Happy Valentine's Day, all you dino-lovers out there. If you ask me, there's no better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than with lots of love...and lots of dinosaurs, of course! Today, we have the amazingly talented Lisa Wheeler here sharing her new book, Dino-Valentine's Day (illustrated by Barry Gott). Filled with rhymes, humorous illustrations, and dinos celebrating Valentine's Day in a big way, this book is a perfect read for the season. Want to know more about Lisa, her new book, PLUS want a chance to win one of two copies of Dino-Valentine's Day? Read on...
Q: Hi, Lisa! Thanks for joining #SeasonsOfKidLit. First, for those of you who haven't had the pleasure of meeting Lisa yet, Lisa is the author of the popular Dino-themed series! Her Dino series features dinosaurs playing baseball, basketball, going trick-or-treating, hitting the dance floor, and more!
We're thrilled to have you and hear about your new book, Dino-Valentine's Day. What a fun pairing. What inspired you to make this a Valentine’s Day book? If it was a natural part of a series, what did you draw upon to make this fun and festive?
A: For each of the Dino-Holiday books, I try to incorporate many of the traditions celebrated in North America. But I also have to have a personal element so that I can feature some of the well-loved dinosaurs that kids have grown to love. Since I know which books will come next–I am contracted years in advance–I have time to dwell on this.
For Dino-Valentine’s Day, I decided that Minmi would struggle trying to decide who her Valentine would be. I think I got this idea because the same thing happens to me every time I am asked to dedicate a book. Often I have a person in mind but sometimes I just don’t know. . .and that’s when I become like Minmi.
Q: What was the most fun part of writing your book?
A: Figuring out the ending. Although I had worked out Minmi’s struggle, I wasn’t sure who she would ultimately choose. Once I did, I felt that I had a secret and couldn’t wait to reveal it.
Q: We must know, what gave you the idea to write your dinosaur series? Did it start off as a single book and then develop from there because of popularity?
A: I actually had a dream of dinosaurs playing hockey. No joke! The original title was called Hockey-saurus. I didn't want to choose a winner (I love both teams!) so I had them playing eternal overtime. I included an art note suggesting they be portrayed as skeletons (like you see in museums) still playing.
My very wise editor at Carolrhoda/Lerner, said she wanted me to choose a winner. I decided that I would allow the Veggiesaurs to win because they were the underdogs. As I was writing this version, I thought it would be fun to end with the teams moving on to another sport at the end of the season. I had no idea that this series would be going strong fifteen books later.
Q: Thanks for sharing that with us - that is amazing how your dream brought this whole series to life! Since this is a holiday event, we must know: what is your favorite part of celebrating Valentine’s Day?
A: Guilt-free chocolate, of course! As a kid I loved milk chocolate. But as an adult, nothing but dark chocolate will do.
Q: What is your favorite Valentine’s Day Memory as a child?
A: I loved exchanging Valentines at school. My mom always let me choose the style of cards I wanted to buy. (I liked sweet, girly, cards.) Then, I spent hours sorting them and choosing which ones I felt were perfect for each of my classmates. I thought every kid did this until one year when it was very apparent someone’s mom had signed and addressed their cards. Whenever I see the style of cards that were my childhood favorites in vintage shops, I get nostalgic.
Q: How fun! We can see this memory made its way into your book, too! Now, for a very serious question: what kid’s book character or author would you like to be your Valentine?
A: Like Minmi, I’m struggling to choose. I love so many! Should it be Ada, the 10 year old heroine from The War That Saved My Life? by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. Anne of Greene Gables? Junie B. Jones? Or my very own Fitch and Chip? Maybe I should choose the author, Phyllis Root who has written some of my favorite picture books. Or how about the illustrator, Barbara Cooney, who brought joy to so many through her picture book art? I could go on all day. But suffice it to say, “I like everyone!”
Thanks again for joining us, Lisa. Your book looks like GINORMOUS fun!
Lisa is offering a very delectable treat for Valentine's Day - a chance to win one (1) of two (2) copies of Dino-Valentine's Day!
Giveaway Details: To enter to win a copy of Dino-Valentine's Day, leave a comment below and let Lisa know what your favorite dinosaur is! GIFs are appreciated and welcomed. If you share this post on social media, let us know that too (for an extra entry into the raffle). The winners will be announced on Sunday, February 12th, just in time for Valentine's Day.
*Note: books will be shipped in the US only.
Bonus: Those who leave a comment on all Valentine's Day Bash posts will be eligible to win one (1) of five (5) Rate Your Story Speed Passes, that are doubly sweet. They'll contain feedback from your hosts Heather Macht and Lynne Marie!
About Lisa Wheeler:
Lisa Wheeler is passionate about children’s books. “I love everything about them, including the smell.” To date, Lisa has over 50 titles on library shelves. She’s written picture books in prose and rhyme, an easy reader series, four poetry books, and creative nonfiction for the very young.
Her newest titles include, Someone Builds the Dream, illustrated by Loren Long (Dial) , A Hug is for Holding Me, illustrated by Lisk Feng (Abrams Appleseed), My First Dino-Wrestling, illustrated by Barry Gott (CarolRhoda), and People Share with People Illustrated by Molly Idle. Lisa shares her Michigan home with her husband, her dog, and an assortment of anthropomorphic characters.
For more about Lisa, check out the below links:
Facebook: Lisa Wheeler Children's Books | Facebook
Instagram: Lisa Wheeler (@littlelisais6)
To purchase Lisa's books on Amazon, or to leave a review, click here.