Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 19, 2023

Book Giveaway: LONG GOES TO DRAGON SCHOOL by Helen Wu

Helen Wu has a new picture book, LONG GOES TO DRAGON SCHOOL illustrated by Mae Besom and published by Yeehoo Books. Helen has agreed to share a signed copy and a book pin with one lucky winner living in the United States..

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 other things you do 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 thank you for helping Helen and Mae.

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:

Wrapped in Eastern and Western dragon lore, this fantasy tale celebrates perseverance, self-acceptance, and cultural differences.
It’s the first day of Dragon School, where all the young dragons must learn how to harness their fire breath. Today’s lesson? Using it to cook food! All the dragons are excited to test their powers . . . except Long.
Long is from the East and can only breathe out water. No matter how hard he huffs and puffs, he isn’t sure he can match his fire breathing classmates. But will he be discovered? Or will Long find his own unique path to cooking-and to fitting in?

BOOK JOURNEY:

My upcoming book, Long Goes to Dragon School, was inspired by my own experience as a minority immigrant student. It follows a Chinese dragon who struggles to breathe fire in his new Western dragon school, only to discover he must carve his own path to finding a sense of belonging. In this story, Long’s name is based on the Chinese word for dragon, “龙(lóng).” Like in Western culture, dragons are intricately intertwined with Chinese culture. However, Chinese dragons do not typically breathe fire. Instead, they are known as water spirits. I have always been fascinated by the differences and similarities between cultures. And living in America, I’ve realized that everyone is different and that learning from others helps you discover your own talents, while still allowing you to find your own path.

As a first-generation immigrant, I’ve felt impostor syndrome ever since—including throughout my journey as an author. But here’s the good news: while I don’t think these thoughts will ever go away completely, I’ve learned to control them. In fact, I’ve learned to let them motivate me to think outside the box and find my own unique path in writing and publishing. That’s why I wanted to include the theme of growth mindset in this story. Long is a water dragon and he can’t match his fire-breathing classmates. But he keeps practicing and finally manages to turn water into something surprising. By persisting with a growth mindset, he discovers his own unique talents. I’m very honored that this book has received some glowing reviews. “Using a dragon as the main character strengthens the overall message that everyone is different and has unique gifts to share. Besom’s appealing watercolor illustrations wonderfully complement the text, clearly representing the story’s events. From beginning to end, the images will likely enchant youngsters as they get to know Long’s world.” -Kirkus Reviews. “An insightful picture book in which a young dragon with unique abilities struggles to fit in.” -Foreword Reviews.

Besides books, I’m working to develop book-related merchandise and resources. I’m developing plushies, stickers, enamel pins, seasonal and holiday-themed coloring books, and free resources for educators and classes. These merchandise and resources provide various vehicles for children, parents and educators to use in everyday life. Merchandise brings the book and its characters to a broader audience and market, and the book gives the merchandise a meaningful message and makes them unique. I hope this adorable Chinese dragon and his friends from this diverse and inclusive dragon school can fly beyond book, to be companions of more children, teens, and adults in everyday life.

HELEN’S BIO:

Helen H. Wu is a children’s book author, illustrator, translator and publisher. She is the author of Tofu Takes Time, illustrated by Julie Jarema (Beaming Books, 2022) and Long Goes To Dragon School, illustrated by Mae Besom (Yeehoo Press, 2023). Helen is the Associate Publisher of Yeehoo Press, an independent children’s book publisher.

Being fascinated by the differences and similarities between cultures, Helen loves to share stories that can empower children to understand the world and our connections. Currently, Helen lives in San Diego, California, with her family and two kids.

Learn more about Helen at:

WEBSITE: helenhwu.com

TWITTER: @HelenHWu

INSTAGRAM: @HelenHWu

TIK TOK: @helenhwu


MAE’S BIO:

Producing work that is charming, atmospheric and inspired by nature’s beauty, Mae Besom is one of China’s leading children’s illustrators. She’s an author as well, with a strong understanding of visual narrative and an imaginative approach that ensures her work is captivating and magical.
Working for publishers in China and around the world, Mae’s experience is an asset on any project. Previously employed by a comic book publisher and a computer game developer, she has an excellent understanding of the production process, the marketplace and how to collaborate with authors. That comes in addition to over a decade as a freelance illustrator, turning badgers, bears, squirrels and fairies into delightful little characters for her audiences. Mae studied painting at Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts and is inspired by comics, cartoons, nature and Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki.

APPROACH

With a fully developed grasp of digital painting in Photoshop, Mae also loves drawing the traditional way and completes most of her images using watercolors. She constantly broadens her skills through creative studies – insects, flowers, birds, fish… she’s always practicing something new.

STYLE

Mae’s deep, earthy tones create an atmospheric backdrop, from which more colorful creatures and characters come to life, often highlighted in color combinations the artist has observed on flowers, insects, birds and animals of the forest to round off her connection with the environment.

AWARDS

2017 – Christopher Award – Books for Young People

Download the Free 36 pages Interactive Curriculum and Activity Book for LONG GOES TO DRAGON SCHOOL!

Helen, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. Children love dragons and I love how your book helps kids see the differences between Western and Eastern representation of dragons. And teachers and children will love the free Activity Book that goes with the book. Mae did a wonderful job creating the illustrations. The whole book is perfect. Good luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. Helen, I loved how you took your own experience and developed your character using this platform. It’s unfortunate how you felt but having the gift of writing and being able to express this on paper is such a wonderful experience. I wish you much success! The illustrations are absolutely stunning! You make a wonderful team!

    Like

  2. Here’s to Helen’s water spirit! And the illustrations look lovely.

    Like

  3. I love dragons and the message behind this story is universal and presented in a way I’ve never seen before. I’m an email subscriber and shared on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and tumblr.

    Like

  4. Hi Helen. Congrats on your Dragon book. Would love to win a copy.😉 🐉

    Like

  5. Yay, it’s almost book birthday! So much fun, Helen! Congratulations!

    I follow by email and I tweeted this post. 🙂

    Like

  6. Congratulations Helen. This looks like a fun exciting book with important cultural themes and SEL for ALL children. Will post on FB and Twitter.

    Like

  7. This beautifully illustrated book belongs in the dragon collection of many school libraries. Wow!

    Like

  8. So excited to accompany long to Dragon School! What fun! Love exploring dragon / Chinese culture. Wishing you all the best!!!

    Like

  9. I love learning about water breathing dragons!

    Like

  10. What a terrific idea for a story! I didn’t know that Chinese dragons are associated with water, not fire, until I saw one of Helen’s earlier interviews. I’m looking forward to reading this book. (Kathy, I subscribe to your blog.)

    Like

  11. LONG GOES TO DRAGON SCHOOL looks amazing. I can’t wait to see how Long navigates his differences.

    Like

  12. This looks and sounds wonderful! Can’t wait to read it!

    Like

  13. I’m so excited to read this book and follow along Long’s journey to discovering more about himself!!

    Like

  14. Wonderful way to take the author’s experience and create a fun and powerful story of perseverance for children.

    Like


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