Hi Math is Everywhere Readers,
I hope you will all join me in wishing my friend, and wonderful author and editor, Alli Brydon a HAPPY HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY today because her picture book, co-written with and illustrated by EG Keller, LOBSTAH GAHDEN, releases TODAY!!
With pictures from the illustrator behind Last Week Tonight’s A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, this delightfully punny story about ocean life, conservation, and cooperation is perfect for sparking conversations in the classroom and at home.
Walt is a proud lobstah whose greatest dream is winning the annual Swell Gahdens contest. But year after year that honor always goes to his chowdah-head neighbor Milton. One day, when heaps of gahbage show up in their yahds, the rival lobstahs must join forces to save their beloved gahdens from the trash floating down from above.
Our oceans are beautiful, colorful, diverse ecosystems that are home to over a million species of underwater creatures. Unfortunately, humans are putting our friends under the sea at risk by polluting Earth’s oceans daily. Lobstah Gahden will help kids understand the importance of conservation, and additional backmatter about sea life and pollution will give readers practical ways they can help preserve our oceans.
Kaitlyn: Hi, Alli, thanks so much for joining us today, and happy happy book birthday!
Alli: Kaitlyn, thanks for inviting me to share my book birthday joy on your blog! You’re so unSHELLFISH.
Kaitlyn: Hahaha, besides awesome puns, what are you doing to celebrate today?
Alli: I’m celebrating by eating these lobstah cupcakes that my kids and I baked together yesterday.
Kaitlyn: Omg I would love one of those; they look so festive and spectacular! We may have to make some cupcakes here, too, to celebrate with you. Can you share where your inspiration for this book came from?
Alli: The inspiration came from EG Keller, my co-author and illustrator. He’d been kicking around this idea for a book about lobsters and ocean conservation for a while. I think it came to him while he was out at Red Lobster, actually! So, the book was likely inspired by chowdah.
G and I have worked together before (on A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, with me as editor/project manager and he as superstar illustrator) so we decided to pair up again to bring his idea to life. We were both inspired by wanting to highlight the outrageous amount of pollution in our oceans and motivate young readers to care about this important issue.
Kaitlyn: This title is so adorable, how was it selected?
Alli: I just had to dig through our early drafts to remember! In one version of the manuscript, I wrote the title Lobstah Garden at the top, since it’s pretty indicative of the plot: two lobstahs who are neighbors and garden rivals. And then somehow on a later draft it became Lobstah Gahden, and I have no idea how it evolved to that, except that I was probably channeling Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting.
Kaitlyn: OMG, one of my favorite movies of all time, and LOL I was literally reading with Ben Affleck’s accent from the movie when I was reading! It’s so amazing that you knew your book and focus so well that you had the title pretty early on. Why do you think this book is so important to share with children?
Alli: First, it’s important for every child to know and love the Boston accent. It’s wicked ah-some, and it makes you sound supah. Also, the book approaches a difficult and important topic in a fun and accessible way. Humor is a great entry point into tough subjects, like ocean pollution. I think Walter and Milton’s gahbage plight might garner some lobstah-love and also spark discussions about how kids might help with conservation efforts. These guys are also great role models for young readers to emulate–they learn to work together for a common good, even though their styles and opinions differ. Couldn’t we all take a cue from these crustaceans?
Kaitlyn: I totally agree on all of these fronts; thank you and your wonderful co-author and illustrator for bringing such fun to such important topics. Speaking of the fun, were the puns difficult to come up with or did most just flow right out?
Alli: Oh my goodness, Kaitlyn. They totally flowed like the tides! That was the best part about working with G on this. We just kept lobbing puns and jokes back and forth across the internets. I pretty much LOLed the whole time. I hope kids do, too, when they read our book.
Kaitlyn: If that isn’t the best way to create a book for kids, I don’t know what is! And I just love the visual of “lobbing puns”! Can you share who your literary agents are and why you enjoy working with them?
Alli: My agents are Lori Nowicki and Claire Easton at Painted Words, and they are both amazing! They complement each other really well. Claire has a really keen editorial eye and Lori knows the industry inside and out. They both have great ideas, are generous with their time, and give helpful feedback, all of which has strengthened my writing over the past 3 years I’ve been with them.
Kaitlyn: That sounds like a dream team! Can you share a bit about what’s coming next for you?
Alli: I have two books coming out in Spring 2022 with National Geographic Kids–The Wild Side: Lemurs and Little Kids First Nature Guide: Bugs. I love doing research for nonfiction for kids, and totally nerd out on whatever topic I’m writing about. For example, treehoppers became an obsession while writing Bugs. And then, I have a rhyming picture book called Bright Winter Night, which is currently being illustrated by Ashling Lindsay and will publish with Two Lions/Amazon in November 2022. There are also a couple of projects that I can’t quite mention yet…
Kaitlyn: Those all sound wonderful! I can’t wait! Finally, if you could spend a day with your favorite author or illustrator, would you sit by a fireside and chat or go out on an adventure together?
Alli: I’m always up for an adventure!
Kaitlyn: I can tell by your awesome books and super fun cupcake designs! Count me in on any adventure you have. Thanks so much again for joining us and sharing such wonderful insight today! I hope you enjoy your cupcakes and celebration!
Alli: You’re welcome, Kaitlyn. Thanks again for having me!
Alli Brydon is a children’s book author and lifelong New Yorker who moved to the south of England with her family in 2018. She really likes to draw, and dreams about illustrating children’s books one day. Her favorite place is the beach, but the mountains constantly call to her. Alli has the sense of humor of a 7-year-old. And she will never ever kill a spider.
Myths and Legends of the World, Alli’s first fiction book for children, published in October 2019 with Lonely Planet Kids. Her wicked ah-some Boston-themed picture book Lobstah Gahden comes out in April 2021 with Sourcebooks eXplore. She has fiction and nonfiction books forthcoming with Amazon/Two Lions, Disney, Macmillan, and National Geographic Kids.
Alli is also a freelance children’s book editor, with nearly 15 years of experience nurturing authors and illustrators to improve their craft and create outstanding children’s books. You can find her at www.allibrydon.com (author site) and www.allibrydoncreative.com (edior site).
Kaitlyn’s review of Lobstah Gahden
This is such a wonderful picture book, helping kids relate to important issues by presenting it in a funny and relatable way. The Boston accents are spot on and the puns are a riot! Something the whole family and all kids and adults can enjoy! Help kids see the importance of working together and of keeping the ocean clean in the most fun way possible. Not to mention, the art is just a joy to see!
Would you like to win a copy of this brand new beautiful book, Lobstah Gahden? (Giveaway is worldwide, as long as book depository sends to your location.) Enter before 11:59PM PT on Tuesday, April 20th for your chance to win!
Here are all the ways to get into the giveaway (each one is an extra entry):
- Comment on this post
- Share in the comments below that you added Lobstah Gahden to your Goodreads “Want to Read” list and/or your Amazon Wishlist
- Share in the comments that you ordered a copy of Lobstah Gahden
- Share in the comments that you did a purchase request for Lobstah Gahden at your library
- Quote RT Kaitlyn’s original Tweet and tag three friends on Twitter.
- Sign up for Alli’s newsletter HERE.
- Follow Alli on Instagram and on Twitter.
Thank you all for helping celebrate Alli’s special day, and those of you who are participating in the Spring Fling Kidlit contest, we can’t wait to announce the winners, but please be patient with us while we take our time to thoughtfully consider each of the over 300 stories. Thank you for sharing your work with us and for creating such an inspiring community, and don’t forget to watch the Spring Fling Kidlit hashtag for ways to support the generous donors!
Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez