Hoppy spring, readers, writers, and amphibian lovers, too! #SeasonsOfKidLit is jumping for joy today. We're excited to have Erin and her adorable MC, Peter Easter Frog, with us. Peter Easter Frog (Illustrated by G. Brian Karas) loves Easter more than anything and believes he's just as good as the Easter bunny. But will his friends and the Easter Bunny agree? Want to know more about Erin, her delightful frog, Peter, PLUS want a chance to win your very own copy or a picture book critique? Read on...
Q: Hi, Erin! #SeasonsOfKidLit is ecstatic you could join us and talk about your adorable book, Peter Easter Frog! Seriously, what’s not to love about a green frog for Easter? First, can you share a little about yourself with the readers?
Your kind words about PETER EASTER FROG mean a lot!
Here’s a silly fact about me: Every year at Easter, my mother would sew these amazing dresses for me and my big sister. Yes, they were matching. No, my big sister did NOT like having our annual Easter picture taken so she started a NO-smiling campaign. Her theory was if we no longer smiled, Mom would stop taking pictures. So as we stood there, she would whisper the edict: “We’re NOT smiling this year.” Did her theory work? Nope. And to this day, I have a hard time smiling for photographs.
Ha! Thanks for sharing that with us!
Q: In your hilarious story, Peter is a happy little frog that’s hopping on a log, passing out Easter eggs to all his friends. What gave you the idea to put an amphibian-themed spin on the typical Easter bunny stories?
A: I’m not really sure why PETER EASTER FROG first hopped into my head, but I remember loving the idea of flipping the reader’s expectations. After all, other animals can hop, right? Kangaroos, crickets, fleas, frogs…Plus, just saying PETER EASTER FROG made me laugh. At that point, my brain went into WHAT IF? mode.
Q: Can you share more about the book and the characters Peter will meet in the story?
A: Three themes surfaced as I wrote PETER EASTER FROG: unlikely friendships, inclusion, and an unexpected act of kindness. I wanted Peter’s helpers to be animals he might meet in the bog and the meadow, so turtle showed up first.
As I was playing around, the read-aloud word-pair squishity-squashity made me so happy, I added cow (clippity-cloppity) and dog (yippity-yappity) to the group. Plus, the word play with sheep dog cracked me up. (I remember sending this manuscript to my critique group and asking: Am I crazy, or does this make you laugh too?” Short answer: They thought it was funny. The “Am I crazy?” thing is still up for debate.) Chipmunk showed up next and I had to agree—he is very good at hiding things.
Fun fact: There was a snake in one of the early drafts, but the consensus was snake made the story much scarier. I was worried there would be no tension without the snake until I realized the bunny might not be too happy.
Q: Brian’s illustrations are so fun and fitting for Easter! Can you share some of your favorite spreads/images from the book with us?
A: Every spread is so much fun but OH My GOODNESS, I can’t tell you how thrilled and delighted I was to see illustrator G. Brian Karas’ take on when THE BUNNY shows up! The foreshadowing is incredible and –spoiler alert (sort of) Peter and the Bunny are dressed alike! –Have you ever gone to a party or special event, and the competition is wearing the exact same thing? The illustrations are genius!
Q: What makes Peter Easter Frog the perfect addition to Easter baskets (and the perfect read for spring)?
A: Since you asked…PETER EASTER FROG a silly read-aloud that will have readers of all ages LAUGHING (and possibly singing) together. Like springtime, it’s full of hope. Peter’s loveable attitude encourages inclusion and kindness. And I’m amazed that the hard copy is an affordable $9.99! I am so incredibly grateful for Elizabeth Bird’s (Fuse8) review: “ Consider this one a contemporary classic.”
Laughing together makes everything so much more fun. Thanks again for joining us, Erin. We can't wait to read your book!
Spring into Storytime Giveaway!
A special note and giveaway from Erin:
If you’re still reading this (thanks!), and you are a teacher or librarian🡪 THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO FOR YOUR STUDENTS.
Dear parents-🡪 THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR LOVE BOOKS WITH YOUR YOUNG READERS.
For picture book writers –wherever you are on this journey🡪 YOU’VE GOT THIS!
And for one and all-🡪 Here’s a Spring treat GIVEAWAY! Recipient may choose either a signed copy of PETER EASTER FROG, or a critique of one picture book manuscript.
Giveaway Details: To enter to win, leave a comment below and let Erin know which treat you're interested and why! We'll hoppily accept Frog Gifs, too. 😉
The winner will be chosen on or about Tuesday, 4/2!
*Note: books will be shipped in the US only.
Bonus: Those who leave a comment on all posts will be eligible to win one (1) of two (2) 15-minute Zoom Ask Me Anything chats with Heather and Lynne Marie!
Erin's PB SNOW GLOBE WISHES is currently a finalist for the Anna Dewdney Read Together award, "given annually to a picture book that is both a superb read aloud and also sparks compassion, empathy, and connection." Voting ends April 7th. Here's the link: https://everychildareader.net/anna/
A HUGE congrats, Erin!
Readers, if you'd like to support Erin, please consider voting. :)
About Erin Dealey:
Bio: Erin Dealey has worn many hats besides children’s author-- including teacher, mom, theater director, SCBWI Co-RA for Nor Cal, bookstore manager, lifeguard, a maid in Yosemite National Park, and she spent one full day on the assembly line at a pineapple factory in Hawaii.
PETER EASTER FROG is her 12th picture book. Up next, THE HALF BIRTHDAY BOOK (coming April 25th) and CHRISTMAS AHOY! (July 15TH ) will bring the current total to 14. There is one more not-yet-announced project, and a few on editors’ desks... During the pandemic, Dealey started writing screenplays, and those projects are moving forward too, “So positive thoughts are always welcome!”
For more about Erin, visit her at the below links:
Website /blog: erindealey.com.
Pinterest: Erin Dealey
FB: Erin Dealey
Songs & Freebies at Dealey/Links
To purchase Erin's books, or to leave a review for them, click here.