April 23, 2013
For those of you who have this picture book, BALLOON TREES, my publisher, Sylvan Dell, has created a free and fabulous Teaching and Activities Guide that is full of fun stuff for the kiddos to do and learn.
Click here for the guide and enjoy!
April 18, 2013
April 9, 2013
February 17, 2013
January 16, 2013
As part of The NEXT Big Thing blog event to bring awareness to author’s books, I'll be sharing about my next book release. I received my tag from author LORI MORTENSEN and just as Lori did, at the end of the interview I'll tag some of my author friends so you can see what they have written when they blog NEXT week.
What is the working title of your next book?
My next book is Balloon Trees, due out February 10, 2013 and available for pre-order now.
|Balloon Trees by Danna Smith|
Illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein
Where did the idea come from for the book?
When my husband, who works at an industrial rubber plant, told me how rubber was extracted from trees and made into rubber for their products, I was intrigued. I knew immediately that I wanted to share the process with my readers, but first I had to think of a way to present the information in a fun and informative way. With much brainstorming, I settled on balloons…and the idea was launched!
What genre does your book fall under?
Balloon Trees is a rhyming informational picture book for ages 4 - 7.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Balloons really do come from trees….rubber trees!
Who is publishing your book?
Sylvan Dell Publishing.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Unlike my other books which are fiction, Balloon Trees required much research. I’d say between the research and the actual writing it took about 3 months to complete my first draft. It took another several months to revise it before submitting it to publishers and then my editor had revision requests. It was a long process, but so worth the wait!
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Picture books on how things are made are few and far between, I’d have to say Gail Gibbon’s “How a House is Built” is comparable.
What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
Teachers will be happy to know that Balloon Trees is aligned to common core and state standards.
Teachers, parents, and kids will love the "For Creative Minds" section in the back of the book which is full of learning activities. There is also a discussion guide on the publishers website that was created to use in conjunction with Balloon Trees.
Balloon Trees is available in hardcover, paperback, e-book, and Spanish.
Now, I'm happy to tag the following authors for their Next Big Thing blog post next week.
CAROLYN FISHER, author/illustrator. Carolyn was kind enough to provide the tag artwork for this blog post. Thanks, Carolyn!
PATTI NEWMAN, author.
January 15, 2013
I'm happy to share an excellent review from Kirkus for my upcoming picture book!
Balloon Trees will be available on February 10, 2013 and available now for pre-order from the following booksellers:
Barnes and Noble
Indie Book Stores
Sylvan Dell Publishing
"No, these trees don’t bear balloons, but they are the starting place for the production of these popular objects.
Rhyming couplets and effective illustrations describe the general process by which latex is extracted from trees, converted into a colorful mix, shaped into forms, treated and sent to stores to be sold as balloons. Each double-page spread shows a separate step, watched over by what looks like a warbler with an observant eye. (Sharp-eyed observers will even see him through the red balloon on the cover.) At one point, the bird even comes close to becoming part of the process, shaking off the powder that coats each latex form after cooking. As in Smith’s Two at the Zoo (2009), the rhyming text scans well, making this a good choice for an informational read-aloud even for preschoolers. As in all this publisher’s books, there are also reproducible learning activities in the back matter and available on the Web. Here, the four pages include a map showing where rubber trees grow, comprehension games and a text explanation with vocabulary suitable for elementary school readers. A Spanish edition is also available.
Books for young listeners about how things are made are relatively rare; this one will stretch to fit a variety of goals. (Informational picture book. 4-7)"
Author: Smith, Danna
Illustrator: Klein, Laurie Allen
Review Issue Date: January 15, 2013
Online Publish Date: December 26, 2012
Price ( Hardcover ): $17.95
Price ( Paperback ): $9.95
Price ( e-book ): $9.95
Publication Date: February 10, 2013
ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-1-60718-612-0
ISBN ( Paperback ): 978-1-60718-624-3
ISBN ( e-book ): 978-1-60718-636-6
Category: Picture Books
January 6, 2013
2012 had its ups and downs, but all in all was a happy year for my writing career and my personal life:
I spent the first half of the new year promoting my latest books PIRATE NAP and TWO AT THE ZOO. Making appearances at literary fairs and books stores and celebrating the Spanish bilingual board book edition of Two at the Zoo. Between events, I spent many months writing and revising several new picture books.
In May I signed on with agent, Ronnie Ann Herman of the Herman Agency. Ronnie is well respected in the field and is a dream to work with. I'm so happy to be a part of the Herman Agency family!
In November my agent sold my underwater counting book for toddlers to Clarion Books. Though I haven't heard for sure, SWALLOW THE LEADER will most likely be published in 2014. Clarion has started their search for the illustrator for this book and I can't wait to find out who it will be! I know this book will be fabulous!
In December I spent time on preliminary promotion ideas for my next picture book BALLOON TREES which comes out in February 2013 and is published by Sylvan Dell. In BALLOON TREES, my first nonfiction picture book, you will learn how balloons are made starting with the tapping of the rubber trees. I'm planning a launch party and many fun events so stay tuned :)
Being a fan of creative expression of all kinds, I like to scrapbook, art journal, draw, and paint. I use these creative forms as a diversion when I need to free my mind and take a break from writing. I continued to take watercolor classes whenever I could throughout the year. I have enjoyed learning the craft as well as learning more about myself (I had no idea I liked to paint until I picked up a brush a few years ago.)
In my personal life, my husband and children are doing well. My 23 year old son has a job he enjoys and he heads to the mountain to snowboard or the beach to surf whenever he can find the time. My daughter who is a senior in high school has recently signed her NCAA National Letter of Intent to swim in college next year. My husband and I are both dreading and looking forward to being empty-nesters.
Looking ahead to 2013:
I will definitely be promoting BALLOON TREES this year and can't wait to get started spreading the word.
I am looking forward to working with my agent and selling more manuscripts in the coming year. I have many new stories being shopped around and one in particular is getting some positive attention. My fingers are crossed that I can bring more picture books into the world and share them with children who love learning and books.
I plan to take my painting to the next level this year and open a shop on Etsy where I can share my work and sell my originals and prints. This adventure is only in the planning stage, but I hope to make progress in the coming year.
This year (this month actually) will be a milestone year for me as I turn the big 5-oh! I continue to eat healthy foods and exercise in hope of staying strong for whatever the year brings.
So here's to health, happiness, creativity, and books in 2013!