Hello, everyone! We're ecstatic to have the incredible Lynne Marie with us today. Lynne Marie is here sharing her book The Star in the Christmas Play, published by Beaming Books and Illustrated by Lorina Hussey. This book follows Raffi the giraffe who finds he's too tall to play baby Jesus, or Joseph, or even a manger animal in his Christmas Play. Rafi feels discouraged until he learns there may be another part he can play better than anyone. Want to know more about The Star in the Christmas Play and Rafi the giraffe, PLUS want a chance to win a 30-minute Zoom Critique with Lynne Marie? Read on...
Q: Welcome to #SeasonsOfKidLit, again, Lynne Marie! We’re always excited to have you and learn more about you and your books! Before we get started, can you share a little about yourself with us?
A: Yes! There’s a poem about the Pisces child that has always fit well…the dreamer of dreams, the teller of tales. That was definitely me – always daydreaming, writing, drawing or reading. Even as a child, I had a special interest in holidays and owned an old, tattered library discard of Chase’s book of days that was my “holiday bible.” It’s no wonder that almost every one of my books have a holiday tie-in, or, that I ended up teaming up with and sharing my passion with Heather Macht on her brain child, #SeasonsOfKidLit!
As far as accomplishments, I am a multi-published author of several picture books, including, The Star in the Christmas Play, Let’s Eat! Mealtime Around the World, The Three Little Pigs and the Rocket Project, The Palace Rat (Fall 2023), Chicken Little Weathers the Weather (Fall 2023), and a pending non-fiction holiday tie-in book, to name a few. I’m also the Owner of www.RateYourStory.org and www.ThePictureBookMechanic.com, the Founder of March On With Mentor Texts, the Host of Mentor Text Talk, an Editor at Children’s Book Insider, a Cybils Fiction Picture Book Round One Judge, and a Co-Host, Celebration Connoisseur, and Marketing Maven for www.SeasonsOfKidlit.com.
Q: What makes your book the perfect seasonal read?
A: The Star in the Christmas Play is a story with a main character that children can relate to. Raffi believes he’s too tall to land a role in the Christmas Play. He can’t play a lead role, as he doesn’t fit in the manger. He can’t play a manger animal as he would block the others from view. He can’t play an angel, he’d fall through the roof. But finally when he views his height as an asset, rather than a flaw, he figures out the perfect role for himself – one in which he can shine.
On another level, it introduces children to the story of Jesus, very subtly, via snippets of preparing for the nativity play. So those who want to draw upon that can access the joy of not only Raffi’s shining moment, but the event of Jesus’ birth. And those who don’t get a little exposure to the foundation of the Christian faith, while enjoying a story of a main character coming into his own.
Q: This book sounds great, Lynne Marie! Speaking of books, what is your favorite holiday book?
A: As the #SeasonsofKidlit host who handles #FavoriteBookFriday, I had to choose this question! Hands down it was The Grinch that Stole Christmas as far as a secular choice. I really loved how the Grinch discovered the true meaning of Christmas and changed his heart, just in time to celebrate and spread joy. It gives one hope that people can change and put good out into the world instead of bad.
However, on another note, as a child it was my job to set up the nativity manger each year. I’m not sure whether the job was delegated to me or I just took control of it or no one else wanted to do it. But to me it was a meaningful task and I took pride in doing it. I would always place the camel beside the manger last and would read Clem the Clumsy Camel.
In fact when I was writing The Star in the Christmas Play, after I got past the phase of making the story about a girl in a nativity play (based upon my own experience), I had wanted it to star a camel. However, when I read all the nativity-based books, it proved too obvious a main character and I went in a different direction. I wanted to celebrate Christmas and Jesus’ birth, but I still wanted others to be able to “come to the table” and “take something away from it.” So it also became about self-image and self-confidence and finding a way to be yourself and still fit in.
Q: What was a unique way in which your family celebrated the holidays?
A: My father came up with a really fun tradition that occurred each Sunday of Advent. On those days, the doorbell would ring. We would race to see who it was, and there would be no one there, but there would always be presents left behind! Whether they were family presents or individual presents or even treats to share, it always gave joy. Later, when we were older, we found that he had rigged a way to ring the doorbell from his bedroom. He would plant the presents at the front door while we were at church, and my mother would be sure to have us use the back driveway and back door.
He continued this wonderful tradition with my kids when they were little, as we lived across the street from him. But he would have to leave the presents and run!
Q: How do you or your family spread holiday joy?
A: When my daughter was young we created our own spin on the doorbell Santa, but without the knocking or ringing. Drawing upon our family history of bakers, we created The Mailbox Baker and would leave holiday cookies in the mailboxes of people on our street, with a business card that she created.
Thanks so much, Lynne Marie! It was wonderful having you and getting to know you more!
Q: How would you like to Spread Joy this holiday season?
A: This year, to spread holiday joy, I will share a few recipes for cookie stars which are perfect for eating after a reading of The Star in the Christmas Play:
In addition, I will offer a one-half hour Zoom PB Manuscript Critique to one winner, and a Rate Your Story Speedpass (www.rateyourstory.org/speed-pass) to another!
And lastly, I will share my bright idea organizer for a stellar start to a new year of writing successes.
What an amazing way to spread joy with everyone! Thanks so much!
Giveaway Details: To enter to win a Zoom Critique with Lynne Marie or a Speed Pass, comment below and let her know which gift you're most excited about. The winner will be chosen on or about December 16th!
Note: books will be shipped in the US only.
Reminder, those who comment on every post will be eligible to win (1) of (5) RYS Speedpasses or a special book package!
About Lynne Marie
Lynne Marie is the author of several books, including The Star of the Christmas Play (Beaming Books 2018 & 2023), Moldilocks and the 3 Scares, (Sterling/Scholastic 2019), Let’s Eat! Mealtime Around the World (Beaming Books 2019), The Three Little Pigs and the Rocket Project (Mac and Cheese Press 2022), The Three Little Pigs and the Rocket Project Coloring Book (Mac and Cheese Press 2022), The Palace Rat (Yeehoo Press, 2023), and more, forthcoming. She’s the Owner and Administrator of RateYourStory.org, ThePictureBookMechanic.com, and a Travel Agent.
Feel free to get in touch with her at: LiterallyLynneMarie@gmail.com
To purchase Lynne Marie's books on Amazon, or to leave a review, click here.