International Rhyming Picture Book Day 2016

Happy International Rhyming Picture Book Day!

International Rhyming Picture Book Day

How are you gonna celebrate this most wondrously magical day of the year?

Where I’ll Be Next

Two for You

(two books I recommend you read)

1. Guess Again! by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Adam Rex

guess again

2. Iggy Peck, Architect written by Andrea “No Lithgow” Beaty & illustrated by David Roberts
Iggy Peck Architect

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.

rpb

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.

rpb-reg-open-logo-e1443678093463[1]

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!

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!

podcast

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

snoozefest_big

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).

pb 10 for 10 015

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!

Josh Funk’s Guide to Writing Picture Books (in 12 easy steps)

Yesterday I updated my official website (joshfunkbooks.com) to include a new Resources for Writers section.

Josh Funk's 12 Step Guide to Writing Picture Books

For those of you that have been following this blog for a while, those 12 lessons may look familiar. I took my Tips for Writing Picture Books series and reorganized it a bit to make it a little cleaner and available all in one place.

See all of Josh Funk’s 12-Step Guide to Writing Picture Books

Lesson #1: So, You Wrote a Book. Now What?
Lesson #2: Picture Books Are Short
Lesson #3: Every Word Counts
Lesson #4: The Illustrator Is Your Partner
Lesson #5: Show Don’t Tell
Lesson #6: Write with Active Emotion
Lesson #7: Story Arc Components
Lesson #8: Don’t Write In Rhyme
Lesson #9: Rhyming Is All About Rhythm
Lesson #10: Some Ideas Don’t Work
Lesson #11: Keep Learning
Lesson #12: Now You’re Ready! Dive In!

I hope that these lessons help any prospective picture book authors, as it’s basically a massive brain dump of things I’ve learned in the last ~4 years.

Feel free to share – and enjoy!

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)

LP_Kirkus

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