Kate’s Kidlit Blog
At this point, I have done a LOT of live radio interviews about “All About Poop.” So many that I’ve lost count! But I don’t have many recordings of those interviews to share.
That’s why I was very excited when radio host Shannon Devereaux Sanford sent me this recording of my recent interview with her for WTBQ in Warwick, New York. It was such a fun conversation! Thanks again to Shannon for sharing “All About Poop” with all of your listeners! I hope they all love the book as much as you do!
Click on the link below to listen to the interview.
YOU CAN READ ABOUT OUR POTTY PALOOZA EVENT ON BOSTON.COM!!
Sorry about yelling. I’m just so excited! The Pinwheel Books Potty Palooza event on November 13 went great – which was fantastic in itself. But the fact that Boston.com put together a fun potty-training quiz to cover the event is even MORE fantastic! So, so, so many people are getting the chance to read about “All About Poop!”
Thanks so much to Boston.com for the great coverage! As for the rest of you….take the POTTY QUIZ now!
The first BIG event to promote one of my books (assuming that my “side” career as an author is just getting started). And guess what else? You are ALL invited!
The event is called POTTY PALOOZA!!! Presented by Pinwheel Books and Magic Beans (with special planning help from my friend Mommy Niri), it features a fabulous lineup of experts who will be talking to parents about ALL things related to diapering and potty training, from the best gear to techniques to troubleshooting (see list below). And of course, we will also be talking about the science of digestion and how you can use the All About Poop book and app as teaching tools to help answer all your kids’ persistent poop questions. I know they’re asking!
But here’s the deal: SPACE IS LIMITED! So if you live in the Boston area and you would like to attend, sign up now!! Get this: FREE babysitting on site. If you’re a blogger or reporter, be sure to register for the media portion of the program. Full event details are below. I hope to see you all there!!
Tuesday, November 13
10 am – 12 pm
Wheelock College historic Wightman Mansion
Please join us in a FREE poopendous adventure from diaper to potty chair! Potty Palooza (#pottypalooza) will focus on two of our favorite subjects: diapering and potty training!
- Jamie the Baby Guy (http://www.thebabyguynyc.com/) who will showcase the best diapering and potty training products for the busy mom.
- Kathryn Roberts, Pain and Incontinence Program Coordinator at Children’s Hospital, who will talk about the hospital’s Toilet Training School.
- Salina Gonzales Frazier, CEO of Diaper Lab, on how cloth diapers have come a long way and why they are a great option for today’s mom.
- Kate Hayes (ME), author of All About Poop, on why it’s important to talk to our kids about poop.
- Jason Lindsey, a.k.a. “Mr. Science” from Hooked on Science, via Skype, on how poop shouldn’t just be a funny word to your kids, and how it’s a great tool to introduce them to the science of digestion.
- Keri Steckler, local mom and founder of Tick Tock LLC, and inventor of the Potty Time Stickers and Chart (on sale at CVS), on how rewards can be used to help with potty training.
- A preview of All About Poop‘s animated iPad app (so get ready for some funny noises!).
- Lots of great potty-training products to check out.
- Awesome giveaways from our sponsors!
- 10:00-10:45 Media/Bloggers Only: Q&A with speakers, product demonstrations
- 10:45-12:00 Event opens to general public. Speaker Presentations and All About Poop book reading for kids.
We will have a cozy kid’s corner, sponsored by Urban Sitter, with friendly babysitters to play with the kids while you enjoy our presentation.
There will be light food and refreshments.
Space is limited so register now! Bloggers/media need to register only once for the entire event–registration includes private Q&A AND speaker presentations from 10:45-12:00. Hurry – sign up before it’s full!
I don’t know about your kids, but MY kids love to build excitement for a new season or upcoming holiday by reading books about them. Lots and lots of books! I think this is great fun too…except for the fact that there seems to be a fairly limited amount of good books written about any given season or holiday. So we parents, who have better memories than our smaller counterparts, can quickly get bored reading the same books over and over every year.
That’s why I was particularly excited to find three new Halloween books from HarperCollins Publishers in my mailbox last week. Anna and Kellen were equally delighted. We had fun reading them all together, and then they begged me to get out all of our fall and Halloween decorations. Just a heads up…if you start reading any of these, be prepared to roll out the pumpkins!
Here is a quick summary of what each has to offer:
It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse!
Written by Laura Numeroff; Illustrated by Felicia Bond
I’m sure you recognize the famous mouse on the cover of this book! Yep – it’s the presumptuous little guy from “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” He’s as cute as ever in this Halloween board book. It is a simple book to help get the littlest readers in the holiday spirit. Mouse paints all of his pumpkins to represent different moods. Of course, that also makes it a good chance to talk about moods and feelings and ask your toddler to show you his “angry/sad/scary/surprised/other mood face.” I used to love doing that with my kids! I’d say that you could read this to a baby up to a 3-year-old. It was a bit too simple for my kids, so after we read it we decided to send it to a younger friend.
Just Say Boo!
Written by Susan Hood; Illustrated by Jed Henry
This is a beautifully illustrated book that makes you feel like all the fun of Halloween night has come to life on the pages in front of you. Truly – I think my kids would have loved it even it had no words at all. But the words are cute too. Basically, the text goes through all of the scenarios that could potentially scare a trick-or-treating kid on Halloween (via his or her imagination) and then shows how those things are really nothing to be scared of at all, while advising “Just say Boo!” For example, “If a yip and a yowl make you shiver and scowl, what do you say?” (Picture shows silhouette and shadow of scary-looking wolf howling in front of the moon.) “Boo!” (Picture shows the costumed kids chasing a friendly pet around the yard.)
Just Say Boo! rhymes and is an easy bedtime read. The suggested age is 4 and up…I would say that 4-6 years old would be the perfect audience. But again, kids of all ages would enjoy looking at the gorgeous illustrations just to help get into the holiday spirit!
Mia: Time to Trick or Treat!
Written by Robin Farley; Pictures by Olga and Aleksey Ivanov
Last but not least, we got to read a lovely little book about Mia the Kitten Ballerina. I know Mia is a series character, so if your child is already a fan then this is a must-have. For everyone else, it’s cute and (drum roll please) it comes with stickers!! In the story, Mia and her two friends all want to wear the same costume for trick or treating, but they can’t agree on the same color. Finally they come to a compromise (love how these holiday books manage to work in other lessons as well). The story isn’t deep, but it certainly hits the spot for those craving Halloween excitement. Between the kitten, the friendship story, and the tutus, I think little girls aged 4-7 will especially love it. And the stickers help enhance some of the pages, which is fun for girls or boys, as Kellen can attest.
Enjoy your pre-holiday reading…and Happy Halloween!
***Disclosure: I was provided with free copies of these books in order to review them. However, positive reviews were not promised. I always give my honest opinions.
It has been even busier than usual in the life of this working mom the past few weeks. As most of you know, my first children’s book, “All About Poop,” was released by Pinwheel Books on September 1. So far, the book has been incredibly well received. It was even sold out last week on Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com (they’re all stocked up again, so no worries)!
To help promote the book, I have been doing lots of radio interviews since its release. Most days, it has been one or two here and there – which is pretty easy to work into my normal workday routine. Today…there were eight. EIGHT. That made the day a little more challenging. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not complaining one bit! First of all, I am so grateful for the opportunity to not only have a book published, but also to be able to talk my head off about it to people all over the United States. The idea that people want to interview ME is astounding. I have discovered that I really enjoy being on the “other” side of a live interview and have had so much fun talking all about poop with the talk show hosts – who, to my surprise, have been incredibly enthusiastic about the book. Some have been downright giddy. The only drawback (if you could call it that) is that my full-time job is equally exciting and all-consuming at the moment. And that work doesn’t stop for picture book radio tours. Today, I shifted most of my work a few hours later – which meant that I was still working during the time that I try to devote solely to my kids. I try to avoid that scenario as much as possible. My time with my family during the week is so limited and so precious…I never want to take that for granted. I always try to make those moments together count.
Last night, for example, four-year-old Kellen and I shared a moment that will far outshine any radio interview in my life’s memory bank. We worked on identifying and writing letters (again). I’ve mentioned in the past that while Kellen is an incredibly smart kid, he has not had the same interest in or patience for learning to read and write that Anna did at his age. That worried me for a while, but I have come to accept that all kids learn things at a different pace…and that’s totally fine. (I also realized that Kellen knew way more than he was letting on most of the time. He just chooses not to display his true knowledge when it’s not on his current agenda.)
So while trying to get Kellen to work on his letters is nothing new at our house, the difference in THIS night of alphabet play was that he was actually interested. Not only did he participate in our ABC magnet games, he also wanted to try to write his name all by himself. He was willing to let Kyle and I help him grip the pen correctly (which he normally rebels against). And then our rambunctious little guy sat in my lap and concentrated very, very hard…
…so incredibly focused and not fidgety…
And actually wrote his name for the very first time. All. By. Himself.
And then he and Mommy smiled until our cheeks hurt.
Daddy came over to join in all the cheering. Proud big sister Anna took pictures with my phone. Gosh, I love this family.
I could not be more excited or proud of anything going on in my professional life than I am of my son’s brand new signature. And FYI – that’s some serious chest puffing, because I am incredibly proud of both my career and my first book. Yes, even if it is about poop. I think perhaps especially since it is about poop, because I know how much it could potentially benefit every family with young kids!
I’ll be talking more about All About Poop much more in the days to come, so listen for me on a radio near you! And just as a reminder, I am trying to update the website with all the latest reviews, publicity information, and upcoming appearances related to the book. If you’d like to stay up-to-date, be sure to check out the Media Coverage and Events pages.
It has been a incredibly fun and surreal journey watching my first children’s book go through the publication process over the past year. It has been a labor of love for everyone involved…which I now know extends far beyond just the author and the illustrator (Brenna Vaughan) to many other key players: the publisher (Pinwheel Books), the editors, the book & app designer, the publicists, and more. All About Poop is also partnering with educator/TV personality Jason Lindsey of Hooked on Science, who has created a Parent and Teacher guide to accompany the book. I am so grateful to all the hard work, creativity, and giggles that went into transforming these late night thoughts of mine into a fun book that kids can enjoy for generations to come. All of us are anxiously waiting to see what the world thinks when AAP makes its retail debut on Saturday.
So far, the word-of-mouth reviews have been outstanding. Everyone who has had a chance to read a hard copy of All About Poop has loved it. I gave a couple of my personal advance copies to my son’s daycare a few weeks ago and the response could not have been better. I still have preschoolers seeking me out when I pick Kellen up from school just to tell me how much they love the poop book. The teachers say it has become an instant classroom favorite (and they like reading it too). Parents are asking where they can get it.
Our first written review was terrific as well. Here are a couple of excerpts from the August 9 write-up in ForeWord Reviews:
Kate Hayes writes with rhyming cadence but manages to get the scientific basics and all-important need for hand-washing in while keeping a beat you can tap-dance to.
The boy and his dog are cute and have a sweet hipness about them, and Vaughan’s drawing of a group of apartments would be right at home on a greeting card if she erased the pipes running to a municipal sewage plant.
Kids do love to explore gross things, and All About Poop doesn’t stint on the grossness. It’s also funny and informative, and may help cool a youthful obsession by explaining things in terms that are easy to understand.
Read the full review.
I know I’m biased, but I just can’t help but feel like anyone who reads the book is going to love it. I know how fascinated kids are with poop and I know there is a total need for a book like this one in the picture book market. Please help me pray that the book buzz will spread like wildfire! Jason and I start doing radio interviews the first week of September (including NPR!), so hopefully that will help bring some widespread attention.
Soon I will have more details about where you can buy All About Poop, but I know for certain that it will be available at Brookline Booksmith, the Harvard Coop, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon (among many other places). If you just can’t wait and you would like to order direct from the distributor, you can do so on the Atlas Books website (same price as everywhere else). Orders may be placed now, but please note that the books will not ship until the release date.
Now to start thinking about my next manuscript (you know, in my spare time)…any topic suggestions? What type of book have you never been able to find for your kids? I welcome your input…and I thank you all for your continued support. Please keep telling your friends All About Poop!
My upcoming picture book, All About Poop, was featured on the front page of the Brookline Tab today! (For those who don’t know, Brookline is an AWESOME town right on the outskirts of downtown Boston. Lots of smart people live there. It is also where my publisher, Pinwheel Books, is based.) This is our first media coverage of the book and I could NOT be more excited! The article is titled, “It’s ‘All About Poop’ for Brookline Publisher.” Go check it out…it’s fantastic!
I think reporter Teddy Applebaum and photographer David Gordon did a terrific job of telling our story. And in true reporter fashion, Teddy worked in some punny poop lines. My favorite one is, “Pinwheel is hoping to ride Hayes’ book about number two all the way to number one.” LOL. I hope so too!
There are so many exciting reasons to preorder All About Poop now. You can read about more of them on the Kickstarter campaign page (which also provides a link to a sneak peek of the whole book). Please consider sharing this information with your friends who have poop-loving preschoolers! But the Kickstarter campaign ends on June 2…so don’t wait too long!!
UPDATE, May 17: I am excited to announce that all books preordered through the Kickstarter campaign can be SIGNED by the author (ME) before they are shipped to you! So if you would like to have a signed copy of “All About Poop,” please be sure to place your order by June 2. Thank you!
As most of you know, my first picture book is being published this summer. “All About Poop” will be released by Pinwheel Books on September 1, 2012.
While I never planned for my first book to be about poop, this is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for me! I have been writing picture book manuscripts ever since I can remember. I wrote this one because I couldn’t find a good book about poop for preschoolers. Most people are familiar with “Everyone Poops” – and that’s a great picture book for toddlers. But as my son Kellen got closer to three, he wanted to know more and more about poop – especially how it’s made in our bodies and where it goes after we flush it down the pipes. I think those are pretty common questions for kids who are just mastering the art of using the toilet. But the only books that I could find that explained this process were either way too simple or geared toward much older kids. Kellen didn’t have the patience to sit through the more detailed pages…and continued to ask me the same questions again and again.
So…I wrote a book that explained everything Kellen wanted to know in funny, rhyming text. For example:
Kellen thinks this is so hilarious that he recites it almost every time he goes to the bathroom. All About Poop also discusses different words people use for poop, explains what toots are, and stresses the importance of washing your hands. So far, everyone who has previewed the book has loved it. We are hoping that it will be a big hit with preschoolers and parents everywhere!
The key to making that happen is…marketing. No matter how good a book is, it will never be a best seller if it’s not promoted properly.While my publisher, Pinwheel Books, is still new and small, she wants to launch “All About Poop” in a big way. So a couple of weeks ago, Pinwheel launched a Kickstarter campaign to try to raise extra marketing funds for the book. If you’re not familiar with Kickstarter, it’s a funding platform for creative projects. Supporters can donate an amount of their choosing in exchange for rewards (like, for example, a copy of the book). Every project creator sets their project’s funding goal and deadline. If the project succeeds in reaching its funding goal by the deadline, all backers’ credit cards are charged when time expires. If the project falls short no one is charged.So here’s how you can help. I have heard SO MANY of my friends and family members say that they can’t wait to buy All About Poop, or that they can’t wait to tell their friends with young children about the book. If all of those people just preordered their one copy of the book right now through the Kickstarter campaign, it would contribute greatly toward reaching the funding goal of $7,000. The price to preorder the book NOW will be the same as it will be later when you purchase through Amazon ($20 with shipping).
However, please be aware that if we do not meet the funding goal by Saturday, June 2, at 7:54 p.m., then the project will not be funded. That does NOT mean that “All About Poop” will not be published. The book is being released either way! It will just mean that we didn’t raise the money needed for the extra marketing push. AND it will also mean that those people who did pledge will not be charged. So they would need to place their book orders again later, when the book goes on sale.
If you’d like to go directly to the Kickstarter campaign page to preorder the book or watch videos about the process of publishing the book (yes, I’m in them too), click here.
Hopefully all of that makes sense! If you have any questions about the book or the Kickstarter campaign, please let me know. I SOOOO appreciate your help spreading the word and helping “All About Poop” get noticed in a big way!!
Pinwheel Books has posted a video of me reading All About Poop at Brookline Booksmith on March 11. My first public reading! If you would like to hear the whole book, please watch and let me know what you think!
Also NEW: You can now “LIKE” All About Poop on Facebook! This is a great way to stay informed about when the book is going to be released and when you can actually pre-order!
Please feel free to spread the word to anyone who would love this book!
If someone had told me when Kellen was born that I would have a published book by the time he was four, I might have believed them … on the grounds of total wishful thinking. But if someone had told me that not only would I have a book, but also get the chance to do my first public reading at a VERY popular bookstore in the Boston area – where smart, creative people congregate like ants on a picnic? I would have thought they were crazy. And yet … there is my name on a sign…
…outside a VERY popular bookstore in the Boston area!
I had the amazing opportunity to participate in the Pinwheel Books Picture Book Showcase at Brookline Booksmith today. For my St. Louis readers, I would offer the comparison that Brookline is a town that seems (to me) like the University City of the Boston metropolis. And Coolidge Corner, the neighborhood where the bookstore is located, reminded me very much of The Loop…eclectic, artsy, and bursting with intelligent people of all nationalities. You can hear it in the conversations (the ones you can understand) and just sense it in the air. Just swap out the Wash U. and SLU students for Harvard and MIT students, and they could almost be the same place! So with that perspective, you can imagine what kind of bookstore Brookline Booksmith is! Before we visited today, many locals told me it is their favorite bookstore of all time. When we got there, I understood why. Two floors of new and used books of every kind is not something you can find at many independent book sellers these days. I could have spent the whole day there. Heck, I could spend the whole week there! But I digress.
I feel like I could blather on and on about being at this event, so I am going to try to restrain myself to telling the story through brief photo descriptions only. That’s what you really want to see anyway, isn’t it?
Here I am holding my book before the readings started, while all the kids were still making cute pinwheel crafts and Kellen was nearly pinning himself to the table. (Leave it to Kellen!)
It was a FULL HOUSE for the event! I don’t have any pictures that show how many people were there, but it was way more than I expected! A lot of the kids sat in the floor to listen to the stories, and I was amazed by how good and QUIET they were for the first two readings (especially our chatterbox son)! I think that is a testament to the quality of the books!
First…Sam and Ben. Written by Sylvia Pagan Westphal and read by illustrator Nicole Gsell
Then…Francisco’s Fabulous Friends. Written and illustrated by Taco Matthews and read by her husband in a wonderful British accent!
And then it was my turn. Here I am being introduced by my terrific publisher/ owner of Pinwheel Books, Sylvia Pagan Westphal.
And here I am reading with animation…
LOTS of animation!!
And you know what? It went really well. The kids were totally interested and giggling the whole time. I could hear grown-ups laughing throughout the room. Afterward, people were coming up to me saying the NICEST things!
Of course, I can’t recite compliments…but I can say that they seemed to agree that there has long been a definite need for a book just like this one, and they seemed truly thrilled that they will soon be able to buy it for their kids.
That. Is. Amazing.
I also think it’s amazing that my name is even on the same flyer with all of those other names!! Ree Drummond, a SUPER FAMOUS blogger/ author, is going to be in Coolidge Corner in just a few days! And MO WILLEMS is going to be reading at Brookline Booksmith on April 1!!! You know, author/illustrator of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Knuffle Bunny, and so many other great books…THAT Mo Willems! Wow.
AND it’s amazing that this lovely lady and her family drove a long way to Brookline specifically to support me. This is my friend Lisa, whom I have have known online for more than a year because she started reading my blog! We have corresponded for so long that I feel like I know her, even though today was the first day that we actually met. She even brought us homemade cookies! That is some serious support, and I can’t thank her enough for it!
After the book showcase was over, my family got to enjoy a lovely lunch with the Pinwheel Books “family” at their office in Brookline. I was so honored to be considered a part of that family and especially thrilled to see this on the wall! (Brenna Vaughan, I should add that your presence was missed, but your talents were discussed frequently!)
After lunch, Kyle, the kids, and I rounded out our Brookline experience by walking around Coolidge Corner and letting the kids run wild on the local playground. It was a gorgeous spring-like day. Of course it was. What else could it have been?
This is what they looked like on the day that Mommy read her first book in public. I hope it will be the first “first reading” of many to come. And I hope when they get older they will remember just a smidgen of this day in a very cool bookstore, just outside of Boston, which Mommy will never, ever forget.