All the words have been proofed and the art perfected. ARE WE STILL FRIENDS? has gone off to the printers!
This week, I got to read the story of beekeeper Beatrice and apple-grower Abel to grandson Theo, whose name appears on the dedication page. I can't wait to share it with the rest of you when it's officially released on February 28.
You can pre-order it now! Get it in hardcover or for Kindle at Amazon. Buy the hardcover from your local independent bookseller through Indiebound, or order the ebook on Kobo.
Here’s the latest on my next picture book – the one about bees.
--It has a new name! Please welcome…ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?
Why the change? From the get-go, Tracy Mack, my wonderful editor at Scholastic, felt like Bees in the Trees didn’t fully describe what this book is about. Yes, it tells the important environmental story of the crucial bond between honey bees and apple trees. But ARE WE STILL FRIENDS? is mainly the story of Beatrice and Abel, neighbors whose long-time friendship gets tested and ultimately endures. Taken together, these two tales tell a much bigger story and about how important it is to have friends, and the work it sometimes takes to keep them. This bigger story is especially today, when people of all ages seem quicker than ever to get angry and build walls.
--It has illustrations! And a cover! And publicity material!
Blanca Gomez has done an amazing job of envisioning Beatrice (a roly-poly bear) and Abel (a slightly skittish mouse). She has given them adorable side-by-side homes, filled with the sorts of details I loved to search for in picture books – and still do! She has painted the passage of seasons in lovely, lush colors. And she has given at least one of the bees the sort of hipster hat I imagine every cool insect in her hometown of Madrid must sport. Wrap all this up in Marijka Kostiw’s lively book design, and it’s truly a feast for the eyes, crisp like an apple and sweet like honey. I can’t show you any of it just yet, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. For now. Which brings me to my last item…
--It has a publication date!
Or, a month, anyway. March 2017. Which may sound like a long time, but is really just 11 months away. Let the countdown begin!
Hold the presses! Crab Moon is about to go into another round of picture book reprints. But this new edition will include an update.
When I wrote the book, back in the 20th century, the accepted way to flip a horseshoe crab was by grabbing its tail. That's how Daniel does it in my story. Since then, we've learned that holding a horseshoe crab by the tail can injure the crab. The accepted practice, now, is to grab the horseshoe crab by the sides.
If I had written the book today, that's how Daniel would have done it. It's too late to change the story or Kate Kiesler's beautiful painting. But we are adding a warning to the facts about horseshoe crabs at the end of the book.
I'm glad Candlewick is being so diligent. And I sure hope no horseshoe crabs have gotten hurt as a result of my story. That's the last thing Daniel would want.
Breakout at the Bug Lab is now a "read-aloud" ebook!
This is the story of Max, the giant hissing Madagascar cockroach, and the two brothers who accidentally set him loose in their mom's lab.
All of Joan Holub's fun pictures from the print version are still there. And if you want to, you can read the story on your own. But you can also listen to the words as actors read them.
I haven't heard it yet, because I don't have a device that will support it. If you listen to it, could you let me know in the comments what you think? Thanks!
Here are the links to it for Kindle and Nook. It's also available on iTunes.
Scholastic Press is publishing my next picture book! It's about an apple grower, a beekeeper, and a misunderstanding that escalates into a feud. The title (for now) is BEES IN THE TREES. I am thrilled to join the Scholastic family, and eager to begin working with my editor, Tracy Mack, who is now narrowing in on the perfect artist to pair with my words. Who will it be? I'll let you know as soon as I can.