A Beautiful Kirkus Review for A GRAND DAY!

Friends, please bear with me and my braggy posts for just a little longer because I still have two more picture books coming out this year! And A GRAND DAY, which comes out on 7/5 from SimonKIDS, Samantha Cotterill and me,  just got this beautiful review!! ❤️

Yay!!!

Kirkus Reviews – thank you so VERY much!

Grandparents and grandkids (including my own 4+) – this one’s for you!

Here’s the review!

“Every day is a grand day when family members have fun together. Children and parents and most especially grandparents gather to enjoy one another’s company while sharing a wide variety of activities. Brief, simply expressed rhymes capture the excitement the children feel while participating in each adventure. The rhymes appear within brightly-hued double-page spreads that enlarge and enhance every aspect of the events. Families are seen enjoying breakfast on the porch, backyard gardening, making art, and visiting the park to play, have picnics, and read. They cook together, play dress-up, dance, discover treasures in the attic, have a family feast, and roast marshmallows around a fire pit. Cotterill’s stunning mixed-media, three-dimensional illustrations flesh out the tale and depict every activity and setting in minute detail while conveying the love and joy of the extended families with laughter and loads of hugs and kisses. Family members are diverse in skin tone; one child uses a wheelchair. The phrase grand days has a subtle added meaning, referring to both the fun of the day and the special closeness children feel with their grandparents. ‘Family ties so strong and true / Part of me / is part of you.’ Young readers and their grown-ups will appreciate this homage to familial love and will return to it again and again.

A heartfelt, exuberant ode to intergenerational bonding.”

I’m blushing!!

To find out more about A GRAND DAY or to purchase your copy, please see the book page on my website https://jeanreidy.com/books/a-grand-day/

Happy Reading!

Build Community with SYLVIE and Spider Cider Tea!

You may have noticed throughout SYLVIE that a tea set plays a very important role in the story.

There’s a teacup on the cover and a tea set in several of the book’s illustrations. Can you find them all? And if you turn to the very last page and look closely, you’ll see that Sylvie is holding an itty-bitty teacup.

What is a tea set for? What does it symbolize?

  • Socializing
  • Friendship
  • Gathering
  • Community
  • Taking a break

What do you think Sylvie is drinking from her teacup? Could it be Spider Cider Tea?

Consider holding a Spider Tea Party and Storytime for parents, grandparents, with another class or just as a way to socialize within your own classroom. Decorate the classroom or library with webs and spiders and sunflowers. You can also include a game of Spider Hide N’ Peek. See my SYLVIE Curriculum and Storytime Guide to learn how.  And finally serve Spider Cider Tea. Here’s how to make it.

All you need is:

  • 1 C. of boiling hot apple juice (requires parent or teacher help)
  • An apple cinnamon tea bag
  • A cinnamon stick
  • A teaspoon
  • Your favorite teacup

Just pour the apple juice into the teacup, add your tea bag and let it steep for 3-4 minutes. After it steeps, using your teaspoon, take your tea bag out and stir your tea using your cinnamon stick. That’s all there is to it. Delicious! But where’s the spider, you ask? Well, she’s right there in the book. And maybe the next time you read SYLVIE you’ll enjoy the story with a cup of Spider Cider Tea.

Watch author Jean Reidy make Cider Spider Tea.

And don’t forget to finish up with a reading of SYLVIE … in which all are warmly welcomed!

To find out more about SYLVIE or to purchase your copy, please see her book page on my website.

Introducing SYLVIE!

I’m thrilled to introduce you to my latest picture book!

  “Sylvie hung on a silvery thread from the rusty underside of a fire escape. And though it was dark and damp and disturbingly close to the dumpster, that hideout was home to Sylvie because, you see, not everyone appreciates a spider who calls attention to herself.” 

From the creators of Truman comes a story of courage, community, friendship and one small spider with a big, bold heart.

From Simon & Schuster/Atheneum

ADVANCE PRAISE

“Young readers will enjoy meeting a new small-but-mighty (and spidery) protagonist in this welcome return to the world of Truman, featuring a cameo from the tortoise himself. Laced with lovely alliteration and internal rhyme, the text introduces young listeners to the whimsy of language at storytime … Sylvie’s bubbly effervescence shows readers that it is well worth the
courage it takes to be seen.”

– Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books –

“(A) warming story about the necessity of
connection and community.” 

– Publishers Weekly-

BUYING THE BOOK AND AUTOGRAPHED BOOKPLATES
You can buy your copy of SYLVIE from your favorite bookseller (IndieBound, Barnes & NobleAmazon) or request it at your library. Would you like an autographed bookplate to go with it? Request it here! 
TEACHERS, LIBRARIANS & PARENTS
Check out the FREE Curriculum and Storytime Guide linked to learning standards available on the SYLVIE book page.
For other FREE resources and information about booking school visits, check out the Schools and Libraries page of my website.

HELP SPREAD THE WORD 

If you’re excited about SYLVIE, please help me spread the word. Here are some sample social media posts and the cover photo to get you started:
  • Not everyone appreciates a spider who calls attention to herself, but you’re going to love SYLVIE – a small, sweet spider with a big, bold heart. On sale now from @jeanreidy, @lucyruth and @simonkids – the creators of TRUMAN. Buy it today! https://jeanreidy.com/books/sylvie/
  • If you liked TRUMAN, you’re going to love SYLVIE – a small, sweet spider with a big, bold heart. On sale now from @jeanreidy, @lucyruth and @simonkids. But it today! https://jeanreidy.com/books/sylvie/
  • Meet SYLVIE! A small, sweet spider with a big, bold heart. A new #picturebook from the team who brought you TRUMAN – @jeanreidy, @lucyruth and @simonkids. On sale now. But it today! https://jeanreidy.com/books/sylvie/
  • SYLVIE – from the creators of TRUMAN comes a story about courage, community, friendship and one small spider with a big, bold heart. On sale now from @jeanreidy, @lucyruth and @simonkids. Buy it today! https://jeanreidy.com/books/sylvie/
With excitement and gratitude,
Jean

Happy National Spider Day and SYLVIE PW Review!

Dear Readers,

Happy National Spider Day! (Who knew?) And I’m celebrating with this lovely early review for SYLVIE coming 5/10/22 from Atheneum/Simon and Schuster, Lucy Ruth Cummins and me. Thank you Publishers Weekly!  publishersweekly.com/978-1-5344-634

 

“In this standalone spin-off to Truman, a gray spider named Sylvie keeps a close eye on four of an apartment building’s human residents, portrayed with varying skin tones, whom she thinks of as ‘her people.’ Though everything seems ‘just so’ for each denizen, she’s lately noticed from the fire escape that something’s amiss, and wonders whether ‘the four need something… more.’ Sylvie knows that ‘not everyone appreciates a spider who calls attention to herself,’ but she nevertheless takes a risk; a vertical spread depicts the arachnid spinning a silvery web to beckon each individual to the building’s rooftop, where they quickly bond and transform the space into a community gathering place. Not only is Sylvie not imperiled, she’s celebrated and warmly welcomed into the fold. Reidy records Sylvie’s qualms and enthusiasms with a breathless, enthusiastic voice (her idea is ‘audacious, dangerous, MAGNANIMOUS’), while Cummins’s digitally finished multimedia art combines reportorial immediacy with a kind of sketchbook impressionism that takes readers inside Sylvie’s head. Read with or without pandemic-era context in mind, it’s a warming story about the necessity of connection and community.” – Publishers Weekly

To learn more about SYLVIE check out her book page!

You can preorder Sylvie right here: IndieBound, Barnes & Noble, Amazon.

With excitement and gratitude,

Jean

A Glowing GROUP HUG Review from Across the Pond!

I was thrilled when GROUP HUG was sold by the Macmillan sub-rights team for publication in the UK by Scallywag Press. And now readers the world over are enjoying this sweet story of friendship and inclusivity. So, I’m especially excited that Books for Keeps, the UK’s leading children’s book magazine, discovered it too … and topped off the good news with this glowing review!

“This wonderfully clever and inventive story about needing hugs all round is the perfect answer, both during the current pandemic and the soon (hopefully) end of such, because everyone needs hugs, it doesn’t matter how young or old we are.  The rhymes are very skilful and funny, and the illustrations huggable; the inclusivity ticks lots of boxes too.  But it is the whole that is so impressive.  First of all comes a slug in need of a hug: ‘Along came a beetle, a lonely ol’ bug.  You need a hug?  I have one said Slug, to keep your heart snug.’  And so it goes.  A mouse, a squirrel, a skunk (not the happiest of huggers), a beaver, a porcupine (quill-less), a groundhog, a goose, a fox and a moose – and after each addition there is a bigger and bigger group hug until it becomes huge. ‘Then along lumbered Bear needing someone to care. Not to snack on, I swear… yet they shouted, BEWARE!’ But the others are too scared to add him to the mixture, and they scatter to the four winds.  Only the Slug is left because he understands that those who give hugs ‘find happy as much as the hugged’.  On the final page we see the whole crew reunited in one humongous hug.  Brilliantly executed and full of the repetition and colour that appeals so to the young.”

Hooray!

(To find out more about GROUP HUG or to purchase your copy check out the GROUP HUG book page.)

GROUP HUG Kindness Craft – Make a “Hug” Jar!

Since my latest book GROUP HUG hit bookstore and library shelves, I’ve had so much fun reading and talking about hugs. But as we all know, and especially now, hugs aren’t appropriate or possible in every situation.

But there are so many ways to show kindness.

We can offer a kind word. Help with a chore. Give a wave or a smile. Write a letter. These are all great ideas! And here’s one more –

we can make our someone special a hug jar!

Here’s what you’ll need: a clear glass or plastic jar – a clean peanut butter jar is perfect – or an old vase, scissors, paper (any colors will do) tape, and crayons or markers.

And here’s what you do:

  • Cut out the heart for your face. In the video below, I’ll show you a nifty way to make a heart. But, if it’s easier, I created a template that you can download right here!
  • Now draw a face on it. You can add hair and a smile … even eyelashes if you want.
  • Then, cut out your heart hands – two of them, smaller than the face, a different color or the same.
  • Next, cut out your hugging arms – two of them, however long you want them to be. You can make them a different color or the same as your heart face. Either is just fine.
  • Tape the arms to the back of the heart face. And tape the heart hands to the back of the arms.
  • Then with your heart face at the back peeking through your jar, wrap your arms around the jar and use a little bit of tape to hold it all in place.
  • And to finish it off, add a sign “Hugs for (Fill in the name of your someone special here!)”
  • Now comes the best part – filling the jar with “hugs.” Cut up pieces of paper. You can even use scrap paper. And on each piece, write a special note, a kindness, a compliment, or draw some art. And then fold it up and add it to the hug jar. Hug messages might include something like:
    • I love you.
    • Love and kisses.
    • You are my sunshine.
    • You’re a wonderful reader.
    • I love playing games with you.
    • I love when you sing.
    • I’ll pick up my toys.
    • Thank you for being my grandma!
    • A picture of a rainbow.
    • A picture of a beautiful tree
    • A picture of your dog
    • A self-portrait

You can add as many “hugs” as you want. And your special person can pull out a hug once a day or whenever they need one. Because you can always fill up their jar again when they run out.

To make things even easier, check out my step-by-step “Hug” Jar Video.

Friends, you can make a hug jar for any special someone. And I guarantee that every time you make someone happy with a kindness, you’ll feel happy too. Because, after all, “a hugger finds happiness ‘longside the hugged.”

I hope you love GROUP HUG!

Give yourselves a great, BIG hug from me. And have a great rest of your day!

(To find out more about GROUP HUG or to purchase your copy check out the GROUP HUG book page.)

 

GROUP HUG – A Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift!

Are you looking for a fresh & fun Valentine’s Day gift or storytime read? How about GROUP HUG from

Macmillan/Henry Holt/Godwin Books, Joey Chou and me? Through a forest of friendly animals, our latest picture book encourages kindness and the contagious happiness that hugs can bring. Just add kisses!Face throwing a kiss

“This sweetly endearing charmer, highlighting kindness, is expressed in jaunty, witty rhymes that read and scan beautifully … Readers will embrace this captivating winner.”

– Kirkus STARRED Review –

“The economic text has a surfeit of aural pleasures, and Reidy (Truman) strikes a comic tone that never sinks into sentimentality: an overworked beaver is beckoned with ‘Come join our crew./ Let the hugging ensue!’ Digital art by Chou (Ways to Welcome) combines strong lines and shapes with intricate, expertly balanced overlays of color and texture. Together, text and art radiate a sense of unalloyed communal joy.”

– Publishers Weekly –

“(A)n excellent storytelling experience … enhancing the message of kindness and understanding.”

– School Library Journal –
With gratitude,
Jean

Foreign Rights Deals for Two Favorites!

It’s extra fun when wonderful things happen to backlist picture books! ALL THROUGH MY TOWN and BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! will now be published in China, thanks to the awesome foreign rights team at Bloomsbury! Hooray!

If you’d like to find out more about these two books or purchase copies, check out these book pages:

   ALL THROUGH MY TOWN

BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK!

Have a great weekend and happy reading, friends!

Three New Picture Books in 2022!

Happy New Year, friends!

While this first week of 2022 has already seen its fair share of bad news, I wanted to share some good news that puts a smile on my face and that I hope will do the same for you.

I have three new picture books coming out in 2022!

The first is Sylvie, coming in May from Atheneum/Simon & Schuster and illustrated by my Truman pal, Lucy Ruth Cummins. Sylvie is the story of a sweet and surreptitious spider with a big, bold heart, who hangs outside an apartment building giving her a unique perspective on four special people – and one brave tortoise – who live inside. And what she decides to do for them is nothing short of magnanimous! You can preorder Sylvie right here: IndieBound, Barnes & Noble, Amazon.

Next out is A Grand Day, coming in July from Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster and illustrated by amazing paper-cut, 3-D artist Samantha Cotterill. This rhyming, warmhearted picture book celebrates the special bond between grandparents and grandchildren in every kind of family and the joy they find when they’re together. You can preorder A Grand Day right here: IndieBound, Barnes & Noble, Amazon

And finally, Me and You in a Book Made for Two, comes out in August from HarperCollins. This is the second in my What Would You Do collaboration with illustrator Joey Chou. It’s about the joy of sharing your story with a friend or someone special. Twice the adventure! Double the fun! You can preorder Me and You in a Book Made for Two right here: IndieBound, Barnes & Noble, Amazon.

Amazingly, all three stories incorporate gatherings, friendship, family, togetherness and community – themes we’ve sorely missed these last two years. Friends, I’m excited not only for these but also for the hundreds of other amazing titles hitting bookstore and library shelves in 2022. So, it will be a busy year, for sure.

Wishing you all a new year full of peace, love, hope … and hours of happy reading!

Jean