI Big Five-Oh! as well as the 2020 Letters and Lines, at the Rocky Mountain chapter of SCBWI. She also volunteers as an assistant to the Illustrator Coordinator for my local SCBWI chapter, and is a mentor through the Michelle Begley Mentor Program.

When she is not in her studio painting, she is in her garden, hanging out with bees, whistling at birds, hiking or climbing trees. Her dog can read her mind. She lives with her husband and two kids in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where she is slowly making the inside of our house resemble a library. Yoga, meditation and running or biking keeps her brain happy. She loves drawing people, nature, animals, and finding the magic in everyday moments.

She lives with her husband and two kids in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where she is slowly making the inside of their house resemble a library.

Find out more at


Katey, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. How wonderful that you thought to write a story to express the deep connection creative people have with their work and making it bloom into something beautiful to share with the world. As always, Heather’s illustrations are gorgeous. She really helped you capture the essences of the book. This is a story adults will love as much as children. Best of luck getting it out into the world.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Quite simply, I need this book! I have had great success with my adult poets using picture books because they break ideas down into delicious bites. This book is no exception. A Poem Grows Inside You would be a welcome addition to any classroom, library, community center, senior facility, anywhere that writers gather. Wow!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Linda!! I hope it helps your writing and creativity bloom!!


      • Thank you, Manju! It means a lot to know the emotions we put into this book touch other hearts, too.


  2. Thanks for sharing!
    Katey, this is very true for me right now – “We aren’t always equipped to process the emotions and experiences life gives us- but when we are, poetry can be such a beautiful and healing way to do it.”
    (Tweet –


    • Thank you, Manju! It means a lot to know the emotions we put into this book touch other hearts, too.


  3. Thank you so much for hosting and beautifully showcasing our book, Kathy! I am so happy to finally be sharing Heather’s art and my words with readers big and small!!


  4. Congrats, Katey and Heather! Can’t wait to read it!


  5. Congratulations! Don’t put me in for the giveaway because I already own this beautiful book! 💜


    • You’re amazing, Laura! Thank you for the enthusiasm and support!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I shared on FB, Pinterest and Twitter. What a lovely idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I can relate with this book’s character and think this idea for a picture book is wonderful. Thank you for the chance to win a copy. I’m an email subscriber and shared on Pinterest, Twitter, tumblr, and Facebook.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This sounds like such a beautifully illustrated and carefully constructed story (as poems should be). Congrats to Katey and Heather!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Such a beautiful concept. Can’t wait to read! 😻

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Such a beautiful concept. Can’t wait to read! 😻

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What a lovely story idea. The illustrations are charming. Thanks for telling me about it. I subscribe to your blog by email.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love the story about the student coming back to their teacher with their poem!! I can’t wait to read this story!! Congratulations!!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Congrats Katey! What a lovely journey for little poetic ideas to take.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Check out my Lyn the Librarian/Writer Facebook page where I recommend: Katey’s A POEM GROWS INSIDE YOU. Carolyn M Johnson


  15. posted at with my twitter “name” – JohnsonCM or CMJohnson


  16. correction: posted at my Twitter page: (18) Carolyn M Johnson (@CMJhnsn) / Twitter


  17. also posted at my LinkedIn page at: ttps://


  18. I can’t wait to read this book. Thanks! I’llrequest this from my library too


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