The 2015 Nerdies

I’ve got stellar news! Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast was announced as a Fiction Picture Book Winner of the 2015 Nerdy Book Club Awards (or Nerdies). What are the Nerdies? According to Donalyn Miller, co-founder of the Nerdy Book Club:

The Nerdy Book Club began as a book award blog. Dismayed that so many books our students (and we) loved to read were overlooked during book award season, Colby [Sharp, Nerdy Book Club co-founder] and I created a people’s choice award for children’s and young adult book lovers. While the blog has expanded beyond our original dreams for it, we still host the Nerdy Book Club Awards, or Nerdies, every December. The award finalists exemplify the best children’s and young adult books for the current year—as nominated by the readers of Nerdy Book Club blog readers. Imagine an up-to-date bookshelf of engaging, high-quality titles hand-picked by savvy librarians and teachers who read and celebrate children’s books.

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I’m truly honored (and rather overjoyed) that Lady Pancake is listed among these fantastic books (several of which I’ve shared in my Two for You’s). I think it’s safe to say I speak on behalf of the publisher, Sterling Children’s, and illustrator Brendan Kearney when I say I’d like to thank all the educators, students, parents, readers, and nerds who voted. I’m extremely pleased that Lady Pancake has been able to reach so many classrooms, libraries, and readers.

And also, a big thank you to the Nerdy Book Club.

You can read the entire list of Fiction Picture Book winners of the 2015 Nerdies here (and if you aren’t familiar with the Nerdy Book Club, you’ve got over 1,000 fabulous posts to catch up on).

 

Two for You

(two books I recommend you read – Nerdies style)

1. To the Sea written & illustrated by Cale Atkinson

to the sea

2. Wolfie the Bunny written by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Zachariah OHora

wolfie

Thank you, Tara Lazar

The 7th annual Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) came to a close yesterday and I’d like to congratulate everyone who took part in the challenge.

I’d also like to thank Tara Lazar, the PiBoIdMo founder and organizer. For those who don’t know, Tara spends countless hours each summer and fall lining up guest posts, contacting agents for prizes, organizing a Cafe Press store (where she donates all proceeds to Reading Is Fundamental – RIF), moderating registration, managing the PiBoIdMo Facebook Group, sorting out and awarding prizes, and probably a dozen more things I don’t even know about.

She does this all for us. PiBoIdMo is completely free. For everyone.

And while all of this work does give Tara’s books some exposure, that exposure doesn’t count for much unless we, the PiBoIdMo participants, take action.

So this holiday season, I encourage everyone to purchase at least one (or more) of Tara’s books, all of which are terrific favorites in my family. If not for yourself, then perhaps as a gift for a child in your life or your local library or school.

While I am a strong supporter of independent book stores (see yesterday’s post), I’ll make it easy for you:

Little Red Gliding Hood

(under $11 at press time)

little red gliding hood

Indiebound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon


I Thought This Was a Bear Book

i thought this was a bear book

Indiebound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon


The Monstore

the monstore

Indiebound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon


Normal Norman

(available for pre-order only, releases 3/1/2016)

normal norman

Indiebound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon


Two for You

See the four for you above.

Writers’ Loft Holiday Bazaar at An Unlikely Story

As you may know, I am an active member of The Writers’ Loft, a local writing community in the Boston, MA suburb of Sherborn. This Saturday, November 21 from 1-4 pm, we will be holding our 2nd Annual Holiday Bazaar and Book Fair. But because the Loft has grown so much in the past year, we needed a bigger venue. So this year we’re partnering with Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney’s new bookstore, An Unlikely Story, in Plainville, MA and holding the bazaar in their amazing 2nd floor event space.

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The following authors (including me!) will all be on hand signing copies of their books all afternoon.

  • Sarah Brannen (Madame Martine, Madame Martine Breaks the Rules, Feathers: Not Just For Flying)
  • Greg Fishbone (​Galaxy Games: The Challengers)
  • Josh Funk (Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast)
  • Susan Goodman (How Do You Burp in Space?, See How They Run, The Truth About Poop And Pee)
  • Thea Iberall (The Swallow and the Nightingale)
  • Jane Kohuth (Anne Frank’s Chestnut Tree, Duck Sock Hop, Ducks Go Vroom)
  • Lisa Kramer (P.O.W.ER)
  • Michael G Lewis (The Great Pirate Christmas Battle)
  • Sharron Kahn Luttrell (Weekends with Daisy)
  • Ellen Mayer (A Fish to Feed, Red Socks)
  • Marika McCoola (Baba Yaga’s Assistant)
  • Susan Meyer (New Shoes, Black Radishes)
  • Ammi-Joan Paquette Princess Juniper of the Hourglass, The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Mermaids, Nowhere Girl)
  • April Jones Prince (Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing, Dig In!, Who Was Frederick Douglass?)
  • Warren Ross (Teapots and Assorted Things)
  • Anna Staniszewski (The Dirt Diary, My Very UnFairy Tale Life, I’m With Cupid, Power Down, Little Robot)
  • Tara Sullivan (Golden Boy)
  • Jane Sutton (What’s Up With this Chicken?, Esther’s Hanukkah Disaster)
  • Laura Woollett (Big Top Burning)

So if you’ve been meaning to check out Jeff Kinney’s gorgeous book store, or want to see what The Writers’ Loft is all about, or feel like purchasing some great signed books as holiday presents, or just want to meet and hang out with some fun authors -> then stop by on Saturday and say hi.

The Writers’ Loft in Sherborn, Massachusetts is a retreat, a conference, and a writers’ room of requirement all rolled into one supportive community. Like a year-long writing conference, the Loft hosts classes and workshops. The Loft also hosts frequent panels and free craft chats with authors and illustrators. The Loft offers critiques from agents and editors, and hosts monthly write-ins, social gatherings, manuscript mixers, and book launches. It’s also home to critique groups and think tanks for writers and illustrators in all genres, for those who are traditionally published, self-published, and pre-published. And, like any good writing retreat, The Writers’ Loft always has a quiet space for you to write. The Writers’ Loft is a 501(c)3 organization, centrally located just West of Boston, but not far from the New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut borders with members from all over New England. For more information about their groups and upcoming events, please visit www.thewritersloft.org.

Two for You: Lofter Holiday Edition

1. The Great Pirate Christmas Battle written by Michael G. Lewis and illustrated by Stan Jaskiel

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2. Esther’s Hanukkah Disaster written by Jane Sutton and illustrated by Andy Rowland

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My PiBoIdMo Post: Do Your Worst

Quick note: My 2015 PiBoIdMo Post Josh Funk Dares You to Do Your Worst went live yesterday. I encourage everyone to check it out and if you register for PiBoIdMo and comment on the page, you’ll be eligible to win some Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast swag (see image below):

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Registration for PiBoIdMo is now open (click here) but it’s only open for TWO MORE DAYS! So register now if you want to have a chance at winning any of the giveaways (literary agent consultations, books, swag, etc) throughout the month.

Two for You

1. Stone Giant written by Jane Sutcliffe and illustrated by John Shelley

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Enthralling story of how Michaelangelo’s David came to be.

2. Hiding Dinosaurs written and illustrated by Dan Moynihan

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Boy hatches dinosaur eggs. Hilarity ensues.

7th Annual Picture Book Idea Month Is Here!

PiBoIdMo 2015 Calendar

Why is November 1st one of my all-time favorite days of the year?

No, it’s not my wife’s birthday! (or is it?)

November 1st is the start of Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month)! According to the FAQ (found here), “PiBoIdMo is a free November writing challenge for picture book writers and illustrators. The object is to jot down one picture book concept daily. By the end of the month you’ll have at least 30 bright & shiny new ideas! You can then refer to these ideas throughout the year to jumpstart your creativity and write new manuscripts.”

Registration for PiBoIdMo is now open (click here)! It’s free and it’s awesome. Every day throughout November a different author or illustrator will post on Tara’s blog in order to inspire and ignite your creativity. I posted last year (see here) and I’ll be posting this year again (on November 2nd!). Here’s the calendar for the entire month:

pibocalendar

What a lineup, eh? And what a logo! PiBoIdMo founder and organizer Tara Lazar works tirelessly every fall to organize this event.  And today happens to be the book birthday for her third picture book, Little Red Gliding Hood. So let’s give Tara a hearty congratulations! I’d also like to congratulate Little Red Gliding Hood illustrator (and PiBoIdMo 2015 Artwork Creator), Troy Cummings.

tara lazar

Congrats to Tara & Troy!

And as I do at the conclusion of every blog post, here are two recommendations for you:

Two for You (Tara Lazar Edition)

1. The Monstore written by Tara Lazar and illustrated by James Burks

monstore

Just in time for Halloween, pick up this family favorite, Tara Lazar’s debut!

2. I Thought This Was a Bear Book written by Tara Lazar and illustrated by Benji Davies

i thought this was a bear book

Alien crashes into a bear book. Hilarity ensues. Meta at its finest!

Rhyming Picture Book Revolution: Best in Rhyme Award

19 awesome rhyming picture books (and Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast) were recently nominated for the first annual Best in Rhyme Award. This award will be presented at Angie Karcher’s Rhyming Picture Book Revolution Conference.

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It’s such an honor to be listed with these 19 other fantastic books:

  • Circus Train written by Jennifer Cole Judd & illustrated by Melanie Matthews
  • City Kitty Cat written by Steve Webb & illustrated by Magali Le Huche
  • Duddle Puck written by Karma Wilson & illustrated by Marcellus Hall
  • Everybody Sleeps (But Not Fred) written & illustrated by Josh Schneider
  • Interstellar Cinderella written by Deborah Underwood & illustrated by Meg Hunt
  • It’s Only Stanley written & illustrated by Jon Agee
  • Jampires written & illustrated by Sarah McIntyre and David O’Connell
  • Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast written by Josh Funk & illustrated by Brendan Kearney
  • Monkey and Duck Quack Up written by Jennifer Hamburg & illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham
  • Monster Needs Your Vote written by Paul Czajak & illustrated by Wendy Grieb
  • Monster Trouble! written by Lane Fredrickson & illustrated by Michael Robertson
  • Outer Space Bedtime Race written by Rob Sanders & illustrated by Brian Won
  • Pirate’s Lullaby: Mutiny at Bedtime written by Marcie Wessels & illustrated by Tim Bowers
  • Smick! written by Doreen Cronin & illustrated by Juana Medina
  • Snoozefest written by Samantha Berger & illustrated by Kristyna Litten
  • Spots in a Box written & illustrated by Helen Ward
  • Stick and Stone written by Beth Ferry & illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
  • There Was An Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight written by Penny Parker Klostermann & illustrated by Ben Mantle
  • What About Moose? written by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Rebecca J. Gomez & illustrated by Keika Yamaguchi
  • Sharing The Bread: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story written by Pat Zietlow Miller & illustrated by Jill McElmurry

What is Angie Karcher’s Rhyming Picture Book (or RPB) Revolution Conference? It’s a conference dedicated entirely to writing rhyming picture books. Faculty include all-star rhyming authors Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, Lori Degman, Karma Wilson, Corey Rosen-Schwartz, and the Kidlit TV-ers! More info on the conference and registration can be found at Angie Karcher’s RPB Revolution website here.

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And as I do with every blog post, here are two recommendations for you (in addition to the 19 up above):

Two for You

1. Under a Pig Tree: A History of the Noble Fruit (A Mixed Up Book) written by Margie Palatini and illustrated by Chuck Groenink

pigtree

My new favorite book. So clever and meta and funny!

2. Ally-Saurus & the First Day of School written and illustrated by Richard Torrey

allysaurus

Very cool layered first day of school imagination book! The illustrations add a ton to the story.

Featured Interview in Huffington Post

I was interviewed by The Book Doctors in the Huffington Post today in an article entitled “Josh Funk on the War Between Pancakes & French Toast, SCBWI & Getting Published” – it’s probably the most in depth interview I’ve done to date, with some seriously awesome questions, such as:

  • How did you go about getting a book contract not only for Lady Pancake, but also for your next two books which are coming out?
  • Hasn’t anyone told you that rhyming books don’t sell? How did you overcome this ridiculous idea, and why do you think people keep saying that?
  • What are some of the most horrifying things about being a professional author?
  • How has being a member of SCBWI helped you in your career and as a person?
  • Why in the name of all that’s good and holy would you choose to get into the publishing business? Have you had your head examined recently? Been checked for brain parasites?
  • How do you keep it so funky?
  • and more …

And I got to share the #TeamKrush logo designed by Jessie Devine.

Team Krush Logo TeamKrush

Check out the entire interview here.

Two for You

(two books I highly recommend)

1. Backhoe Joe written by Lori Alexander and illustrated by Craig Cameron

Backhoe Joe

Want a backhoe for a pet? Of course you do!

2. There Was a Wee Lassie Who Swallowed a Midgie written by Rebecca Colby and illustrated by Kate McLelland

there was a wee lassie

A Scottish twist on this much-loved rhyme!