Monday, December 7, 2009


On Saturday I received confirmation, so today I am ready to announce it to the world. I have recently signed on with Shenanigan Books to publish my picture book, DON'T LET THE BEDBUGS BITE! This hard-cover picture book will be part of Shenanigan's 2011 list! In honor of this occasion, I thought I'd like to share with you the process up to this point:

I guess the best place to start is right at the beginning. In December of 2008, it was my turn to submit a bit of work to my critique group (The Mudskippers) for critique. At that time, because of the busy holiday season, I really didn't have anything to share with them. I decided to send them a little poem I had written a few months earlier since it was something they hadn't seen before. The poem had been sitting because I just wasn't sure what to do with it. I had never submitted poetry before and other than Highlights, I wasn't sure who else would be interested. Needless to say, I was very surprised with the response I got from The Mudskippers. They all enjoyed my poem and suggested I develop it into a picture book. Not totally convinced, I continued to work on the poem and struggled to come up with a twist for the end. Eventually it all came together and I began submitting. I received some interest from a few publishers, but alas, no offer of publication.

During the spring, I was given the book STAR OF THE SHOW by Della Ross Ferrari for review. (I review books for & Before I even read the book, I was immediately impressed with the quality; the vivid colors and gorgeous artwork practically leaped off the front cover! Of course I had to know who published such a beautiful book. This led me to Shenanigan's website. ( I soon found that this New Jersey-based company publishes books that "capture imagination and make bedtime-reading a treasured family tradition." The books on their web site looked fun and zany and I knew I had to submit "Bedbugs" to them.

So, on May 6, 2009, I snail mailed my submission as per Shenanigan's guidelines. In the meantime, I continued to market my little rhyming picture book elsewhere. On August 24th I received an email from Shenanigan Books asking for a word.doc of the manuscript because it was up for consideration. Of course, after a little whooping and dancing, I complied. On October 7th, I received another email with an offer of publication. At that time I responded with a resounding "NO!" (Just kidding!) Of course I didn't say no! I said, "YES, YES, YES!"

Soon after, I received the contract, signed it and sent it off. This past Saturday I received my copy, including the publisher's signature, and after a lot of whooping and dancing, I realized my second picture book is finally in the works. (And it rhymes!) Given Shenanigan's reputation, I know it will be WONDERFUL! AWESOME! STUPENDOUS!

So I wanted to share with you some of Shenanigan's other great titles because I know you'll love them too. Check them out. Better yet, buy them and share them with your children. (Or somebody's children.)

Francine and Max decide to play circus and as usual Francine wants to take center stage. But Max has his own ideas. Francine’s comical production woes will be appreciated by every kid who’s had to share the limelight with an older sibling.
You can read my review of this title by clicking on the link in the sidebar under "Read my reviews for children's books".

A world of unusual beasts spring to life under the covers and between the lines of this A to Z rhyming book. From Apple-Clops to Zeedunks, this wildly fanciful collection of alphabet beasts will delight and amuse young readers.

Step through the hidden veil that separates our world from the magical world of fairies with this illustrated handbook for finding, understanding and pleasing fairies. Fairy followers young and old will cherish and delight in its Fairy Secrets!

When Miss Violet from the garden club presented the residents of Pudding Street with a special award for Prettiest Flowers no one knew who was responsible, except for a very clever dog and a very busy bird!

-Niki Masse Schoenfeldt