Amazon* raves about Maria’s adorable debut: This young and funny picture book introduces the soon-to-be star of her school talent show: Penny. Despite her desire to knock everyone’s socks off, Penny’s having a tough time deciding on what talent she might have. Readers of Pinkalicious and Ladybug Girl will swoon over the talent of Penny & Jelly. *Don’t miss the sneak peek at this Amazon link showing Thyra’s fascinating creative process for illustrating Penny & Jelly!
Kirkus says, Penny and Jelly are sure to warm the hearts of both future talent-show contestants and readers who have similarly close canine friends.
Through email, Maria and I discovered that we grew up less than thirty miles apart from one another! We had fun imagining all the spots where we might have met once upon a time in rural New England. Since Maria describes herself as a list-maker just like her character Penny, I dreamed up a few list-related questions for this talented, creative and prolific author.
Think back to when you were six years old. Imagine you are planning your birthday party. What three games are we going to play?
1. Hide & Seek
Maria got a nifty pair of binoculars as a birthday gift! What three things will she go outside and look for?
3. Birds (I’m a complete bird nerd). But if I have to pick a different one, it would be the moon.
Your website features two clever animated scrolls detailing your likes and dislikes. That’s how I discovered that we both love nocciola gelato! Can you share three of your favorite snacks to munch while writing?
1. Not really a snack, but a huge mug of hot tea. My favorite is a tea that I buy in Germany, Nizze Sahne Tee (Cream tea from Nice—it’s an aromatic black tea).
2. Lime chips with guacamole (but I need a few napkins for this one!)
3. Almonds & craisins
Let’s pretend you’ve finished the book launches and promotions for your first three books. Now it’s time to unwind and rejuvenate your writing soul. Name three places that you would like to go on vacation.
1. To Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Finland to stay in a glass igloo and watch auroras
2. Australia to explore its cool flora, fauna and the Great Barrier Reef (but not swim with sharks)
3. To the Galapagos Islands to see Darwin’s finches, among other unusual creatures
Look for many more books from Maria titles being released in 2016 and 2017, including:
Penny & Jelly Slumber Under the Stars, illustrated by Thyra Heder (HMH Books for Young Readers/June 2016)
• Coyote Moon, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline (Roaring Brook Press/July 2016)
• Officer Katz & Houndini: A Tale of Two Tails, illustrated by Danny Chatzikonstantinou (Aladdin Books for Young Readers/October 2016)
• Hello Goodbye Dog, illustrated by Patrice Barton (Roaring Brook Press/winter 2017)
• Highway Hawks, illustrated by Brian Floca (Roaring Brook Press/summer 2017)
• Terrific Tongues (Boyds Mills Press—illustrator & release date to be determined)
My daughter and I were so excited to attend Maria’s book launch party at the Toadstool Bookshop in Keene NH on Saturday morning. Surrounded by family, friends and lots of eager young readers the Toadstool SOLD OUT of Maria’s books! Here is a photo from the long line for inscribed copies of Penny & Jelly, and a fun photo booth shot that Maria and I took together. Flamingo sunglasses, a palette, boa and tutu!
To enter a drawing for your very own copy of Penny & Jelly: The School Show, leave a comment with your name and the talent that you would perform in your school show. The lucky winner’s name will be pulled from a hat and announced here in two weeks.
If you have missed any stops on the Penny & Jelly blog tour, please visit these amazing kid lit sites:
June 26th: Kidlit411/Sylvia Liu & Elaine Kiely Kearns
June 29th: Miss Marple’s Musings/Joanna Marple
June 30th: Pragmatic Mom/Mia Wenjen
July 1st: Watch Connect Read/Mr. Schu
July 2nd: Kidlitfrenzy/Alyson Beecher
July 3rd: Writing for Kids While Raising Them/Tara Lazar
July 6th – Friday, July 10th: Emu’s Debuts virtual book week launch
July 14th: HMH Picture Book Parade