Monday, 22 April 2013



Author Penny Lockwood introduces her newly released picture book for children aged 18 months to 7 years.


Boo is a very bored kitten. When Timmy and his mom return home, Boo sneaks out of the house. Boo is frightened by the noises of the big world outside of the safety of his warm home. When Timmy coaxes Boo back into the house, Boo realizes some places are safe and some are not.

Talking Points for parents include:

·Taking care of a pet
·Dangers of a busy street
·Listening to parents
·Safe places vs. unsafe places

Day One
Wendy welcomes Penny Lockwood on the first day of her tour.
I've read this beautiful book and placed a 5 star review (by Calamity) on Amazon. Congratulations Penny. Over to you.

Hi Wendy, thank you for offering to host me on your blog today.

Although I’ve been writing stories for adults and older children since 1993, this is my first foray into picture book writing. It was definitely a challenge. It’s so easy to look at a picture book and think, as a writer, “Oh, that must be easy to write.” In reality, a picture book takes a lot of thought and effort.

Like any other book, when Boo was finished, I asked for first readers to give me feedback. I was fortunate to find several young mothers with toddlers willing to give it a try. The hard part, though, was there were no illustrations, so it was difficult for the little people to grasp this was to be a picture book. Still I did get positive responses and set about locating a publisher.

For several years, I have participated in the Muse Online Writer’s Conference where I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with publishers from several houses. One of the women I met was Vivian Zabel who is one of the owners of 4RV Publishing. I liked what I heard about 4RV and Vivian from other authors who have published books with her. They are a small house and only publish a few books every year. I was very fortunate that the acquisitions staff liked Boo’s Bad Day when I submitted it a few years ago. Vivian asked for a few changes, which I was happy to make, and I was rewarded with a contract.

I’m not sure how other houses handle authors and illustrators, but 4RV Publishing uses their own stable of illustrators. It’s my understanding this is common practice with picture book publishers. One of 4RV house rules is that authors and illustrators have no correspondence, so I had no contact whatsoever with Deborah C. Johnson, the talented illustrator who worked on Boo. She was given the manuscript and created the pictures, which in my mind are perfect. She captured the spirit of not only the book but Boo the cat as well, without any input from me.

Was it a nail-biting experience? Not really. At the same time the illustrator was working on Boo (unknown to me), I had been working on edits for my MG novels, Ghost for Rent and Ghost for Lunch, also scheduled for release from 4RV Publishing. I wasn’t even thinking about Boo when I received the galley proof to review! When I saw the illustrations Deborah did, I couldn’t have been happier. I didn’t see a need to change anything.

Deborah was able to bring Boo to life on the page. The expressions she uses for the different experiences Boo has are just delightful. I think she was able to make Boo come alive for the children who will read the story and added to the experience kids from around eighteen months to seven years will have when either the story is read to them, or they can read it themselves.

Authors interested in writing a picture book should explore sites on the Internet devoted to children’s writing such as the Children’s Book Insider Clubhouse. There are a lot of great articles available to the public even if you’re not a member. Writing World has an entire section devoted to children’s writing, including an article by me, “Eight Things Picture Book Editors Don’t Want.”

 Penny, it's fascinating to hear of your experience towards publishing your picture book. I've always imagined finding a publisher and an illustrator would be an impossible task. Thank you, too, for sharing the sites above which will be enormously helpful for writers who wish to follow in your footsteps and get their picture books out to the mums and bubs.

Boo's Bad Day is available from the publisher
Find Penny at her website 

Day 2
Tomorrow April 23rd Penny is on  Terri Forehand's Blog       
where she'll tell us more about Boo's Bad Day.

Wendy, thanks again for hosting me. At the end of the tour, I will pick out one commenter’s name and send an autographed copy of Boo’s Bad Day to a United States address only. If the name I pick is someone who lives outside the U.S., I will send a PDF copy of the book. So remember, readers, be sure to leave contact information when you comment!


Rosalie Skinner said...

Boo's Bad Day sounds absolutely perfect for any child. The illustration on the cover is gorgeous. Reading the reviews I believe this could be a perfect way to discuss the need to NOT explore without an adult along. hehe. A problem faced too often as the grandparent of a fearless little man.

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Hi Wendy, thank you for hosting me today. I appreciate the opportunity to talk about Boo's Bad Day.

Rosalie, thanks for stopping by. Sounds like you have a little person in your life who might enjoy Boo. Definitely a few talking points for your little man.

Deb Hockenberry said...

Hi Penny,
Boo's Bad Day sounds like a great picture book that can teach children about "pet responsibility" as well as just being a fun read!

Susan York Meyers said...

It sounds like a wonderful way to teach children the importance of caring for a pet. Love the title.

God bless,

Wendy said...

Hi Rosalie, You are right. I've read Penny's lovely picture book. By empathizing with the kitten, young children will learn the same valuable lessons. So pleased to see you here.

Deb, you make a good point. There is more than one lesson for parents and children in Penny's book. Thank you for stopping by.

Susan, I love the title too. Penny has such a creative imagination. And Deborah Johnson has such a creative brush. The pictures are so expressive. Glad you called in.

Janet K Brown said...

Super interview, Penny & Wendy. Sounds like a lovely children's book. Have a grandson in mind who would like it.

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Deb, Susan and Janet, thank you all for stopping and commenting. Maybe one of you will be the lucky winner who will get the signed copy of Boo to share with the little person in your life!

Wendy said...

Thank you Janet. Lovely of you to stop by. I have a neighbours toddler who might like it too. She is 2 going on 35, so I'm sure she'll explain it al to me. :)

Melanie said...

A bit late to the party, but congrats on the release of Boo's Bad Day! It sounds like something my step-granddaughter would enjoy, and my daughter and her partner (step-granddaughter's dad) have a grey cat so it would be purrfect!

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Hi Melanie, it's never too late. Check out my website for more blog stops during the tour. Who knows? The more you comment, the better your chance to win a copy of Boo.

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Congratulations to Susan York Meyers! She's the lucky winner of the autographed copy of Boo's Bad Day.

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