Giveaway! Gift Certificate for Bookstore

Many of you have reached out to ask when you can purchase Welcome Home. Thanks for your enthusiasm! It means a great deal to me that you are happy to welcome this book into the world.

That’s why I’m especially excited to share news of a giveaway being hosted by Simon & Schuster Canada. Pre-order your copy of Welcome Home from any Canadian retailer and go to Simon & Schuster on release day, January 4th, 2021: spr.ly/6014JosgK. You’ll be able to enter to win a gift certificate of $100 CAD for any Canadian bookstore. I love the idea of someone—maybe you!—picking out some some new books to enjoy.

As well, I’m happy to sign bookplates and send them out for free to the first 200 people who request one. Just let me know to whom I should write my message and where you’d like me to mail the envelope. It’s the next best thing to having me drop by your loved one’s home to sign a copy.

One of my favourite parts of being a children’s author is signing books for families. I still treasure books from my childhood, and it’s an honour to inscribe my books with a message written just for each recipient.

Please know that I am sending my heartfelt wishes for a safe, wonder-filled holiday season. Each one of you is worth celebrating. Together, we share this fragile, beautiful world, and I am grateful.

Kindness in the Classroom Giveaway: Toast Sticks and Teaching

Mama Bell Frampton and Freddie Rogers, as depicted by Matt Phelan

Mama Bell Frampton was a neighbor of the young Fred Rogers. Fred describes with fondness his visits to her home. Time and again, she welcomed him with a cheery greeting and the gift of a simple offering:  buttered toast. What’s more, she showed young Freddie how to make “toast sticks” all by himself. She had no way of knowing how deeply her everyday kindness would affect her young neighbor.

Mama Bell Frampton’s consistent, caring presence helped to form Fred’s vision of a healthy neighborhood—a place where all were welcomed and encouraged to grow. That sense of connection and warmth pervaded the television program that would bring Mr. Rogers into the homes and hearts of countless families over the decades it was on the air.

Fred recognized the transformative power of those who care for children, calling them his heroes. As a former teacher, I honor the vital work of educators. I’m cheering you on as you create communities that recognize the dignity of the students in your care. In honor of World Kindness Day, which is recognized on November 13th, I want to celebrate Kindness in the Classroom.

You Are My Friend cover

I am holding a giveaway for a special prize pack. It will include an online author visit and a signed copy of You Are My Friend: The Story of Mister Rogers and His Neighborhood as well as postcards and temporary tattoos featuring art from the book for every student in the winning teacher’s class.

If you are a teacher, you can enter the draw in four ways:

(1) comment on this blog post,

(2) comment on and share the corresponding World Kindness Day Classroom Giveaway post on my Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/aimeereidbooks/,

(3) tag me on Twitter (@aimeereidbooks) and use the hashtags #WorldKindnessDay and #teaching, and

(4) tag me on Instagram (@aimeereidbooks), using the hashtags #WorldKindnessDay and #teaching. Each of the four options will give you an entry.  

I’ll hold a draw on Sunday, November 14th and be in touch with the recipient to find out how you’d like your book personalized and where you’d like me to send the book, postcards, and temporary tattoos. We’ll also set up a time for the online visit.  

All teachers who participate will receive a link for a downloadable booklet that expands on the themes in You Are My Friend and invites students to write or draw about their own uniqueness. I’d love to see pictures of the booklets your students create!

Special note: I’m also holding a separate giveaway of two signed books for individuals. Check out my blog post entitled World Kindness Day Giveaway: Neighbors, Helpers, and Everyday Goodness for those details. Teachers are welcome to enter both draws.

World Kindness Day Giveaway: Neighbors, Helpers, and Everyday Goodness

I spent some time standing on my front lawn last night, listening to a neighbor. The stress of the pandemic had taken a toll. I didn’t have answers for the thorny questions that troubled this person, and that was okay. We lingered while my dog played until the growing chill nudged us back indoors.

At the end of the conversation, my neighbor expressed gratitude for an increase in front-lawn visits on our street over the past year or so. “It’s something good,” said my neighbor, who made sure that I knew this observation was not meant to diminish the loss and uncertainty of these months.

I agree.

You may know of Fred Rogers’ advice for children when they encounter frightening situations: “Look for the helpers.” Fred was passing along his mother’s words when, as a child, he had heard scary news on the radio.

One reason I admire Fred Rogers’ work is that he told the truth to children. Fred’s advice was not meant to simply distract them from the fact that the world contains sadness. It was rooted in equally deep and, I believe, more compelling truths: our world is filled with kindness and we have the power to choose our responses.

Good people are everywhere. Thoughtful acts are woven into the fabric of our society, and we can pay attention to them. Cups of tea poured, hands extended, neighbors shoveling walks: these ordinary decisions to care for one another deserve celebration.

You Are My Friend book cover

In honor of World Kindness Day, which is recognized on November 13th, I want to give away two signed copies of You Are My Friend: The Story of Mister Rogers and His Neighborhood. You can enter to receive one of the copies in four ways:

(1) comment on this blog post,

(2) comment on and share the corresponding World Kindness Day post on my Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/aimeereidbooks/,

(3) tag me on Twitter (@aimeereidbooks) and use the hashtag #WorldKindnessDay, and

(4) tag me on Instagram (@aimeereidbooks), using the hashtag #WorldKindnessDay.

Each of the four options will give you an entry. I’ll hold a random draw for the two prizes on Sunday, November 14th and be in touch with the recipients to find out how you’d like your books personalized and where you’d like me to send them.

Holiday gifts

If you would like to order a personalized copy of You Are My Friend as a gift, let me know. You can reach me through the contact form on my website. I’ll be happy to personalize an inscription and send a copy out in time for the holidays.

Note for teachers and those who appreciate them: I’m also holding a special giveaway for teachers. Check out my blog post entitled Kindness in the Classroom Giveaway: Toast Sticks and Teaching. Teachers can enter both contests.

Sue Todd: Bookworm and Illustrator

Sue Todd is a freelance illustrator whose work encompasses retail design and children’s books. Her images can be seen not only in books but also packaging, posters, tshirts, a tv commercial, and a bus!

Sue enjoys linocarving, which is an ancient printmaking technique. Read on for a glimpse of her process.

Please share about your experience of connecting with books as a child. What memories do you have?

I have memories of being very young and poring over the pages of fairytale collections, paying special attention to the pictures, of course! I always judged a book by its cover, and my favourite gift under the Christmas tree was usually a book. I still remember the feeling of excitement at opening a new one.

My parents encouraged reading, and I spent a lot of time at the library exploring the shelves, looking for just the right picture books. My favourites were The Cat in the Hat and The Little Engine That Could. I remember the suspense of watching Thing One and Thing Two make a mess as Mom’s ankles approached the house, and the Little Engine That Could continues to be a philosophical inspiration. I loved the Narnia series, Alice in Wonderland and any fantasy and mystery stories, including Nancy Drew.

Sue’s studio bookshelf

I volunteered at the school library to get first crack at the new books, so I guess you could call me a book worm. I still remember one incident from Brownies when we had a Christmas gift exchange. I had carefully selected a book that I really wanted to read, and my gift exchange partner gave me a book of Lifesavers. Seriously, it was a selection of different flavours of Lifesaver candies inside a cardboard book! My friend and I were equally dismayed with our gifts and agreed to trade back, so I ended up with the book I wanted after all. 🙂

I wish I had kept the book series I wrote and illustrated around age twelve, The Adventures of Horace the Hippopotamus. It was just a Babar knock-off, but my younger sisters found it entertaining.

Can you tell us a little bit about your process of making art for children’s books?

Every book begins in my sketchbook where I scribble ideas and develop characters. Once I have established the look, I create a small dummy, about half size, to keep a consistency and flow throughout the story. After approval of rough sketches, I begin my final art process.

My technique is linocut, which is a form of relief printmaking similar to woodcut. The medium is linoleum just like the flooring material but without the finish. With relief printing you carve away the bits you don’t want and whatever is left will be the image that is rolled with ink and printed on paper. I have a table-top press for smaller images and use an old fashioned burnisher and lots of muscle for larger pieces. The black and white print is then scanned and coloured in Photoshop.

I like the combination of analog and digital technologies and enjoy each stage of the process for different reasons. The sketching stage is most creative and requires quiet concentration whereas the carving stage is more meditative, like knitting. The colouring stage is sheer fun and takes me back to kindergarten.

Please share your thoughts on and tips for sharing good books with children.

Although I have illustrated many things including educational picture books, my first trade book was released only last year. The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito is a wonderful play by Tomson Highway published by Fifth House/Fitzhenry & Whiteside. My second trade book was released in March. I look forward to sharing An African Alphabet with pre-schoolers. It was written by Eric Walters and published by Orca Books.

Thanks, Sue, for sharing your process with us! I wish I could read The Adventures of Horace the Hippopotamus. 

Have a look at Sue’s new books:

Sue has a new book coming out with Eric Walters in the fall of 2018. It’s called The Wild Beast. Be sure to watch for it! 

How about you? Which illustrations intrigued you as a child?

Post a comment on this blog, and your name will be entered in a draw for a personally inscribed copy of Sue’s newest book, An African Alphabet? This book will be a lovely addition to a toddler’s library. I’ll draw the winning name on September 13, 2017.

Sign up to Aimee’s newsletter below for more giveaways and to receive inside information from children’s book writers and illustrators. 


Connect with Sue: 

Website: www.suetodd.com

Facebook: SueToddIllustration

Twitter: @SueTodd20

 

Extending Time Together Giveaway

Little-Gray-Water-Image2

A little while ago, I announced that I would be giving away children’s books and CDs in connection with the release of Mama’s Day with Little Gray. I offered three ways to enter:

1. Post a comment on the Time Together blog entry, which you can find here: Time Together.

2. Subscribe to my blog, Good Books to Share, which focuses on how sharing children’s books has enriched people’s lives. (See below for an update regarding this method.)

3. Subscribe to my newsletter, which features behind-the-scenes stories from the creators of children’s books.

Many of you have commented and subscribed. Thank you! I’m looking forward to staying in touch, and I plan to give away more gifts in the days to come.

Extended Deadline for Time Together Giveaway:

I recently made a discovery: when people subscribe to the blog via RSS feed, I have no way to reach them. If you are one of those people and you’d like to be eligible for this giveaway, please email me through the contact form on my website: (Click here to be taken to the contact form.)

Simply write Books and CDs in your message, and I’ll enter your name in the draw. I’ve extended the deadline for this giveaway another three weeks in order to accommodate this change. I didn’t want to leave anyone out!

I’ll be holding the draw on Monday, June 2, 2014.

Best wishes,

Aimee