Hi Math is Everywhere Readers,
I hope you’re enjoying the start of spring – it’s my favorite time of year with sunshine that’s not too hot and regrowth that inspires! In fact, my family and I just returned from a road trip vacation out to Oklahoma and back to California where we had some wonderful adventures including stops in Arizona, New Mexico, and of course Oklahoma, where we got to visit with my aunt and uncle and I also got to give talks at my first in person SCBWI event. Today, I hope our wonderful guest, Karen Jameson, takes you on an adventure with her book and also inspires your writing as we talk about her upcoming book: WHERE THE WEE ONES GO, A BEDTIME WISH FOR ENDANGERED ANIMALS, illustrated by Zosienka.
Description of WHERE THE WEE ONES GO, A BEDTIME WISH FOR ENDANGERED ANIMALS from publisher, Chronicle Books:
Where do endangered animals go to sleep? Immerse yourself in the lush beauty of this bedtime picture book and find out. From the Pacific Ocean to China’s mountains, the Australian outback, and beyond, each baby animal has a warm, safe place to fall asleep.
With a variety of baby endangered animals and their mamas gracing each gorgeous spread, readers will be transfixed by richly-illustrated scenes that span the globe and capture each creature’s unique habitat. Snuggle close like a sweet panda, curl up like a cozy koala, and drift off like a drowsy elephant, letting the sweeping environments and soothing bedtime rituals of this gentle animal lullaby lull even the most restless little dreamers into a deep and peaceful sleep.
Kaitlyn: Hi, Karen, thank you so much for joining us today!
Karen: Thank you for having me, Kaitlyn!
Kaitlyn: My pleasure! I have always adored Chronicle Books, and your book is so lovely. Can you start off by sharing how this book came to be?
Karen: I’ve always been drawn to nature and animal themes. When a critique partner mentioned an endangered animal exhibit she’d seen, it sounded like the perfect subject for my next lullaby book! After discovering a world map of endangered animals on the San Diego Zoo website, I jumped right in.
Kaitlyn: That sounds like the best ingredients for a beautiful book, and I love the concept of travelling the world to learn about endangered animals. Can you share why you think stories like these are so important for our little ones?
Karen: It’s never too early to start cultivating a love of animals and nature in our own “wee ones.” In WHERE the WEE ONES GO, children are introduced to amazing endangered animal babies and their nighttime routines. My hope is that, as little ones grow, their connection to these animals will grow as well.
Kaitlyn: Such a wonderful hope. I remember in 4th grade, our teacher brought magazines where we were able to support Koko the gorilla, and it taught me so much about animals, compassion, and how even I as a 9-year-old could help – very empowering! For Where the Wee Ones Go, you utilize rhyme, which can be difficult to do well. Can you share what meter and rhyme scheme you chose and why and offer some advice on rhyme in picture books?
Karen: I LOVE to rhyme, but am terrible at explaining my own process. I “hear” the story in a certain way, and rarely count syllables, beats, and such. Ann Whitford Paul explains it beautifully in WRITING PICTURE BOOKS: A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation to Publication. A great book that every picture book creator should read!
Kaitlyn: It’s so lovely to have a naturally great internal rhythm. For those of you, like me, who’s internal rhythm needs a bit of help, definitely check out Karen’s amazing recommendation and also my resources page for help. Now, Karen, if you had to pick, what’s your favorite spread and why?
Karen: That’s a tough one! Zosienka’s art is so dreamy and I love them all. How about my top three? The elephants, hippos, and otters are just so sweet.
Kaitlyn: So so sweet, and I agree, Zosienka’s art is so beautiful. Can you share who your editor was for this book, and what you enjoyed about working with this editor?
Karen: This is my third book with Chronicle editor, Naomi Kirsten. Her collaborative process and attention to detail is amazing!
Kaitlyn: I don’t think you can get any better than that! Can you share who your agent is and how you connected on this project?
Karen: I’m repped by the incredible, Kathleen Rushall of ABLA. We share a love of animals and animal conservation. In fact, WHERE the WEE ONES GO is the very book that prompted her to offer representation!
Kaitlyn: Wow! It’s so wonderful to hear that this book was the one that led to your offer of representatinon. I can’t wait to see what else you do together next. Speaking of which, what is next for you, Karen?
Karen: My first NF picture book, TIME TO SHINE, illustrated by Dave Murray and published by Groundwood Books, releases on May 3rd. Next up, A LLAMA IS NOT AN ALPACA, illustrated by Lorna Scobie (RP Kids, 2023). WAKE UP, WOODLANDS, with Marc Boutavant, is in the works, as well (Chronicle, 2024)!
Kaitlyn: Wowee zowee, readers, if you aren’t following Karen to keep up with all of her lovely books, check our her links below! Thank you so much for sharing and for joining us today, Karen!
Karen: Thank you, Kaitlyn!
Kaitlyn: My pleasure!
Author and Illustrator Bio and links
Karen Jameson is a children’s author and poet based in Southern California. Her lyrical picture books include MOON BABIES, illustrated by Amy Hevron, WOODLAND DREAMS, illustrated by Marc Boutavant and FARM LULLABY, illustrated by Wednesday Kirwan. WHERE the WEE ONES GO (art by Zosienka) and TIME TO SHINE (art by Dave Murray) are available in spring 2022. A former classroom teacher, Karen enjoys exploring the wonder of nature and animals through her writing.
Zosienka is a Hampshire, England based artist who grew up in South Africa, Poland, and the United Kingdom. She’s the illustrator of WHERE the WEE ONES GO and BABY BIRD, and the author-illustrator of THE MOON KEEPER.
Kaitlyn’s Review of WHERE THE WEE ONES GO
If you’re looking for a bedtime book for your little ones or to give as a gift for a baby shower, this one will be a true winner! Along with the lyrical, lulling text, it allows babies to see lovely animals as well as beautiful family relationships, too.
Thank you, readers, for being so patient with me while awaiting the next blog post. I’m really working on find balance in my life, and the fact that you all continue to follow and support such wonderful creators, just amazes me. For those of you super patiently waiting for the Spring Fling Kidlit Contest winners, it’s getting close! Just a bit more deliberation, so keep an eye on Ciara O’Neals blog posts in the next week or two!
Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez
PS. If you’re not following my lovely clients, please take a second to check out my Literary Clients page, thanks so much!