Monday, July 11, 2016

Michigander Monday: Wendy BooydeGraaff

I'm pleased to welcome Wendy BooydeGraaff to Michigander Monday!

Debbie:  Wendy, please tell us a little about yourself.

Wendy:  I grew up making mud pies on a fruit farm in southern Ontario, and now live near Grand Rapids where I still play in the mud, except now I call it gardening.

Debbie:  And, of course, we want to know all about your book.

Wendy:  Salad Pie (illustrated by Bryan Langdo, published by Ripple Grove Press) is a picture book about friendship, imagination and the great outdoors. Contrary to what comes up when you google Salad Pie, there is no cooking involved, unless you count the pretend kind.

Maggie is determined to make her imaginary salad pie all by herself, because then she knows it will turn out just perfect. When Herbert appears, Maggie won’t let him join in…until she takes a tumble and Herbert saves the day, and Salad Pie.

Debbie:  Other books or projects on the horizon?

Wendy:  No news yet, but I do have several projects I am working on.

Debbie:  Upcoming appearances?

Wendy:  I am running a Goodreads giveaway soon, so if Salad Pie is on your shelf, you’ll get notified. And, I have an events page on www.wendybooydegraaff.com that I update regularly.

Debbie:  Do you have a favorite Michigan bookstore? And/or a favorite Michigan library?

Wendy:  My home store is Schuler Books and Music in Grand Rapids, which has a huge used book section, a cafĂ© (with outdoor seating) and an events studio for live music and author talks.

The Kentwood Library (part of KDL-Kent District Library) has always been my favourite library, even before they moved into their current space beside City Hall. They have weekly outdoor concerts in the summer, a farmer’s market every Saturday morning in June, July and August, a seed exchange, quiet meeting rooms, a huge kids’ area with a play city and, most importantly, their librarians are the friendliest around. Oh, and they also have books, lots of books. They even have several copies of my book, which they ordered all on their own before I had a chance to ask them to!

Debbie:  How about a favorite place in Michigan?

Wendy:  I love Lake Michigan, anywhere along the shoreline. Last summer I went to Sleeping Bear Dunes for the first time and was blown away by the beauty of the endless sand and variegated blue water. I also love Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Art Museum (the only LEED certified art museum in the world). All three places give me immense happiness and warm feelings.

Debbie:  Do you have a Michigan event or happening that you love to attend?

Wendy:  Art Prize in September is my favourite Grand Rapids event. Along with art everywhere—on the streets, in building lobbies, on the Blue Bridge—there is also food everywhere. Great restaurants set up little booths outside and food trucks park in the B.O.B. parking lot.

Debbie:  A few fun Michigan people we should all know about?

Wendy:  My critique group includes Dan Burns (who just won the Michigan SCBWI mentorship), Roxanne Henley (a fellow picture book writer), Amy Henrickson (who writes all about Michigan) and Katie Van Ark (YA author of The Boy Next Door). Each and every one of them are smart writers to watch, and whose work you will be seeing out there on the shelves more and more.

Debbie:  Something you'd like a non-Michigander to know about Michigan?

Wendy:  Michigan has great beauty, lots of artsy towns (Grand Rapids, Saugutuck, Ann Arbor, Detroit) and friendly people.

Debbie:  Last question.  Some folks in Michigan refer to themselves as Michiganders, others as Michiganians. For our ongoing vote tally: are you a Michigander or a Michiganian?

Wendy:  Well, I am an Ontarioian (yeah, try saying that out loud) but my kids are Michiganders, all the way.

Debbie:  Wendy, Ontarioian is fun to say!  Thank you for joining us today for Michigander  Ontarioian Monday!

Wendy BooydeGraaff knows picture books are for everyone and thinks people shouldn’t stare at her when she walks out of the library with armloads of them. She is the author of SALAD PIE (illustrated by Bryan Langdo, published by Ripple Grove Press, 2016) and now lives in Michigan, though she honourably imports every u she can find from her Canadian childhood. You can find out more at her website, and you can read about many other new picture books at On the Scene in 2016, a picture book debut blog. She’d also love to connect with you on Pinterest or Goodreads.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Mama-kisses always come find you!

Not to give away the ending or anything, but that's the theme of my newest picture book, Catch a Kiss.

No matter how far they have to go,
no matter what they have to get through,
and even if they get lost along the way,
Mama-kisses ALWAYS come find you.



Published by Sleeping Bear Press and illustrated beautifully by the talented Kris Aro McLeod, Catch a Kiss is available now at your favorite bookseller.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Upcoming Appearances

I have two library story times coming up next week, both of which include a visit from the costumed Pout-Pout Fish!

One is at the Delta Township District Library on March 9, 2016.

The other is at CADL Downtown on March 10, 2016.

I'll also be a guest speaker at A Rally of Writers on April 9, 2016 (but without the costumed Pout-Pout Fish).

Head over to my web site Event Calendar for more details.

Also, the costumed Mr. Fish will have several Lansing area appearances in March that I won't be present for. For a list of these Pout-Pout Fish character appearances, click here (link is to a brochure on the Early Childhood Literacy Coalition's Facebook page).

Thursday, February 4, 2016

If there were a law against blog neglect, I'd probably be in jail by now...

My poor dusty blog!!

I haven't been here for quite a while, and it's been even longer than that since I've posted a Michigander Monday profile.  It will probably be until spring before the Michigander Monday feature returns.

But rest assured, around the time the snow melts (or thereabouts), Michigander Monday will resume, as will (semi-)regular postings by me.

Until then, a few news tidbits:

The newest addition to The Pout-Pout Fish series is the mini-adventure Kiss, Kiss, Pout-Pout Fish.  It came out in December, so you can currently find it on the shelves of your favorite library or bookstore. As you might have gathered from the title, it's a short but sweet story -- only 12 pages long, but full of ways to express love. Fun to read on any day, and perfect for Valentine's Day.

Arriving this May will be The Pout-Pout Fish Giant Sticker Book. Full of stickers. Lots of them!

In non-fish publication news, in April I will have a new picture book out called Catch a Kiss, illustrated by Kris Aro McLeod.  I'll share the cover for that very soon.

In the meantime, thank you for stopping by my blog, despite its currently neglected status. I look forward to sharing more regular postings with you in the very near future.  Smooch-smooch!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Event Cancellation: Nov. 22 B&N Flint Story Time Cancelled

I've been thoroughly enjoying my school visits and bookstore visits this past week.  Unfortunately, due to weather and travel issues, I've had to cancel the story time scheduled for Sunday, November 22, 2015 at the Flint Barnes and Noble.  My apologies!  If you had planned to come to it to get a book signed, please contact me directly and we'll figure something out.  Thanks!!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Book Tour, Day 6: Georgia

This blog post, like the others during my Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish book tour, is posting automatically, as I'm not sure how much opportunity I'll have during the tour to log on and blog.  But I'm hoping that you'll participate in making the post feel more lively by commenting.  I'd like to make these posts fun and educational (especially for classrooms following my travels) via the comments.  Thank you!!

Today I'm scheduled to appear at Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, GA.  Hope to see you there!  (Be sure to confirm event details with the bookstore before attending, just in case of any last minute schedule adjustments due to travel delays.)

One of the best parts about traveling is learning, and I'd love to know more about Georgia.

In the comments, please tell me (and the rest of this blog's readers) something interesting about Georgia (the state as a whole, or specific locations; bits of history, culture, trivia -- anything interesting).  Or, if you're wondering something about Georgia, ask!  I'll bet we can find an answer.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Book Tour, Day 5: Florida

This blog post, like the others during my Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish book tour, is posting automatically, as I'm not sure how much opportunity I'll have during the tour to log on and blog.  But I'm hoping that you'll participate in making the post feel more lively by commenting.  I'd like to make these posts fun and educational (especially for classrooms following my travels) via the comments.  Thank you!!

Today I'm scheduled to appear at Vero Beach Book Center in Vero Beach, FL.  Hope to see you there!  (Be sure to confirm event details with the bookstore before attending, just in case of any last minute schedule adjustments due to travel delays.)

One of the best parts about traveling is learning, and I'd love to know more about Florida.

In the comments, please tell me (and the rest of this blog's readers) something about Florida (the state as a whole, or specific locations; bits of history, culture, trivia -- anything interesting).  Or, if you're wondering something about Florida, ask!  I'll bet we can find an answer.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Book Tour, Day 3: North Carolina

This blog post, like the others during my Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish book tour, is posting automatically, as I'm not sure how much opportunity I'll have during the tour to log on and blog.  But I'm hoping that you'll participate in making the post feel more lively by commenting.  I'd like to make these posts fun and educational (especially for classrooms following my travels) via the comments.  Thank you!!

Today I'll be at Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC.  Hope to see you there!  (Be sure to confirm event details with the bookstore before attending, just in case of any last minute schedule adjustments due to travel delays.)

One of the best parts about traveling is learning, and I'd love to know more about North Carolina.

In the comments, please tell me (and the rest of this blog's readers) something about North Carolina (the state as a whole, or specific locations; bits of history, culture, trivia -- anything interesting).  Or, if you're wondering something about North Carolina, ask!  I'll bet we can find an answer.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Book Tour, Day 1: Mississippi

This blog post, like the others during my Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish book tour, is posting automatically, as I'm not sure how much opportunity I'll have during the tour to log on and blog.  But I'm hoping that you'll participate in making the post feel more lively by commenting.  I'd like to make these posts fun and educational (especially for classrooms following my travels) via the comments.  Thank you!!

Today I'm scheduled to appear at Square Books in Oxford, MS.  Hope to see you there!  (Be sure to confirm event details with the bookstore before attending, just in case of any last minute schedule adjustments due to travel delays.)

One of the best parts about traveling is learning, and I'd love to know more about Mississippi

In the comments, please tell me (and the rest of this blog's readers) something about Mississippi (the state as a whole, or specific locations; bits of history, culture, trivia -- anything interesting).  Or, if you're wondering something about Mississippi, ask!  I'll bet we can find an answer.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Easy gifts for kids to make

One of the themes of the new Pout-Pout Fish book, The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish, is that gifts don't have to be flashy or expensive.  The best gifts of all come straight from the heart!

Kids love to make and give gifts.  All they need is a little help and encouragement.  If you're in search of ideas for presents that you and your kids can handmake together, I've gathered a few suggestions to get you started over on my Pinterest board.  Stop by and take a look!

And feel free to suggest other ideas for the board.  I'll be adding to the board on an ongoing basis.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Book Tour! And two favors to ask of you...


I’ll be traveling this month to several bookstores to do story times and signings.  While I'm on tour, I'd like to ask two favors of you.


First, if you happen to be in the vicinity of any of my events, please come see me!

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(Be sure to confirm event details with the bookstore before attending, just in case of any last minute schedule adjustments due to travel delays.)

Second, during the out-of-state portion of my tour, I'd like to try a little something on this blog. There are some school classes that will be checking this blog periodically to follow my tour progress, and I'd like to make the experience fun and educational for them.  Since I'll be pretty busy with travel logistics and not always able to post to this blog, I've prepared blog entries for next week ahead of time.  Each blog entry is a simple post that will tell what state I'm currently in.

This is where you come in.  When those posts go up, what I'm hoping is that you would be willing to blog-comment with interesting facts, history, famous folks, etc. from the state being featured.  Or blog-comment with your questions about the state.  That way we can turn the post into something lively and informative for kids.

So...  please come back to this blog on Saturday, Nov. 14, and share your knowledge and/or your questions about Mississippi; and have your North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana info/questions ready for the days to follow.

Thanks!  See you on the road!