Learn How to Code a Sandcastle – Tomorrow!

Tomorrow, May 15th, 2018, my 7th book, How to Code a Sandcastle, will be released!
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How to Code a Sandcastle is the first in a series of picture books about coding, which, if you didn’t know, is my day job. I’m a software engineer, and have been for my entire “adult” life. Writing for children is a more recent endeavor.

What’s How to Code a Sandcastle about?

All summer, Pearl has been trying to build the perfect sandcastle, but out-of-control Frisbees and mischievous puppies keep getting in the way! Pearl and her robot friend Pascal have one last chance, and this time, they’re going to use code to get the job done. Using fundamental computer coding concepts like sequences and loops, Pearl and Pascal are able to break down their sandcastle problem into small, manageable steps. If they can create working code, this could turn out to be the best beach day ever!

What are people saying about How to Code a Sandcastle?

“Josh Funk has written a smart, engaging, and easy-to-follow book about coding that easily explains the subject to readers of all ages. Add a fun beach setting as we head into summer and amazing illustrations by Sara Palacios, and it’s a perfect equation for success.” – an Indie Next List selection by the American Booksellers Association (review by Holland Saltsman of The Novel Neighbor)

“An excellent, age-appropriate introduction to the world of coding. Highly recommended.” – School Library Journal

“[T]his painless introduction to coding basics will engage, entertain, and educate audiences.” – Booklist

“An accessible introduction to coding rules that also easily entertains.” – Kirkus Reviews

What do I do now?

Now, you pick up a copy of How to Code a Sandcastle at any of the following bookstores for anyone ane everyone who either might want to be a coder someday or just likes entertaining picture books!

                         

Where I’ll Be Next

Two for You

1. Twilight Chant written by Holly Thompson & illustrated by Jen Betton

2. Rescue & Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship written by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes & illustrated by Scott Magoon

 

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How can you help an author? I’m so glad you asked…

Several people have asked me how they can support Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast now that it’s out in the world, so I decided to share this info with everyone. If you have a few spare minutes to do any of the items below, that would be greatly appreciated and hugely beneficial.

*Please note that the following information applies to all authors and all books*

  1. Talk about the book with your indie booksellers. Next time you’re in your local indie, ask if they have the book. If they do, it’ll bring it to their attention. If they don’t, maybe they’ll order it or remember next time they’re ordering.
  2. Request that your library purchase a copy. Many libraries have online request systems. But asking your children’s librarian always works (it’s ok. they won’t bite – unless you run. then maybe they will).
  3. Rate and review the book on Amazon here. The more Amazon ratings a book has, the more it will get recommended to others. And if you have time to write a text review, it helps even more.
  4. Review the book on Goodreads here. Similar to Amazon, the more Goodreads reviews received, the more potential readers it will reach.
  5. Share the book with your friends. Whether in conversations with real friends or sharing online with e-friends, letting people know about the book is a great way to get it on their radar. Next time they’re in the market for a picture book, they’ll already have one in mind!

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I wrote a more in depth post about ways to help authors here if you REALLY have lots of spare time. And THANK YOU for your help and support!

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How to Buy a Picture Book (without Buying a Picture Book)

My first book comes out on Tuesday. Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast. You’re probably tired of hearing about it by now, so lucky for you, I don’t plan on talking about it in this post.

Today it’s how to support picture book authors and illustrators.

One of the best things you can do is buy their book(s).

But what if you’re not in the market for picture books at this time in your life, so the idea of buying one doesn’t really interest you? Maybe it doesn’t fit your budget. Or maybe you have an irrational fear of cute animals and anthropomorphic breakfast foods.
Book Shelf with Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast

Here are ten ways to support picture book authors and illustrators:

  1. Give the book as a gift. You probably know someone who might like it. Give it to her/him. Or donate it to your library.
  2. Request that your local library purchase a copy. This can be done in person or often in an online form.
  3. Reserve and borrow it from the library. Increased circulation of books is noticed by librarians. They are smart people.
  4. Review the book. On goodreads. On Amazon. On bn.com. Text reviews are even more valuable than just star-ratings.
  5. Talk about the book with librarians and booksellers. There are a lot of great books out there. Get this book on their radar.
  6. Talk about the book with friends. Or parents of your child’s friends. Or your child’s teacher. Or strangers on the street.
  7. Share the book on social media. Tweet about it. Blog about it. Post on Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, MySpace, etc. about it. Share the cover image. If you see it in the wild, snap a picture and share that. And tag the author or illustrator (or both). We love that!
  8. Share the author or illustrator’s posts on social media. Follow them on social media sites and share with your networks.
  9. Read the book in public. Like at the park. Or in a restaurant. Or the airport.
  10. Make your own fan book trailer. And post to YouTube. If that’s your thing.

Note: I’m not the first to write a post like this. Here are a few other posts which have similar and more detailed info. Please check them out:

Also Note: These ideas can apply to any type of book, not just picture books.

Thanks for reading. And thank you very much for supporting picture book authors and illustrators, however you choose to do so.

Lady Pancake Swag Giveaway (and Week Recap)

So as not to bury the lead:

To Enter the  Swag #Giveaway, CLICK HERE to sign up for My Mailing List

More on that below. But first, I want to share the incredible events of last week:

It was an incredible seven days, and I see no reason to stop now. So today, I’m launching a week long contest which will result in two winners, one each of a complete three-piece-set of Team Lady Pancake OR Team Sir French Toast swag:

1 Canvas Tote Bag, 1 Magnet, & 1 Pin

lady pancake and sir french toast tote bags

Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast Swag

How to enter:
CLICK HERE to sign up for My Mailing List

Sign up by midnight Eastern on Sunday, June 21st to enter the giveaway.

What do I plan to do with this mailing list? I’ll send out periodic emails with news about public appearances, book deals, cover reveals, and any other news that might be of interest to fans of my books. I don’t plan on sending out mail too frequently, and I promise to never share your email with anybody.

The two winners will be announced in my first ever Mailing List Email during the week of June 22nd.

So spread the word! The clock is ticking!

My First Review: May the Syrup Be Ever in Your Flavor!

The last several years have been filled with firsts … and there are certainly more on the way. But my first official review for LADY PANCAKE & SIR FRENCH TOAST appeared today on the Kirkus website. I’ve pasted the review below, but you can see it in its entirety here.

Brace yourself for descriptions of acrobatic rhymes, trippy wonders, illustrations that kick butter, and a comparison to the Hunger Games! (not a joke – I definitely didn’t see that one coming)

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I hope you enjoy digging in to the book as much as this Kirkus reviewer did!