Huge News! I Sold a Book! You Can Learn How to CODE a Sandcastle!

I’ve got incredible news to share! I sold a book called How To Code a Sandcastle to Viking/Penguin! Just announced via Publisher’s Weekly:

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“As part of Penguin’s partnership with Girls Who Code, Kendra Levin and Leila Sales at Viking have bought Josh Funk’s picture book, HOW TO CODE A SANDCASTLE, about a young girl and her trusty robot who use fundamental coding concepts to construct the perfect beach day, a fun, quirky story that brings coding to life, in a two-book deal, to be illustrated by Sara Palacios. Publication is set for Summer 2018.”

Yes! This is a Picture Book AND it’s about coding – sequences, loops, conditionals, etc!

I am thrilled on so many levels to share this book!

  1. Have you heard of Girls Who CodeGWC-logo_2016-white-on-navy[1]Girls Who Code was founded by Reshma Saujani with the mission to close the gender gap in technology. Girls Who Code has grown to over 40,000 girls in all 50 states through their coding clubs and programs. I couldn’t be more excited to join in Penguin’s Girl Who Code partnership! Check out the awesome books they have coming starting on August 22nd, 2017

    and more going forward.

  2. I get to reunite with my editor and publisher of Dear Dragon at Viking/Penguin! Everyone over at Viking/Penguin – editorial, art and design, marketing, publicity, sales, and especially School & Library Marketing – were fantastic to work with! I can’t wait to team up with all of them again!DearDragon_cover
  3. Sara Palacios’s illustrations are amazing! Check out her art here, all of her books here, definitely follow her on Instagram here, and she’s even got a book coming out with Young People’s Poet Laureate Margarite Engle(!!!) called The Flying Girl: How Aida de Acosta Learned to Soar in March 2018!9781481445023_84b6e[1]I feel incredibly fortunate that Viking/Penguin paired us together on this project!
  4. We certainly hope to make this a series! It’s my first two-book deal (which is awesome in itself) and I’m working on the follow-up right now!
  5. If you didn’t know, I spend my days coding (I’m a software engineer by trade), so I’m thrilled to be combining my two areas of interest by bringing coding to the world of Children’s Literature.

I’ll stop there for now, as I’m sure I’ll be talking a lot about this book going forward – it’s only a YEAR away from release!

And as always, thanks, Kat, for making this happen!

Where I’ll Be Next

Two for You

(two books I recommend you read)

1. Can An Aardvark Bark? written by Melissa Stewart & illustrated by Steve Jenkins

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2. Martí’s Song for Freedom/ Martí y sus versos por la libertad written by Emma Otheguy & illustrated by Beatriz Vidal

9780892393756[1]

It’s been kind of a big day…

First, this picture book sale posted Publisher’s Marketplace:

LP2 announcement

In case you didn’t read the fine print, it says: “Josh Funk’s LADY PANCAKE AND SIR FRENCH TOAST: The Case of the Stinky Stench, following leftover breakfast treats as they join forces to discover the source of a most odorous culprit in the refrigerator, illustrated by Brendan Kearney, to Zaneta Jung at Sterling Children’s, by Kathleen Rushall at Andrea Brown Literary Agency (while she was at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency) for the author and Hannah Whitty at Plum Pudding Illustration for the illustrator (World).”

LP2 Announcement

I’m so excited about this book! I’m thrilled to be re-entering the fridge with these characters! And I can’t wait to share it with you! I’ve seen Brendan Kearney’s ingenious sketches – they’re hilarious! I think it’s gonna be better than the first! Huge thanks to my agent, Kathleen Rushall for making this happen!

Second, I got a couple packages in the mail.

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Um, yeah. It’s gonna be tough to beat June 29, 2016. (but I’ll try)

Where I’ll Be Next

Two for You

(two books I recommend you read)

1. Your Alien written by  Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Goro Fujita

your alien

2. Mind Your Monsters written by Catherine Bailey and illustrated by Oriol Vidal
mind your monsters

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!

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!

My First Podcast Interview: Let’s Get Busy with Matthew Winner

Just a quick note today: if you’ve never listened to the Let’s Get Busy Podcast with Matthew Winner, you certainly should. And today you have TWO reasons … because I am the featured guest on Episode #193 talking about Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast!

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In this interview I:

I highly recommend you subscribe to the Let’s Get Busy Podcast if you haven’t already. Matthew Winner has so many amazing interviews with fabulous guests in the previous 192 episodes (and many more lined up to come!). And certainly check out his new home for the podcast – All the Wonders, a home for readers to discover new books and to experience the stories they love in wondrous ways.

Also, I decided today to start a new tradition. Because so many of my blog posts are about me, I’d like to share two favorite books by others at the end of every post from this day forward. I’ve decided to very creatively call this:

Two for You

(two books I highly recommend)

1. Boats for Papa written and illustrated by Jessixa Bagley

boats for papa

I love everything about this book. Get the tissues ready, cause it made me start crying in the middle of a bookstore.

2. Snoozefest written by Samantha Berger and illustrated by Kristyna Litten

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Great rhymes and illustrations, and starring a sloth.

#pb10for10 #TeamRhyme

Educators Cathy Mere & Mandy Robek have been running the #pb10for10 event for years now. Basically, pick 10 picture books you simply can’t live without and share today, August 10th, with the hashtag #pb10for10 (see the official rules here).

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It’s hard to pick just 10, so to help narrow my field I’m going to stick to my favorite rhyming picture books.

 

Iggy Peck, Architect

written by Andrea Beaty & illustrated by David Roberts

I’ve said it over and over and over again, but this is one of four books that inspired me to become a writer. Advanced rhyming at its best.

Iggy Peck Architect

 

Snoozefest

written by Samantha Berger & illustrated by Kristyna Litten

Woodstock for the sleepy. And starring a sloth.

Snoozefest book by Samatha Berger & Krystyna Litten

 

If I Built a House

written & illustrated by Chris Van Dusen

I could have gone with Circus Ship or any one of Van Dusen’s other rhymers, but I just love the wackiness of this one.

If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen

 

Orangutangled

written by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen & illustrated by Aaron Zenz

Sudsy is one of the best rhymers out there, and all her books are great, but this one continues to entertain me and the kids every time we read it.

orangutangled

 

The Library

written by Sarah Stewart & illustrated by David Small

This and The Gardener (which doesn’t rhyme) are two of my favorites ever.

the library by sarah stewart and david small

 

Three Ninja Pigs

written by Corey Rosen-Schwartz & illustrated by Dan Santat

Be on the lookout for a third in this series coming in 2016!

three ninja pigs

 

1 Zany Zoo

written by Lori Degman & illustrated by Colin Jack

The award winning debut from a stellar rhymer!

1 zany zoo

 

Chuckling Ducklings

written & illustrated by Aaron Zenz

He illustrated Orangutangled (above), but he is also an expert at dishing out rhyming text. This series (including Hug a Bull & I Love Ewe) are AWESOME gifts for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or to a newborn baby!

chuckling ducklings by aaron zenz

 

Monster Needs Your Vote

written by Paul Czajak & illustrated by Wendy Grieb

I know it’s not out until August 25th (in 15 days!!!), but I’m a big fan of the Monster & Me series, and this is the first one being published that I helped critique.

monster needs your vote

 

Guess Again!

written by Mac Barnett & illustrated by Adam Rex

Technically, this isn’t quite rhyming, but if you’ve read it, you’ll get it.

guess again

 

And those are my ten for #pb10for10!

My publicist would behead me if I didn’t mention that my debut picture book Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast (illustrated by Brendan Kearney, out on September 1st) also rhymes.

Lady Pancake Cover Image (2)

 

That is all. Make sure to check out all the other #pb10for10’s linked up!

Activity Kit for Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast

Sterling Publishing has put together a fantastic, full-color, 12-page Activity Kit for Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast and it’s absolutely free! You can download it from my website www.joshfunkbooks.com right now in PDF form and print it out yourself! No waiting (depending on your internet speed).

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And to make things even easier, I’ve linked it right to this post.

Download High Resolution Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast Activity Kit

Download Low Resolution Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast Activity Kit

I won’t waste any more of your time while you could be coloring, searching for words, connecting dots, solving mazes, finding rhymes, and more!

And don’t forget:

debut

Available online and in bookstores nationwide on September 1st!