A relative sent me a screen shot of an image from the New York Times that included Too Early as a prop (one of a stack of books on a desk). I was tickled pink! So imagine my excitement when the next day Too Early was more than just a prop, it was actually reviewed by Rowboat Watkins for The New York Times Review of Books! I could hardly believe it, to be honest. I still can hardly believe it! It was a wonderful review as well. One of my favorite bits is when Rowboat refers to the opening spread, where the bunny-toting early riser appears in his parents’ bedroom door “as adorable as it is horrifying.” That made me laugh. When he comments that “there’s a wide world of wonder burbling and beeping within life’s blueberry shadows” you can really tell what a great writer Rowboat himself is! (His picture book, Pete With No Pants, is one of my own kids’ favorite!) Rowboat also has other lovely things to say about Too Early, including this conclusion: “Ericson’s simple sentences, loose rhyme and playful repetitions pulse with the whiffs and whispers of that part of morning most of us miss. And MacKay’s sherbety paintings are the pitch-perfect, predawn partner for this paean to quality quiet time with someone you love.” I couldn’t have asked for a better review, and I’m pretty sure seeing that spread in the The New York Times Boo Review will remain a highlight of my writing career:) If you want to read the whole article, you can find it here, though you may need to be a subscriber (or have not used too many free guest articles already this month) to see it.
The amazing illustrator for Too Early, Elly MacKay, came up with the idea of making “Sunrise Jars” as a craft to go along with the book! You can make these jars super simple, simple enough for very young kids, or quite detailed, if parents want to try their hand at some complicated scissor work! I like that they are so flexible and that they make great gifts. You can use recycled jars, really any you have around, and only need to find or purchase a battery operated tea light to make the whole thing look really beautiful. Don’t use a real candle, as there is paper inside the jar with the tea light and obvious paper and fire don’t mix! I made a whole collection myself, some simple, some more complex (that I cut out with an exacto knife) and they look beautiful on our piano!
I’ve attached a video I made of me reading Too Early for Green Bean Books’ virtual story time and then demonstrating the craft. You can skip along to whatever section you want to see, and don’t necessarily have to watch the whole thing!
And here are the downloadable templates I mention in the video. You can also just do your own drawing!
Too Early releases on November 8th and I’m participating in/planning a number of events to celebrate!
November 5th: I’ll be reading and speaking on a panel at the amazing Portland Book Festival! My reading is at 9:50AM (clearly intended for the early risers:)) in the Fields Ballroom (Portland Art Museum, Mark Building, First Floor) and is geared toward kids. The panel at 3:45PM in the Portland Parks Foundation Tent is on the process of making picture books and is geared more toward adults or older kids. If you are local to Portland, the whole Book Festival is a fantastic event that I’ve attended as an audience member for many years. This is their first fully in-person festival since 2019 and I’m thrilled to be part of the line-up. Kids attend free! Adults are $15 in advance or $25 at the door, so go get those tickets now! Advance copies of Too Early will even be available for purchase at the festival, even though it is before the actual release date.
November 10th, 11am: Book launch at Green Bean Books. This is going to be a virtual event so you can join in from anywhere! I’ll be reading the book and we’ll also be doing a fun craft (see the post below for craft details!)
November 19th, 5-7pm: Reading/signing at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, MA! More details coming soon!
December 3rd, 10:30am: Reading at Powell’s City of Books (downtown location).
I’m thrilled to have sold a picture book manuscript to the phenomenal Emma Ledbetter at Abrams. TOO EARLY is a special story for me, based on a few years of very (4am!) early mornings with my son. (He’s still an early riser, but luckily not THIS early anymore!) 2022 feels like a long time away, but I’m sure it will be here before I know it. I’m very excited about our illustrator. Elly MacKay uses cut paper to create spectacular works of art and I can’t wait to see what she does for our book.
Lisa made an adorable Dill & Bizzy book plate! Who doesn’t like their name in a book? And one way we can use them is to personalize copies of the book from afar. If you’d like a signed copy of the book or would like to give a signed copy as a gift, but haven’t preordered from Annie Bloom’s Books (see details on Books page), send us an email and we can mail you a signed bookplate (for free) that you can use on a book you’ve purchased from your local shop. Fun!
Happy New Years!
When I sold my manuscript back in 2013, 2016 seemed like a loooong way away. But now it’s here and our little book will be out in the world this very month! Cheers!
After three long years in the works, Dill and Bizzy are finally making their way into the world!
Publication date is January 26th, 2016. Just in time for, um, Valentine’s Day?
Though if you had your heart set on giving Dill & Bizzy for one of the more gift-oriented holidays in December, fear not, we have a plan! It is not a perfect plan, mind you, but it is the best we can do☺ We’ve printed up some delightful IOUs featuring our favorite feathered friends. Send us an message and let us know if you want one (or more than one).
Then preorder the book so it will be shipped directly to the recipient on January 26th, or pick it up at your local bookstore on that day! It’s the perfect 32nd day of Christmas gift!
Speaking of local bookstores, we are excited to be working with Annie Bloom’s Books right here in Portland to offer signed copies of Dill & Bizzy. You can pre-order the book on their website and make sure to write in the NOTES area that you want a signed copy (and give any signing instructions). We will head over to Annie Bloom’s on January 26th to sign all the books before they are shipped! Yay!