Dedicated to Dedications III

Have you ever wondered about the stories behind the dedications in your favorite books?

In this latest addition to our posts about dedications, a few more Picture the Books authors share stories about their dedications. In this rare glimpse behind the scenes, the authors give us insight about who they honored and why.



Julie Segal-Water’s debut book, THIS IS NOT A NORMAL ANIMAL BOOK, illustrated by Brian Biggs, will be released on October 31, 2017 by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books.

Julie dedicated her book to two very, very supportive people in her life.

normal dedication

I dedicated the book to my husband and son because they are my everything. They both also made considerable contributions to the book — from the inspiration arising from reading to my son, to my husband’s push to attend the conference where I met my editor, to cheering for me ceaselessly, and even to suggesting lines that appear in the book. Further, the word “uncompromising,” has double meaning. It refers to my unyielding love for my family, and signals the book’s central meta-fiction conflict — an author who does not want to compromise with the illustrator on how to draw the animals in the book.

Balloon cover


I HAVE A BALLOON is Ariel Bernstein’s debut picture book. Illustrated by Scott Magoon, and published by Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster. It’s in stores now!

Ariel’s dedication is about the two people who inspired the book. Hint: They happen to be very close to her.

balloon dedication

I dedicated my book to my two children because they inspired the story of two characters, an owl and a monkey, who both want a shiny red balloon. My daughter thinks she’s more like Owl and her brother is more like Monkey, which is probably true.

love tri


Marcie Colleen’s debut, LOVE, TRIANGLE, illustrated by Bob Shea, was just released on October 3rd from Balzer + Bray.

Marcie’s dedication is to a few of her besties who offered support though the crazy world of children’s publishing.

love triangle dedication

My three bestest girlfriends are fellow writers Kat Yeh, Joyce Wan, and Amber Alvarez. To say that they complete me would be an understatement. We all met through writing conferences and quickly became a foursome, supporting each other with giggles and tears every step of the way. 

When LOVE, TRIANGLE went to auction, Kat and Joyce, with Amber on speaker phone, held vigil with mimosas and much needed “auction watching.” We started to call our group the Love Quadrangle shortly after. 

It was a no-brainer, come dedication time that this book would be for these very special women in my life. The best part was that I kept it a secret until Kat saw the book at Book Expo America and read the dedication. Sometimes making your BFFs cry is a good thing. 🙂

marti cover

Emma Otheguy’s first picture book, MARTI’S SONG FOR FREEDOM, illustrated by Beatriz Vidal is available now.

Her dedication story is both inspiring and in Spanish! 

marti dedicationI dedicated this book to my parents, in Spanish, because they were the people who first shared José Martí and Cuban culture with me. In the dedication, I reference our trips down I-95 to visit family in Miami, and how my parents would always point out the royal palms (palmas reales) that reminded them of Cuba. A hundred years earlier, palmas reales had also been a symbol of longing and love for Cuba to José Martí. 

pick a pine tree cover

Patricia Toht’s latest picture book, PICK A PINE TREE, is illustrated by Jarvis and published by Candlewick.

This book is appropriately dedicated to her favorite holiday helpers.


pine tree dedication

This book is dedicated to my four children. Our family is crazy about Christmas celebrations and decorating the tree is always a fun, noisy event. Every year I buy the kids new ornaments, usually signifying a special moment from that year. I put little white tags on the ornaments to specify whose is whose (and avoid arguments), and now our tree looks like it is a salesman’s sampler of ornaments!


Andrea J. Loney had two picture books published this year. BUNNY BEAR, illustrated by Carmen Saldana (Albert Whitman and Company, January 2017), and TAKE A PICTURE OF ME, JAMES VANDERZEE, (Lee & Low Books, July 2017), illustrated by Keith Mallett.


Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 9.46.49 AM


Both are dedicated to special people in her family.

This was my first book dedication and I wasn’t sure who to include — my initial list filled up a whole sheet of paper! But even though my friends and family are scattered across the country, across the world, and even on the other side of the veil, I carry them all in my heart. This dedication was my way of including everyone.

bunnybear dedication


vanderzee dedication


My maternal grandpa was a classical pianist who toured the music halls of Europe during World War 2, and I grew up in awe of his life-long devotion to elegance and artistry. My paternal granddaddy was a joyful Panamanian party guy with an infectious laugh. He connected with the world through his passion for amateur photography, and everywhere he went in the world people were delighted to befriend him. I am so thrilled that this book blends the sensibilities of both of my beloved grandfathers.

bear and chicken

Jannie Ho wrote and illustrated the upcoming picture book, BEAR AND CHICKEN. It will be published by Running press on November 14, 2017.

Her dedication may not be fully appreciated right now, but it certainly will be later!

bear and chicken dedication

It is for my daughter, who is a picky eater but always loved soup. She is at a picture book reading age and I thought she would appreciate having her name in a printed book. 


Erica Sirotich’s debut as author/illustrator is FOUND DOGS, published by Dial Books this past summer.

Erica proves that no one says you’re required to dedicate your books to a human. Erica’s dedication is to the inspiration behind the book!


found dogs dedication


russell redfurFOUND DOGS is dedicated to my best friend Russell. He’s my thirteen year old terrier. Found Dogs is a counting book about adopting dogs 

from the city shelter and was inspired by his story. Russ was one of those dogs who ended up at an overcrowded animal services facility and had very little time to make it out. On his last day there, he w

as given a second chance by a rescue group. I found Russell a couple weeks later and knew he was the one. Ten years later, he is still the best buddy and studio-mate a girl could ask for. In Found 

Dogs, all the dogs are as lucky as Russ; each one meets his perfect person and goes home. 


Dedicated to Dedications II

by Peter McCleery for Picture the Books

Have you ever wondered about the stories behind the dedications in your favorite books?

In this post, we continue our blog series to hear the stories behind a few more Picture the Books authors’ dedications. In this rare glimpse behind the scenes, the authors share their personal stories about who they honored and why.

RenatoBarbara DiLorenzo’s debut book, RENATO AND THE LION, will be released on June 20, 2017 by Viking Children’s Books.

Barbara dedicated her book to two important people who made the book possible.

“For my son, Rennie B., who showed me that with a little bit of magic, stone lions come alive. And for Tracy Gates, who brought the words of this story to life. Without you both, this story would remain a collection of notes and sketches.”


My son inspired the book when he was only 3 years old–and believed a statue of a lion was actually alive. He is 14 today, but that moment stayed with me long enough to become this book. When I sold the book to Viking, it was wordless. Therefore, my editor Tracy Gates deserves credit in helping the words to emerge. 

whobert WHOBERT WHOVER, OWL DETECTIVE is Jason Gallaher’s debut picture book. It releases on July 18, 2017 from Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster.

Jason’s dedication is a touching story about his grandmother who believed in him perhaps more than anyone else. Get the tissues ready because it’s a very touching story.

whobert dedication

I wanted to dedicate this to my Grandma Joan because she was convinced I would become a writer, even when I wasn’t. Whenever I came over to her house, she had a typewriter set up for me with a stack of blank pages. Literally every single phone call we had, she’d ask, “So what are you working on, John Grisham?” She had such a zest for life and she passed that on to me by always reaffirming I could follow my dreams. She got to hear the news that I was getting published, and she was ecstatic. She passed away in December 2015, and I wanted this book to be a tribute to her and her constant support.

old tracksJessica Peterson’s debut, OLD TRACKS, NEW TRICKS, was published on March 14th by The Innovation Press.

Jessica didn’t have to look far for her inspiration. It was right there in her own family.

My book was inspired by many, many hours of playing trains with my now seven-year-old son, who I call “the Little Engineer” when I blog about our adventures. He was very involved in the process of making the book, and he even makes a cameo appearance near the beginning. I tucked the tracks into the pocket of his well-loved engineer overalls to make the illustration for the dedication page. I especially love the way the three tracks from the book seem to represent my son, my husband, and myself in that image — a happy accident of the creative process!

Old Tracks New Tricks Dedication Photo


daddy depotChana Stiefel’s first picture book, DADDY DEPOT, illustrated by Andy Snair is available now from Feiwel & Friends.

Her dedication story is both hilarious and heartfelt!

DADDY DEPOT is dedicated to my Pop and to my husband Larry, with an Unlimited Lifetime Guarantee. When I told my Pop that I was writing a book about a girl who returns her father to the Daddy store, he said, “What? I can’t hear you. My hearing aid’s not working!” (His hearing is fine, BTW!) But the dad in my book has very little resemblance to my own dad and everything in common with my husband. Larry loves football, tells silly jokes all day (as a pediatrician), and snores in our kids’ beds. He also does the best funky chicken touchdown dance ever. In the perfect dad department, I am extremely blessed.

daddy depot dedication

Hannah Barnaby has two picture books coming this spring. BAD GUY, illustrated by Mike Yamada was published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers and is available now. GARCIA AND COLETTE GO EXPLORING, illustrated by Andrew Joyner, will be published by Putnam on June 6.

Hannah dedicates both books to those closest to her: her family.

When my husband was a little boy, on the rare occasion he was misbehaving, his mother would say he had changed from Eddie Barnaby to his naughty alter-ego, FBad Guy dedication croppedreddie Hernaby. I’ve always loved this story, because it’s so true that even though kids (all kids!) work hard to behave and follow the rules, there are always times when that naughty side just has to come out. And it’s also true that without my husband’s support, I wouldn’t be able to do this work that I love so much.

G&C dedication croppedIt’s not very original, but this one is dedicated to my son and daughter. I have wanted to write picture books since I was a children’s book editor, but it wasn’t until I became a mom that I really immersed myself in the form. Reading dozens of books with my kids, and seeing which stories drew them in again and again, taught me so much about how picture books work and helped me finally solve the mystery of how to write them.

jabariGaia Cornwall’s first picture book, JABARI JUMPS, was published on May 9th by Candlewick.

In Gaia’s dedication story, below, we learn all about her family and how they inspired her.

Larkin and Rowan are my daughter and son. Lark was a month old when I came up with the dedication and already it fit perfectly. When I was pregnant, after having to come back for a second ultrasound because she wouldn’t stop moving, the tech advised us to “get that girl in gymnastics as soon as possible!” And Ro is my sweet, sensitive, then two year old, who helped our family come up with the phrase “Use your bravery!” –Which we now say to each other all the time.

jabari dedication

dadGina Perry’s first book, IT’S GREAT BEING A DAD, written by Dan Bar-el, is available now from Tundra Books.

Her dedication made for a nice surprise!

“To my loves: Piper the Unicorn, Miles the Robot and Kristian the Dad”


My children and husband are my anchors. I would not be making picture books without their love and support, so of course I wanted to dedicate the first picture book I illustrated to them. It was especially fun to keep it a secret until my advance copies arrived! Also, I loved that Dan Bar-el’s story included characters that fit each of them. 


londonPatricia Toht’s debut picture book, ALL ABOARD THE LONDON BUS, illustrated by Sam Usher, was released on May 4th by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books.

If you are a fan of the Chuggington TV show, you’ll love her dedication story.

Don is my husband. He and a friend co-created the TV show Chuggington, which was produced in the UK. Lucky for us, that job brought our family to London, where we lived for four years. It was a magical time for us, and the poems in the book reflect places we went and things we did.

london dedication

You might be wondering why the initials “D.H.” in the dedication don’t match Patricia Toht’s initials. That’s another funny story. Turns out, Patricia forgot to proof read the dedication page! Oops!

You can learn about these wonderful authors and illustrators – and many more – in our Creator and Book galleries. Thanks for supporting and celebrating 2017 picture book debuts with us! Keep in the loop on all the excitement by following @picturethebooks on Twitter and Instagram, too!

Two Debut Interview – Jessica Petersen

In today’s Picture the Books Two Debut Interview, Debut author Ariel Bernstein interviews debut author Jessica Petersen about her debut picture book, OLD TRACKS, NEW TRICKS, which released in March.

OTNT_Final Cover_DustJacket_01

Ariel: Jessica, congratulations on your picture book debut, OLD TRACKS, NEW TRICKS! Did you think of the title right away, or did you come up with it sometime after you wrote the story?

Jessica: Thank you so much, Ariel! I’m thrilled that it’s finally out in the world.

OLD TRACKS, NEW TRICKS is somewhat unusual for a debut picture book in that it was written under contract. I was offered the opportunity to write and photo-illustrate it based on an idea I’d shared with my editor (a STEM-focused picture book about wooden train tracks), and the phrase that became the title was something I mentioned as a possible tagline in our first conversation about what that book would actually look like. Then after about a week of working on the story, I suggested it as the title along with a more developed story idea, and it stuck.

This pattern is repeating itself with the book I’m working on now, and I remember a similar thing happening with my YA work-in-progress. It seems that if I can strike on a good title early on, it helps me define the core and the scope of the story, and from then on I can use it as a touchstone to determine if I’m staying true to what I intend to write.

Ariel: If you could choose to live in the world of any picture book, which world would it be? Why?

QuestJessica: The world in Quest by Aaron Becker. (Journey, of course, is the first book in the series, and Return comes at the end, but we read Quest first and it’s still our favorite.) The idea of being able to change the world with art — in this case, the bright rainbow chalk sticks — has always really appealed to me. It’s been a theme in my own writing and artwork for a long time.

Ariel: You get to pick a pen name – what is it?

Jessica: For this book, I think Clickety McClack might have been fun. It has kind of a “Boaty McBoatface” vibe. That would crack my son up. I may have to use it for a character someday, in a bedtime story for him if nothing else.

Ariel: If you could take credit for ANY other published PB out there, which one would you choose?

0Jessica: That’s a tough one! Off the top of my head, I’ll pick ROBO-SAUCE by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri. We’re big fans of all of their books, but the moment my son and I got to the point in ROBO-SAUCE where the entire book transforms was truly epic, especially because it was built up to and then built upon so skillfully with both the words and illustrations. I would love to be able to create that kind of moment of amazement and laughter for readers with one of my own books.

Ariel: How many siblings do you have and where do you fall in the birth order? Did it matter?

Jessica: I have two much-older half brothers, and both of them went to live with their father as teenagers, so I seem to have gotten a strange grab bag of traits out of the bargain: baby of the family, first born, and only child. That feeling of separation from my siblings likely contributed to my tendency to get engrossed in my own imaginary worlds.

Ariel: Favorite first line of any book, any genre?

ChimeJessica: I’m terrible at choosing a favorite of anything, but the first line of CHIME by Franny Billingsley is wonderfully effective: “I’ve confessed to everything and I’d like to be hanged. Now, if you please.” You have the mystery of wondering why she wants to be hanged — immediately! — plus you get the voice of the protagonist in full force from the beginning.

Ariel: Tell me about the pet/s you had growing up.

Jessica: When I was young, my family had a wild range of animals: cats, dogs, a guinea pig, a goat herd, a pony (briefly), chickens, parakeets, and even a pig at one point, but I’ve always mainly been a cat person, even when some of those other animals were supposed to be my pets. Cats are pretty much the perfect companions for bookworms, and I almost always named mine after characters in whatever book I had read most recently. My favorite cat (my companion from when I was a teenager until he passed away a few years ago) was an orange tabby who loved to sit in the middle of my son’s wooden train layouts in his golden years. It’s no coincidence that CAT Track in my book was drawn with an orange crayon.

Ariel: Most fun or funniest job you’ve had, besides author/illustrator?

Jessica: One of my first jobs was working with Japanese exchange students during the summer. As far as high school/college jobs go, you really can’t beat getting paid to hang out with new friends and show them around town! We also got to play a lot of preschool games and activities with them (they were education majors), which was fun to have an excuse to do as a teenager without looking uncool.

Ariel: The artwork in your book is pretty unique as they’re not the usual picture book illustrations. Can you tell us about it?
Jessica: In addition to some practical reasons for it, we felt it was important to illustrate OLD TRACKS, NEW TRICKS with photos of real toys so that kids could readily connect the tracks in the book to the ones in their homes and classrooms. But in order to write the book as a story, I needed characters!

Odd One Out squareDuring that first conversation I had with my editor, as I was searching around for characters and a plot to go with my train track concept, I remembered a pattern I’d drawn for a fabric design challenge a few months before. It showed a circle of eight smiling train tracks and a ninth track off to the side, crying because it had been left out of the closed circle. I hurriedly took a photo of a track with my iPad, drew a face on it, and showed it to my editor, along with my initial idea of how we could weave the activities into a story.

Now it’s hard to imagine having done the illustrations any other way — the decision to digitally add faces to the tracks influenced pretty much every aspect of both the pictures and the text. Just the act of putting a face on a train track gets kids thinking about them in a new way, mirroring the way the trains in the book learn that tracks are more than just a railroad for their wheels to roll along.

Old Tracks New Tricks by Jessica Petersen spread 1

I loved working in this style. It made the writing so much easier because I had the physical objects to both inspire and limit me. I love having limitations put on a creative project, because it gets the overly critical, self-editing part of my brain tied up with solving problems, and I’m free to create. Each step in the illustration process — from turning a new tracks and unpainted trains into a old, well-loved train set to setting up/lighting/taking/editing the photos to adding the digital elements — brought new problems to solve and new opportunities for storytelling and character development.

And the best part is that I can now take that process and collaborate on it with my readers. Kids have been sending in photos of their own “track tricks” through the book’s website, and I add faces to the trains and tracks in their photos. It is so fun, and the kids seem as thrilled about the results as I always am!

Ariel: All of the text in your book is dialogue, which I love! What do you enjoy about writing in dialogue?

Jessica: When I was young, the weakest point of my writing was dialogue, so much so that I think it discouraged me from thinking about writing books when I was in high school and college, although I had wanted to be an author in elementary school. I loved writing description, but dialogue? It always sounded flat and fake, and I had no idea how to get better at it, or that I even could get better at it.

After college, I played a collaborative writing game with friends. We each claimed one or more characters in a story world and wrote their parts, often talking back and forth through an online journal format without any dialogue tags or description. As my familiarity with my characters grew, I heard what they would say directly in my head, and I’d have to type quickly to keep up.

When I started writing seriously, I was amazed to find that dialogue seemed to now be the easiest part of writing for me. When I’m working on novel-length manuscripts, I often write a whole scene as dialogue first, and then go back and fill in the rest. It takes some work upfront — I have to know the characters and their inherent and situational points of conflict first — but it’s a real joy to have the words pour out so easily, especially when they’re pouring out in rhyme!

Old Tracks New Tricks by Jessica Petersen spread 2

Ariel: Do you have any advice for writers about preparing for a debut publication?

Jessica: If you sit down to write your second book and it seems impossible, remember that you’re now comparing your rough drafts not just to your own level of pre-submission polish, but to a published work that several professionals helped you make as good as possible. If, like me, you also illustrated your book, you may have even more distance from the act of putting those first words down on paper. Especially if — again, like me — you didn’t or couldn’t make time to write during the illustration process.

The best cure I know of is to go back and read the earliest draft of your debut you can find. My editor recently sent me a very early draft of OLD TRACKS, NEW TRICKS she’d stumbled upon to show me how far it came over the course of writing and rewriting it, and that really helped me put things in perspective and start getting words down on the page again. Even if you think you know what the rough draft was like, you’re quite possibly remembering the second or third draft, not the very early writing you did on the project.

Old Tracks New Tricks by Jessica Petersen spread 3

Ariel: What’s next for you? Are you currently working on a new project?

Jessica: I’m working on another book illustrated in the same style as OLD TRACKS, NEW TRICKS, but about something other than wooden trains this time. I’m in the exciting part where the title and the overall story are in place. The rhymes and rhythms are flowing and the visuals are popping into my imagination. With the previous book as a roadmap, it’s fun and reassuring to have the same landmarks in the development process repeating themselves. I know that isn’t likely to happen with every book, but for now it’s nice to have a sense that things are on course.


Jessica Petersen started inventing new tricks for old tracks when her son was a train-obsessed toddler. Their adventures inspire her blog, Play Trains!petersenjessicaframewhere she writes about playing, learning, and reading with kids who love trains. She wrote, photographed, and illustrated OLD TRACKS, NEW TRICKS in her home in Seattle, Washington, where she lives with her husband, her son, and lots of happy wooden train tracks. You can visit Jessica online, on Twitter at @j_e_petersen, and on Instagram at @playtrains. And you can meet the little train tracks at, or on Instagram at @oldtracksnewtricks.



bernstienarielframeAriel Bernstein is the author of I HAVE A BALLOON, illustrated by Scott Magoon (Paula Wiseman Books/Simon and Schuster, Sept. 26, 2017) and the chapter book series WARREN & DRAGON, illustrated by Mike Malbrough (Viking Children’s, Summer 2018). You can find Ariel online at, and on Twitter @ArielBBooks.

Two Debut Interview: Annie Silvestro

In today’s Picture the Books Two Debut Interview, debut author Kerri Kokias discusses BUNNY’S BOOK CLUB with debut author Annie Silvestro.



BUNNY’S BOOK CLUB, written by Annie Silvestro and illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss, (Doubleday) tells the story of a book-loving bunny who sneaks books from the library and shares them with his forest friends. It’s a true celebration of the power of books and the one-of-a-kind magic of reading.



KK: One of my favorite lines in BUNNY’S BOOK CLUB is when Bunny misses story time so much, “He had to do something. So, with a flashlight in his paws and hope in his heart, Bunny jumped out of bed and tiptoed through the dark.” Do you have a favorite line of any book, any genre?

AS:  One of my all-time favorite lines comes from one of James Marshall’s GEORGE AND MARTHA stories. “But George never said ‘I told you so.’ Because that’s not what friends are for.” Perfect. (Martha also calls George a “fuss-budget” in this story, which I love.)

KK: If you could take credit for ANY other published PB out there, which one would you choose?

AS: SYLVESTER AND THE MAGIC PEBBLE by William Steig is such a classic. I’d love to write something that stands the test of time like so many of my favorites do.

KK: I love that you bring up how much you admire books that stand the test of time. I feel like BUNNY’S BOOK CLUB is a classic, timeless story. Can you tell me a little about how you got the idea for this story?

AS: That is so kind of you to say! The idea started percolating when I was dressed in a bunny costume I wore for a parent show at my children’s school. Sometimes being silly gives you interesting ideas!

KK: Tell me about the pet/s you had growing up. Any bunnies?

AS: No, no bunnies unfortunately! I grew up with a cat named Muffin. She had sharp claws and wasn’t afraid to use them. I have always had a cat – right now, Blinky likes to sit with my son and me whenever we read the WARRIORS books (about cat clans).

KK: Tatjana Mai-Wyss’ illustrations pair so well with this story. What were your thoughts when you first saw her illustrations for BUNNY’S BOOK CLUB?

AS: I was crazy about them immediately! They have a charming, old-fashioned appeal to them and I love each and every character and detail. It’s amazing to me how Tatjana differentiated each animal’s personality. The final spread and the endpapers just knocked me out.

KK: I could live in the world Tatjana created for Bunny. There are so many great details. If you could choose to live in the world of any other picture book, which world would it be? Why?

AS: My first thought was Strega Nona because I am a lover of pasta and having a pot that made it on command would be pretty much the best thing ever. But thinking more, I’d have to say Busytown! I love Richard Scarry and how fun would it be to drive a pickle car or to hang out with Huckle, Hilda, Lowly, Mr. Frumble, Bananas Gorilla, Sergeant Murphy…

KK: BUNNY’S BOOK CLUB is a favorite among teachers and librarians in part because of how highly it values a love of books, have you been doing any school or library visits?

AS: Yes! This has been one of the best parts of the whole experience. Sharing my story with kids and seeing their first-hand reactions has been inspiring and eye-opening.

KK: I hope you’re setting aside time for writing. What new projects have you been working on?

I’m trying, thanks! I’m working on some new picture books and trying my hand at an early chapter book as well.

Thank you, Annie. Congratulations on your debut book. I’m very much looking forward to your future publications.

silvestroannieAnnie Silvestro is a lover of books who reads and writes as much as possible and can often be found shuffling piles of them around so she has a place to sit or someplace to put her teacup. Bunny’s Book Club will be followed by Mice Skating, illustrated by Teagan White (Sterling, Fall 2017) and The Christmas Tree Who Loved Trains, illustrated by Paola Zakimi (HarperCollins Fall 2018). Annie lives by the beach in New Jersey with her husband and two sons who also love to read. Visit Annie online at or on Twitter and Instagram @anniesilvestro.

BUNNY’S BOOK CLUB is available now. Order online , or purchase it at your favorite bookstore.

kokiaskerriframeKerri Kokias credits most of her story ideas to her “fly on the wall” personality. This means she’s both a keen observer of social interactions and a nosey eavesdropper. Her debut picture book, Snow Sisters (Knopf, November 2017) is about two sisters who enjoy a snow day in their own unique ways. Kerri lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband, two children, and three dogs. Learn more about Kerri and her writing on her website, or connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @kerrikokias.


Stay up-to-date with all the Picture the Books debuts, news, and interviews on Twitter at @picturethebooks, on Instagram @picturethebooks and by becoming a follower of our website/blog using the Follow button on this page!

Picture the Books Launch Week Giveaway



Prize winners will be announced soon. 

We are so thrilled to be launching Picture the Books site, and we want to spread the excitement and anticipation we feel when we think about our upcoming picture books. It’s a special time for all of us, and we’ve got some special gifts for all of you!

Please, take a few minutes to explore the Picture the Books site, to follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and to get to know our amazing members and their books. If you’re a teacher, librarian, or bookseller, we’d love your thoughts on the resources you are most likely to use, so we can support your work with the people who matter most – the readers!

And to thank you for taking the time to get to know us, we’ve got some amazing prizes.

Please complete the Rafflecopter  to enter. You could win a Skype visit with one of our fabulous authors or illustrators, signed art from an upcoming picture book, or the grand prize: a year of signed debut picture books!*

Prizes include:

30 min Skype visits with: Chana Stiefel, Emma Otheguy, Carter Higgins, Julie Segal-Walters, Katey Howes, Anna Forrester, Lori Richmond, Patricia Toht, Joy Keller

Signed art from Erica Sirotich’s Found Dogs

A year* of signed debut picture books from Picture the Books members.

*Due to the unpredictability of the publishing industry, books may not arrive one per calendar month, but winner is guaranteed a minimum of twelve signed books between February 2017 and February 2018.