Posted by: Kathy Temean | April 16, 2023

Book Giveaway: BRAVO AVOCADO by Chana Stiefel

Chana Stiefel has a new picture book, BRAVO AVOCADO, illustrated by Anna Süßbauer and published by HarperCollins Children. She has 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 Chana and Anna.

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!


Avocado longs to be Today’s Special in this vibrant, pun-filled picture book by Chana Stiefel and Anna Süßbauer about self-discovery and the value of uplifting your friends.

Avocado wants to stand out, but nothing seems to be working. With the help of her friends, she self-reflects and discovers that all along she was special. This social emotional learning story will help young readers to develop relationship skills and self-awareness. Perfect for fans of Dragons Love Tacos and The Food Group stories.

It’s a delightful day at the Farmer’s Market. Zesty limes! Juicy peaches! Sweet corn! But Avocado has a pit in her stomach. She longs to be Today’s Special.

Strolling through the aisles, Avocado asks her farm-fresh friends to help her discover what makes her stand out. Tomato offers to teach her salsa. Pumpkin proposes funny faces. Garlic suggests she add some zing! Nothing seems to work until—Ding ding!—the bright and shiny Toaster inspires Avocado to reflect more deeply.

Chana Stiefel’s heartwarming text blends with Anna Süßbauer’s eye-pop\ping illustrations spark sweet and meaningful conversations about self-discovery and \friendship.


Back in February 2020, I was sick in bed with a bad cough. In retrospect, the timing was right for a mysterious early case of Covid, but we’ll never know. In the meantime, I received an email from my awesome agent, Miranda Paul at Erin Murphy Literary, asking if I had a manuscript about an avocado.

In my feverish state, I grabbed a notebook and started brainstorming avocado puns: Holy guacamole. Guac and roll. Avocado had a pit in her stomach.

That last one got me thinking: Was Avocado anxious? And if so, why? I wrote several drafts about an avocado who wants to make friends with other fruits and veggies. But they all seem to have plans. No wonder Avocado had a pit in her stomach! Garlic, who never minces words, suggests that Avocado is bland. Avocado sheds lots of tears (well, Onion is nearby). But then Avocado pulls herself together and decides to meet up with other bland friends.

“Wanna play?” she asks.

“Sounds nice!” says Rice.

“Yes, please!” say Black-eyed Peas.

“Let’s go!” says Potato.

When the veggies who rejected her want to join the fun, Avocado says, “We might seem bland, but…WE CAN BLEND!”

To top off this work of genius, I included a recipe for guacamole in the backmatter.



Editor Tamar Mays at HarperCollins liked my writing, but the story? Not so much. Would kids connect to the bland/blend theme? And the marketing team was dead set against eating the protagonist at the end. (I sometimes like to go dark.) Luckily, Tamar was willing to give me another shot!

By then spring had sprung. I brainstormed new settings and situations for my little green character. I thought about my favorite trips to the Farmers’ Market with my critique partner Donna Cangelosi And voila! BRAVO, AVOCADO was born.

This new story is about an avocado at the Farmers’ Market who wants to be Today’s Special. Strolling through the aisles, Avocado asks her veggie friends what makes her stand out. Tomato offers to teach her salsa. Pumpkin proposes funny faces. Garlic suggests she add some zing! Nothing seems to work until—Ding!—the bright and shiny Toaster inspires Avocado to “reflect” more deeply. Avocado discovers that she was special all along.

Many of the funny puns remain from the earlier version, but only the ones that serve the story. And the social-emotional themes of developing self-awareness, discovering what’s inside us that makes us special, and uplifting our friends struck a chord. Tamar loved it! And illustrator Anna Sussbauer’s eye-popping colors and vibrant textures bring the story to life. Best of all, no fruits or veggies were harmed in the making of this book.


Chana Stiefel is the award-winning author of more than 30 humorous and heartfelt books for children. Her most recent picture book, BRAVO, AVOCADO! (HarperCollins), tells the story of an avocado at the farmers’ market who wants to be Today’s Special. Chana’s nonfiction titles include The Tower of Life: How Yaffa Eliach Rebuilt Her Town in Stories and Photographs (Scholastic), which won the 2023 Sydney Taylor Book Award and a Robert F. Sibert Honor. It was listed as a Best Book of the Year by School Library Journal, Booklist, the New York Public Library, Chicago Public Library, and others.

Chana’s other nonfiction titles include Let Liberty Rise: How America’s Schoolchildren Helped Save the Statue of Liberty and the upcoming Let’s Fly (Dial, 2024) co-written with Barrington Irving, who broke the record as the youngest person and first Black man to fly solo around the world. Chana loves to visit schools and libraries to share her passion for reading and writing with children. Learn more at

Follow @chanastiefel on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Anna Suessbauer is an illustrator focusing on children’s book and editorial illustration. Anna has illustrated of sixteen picture books. She grew grew up in Cologne, Germany and has loved drawing and reading since she was a child. After having her daughter Emilia, she decided to illustrate picture books due to her passion for graphic design and the love for clear structures and bright colors.

Her career path included various steps. She discovered the creative aspects of every job, but after the birth of her daughter she knew that she wanted to have a career in the creative industry. Anna’s work is inspired by a whimsical sense of humour and by her love for all kinds of animals, including her two dogs, Eddie and Patsy.

Chana, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. Bravo to you and Anna for creating such a clever heartwarming book. I love the funny puns and play on words. Anna’s vegetable characters are so cute and loveable that children and parents will adore this fun book. Avocado is sure to help young children think about their own self-worth and what is special about themselves. The  combination of a great story and art is sure to keep the reader laughing and turning every page to the end. Nice touch adding a guacamole recipe. Can’t wait to try it. Good luck with the book!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. The wordplay, puns and rhyme, sound brilliant. And there’s even a lesson! Avocados are one of our favorite vegetables but I may never look at them the same way again! Can’t wait to read this!

    Love the daily blogs, Kathy


  2. I’m on Team Avocado! Bravo!


  3. This book looks adorable! We love Avocados and the personality you gave this guy is terrific! The combination of word play, illustrations and moral/story line will make this a family favorite for sure! I wish you much success in all your writing endeavors!


  4. What I love about the story is its birth. A blessing out of adversity. I look forward to reading this adorable tale!


  5. What a fun book! I lo-vacado it! [Newsletter Subscriber]


  6. How fun!! Would love to read this with my avocado-loving son. Tweeted + email subscriber.


  7. This looks hilarious… And delicious! I will boost on social media.


  8. I love this book! Thanks for highlighting it. Congrats, Chana!


  9. Love the puns! The more the merrier. Congrats Chana and Anna!


  10. Sounds hilarious! I have it on hold at my library, just waiting my turn. Can’t wait to read it! Shared on Twitter and I’m a newsletter subscriber.


  11. I would love to win this quirky, punny book. Congrats, Chana! 😉


    • Oops! I’m an email subscriber too.😉


  12. Sounds like a great SEL theme and a fun way to go at it. I’m a newsletter subscriber. Thank you!


  13. I’m green with envy! Congratulations on your punny book.


  14. Double win here because I’m a fan of Chana and of avocados!


  15. I enjoy puns and word play. I’m so happy that your editor loved your revised version of the story which has a universal message for all readers. Congratulations on this fun book! I’m an email subscriber and shared on Pinterest, Facebook, tumblr, and Twitter.


  16. You don’t see a picture book starring an avocado every day. I am intrigued. Thanks for telling me about it. I subscribe to your blog by email.


  17. Oh, this sounds delightful and delicious! Love the puns! Congrats, Chana and Anna!

    I follow by email and I tweeted this post.


  18. Oh my goodness the punniness! Bravo Chana!


  19. Such a clever title. I can’t wait to read it. I shared on Twitter, and I receive your blog daily.


  20. I would love to share this cute book with my students! I LOVE avocados and puns!

    I shared about the book on twitter


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