Monday, August 30, 2021

Author Interview: Nadia Salomon

I'm so excited to welcome Nadia Salomon, author of Goodnight Ganesha (Philomel, Aug. 2021), to my blog! I was fortunate to get a sneak peek at this beautiful book, and I can't wait for you all to read it as well. Nadia is a genuinely lovely person and talented author, and I'm thrilled to introduce her to all of you. 

As always, I'll be in green.

Hello Nadia! Welcome to my blog! I'd love to learn more about you. Can you tell us a little about yourself, and what led you to begin writing picture books?

 Thank you for having me on your blog Janet! I'm a former television journalist turned kidlit author. And I always dreamt of writing picture pictures, but wasn't sure at what point in my life it would happen, until I became a mom.

Oh wow! It's always so fun to know what other jobs authors have had. I bet you have a lot of stories you could tell. But today I'd love to hear about your upcoming book. Could you tell us about it?

GOODNIGHT GANESHA is a gentle bedtime story featuring two children sleeping over at their grandparents' home in India and the various ways their culture plays a role in their nighttime routine.

I really loved seeing the relationship between the grandparents and children and the bond they have. So beautiful. What inspirations led you to write Goodnight Ganesha?

My child. 

What better inspiration could you have? Okay, I'm trying not to give too much of a spoiler here, but I laughed when Tata fell asleep. What is your favorite bedtime memory?

Bedtime tenting in our back yard. It was loads of fun.  

Me, too! We used to sleep outside on the trampoline. There's something special about being outside at night. 

Of course I have to talk about the art. It's breathtaking and pairs so perfectly with the text. What was your reaction after seeing it for the first time? Also, did you have the opportunity to give input?

The art is incredible. Breathtaking for sure. And Poonam elevated my text to something - amazing. I don't think there are enough words in my vocabulary to express how I felt seeing the art for the first time. Poonam knocked it out of the universe to infinity. Still in awe. And yes, our editor and art director gave me the opportunity to provide input after sharing the initial sketches. It was a very collaborative and respectful process.

Knocked it out of the universe, for sure! Goodnight Ganesha is your first book, so congratulations! What has been your favorite part about the publishing process and being an author?

Thank you! Yes. GOODNIGHT GANESHA is my debut. I'd say the best part of the publishing process is getting to collaborate with a 'team' of people who genuinely support you, your book, your vision, and do everything possible to produce the best end product and experience for your audience: kids and their adults! They help you create magic! 

Magic is a great word for it. And your book certainly does that! 

Okay, one last question. Here on my blog, I have a fascination for personalized license plates. What do you think your main character would put on her license plate (even though she's definitely too young to drive!)?

Peek-a-boo!

Haha! Love it! Such a fun one.

Nadia, thank you so much for coming on my blog and sharing about your beautiful story. To my readers, please see below for information on how to purchase you own copy of Goodnight Ganesha!

~~~

Nadia Salomon lives in northern California with her family. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism and Public Policy from Emerson College and has worked in television and print news. She writes picture book, middle-grade, and graphic novel manuscripts with themes of South Asian and Caribbean culture, STEM, non-fiction, and humor. Nadia is the winner of the 2020 SCBWI Service Award and the 2019 SCBWI WOOP Honor Award for work of outstanding progress on her non-fiction, picture book manuscript, MYRLIE: A VOICE OF HOPE.

You can learn more about Nadia and her wonderful book on her website, and she's also on Twitter and Instagram.

You can use Nadia's linktree to purchase signed copies of Goodnight Ganesha from her favorite indie bookstore, Flashlight Books. Her book is also available as an audiobook and E-book.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Book Review: Kindness is a Kite String

Recently, I got the chance to read and review a newly released picture book titled Kindness is a Kite String: The Uplifting Power of Empathy by Michelle Schaub and illustrated by Claire LaForte.

This is a subject I've thought a lot about. Kindness is so important, yet it feels as though it's more and more rare. What a difference kindness could make in the world! So of course, I jumped at the opportunity to read this book. Kids need to be taught about kindness now, and what better way than through picture books?

This book did not disappoint!

Kindness is a Kite String Book image
Kindness is a Kite String
 is a poem that suggests different ways to spread kindness. From hugs, to sharing a book, to visiting sick neighbors, this story gives a lot of great ideas for ways to spread kindness. But more than that, it teaches kids that Kindness is something that grows and spreads whenever you share it.


Kindness is a kite string. 
 Let it out.
See Spirits lift.

Kindness is powerful, and small acts of kindness can make a big difference in the world.

I especially enjoyed the pictures. They built on the ideas in the words, and then showed the interconnectedness of kindness and how it spreads. You'll want to go through the book more than once to see how the lives of the characters intersect, and how a good deed passed on to one person might just eventually come back to you. Also of note is the inclusiveness and diversity shown in the pictures.

Kindness is a topic that we need to talk more about, and this book is a wonderful start for both kids and adults alike. If we all took this message to heart, we just might find ourselves in a better world.

You can learn more about the author, Michelle Schaub, at her website.

You can learn more about the illustrator, Claire LaForte, at her website.

Kindness is a Kite String is available through Bookshop.org, your local indie, B&N, and Amazon.

Monday, March 8, 2021

We Have a Winner!

Thank you to everyone who celebrated the first birthday of Help Wanted: Must Love Books!!  

Congratulations to 

Laura!!

You were selected by the random number generator!! I have sent you an email with instructions.

Thank you again, and may you all have a wonderful week!




Monday, March 1, 2021

Happy 1st Birthday to HELP WANTED (Giveaway)

 Today is the official 1st birthday of Help Wanted: Must Love Books!!  I can't believe it's already been a year. 

🎉🎂Happy Birthday!!🎂🎉

Help Wanted book and birthday cupcake

I want to give a huge thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed and shared and supported me. You are all amazing! I'm grateful to Courtney Dawson for the amazing illustrations, and I'm grateful to Capstone and my editor, Christianne, for believing in my story. Thank you!!

Just for fun, let's look at the year in numbers:

- In-person book signings: 1 (my launch right before everything shut down)

- Events cancelled: Too many to count!

- Reviews on Goodreads: 277

- Ratings on Goodreads: 563

- Times I Googled the title: 2,763 (okay, I admit, this is just a rough estimate)

- Posts HW was tagged in: More than I could have hoped!

- Books sold: Haha! No idea . . . an author rarely knows this. (BUT, enough to earn out!)

- Languages translated into: 1 (so far!)

- Times read for virtual visits: A LOT (thank you teachers, for inviting me!)

- Awards won: 1 (Clel Bell Award for Read)


Okay, okay, I'm clearly not very good at this numbers thing. I'm an author, not a math professor. But this year was wonky, and I'm just happy my book is out, and people are reading it. 😊

To celebrate, I am giving away three signed copies of HELP WANTED: MUST LOVE BOOKS. I'll give away one copy here. One copy on my Instagram account, and one copy on my Twitter account. Feel free to enter all three if you wish, but an individual can only win one copy.

To enter to win here, please leave a comment on this post with a way to contact you (email address - and I promise to only use it to notify you if you win). Entries will close on March 7th at midnight MST. Good luck!