Posted by: Kathy Temean | December 3, 2022

Book Giveaway” THE THREE CANADIAN PIGS by Jocelyn Watkinson

Jocelyn Watkinson has written a new picture book, THE THREE CANADIAN PIGS, illustrated by Marcus Cutler, and 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 Jocelyn and Marcus.

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:

The three pigs are just finishing up a hockey practice session when the Big Bad Wolf drops by and declares them Canadian bacon–and lunch. When north country bad boys Bear and Moose join the fray, the pigs invite the gang to settle their disputes The Canadian Way–with a rousing game of hockey. Will the big guys overtake the pigs with brute force? Or will the pigs skate circles around the lumbering baddies? One thing is certain, the trial is likely to end with a meal (poutine, please!). But will the piggies be on the menu?

BOOK JOURNEY:

Thank you Kathy for the invitation to be featured on your blog! I am honoured! THE THREE CANADIAN PIGS: A HOCKEY STORY is my debut picture book published by Sleeping Bear Press. I’m excited to share the journey of this book with you and your readers. I’d like to apologize in advance (How Canadian, eh? SORRY!) for a long winded book journey!

Almost five years ago now, I quit my good paying, safe and secure government job in Ontario, Canada to join my husband in the United States – he had finally found his dream job as a professor. We uprooted our family and moved across the continent to California where I found myself pretty bored and quite honestly lonely, really missing my family, friends and country.

I was taking what I joked was a “forced sabbatical” because I was not yet able to work in the United States. My then three year old son and I spent lots of time together reading the many board and picture books that we brought with us on our move and I thought maybe I could write stories too! (Since I had a lot of spare time on my hands).  After many failed manuscripts, I joined SCBWI and other critique groups and signed up for Renee LaTulippe’s rhyme and meter course.

I found myself drawn to fractured fairytales and began working on a fractured fairytale that had some promise. I LOVE fractured fairytales. They are usually quite silly and punny, clever and entertaining. As critique partners were scarce in the beginning, I began reading my work in progress to my mother on one of our daily chats. She liked it, but offered another suggestion, “why not re-do The Three Little Pigs, but make them Canadian!” Great idea – thanks Mom!

And so I got to work. With an existing story structure to work from, it definitely helped create good pacing and story arc for me. I wanted to incorporate everything that Canada is known for; snow, hockey, poutine and maple syrup (and some other yummy treats as well). I wanted it to be funny/silly with a good message and incorporate what I missed about home. I  also thought it would be entertaining to include what I was teased about by my new American friends, my Canadian accent, eh? (which I didn’t think I had until I moved away from Canada, but I definitely do!) Once I realized that the Wolf would want to eat their “Canadian Bacon” the puns really started to flow; “not by the pads on our shinny-shin-shins” is another good example!

Mid-draft of this story, I also entered and won Susanna Leonard Hill’s Halloweensie competition (2019) with my silly rhyming entry of Vampire Stains 2019 Halloweensie Finalists and with that won the opportunity to “Pass the Slush Pile” with Alayne Christain of Blue Whale Press. While the story wasn’t picked up, Alayne was instrumental in helping me raise the stakes and shape the arc of the story. Thank you Alayne!

From there, I decided to enlist the help of Shannon Stocker, a wonderful writer and all around fantastic human being. Shannon had helped me with a previous manuscript and her feedback was amazing. I knew she’d be able to help me here as well, which she did! Shannon is also the author of a Sleeping Bear Press book, How U Saved The Day! Check out Shannon’s critique services and her books on her website.

Then the pandemic started! Eek! What an awful time for writing (and lots of other things as well, obviously). This manuscript sat for a while since my focus was diverted to staying healthy…that is…until the call for the PBChat 2020 Applications opened up. The PBChat Mentorship Program was founded and is managed by kidlit enthusiast and soon to be published author Justin Colón, where unpublished and unagented creators are paired up with a professional author and/or illustrator for 3 months with a goal of being published and/or agented shortly thereafter.

I had my eye on one mentor – Lori Degman – another amazing human being in the kidlit world. Author of six, soon to be seven, picture books such as Cock-a-Doodle Oops, One Zany Zoo and Sleeping Bear Press’ Nobert’s Big Dream, Lori saw promise in my manuscript and selected me as one of her mentees! Lori worked her magic and helped smooth out the story and any trip hazards with the meter to get the story ready for submission.

I should also take the opportunity to let readers know that Lori and I teamed up after the mentorship to tackle a sequel to her most recently published story; Travel Guide for Monsters and Canadian-ized it (of course!). Travel Guide for Monsters Part Deux: A Canadian Adventure is due to be released by Sleeping Bear Press on April 15, 2023!

Anyways, back to the journey…then came the end of the mentorship which wrapped up with a big showcase of all the mentees work. The showcase was open for a week and many agents and editors in the kidlit community were invited to “shop” the samples of work that were provided. I (im)patiently waited for the week without any interest until the very last day when Sarah Rockett of Sleeping Bear Press came in and requested to see the manuscript! Apparently, Sleeping Bear Press loves hockey stories! Not even a month later, I had an offer for publication!! As you can tell, this story was really put together by a lot of supportive kidlit community members, critique partners, family and friends. It takes a village!

Working with Sarah and Sleeping Bear Press was amazing. The first 3/4 of the manuscript was pretty solid but we still hadn’t quite nailed the ending. Previous endings included, the Wolf moving in with the Pigs (living in peace and signing a lease!), and even the Wolf being apprehended by undercover RCMP officers, but we opted for an ending with reconciliation, an apology and comradery. Thanks to Sarah for helping end the story on a wonderful note of friendship!

It was important to me that the illustrator also be Canadian, and wow did Marcus Cutler, hit it out of the park. Being a huge hockey fan himself, he captured so much hockey and Canadian-ness in this book. (Check out “Terry Fox”, the names on the Stanley Cup, and all the yummy Canadian treats!) Kudos to the design team for really nailing the design of this book! Check out Marcus’ other work here!


I hope readers will enjoy the silliness of this book and want to read it over and over with their kiddos, grandkiddos or student kiddos. Thank you Kathy for featuring me and THE THREE CANADIAN PIGS: A HOCKEY STORY and the journey!

JOCELYN’S BIO:

Jocelyn Watkinson grew up with a love of reading, so much so that she was the only hockey sister in the cold arena reading Babysitter Club books while rambunctious crowds cheered, and her little brother played goalie for the local rep hockey team. Perhaps if there were more opportunities for girls in sports at the time, she would have been on the ice, rather than sitting in the stands!

BUT, with a well developed love of literature and sports, Jocelyn loves to write sports-themed books for children and most importantly, writing in rhyme!

Jocelyn is an ex-pat Canadian living in California with her husband, son and golden retriever, Sinclair. When not fussing over stanzas and rhyming couplets, Jocelyn likes to play soccer, play board games, craft anything from cross stitch, to string art to refurbishing old furniture all while sipping on a hot cup of tea. Jocelyn hopes to one day finally get on the ice to learn how to play the sport of her homeland; hockey.

MARCUS’ BIO:

Marcus Cutler loves writing and drawing things! His favourite things to draw are funny and weird characters doing funny and weird things. When he is not making art he likes to watch movies, cook breakfast, and practice kung fu.

He lives in Tecumseh, Ontario with his wife and two daughters.

His Clients Include:

Cheneliere Education, chickaDEE Magazine, Click Magazine, Duck Duck Moose, The Edmonton Journal, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Humpty Dumpty Magazine, Inhabit Education, Jack and Jill Magazine, Kids Can Press, Learning A to Z, Macmillan Publishers Limited, OWL Magazine, Orca Book Publishers, Oxford University Press, Parks Canada, St. Michael’s Hospital, Sleeping Bear Press, The Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, TBWA Helsinki, Turtle Magazine

Thank you, Jocelyn for sharing your book and journey with us. What a fun idea – Three Canadian pigs that play hockey. I love that as a Canadian you took all the things that scream CANADA and wrote a rhyming story filled with silly stuff and lots of laughs. Kids love rhyme. They love silly, and they all know the three little pigs and love hockey. Even American kids love hockey. I am so happy Sleeping Bear Press found Marcus who lives in Ontario and loves hockey to illustrate your book. The two of you have made this funny action story pop off the page. I can hear the little giggles from here. Good luck with the book!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. Great story about your route to publication. Congrats!

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  2. Love this so much! [newsletter subscriber]

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  3. I can’t wait to read this fun book! Thank you for sharing all the suggestions you received that made the book come to life. Congrats to you!

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  4. I am such a fan of The Three Pigs and all their iterations. This one had me laughing at Canadian bacon! I have some hockey friends that will love this!

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  5. This sounds like such a fun book! I can’t wait to read it! I shared on Twitter and get your post daily, Kathy!

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  6. Fractured fairy tales are so much fun and I love the fresh take on this one. I’m an email subscriber and shared on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and tumblr.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hockey! And then pigs? I can’t wait to laugh out loud with this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love it! This looks wonderful! Congratulations, Jocelyn and Marcus!

    I follow by email and tweeted this post. 🙂

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  9. Jocelyn, I learned how to play hockey when I was in my 40’s, so you’ve still got plenty of time! (In fact, there are plenty of 60-something women in our league.) It’s the best sport ever, and I’m thrilled to see it featured in a new way in your picture book. (Kathy, I subscribe to your blog.)

    Like

  10. As a fellow expat Canadian in the US, I definitely need to get my hands on this book! Can’t wait to read it.

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  11. This looks so fun and how cool to introduce Canadian culture in a famous fairytale! Love this twist and I can’t wait to read it!
    (I am subscribed to Kathy’s newsletter)

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