ROAR! A double dino giveaway!

I’m honored to be the newest contributor to PBB, and especially honored to step into Linda Ashman’s shoes. I’ve been a fan of Linda’s books for many years. To celebrate my first post, today will be a double giveaway, meaning we’ll have two winners! One will receive my newest, ONE-OSAURUS, TWO-OSAURUS (more about that below) and the other will receive a copy of my friend Lezlie Evan’s new dino-themed picture book, I’M A FEEL-O-SAUR, published in April by Welbeck Children’s Books, illustrated by Kate Chappell. You’ll begin to notice a theme as my PBB post collection grows: envy that I didn’t come up with the idea first. Lezlie’s book is no exception, especially right now, with children dealing with feelings they might not have experienced in a less-strange year.

Here’s what Kirkus had to say: “Speaking directly to its kid audience, the upbeat verse text assures them that feelings change throughout a day and that’s OK, invites them to identify how they are feeling now, and offers practical tips for acting on or coping with positive and negative moods.… guaranteed to entertain.” ~Kirkus Reviews

So Lezlie, tell us how this book came about for you.

When my children were young, if they were acting grumpy, I would often say, “Are you feeling like a crank-o-saurus today?” My kids loved dinosaurs, especially my oldest, AJ – he was a dino-fanatic. For his 8th birthday, I surprised him big time by decorating his room in dinos. When he went off to school, I told him his present would be waiting for him when he got home. As soon as he went out the door, my friend who was an artist, came over and she drew big dinosaurs on his walls. We spent the day painting them, and then, for the finishing touch, I put a new dino-bedspread on his bed. When AJ got home he bounded in the door and shouted, “Where’s my present?” I said, “Go take a look in your room.” He was SO excited! Kids’ fascination with dinosaurs is timeless. My grandkids are now into dinosaurs. One day, when a couple of them were visiting, one of them was pouting and I said, “Are you feeling like a grumpy-saurus today?” He laughed, just like my kids used to and I thought, “Why haven’t I written that book?” And so I did. Right then. My granddaughter even helped write some of the text and my little grumpy-saurus grandson (whose mood had totally turned around) advised me on which emotions I should address. 

In my own experience, my illustrators sometimes surprise me. Were little kids in dino costumes in your mind all along?

I pictured actual dinosaurs when I wrote the text. But writing is a collaborative process. My amazing editor on this project, Alli Brydon, came up with the idea to put little kids in dinosaur costumes and I LOVED the idea as soon as she shared it. I think Kate’s illustrations of the diverse group of little kids in a variety of colorful costumes turned out wonderfully. I love how collaboration strengthens a story and makes it even better.

Do you think this is an especially important time for a book like this?

Learning to identify, label, and express our feelings is critical to emotional wellness. Research shows that children who learn to express their emotions will grow up to be more socially well-adjusted and better able to problem solve. While talking about “feelings” is always important, the pandemic has been a time when children have felt an additional amount of stress, as well as a LOT of different feelings. So, yes, I think a book like this – that provides a way for little ones to identify what they are feeling and offers some coping mechanisms – is super important. Kids need to be having “feelings” conversations and building their emotional vocabularies and this book provides a fun way for them to do that.

Were there other feelings you came up with that didn’t make it into the book? If so, how did you decide which to include?

There are so many emotions that could have been included in I’M A FEEL-O-SAUR. We tried to make sure we covered a range of emotions while not being redundant. Since there are only so many pages we could include in the book, Joy-o-saurus, Sleepy-saurus, and Hungry-saurus didn’t make the cut. But I found other ways to include those emotions in the text.

Thank you for dropping by, Lezlie!

Thanks so much for spotlighting my book. You’ve made me a Happy-saurus! (As you can see, I am not a Shy-o-saurus when it comes to donning the dino-costume). 

Lezlie Evans is an award-winning author of numerous picture books. You can find her on the web at Lezlieevans.com and on Instagram @Lezlie_evans.

Kim again: As for my new dinosaur counting book, I’m happy that “roar” rhymes so neatly with “four.” I never know where these ideas come from, but at some point, my brain substituted “osaurus” for “potato” in the old “One potato, two potato” rhyme. Kirkus gave it a star, saying, “Norman’s latest outing and first collaboration with Collet-Derby is storytime and read-aloud gold, featuring as it does a tight, patterned rhyme, an artful use of page turns, and a mighty “ROAR!” midstream—not to mention lots of dinosaurs…A dino-delight.” Published in March by Candlewick Press, the book is illustrated by Pierre Collet-Derby whose design sense impresses me as much as his illustrating skills. Plus, he used all my favorite colors! I’m tickled that Junior Library Guild awarded it a Gold Standard medallion.

9781536201796

For a chance to win one of the featured books in today’s post, please leave a comment by June 29 and I’ll pick two winners at random.

Kim Norman

Kim Norman is the author of more than twenty children’s books, already or soon to be in print, published by Sterling; Scholastic; Penguin/Random House; Farrar, Straus and Giroux; and Candlewick, and forthcoming from Abrams. Calling herself a “Bedtime reading evangelist,” Kim has been invited to countless schools around the US to talk to students about her favorite thing: books! Years ago, Kim sang briefly in a big band – for pay even – but she’d rather sing Broadway songs for free. The parents of two grown sons, Kim and her husband live in Smithfield, Virginia, with two dogs in a little house shaded by giant pecan trees. Read more about Kim and her books at kimnorman.com.

106 Comments:

  1. Becky Scharnhorst

    These both look like such fun books! I can’t wait to read them and share them with the dino-obsessed kiddos in my life.

  2. Cathy Ballou Mealey

    A roaring good time – fun post!

  3. danielle hammelef

    Dinosaurs are always fun to read about in books. I love the idea of expressing emotions as different dinosaurs–so clever!

  4. Kim! What a fantastic interview and I love both books already!!! Congratulations to both you and Lezlie!!!

  5. Two dyno-mite dinosaur books! Congrats, Lezlie and Kim. Love the idea of having kids dressed like dinosaurs!

  6. Thank you for writing about these books. I want to read both of them–one to see how helps to express feelings and one for the verse and rhyme. Both sound like they will add to kids’ enjoyment of life.

  7. So much dino-goodness! Congrats to you both.

  8. Kids and adults are fascinated by dinosaurs…especially this BIG kid! Thanks for the post!

  9. What a fun post…thanks for sharing!

  10. Fabulous work! You make it look so easy,. I aspire to your level of skill especially with rhyme.

    • Oh gosh, that’s so kind of you to say, Elizabeth! Thank you! I think all those geeky early years, listening to Broadway lyrics and reading my dad’s Ogden Nash humorous poetry books finally paid off for me. ❤️

    • Isn’t writing in rhyme fun, Elizabeth? I just love word-play and creating jaunty text, but it is NOT easy. 🙂

  11. Great post, Kim! Hooray for dinosaurs and welcome to PBB!

  12. These books look great! They look like lots of fun with colorful illustrations. Congratulations!

  13. Welcome, Kim! Loved this, and both books look ROARingly wonderful! Can’t wait to read them both!!

  14. Angie Quantrell

    Both books look wonderful! Perfect for any dino-loving reader! Thanks for sharing, and welcome!

  15. Both of these books look really fun. The emotions book is such a clever idea. I can’t wait to read these. Thanks for the post.

  16. Both books look Dino-rific!

  17. I look forward to both of these delightful dino books! Congrats, Kim and Lezlie!

  18. What kid doesn’t love dinosaurs !?!
    These two books are sure to be enjoyed by many-and the parents reading them.

    • Thank you! That’s a good point about parents needing to enjoy reading the book, too. Hubby and I had a tag team thing, he read the books HE liked and I read the books *I* liked. Worked out nicely.

    • Right??!! I love that both my kids and now my grandkids are dino-fanatics! What is it about dinos? Thanks for your vote of confidence, Debbi!

  19. Would love to win I’M A FEEL-O-SAUR because I’m usually a Grumpy-saurus. ROAR!!

  20. That’s so very clever to used dinosaurs as the springboard to talk about other concepts! I’m also envious…that I didn’t think of either of these ideas first. 😉

  21. These look so fun. My students would love them. Congrats on the star!

  22. I’M A FEEL-O-SAUR is such a cute and clever idea! What a great way into talking about emotional awareness with kids

    • I agree. And such an inviting way to do the images, making them kids in costumes. Gotta love those clever illustrators!

    • Thanks so much, Stephanie! Emotional literacy is THAT important and I’m blessed to be able to have this book come out during a time when kids really need ways to build their “feelings” vocabularies!

  23. What kid doesn’t love dinosaurs (young or old)! These two books would be great for any home library.

  24. These look like such great books! My kindergartens love everything dinosaur!

  25. I’m roaring with laughter and would love to add more dinosaurs to my corral.

  26. I always love hearing the story behind the story! Congrats on your new book!

  27. Dinosaurs are amazing! This book look like fun! Congrats!

  28. So happy you’ve joined PBB, Kim! Both of these books look amazing and so fun to read! Yay for rhyming, too!!

  29. Both books look brilliant.
    You both learned to grab those moments of idea concergence and bring them to life.

  30. I love GIVE ME BACK MY BONES! I can’t wait to see what books you’ll feature in this column. Thanks for telling us about ONE-OSAURUS, TWO-OSAURUS and I’M A FEEL-O-SAUR — I’ve put them on my reading list.

  31. Both of these books look like a roaring good time! I can see using both in my k-2music classroom! I’ll be on the lookout at my library to take a closer look! Thanks for this great post and giveaway opportunity!

  32. These both look like fabulous mentor texts. And I love seeing the process for both side by side. Congratulations on ONE-OSAURUS, TWO-OSAURUS and thanks for sharing!

  33. The cover is adorable! My kids are fasfinated with dinosaurs and would love for me to win them this book!

  34. KATHLEEN WILFORD

    Kim,

    Thanks for sharing these dino-wonderful books, and welcome to PBB!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *