New Book: You Are My Sweetheart by Joyce Wan October 30, 2018 15:04

I'm happy to welcome my newest board book, You Are My Sweetheart, into the world today! With this latest cutest creation, every day is a chance to say “I love you” to your dearest...and sweetest. Of course, no book of mine is complete without a cast of chubby, lovable characters, such as candy hearts, a sweetie pie, and a honey bun. At the end of the book, you can’t help but snuggle up with your own little sweetheart with “kisses and hugs” to remind them that you love them. Available now where books are sold!

you are my sweetheart coveryou are my sweetheart apple of my eyeyou are my sweetheart sticky honeybunyou are my sweetheart sweetie pie


New Book: The Bear In My Bed by Joyce Wan June 17, 2018 03:05

I’m excited to announce the launch of The Bear In My Bed, written and illustrated by me and published by FSG/Macmillan.

Our little friend from The Whale In My Swimming Pool is back, but this time with a bear (who’s not his teddy bear) in his bed! The bear makes a mess with toys, splashes water around the bathtub, and eats books instead of reading them. Not to mention that he doesn’t know how to brush his teeth or wear pajamas! And how is anyone supposed to get any sleep with a bear taking up the whole bed? A silly take on the struggles of bedtime routines.

It's not easy to write a picture book but I found it even harder to write a sequel. I actually had a whole other version of this book (completely sketched out!) that I had to shelve because my amazing editor, Janine O'Malley, felt that we needed to go in a different direction with this book and she was absolutely correct. I hope you have as much fun reading this book as I had creating it!

bear in my bed

I will be joining the Scholastic Summer Reading Road Trip this summer where I will be meeting readers and signing books at two awesome bookstores in my home state of New Jersey (Watchung Booksellers in Montclair and WORD Bookstore in Jersey City) to help cheer on a summer-long celebration of reading. If you are in the area, I hope to see you there! Please visit my Events page for more detail and also information about where I will be this Fall. HAPPY SUMMER!

xo-Joyce


New Book: Count My Cupcakes 123 by Joyce Wan April 24, 2018 15:13

I’m excited to announce the launch of Count My Cupcakes 123, the latest board book that I wrote and illustrated published by Cartwheel/Scholastic. Little ones will have fun learning to count from one to five in this rhyming board book featuring colorful disappearing touch-and-feel cupcakes! Filled with a bunch of irresistibly, chubby yummy characters including a sliding milkshake, a rolling donut, a twirling ice cream cone, and lots and lots of cupcakes. A scrumptious, interactive first counting story to share with the littlest cupcake in your life!

I really had fun with this one and I hope you enjoy it too! I'm running giveaways on both Twitter and Facebook. Click on those links for details. As always, thanks for supporting my work! 

XO-Joyce

"Wan’s distinctively cute artwork and the irresistible tactile element hit a sweet spot." –Publisher's Weekly

count my cupcakes 123 joyce wan

count my cupcakes 123 joyce wan

count my cupcakes 123 joyce wan

count my cupcakes 123 joyce wan

count my cupcakes 123 joyce wan


The Joyce Wan Board Book Boxed Set is Here! March 18, 2018 14:21

Hi Everyone! I wanted you all to get a first look at the Joyce Wan You Are the Sweetest 8 Board Book Collection Box Set that will be available exclusively at Costco really soon, if not already. I had known about this since last year but did not believe it (or maybe I didn't want to jinx it!) so I didn't say say a word. The samples just arrived on my doorstep over the weekend and even holding the box set in my hand, a collection of board books that I've published over the last 7 years, it still feels surreal. BUT IT'S HERE! 

The box set contains my last 8 non-seasonal board books I did with Cartwheel/Scholastic: You Are My Cupcake, We Belong Together, Hug You Kiss You Love You, My Lucky Little Dragon, Peek-a-Boo Farm, Peek-a-Boo Zoo, Are You My Mommy?, and Good Night Sweetie. All bundled together in this cute, glittery, sturdy package, perfect for gift-giving or a special keepsake for your little one!

I've been keeping an eye out for them but I have not spotted these in the wild yet. Let me know if you see any at your Costco and share a pic with me @joycewanbooks on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and I will randomly pick one winner* to receive one of these boxed sets! HAPPY SPRING!

xo-Joyce

* US addresses only, please.


Happy Year of the Dog February 16, 2018 16:01

Happy Lunar New Year! February 16th marks the start of the Lunar New Year as well as the Year of the Dog. For the Chinese in particular, the Lunar New Year is celebrated with big family dinners, the exchange of "lucky money" contained in red envelopes, and vibrant, lively festivals with lion dancing and firecrackers. The lunar calendar is based upon the cycles of the moon and has 12 animals signs, one to represent each year of the cycle. The Dog is the 11th sign of the Chinese Zodiac with the others being the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, and Pig. 



According to Chinese tradition, a person’s birth sign has a profound influence on personality and destiny. People born in the Year of the Dog are brave, independent, loyal, and decisive. Once they decide on something, no one can persuade them against it. On the negative side, Dogs can be overly critical, self-righteous, and stubborn.

Notable people born in the Year of the Dog include Prince William, Kate Middleton, Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson, Prince, Elvis Presley, Donald Trump, Madonna, Dolly Parton, Angela Bassett, Benjamin Franklin, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Kevin Bacon, Stephen Shaskan, Liza Minelli, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Susan Sarandon, Giorgio Armani, and Tommy Lee Jones.

Don't know what zodiac sign you are? Look it up on this guide I created here: 

Please note that if you were born in the month of January or February you may actually be the previous year's sign as the start of the Lunar New Year falls on a different day every year. Refer to the chart at this link to confirm which sign you are if you are a January birthday: http://bit.ly/2BxnDug

For the wee ones, download a printable zodiac coloring sheet/placemat that I created here.  Another fun and simple way to introduce young children to the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac is with my board book, My Lucky Little Dragon.

my lucky little dragon

Just some quick updates:

Peep and Egg: I’m Not Using the Potty, the fourth book in the Peep and Egg series is now available! In this book, Egg does not want to use the potty, however, when things start to get a little uncomfortable, Egg realizes that when nature calls, sometimes you can't say no. The perfect book for all your potty-goers in training. Be sure to check out the other books in the Peep and Egg series if you haven't already.

peep and egg potty    

Count My Cupcakes 123 will be out April 24th. Featuring touch-and-feel cupcakes and a host of other yummy characters like a twirling ice cream cone and a rolling donut, readers learn to count from one to five!
count my cupcakes

The Bear In My Bed will be out in June 5th and it picks right up where The Whale In My Swimming Pool left off. This story follows a young boy as he tackles his bedtime routine with an unexpected visitor. 
bear in my bed

Wishing you happiness, prosperity, and good fortune! CHEERS! 

xo-Joyce

 


Personalized Picture Books Now Available December 06, 2017 22:57 1 Comment

Children's books can be enjoyed again and again making them the perfect gift! Even better when the books are personalized. I'm now working with my wonderful local indie bookstore The Curious Reader to offer you personalized copies of Peep and Egg: I'm Not Hatching, Peep and Egg: I'm Not Taking a Bath, The Whale In My Swimming Pool, and Pug Meets Pig. Simply provide the name of the person you want the book signed to in the space provided when you place your order. The really nice folks at The Curious Reader will let me know when they have your order, I will inscribe and sign the books, and they will ship them right to you. Find these books along with a bunch of other really great books on their website here: https://www.thecuriousreaderbooks.com/shop

 

Not only will you be supporting an amazing indie children's book store but a signed edition makes a special keepsake for the little book lovers in your life.

May your holiday season be filled with good cheer!

xo-Joyce


Good Night, Sweetie **Giveaway** {now closed} August 29, 2017 02:51 190 Comments

good night sweetie
Wish your little sweetie "sweet dreams on moonbeams" with my latest board book, Good Night, Sweetie, which is out today!

wishing star
This book features an adorable cast of chubby, sleepy characters, such as a wishing star, a lovable snuggly, a bedtime book, and more. A wonderful first bedtime story to share with little ones again and again. 

good night sweetie giveaway
To celebrate the release, I'm giving away a signed copy of the book along with a cute, smiling star plushie to THREE lucky readers! 

To enter, please leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite bedtime rituals. 

Want additional entries? Share this post on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and leave a separate comment (one for each share) to let me know that you did. 

Entries close next Friday, September 8th at 12pm EST and three winners will be chosen at random. Good luck! 

**UPDATE**
I read every single comment and loved all your replies! I seriously just wanted to snuggle up in bed with my little girl. Because this was so much fun, I've decided to select 3 more additional winners at random. Congrats to the following 6 winners: Tessa Hilliard, Jennifer Jeng, Kimberly Layton, Aki Leighton, Tanya Miranda, and CJ Rooney!

*This giveaway is open to readers with U.S. addresses only. Winners will be contacted via email once comments close, and announced at the bottom of this post soon after. 





New Books July 26, 2017 11:38

Hi Everyone! Just a quick update on new and upcoming books. It's been quite a year as I've been juggling a bunch of book projects and book events/conferences in addition to my new role as a mom to a feisty little girl who just celebrated her first birthday last month!

joyce dylan
Author Sue Lowell Gallion and I are thrilled to welcome the release of PUG & PIG TRICK-OR-TREAT yesterday! Pug and Pig are back, this time in a heartwarming Halloween adventure involving a costume kerfuffle. The book has already received starred reviews from both Kirkus and Publisher's Weekly - a first for me! A free Teacher's Guide filled with Common Core discussion points and activities available for download on my website.

pug and pig trick or treat
Coming August 29th is my latest board book with Scholastic, GOOD NIGHT, SWEETIE,  featuring an irresistible cast of chubby, sleepy characters, such as a wishing star, a lovable snuggly, a bedtime book, and more. A wonderful first bedtime story to share with little ones again and again!

good night sweetie joyce wan
On October 24th, author Laure Gehl and I will welcome the latest installment to the funny Peep and Egg picture book series for toddlers, PEEP & EGG: I'M NOT TAKING A BATH. In this new story, a reluctant chick named Egg overcomes her aversion to taking a bath.

peep and egg bath
That's it for now! When I can, I have more exciting projects to share with you including a counting book featuring our favorite little Cupcake. Hope you're having a fab summer! 

xo-Joyce

ps. You can also connect with me on InstagramFacebook and Twitter for all the latest.

 


Happy Year of the Rooster January 28, 2017 00:30

Happy Lunar New Year! January 28th marks the start of the Lunar New Year as well as the Year of the Rooster. Although the holiday is also known as Chinese New Year, the Chinese aren't the only ones who observe it. The holiday is also celebrated in other Asian countries including Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, and Taiwan. The Lunar New Year lasts for 15 days and is like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years rolled up into one giant celebration! For the Chinese in particular, the Lunar New Year is celebrated with big family dinners, the exchange of "lucky money" contained in red envelopes, and vibrant, lively festivals with lion dancing and firecrackers.

zodiac rooster

The lunar calendar is based upon the cycles of the moon and has 12 animals signs, one to represent each year of the cycle. The Rooster is the tenth sign of the Chinese Zodiac with the others being the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey Dog, and Pig. Don't know what zodiac sign you are? Look it up on this guide I created here: 
zodiac wheelAccording to Chinese tradition, a person’s birth sign has a profound influence on personality and destiny. People born in the Year of the Rooster are outspoken, quick-witted, keenly observant, resourceful and have a strong independent spirit. Though abundantly practical, Roosters are also big dreamers. Overly blunt at times, which may offend some, Roosters are open and honest. Constantly seeking wisdom and truth, Roosters have a pioneering spirit. Notable people born in the Year of the Rooster include Confucius, Henry Ford, Cate Blanchett, Benjamin Franklin, Michael Caine, Katherine Hepburn, Eleanor Roosevelt, Steve Martin, Beyoncé Knowles, Van Morrison, Yoko Ono, Dolly Parton, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez, Rudyard Kipling, and Serena Williams.

For the wee ones, download a printable zodiac coloring sheet/placemat that I created here.  Also, please take a look at a board book I created a few years ago, My Lucky Little Dragon, which offers a fun, simple introduction to the animals of the Chinese Zodiac.

Wishing you all happiness, prosperity, and good fortune! CHEERS!

xo-Joyce


New Books, New Baby! July 30, 2016 17:23 6 Comments

It's been a long time since I last added to this blog and so much has happened!

A foreign edition of Sleepyheads in Chinese was released! Although I think it's only readily available in China, you can find it online at the specialty retailer, Chinasprout, here. A new board book edition of Sleepyheads will be available in the US on August 2nd and you can find it on Amazon, here!

A new board book edition of The Whale in My Swimming Pool was released! It's an adorable, chunky little size perfect for the wee-est of readers! Find it on Amazon, here.


My latest new board book, You Are My Pumpkin, was also released! This sweetly spooky board book with a glittery cover is filled with an irresistible cast of chubby, happy Halloween-themed characters. Halloween may be far from your mind at the moment but it's never a bad time to tell your little one how much you love them. Find it on Amazon, here!
you are my pumpkin

Four upcoming books that are soon to be released:

Peep and Egg: I'm Not Trick-or-Treating, will be released on August 9th! This follow-up to Peep and Egg: I’m Not Hatching, written by Lauren Gehl, is a light-hearted story about opening oneself up to new experiences! Find it on Amazon, here!
peep and egg im not hatching

My best-selling You Are My Cupcake will be available in a touchable, huggable, squeezable cloth book format perfect for the wee-est of the wee-est of readers August 30th! Find it on Amazon, here!


Pug Meets Pig, written by debut author Sue Lowell Gallion, will be released on September 27th! A sweet and silly story about a darling duo that celebrates the timeless themes of embracing change, being kind to others, and finding friends in unlikely places. Find it on Amazon, here!
pug meets pig

You Are My Merry Little Christmas, my next glittery board book featuring an adorable cast of chubby, happy Christmas-themed characters will also be out September 27th! Find it on Amazon, here!
you are my merry little christmas

And last, but certainly not least, my latest, greatest, and cutest creation of them all, my husband Steve and I welcomed our precious baby girl, Dylan Rose, into the world in June. Those of you who have been following me for a while know that we suffered a devastating loss of our sweet baby girl Evie in 2014 so I had been a little quiet about this pregnancy. I feel like I’ve lived a lifetime in the past few years, experiencing the absolute best and worst life has to offer. Dylan has brought joy and healing into a place of deep sorrow. We are overjoyed to finally hold her in our arms and feel blessed to be surrounded by so much love and support.new baby joyce wan
Needless to say, life has been a little hectic since Baby D's arrival but we are enjoying every minute and laughing a lot, or maybe we're just delirious from the lack of sleep. 

Right now I'm slowly working on getting back into the swing of things and look forward to diving into and sharing with you some exciting new projects!

xo-J 

p.s. If you would like to connect with me on social media, you can find me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!


PEEP AND EGG: I'M NOT HATCHING is Here and Giveaway! February 09, 2016 16:58 22 Comments

I am very egg-cited to announce the official release of my latest book, PEEP AND EGG: I'M NOT HATCHING, a picture book I illustrated that was written by Laura Gehl and published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan. This is the first book in a funny new character-driven series for toddlers in which a reluctant chick named Egg overcomes her fears. It's the perfect book for any child who's feeling nervous or reluctant about trying something new.


I always think it's interesting to hear from both sides of an author/illustrator collaboration so I had Laura give us a little background on how she came up with the idea for this story:

"As the mom of four young kids, I have spent about ten years in the land of "I'm not."  From "I'm not putting on my shoes" to "I'm not blowing my nose" to "I'm not going to sleep," I've heard them all!  Sometimes, toddlers are just being stubborn when they go into "I'm not" mode.  But many times, the "I'm not" comes less from a determination to rule the world than from a place of fear.  Everything is new when you're two!  And new can be scary. 

When our fabulous editor Janine O'Malley first read I'M NOT HATCHING, she immediately identified with the story because her life--like mine--was filled with kids saying "I'm not."  I remember that Janine's son had recently declared, "I'm not going to the dentist!"  I hope other parents and kids feel that same immediate sense of kinship with Peep and Egg."  

When I first received the manuscript for this adorable book back in 2014 from Janine, the voices in the manuscript are so strong that I could see the characters in my mind right away. Whenever I first start working on a new book, I like to storyboard in thumbnail size first which helps me plan the general layout of each page and text placement without having to worry too much about the details at this point.

peep and egg storyboard

Many times, the images in the final book can change significantly from my initial ideas in the storyboard stage and this book was no different.

In the next stage, I draw larger versions of each spread with more details in pencil. For this book, I also fine-tuned the look of the characters in this stage too. Here are some sketches from the initial drafts of the book:

peep and egg not hatching

peep and egg duck pond

peep and egg sheep

The final art for this book is done in Adobe Illustrator. For a sneak peek of some final interior illustrations from the book checkout the trailer created by writer, illustrator and KidLit TV host, producer, and writer Katya Szewzuk here:

Special thanks to Laura Gehl for writing this adorable and funny story and editor Janine O'Malley and art director designer Anne Diebel at FSG for helping me bring this book to life. Huge thanks always to my agent and friend Teresa Kietlinski of Prospect Agency for her help and support.

This book is available where ever books are sold. Here are some links where you can find the book online:
http://tinyurl.com/je9kc8j (Amazon)
http://tinyurl.com/hr9mv6l (Indie Bound)
http://tinyurl.com/hkvqjso (Barnes and Noble)

Since it's book launch day, you know what that means...it's GIVEAWAY TIME! I'm giving a signed copy of the book, a signed READ poster, and a set of Peep and Egg stickers to three lucky winners! Just leave a comment below and I'll pick three winners at random!


peep and egg giveaway

The giveaway ends Tuesday, February 23rd at 8pm EST. Three (3) winners will be selected in a random drawing from among all entries received.
Open to residents of U.S. only, please. Winners will be notified via e-mail. Prize winners must provide me with a physical address to which the prize will be mailed. If this information is not received, an alternate winner will be chosen by random drawing. 

I am truly thankful for all of you out there for supporting me on this incredible journey and allowing me to share this journey with you.

xo-
Joyce

**UPDATE** The giveaway is now closed. Thank you to all of you who entered! It's always nice to connect with you! The following winners, who were selected randomly, will be notified via email:

 




Happy Lunar New Year! February 08, 2016 17:31

Happy New Year...again! February 8th marks the start of the Lunar New Year as well as the Year of the Monkey. Although the holiday is also known as Chinese New Year, the Chinese aren't the only ones who observe it. The holiday is also celebrated in other Asian countries including Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, and Taiwan. The Lunar New Year lasts for 15 days and is like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years rolled up into one giant celebration! For the Chinese in particular, the Lunar New Year is celebrated with big family dinners, the exchange of "lucky money" contained in red envelopes, and vibrant, lively festivals with lion dancing and firecrackers.

The lunar calendar is based upon the cycles of the moon and has 12 animals signs, one to represent each year of the cycle. The Monkey is the ninth sign of the Chinese Zodiac with the others being the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. Don't know what zodiac sign you are? Look it up on this guide I created here: 

zodiac zoo guide

According to Chinese tradition, a person’s birth sign has a profound influence on personality and destiny. People born in the Year of the Monkey are charming, clever, inventive, witty, and restless. They are great strategists and problem solvers and can spot an opportunity in any form. Monkeys are usually successful in any field they choose. However, because of their restless nature, Monkeys can be impatient. When things develop in unexpected ways, they can become irritable and upset. They can also be stubborn and unwilling to listen to other people's advice or ideas. Notable people born in the Year of the Monkey include Leonardo da Vinci, Charles Dickens, Celine Dion, Tom Hanks, Will Smith, Halle Berry, Diana Ross, Elizabeth Taylor, Mick Jagger, Jennifer Aniston, Kim Kardashian, Julius Caesar, Bette Davis, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Betsy Ross. 

If you're looking for a fun way for the kids to celebrate, download a printable zodiac coloring sheet and placemat that I created here!

Here's to a New Year full of Happiness and Prosperity! CHEERS!

xo-Joyce

monkey wood card

 


New Year's Wishes January 04, 2016 21:36



Well here we are again – the start of a new year! I hope your holidays were joy-filled and restful and that your new year is off to a great, if not slow, (that first Monday is always the hardest, isn't it?) start!

I wanted to take a moment in the new year to wish you Strength to endure life's trials, Courage to pursue new endeavors, Focus to realize your goals, Love because that's all that really matters, and, of course, many, many Sparkles. 

Happy New Year! 

xo-Joyce

P.S. If you want to see more of what I've been up to lately, visit me on Instagram here: @wanartstudio!


PEEK-A-BOO FARM and Giveaway Time! August 25, 2015 17:54 56 Comments

**UPDATE** The giveaway is now closed.

My heart is so full after reading all the messages for the Peek-A-Boo book giveaway. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for entering the giveaway, for your support and your kind words. Every single entry was incredible and I was sad to pick only 3 so I decided to add 3 more bonus winners! YAY!

The 6 winners selected randomly from the 55 entries I received are:






Thanks again everyone for entering! I'll be contacting winners soon for their mailing address.

XOXO

************************

My latest board book PEEK-A-BOO FARM, a follow-up to PEEK-A-BOO ZOO, is out today! 

Lift the flaps and play peek-a-boo with animals at the farm! Join in on the classic game of peek-a-boo with a rooster, a cow, and more farm animals by lifting the flaps to reveal each cute creature's joyful face. A perfect board book read aloud with a simple interactive component babies and toddlers will love.


In case you missed the last post, the idea for this book came to me in 2013. I've always loved books with fun interactive elements which add an element of playfulness and surprise so I'm always thinking about books in that way. Here is the concept sketch that I submitted to my editor back in 2013.



Huge thanks to editors Jeffrey Salane (now at Simon & Schuster) and Celia Lee and designer Leslie Mechanic at Scholastic for helping me bring these books to life. Many thanks to my agent and friend Teresa Kietlinski of Prospect Agency for her unwavering help and support.

Here's a peek at two interior spreads from the book:
  

Where you can purchase:
Amazon: http://amzn.com/0545750458
Barnes & Nobles: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/1121103295
Indiebound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780545750455


To celebrate the release of PEEK-A-BOO FARM I'm giving both books to three lucky winners! Leave a comment below and I'll pick three winners at random to receive a set of my PEEK-A-BOO books!

The giveaway ends Tuesday, September 8th at 8pm EST. Three (3) winners will be selected in a random drawing from among all entries received. Open to residents of U.S. only, please. Winners will be notified via e-mail. Prize winners must provide me with a physical address to which the prize will be mailed. If this information is not received, an alternate winner will be chosen by random drawing.

GOOD LUCK!
xo-Joyce


Peek-A-Boo Zoo is Here! June 30, 2015 16:03

HOORAY! My latest board book from Cartwheel Scholastic Peek-a-Boo Zoo is finally OUT TODAY (yes, there's glitter on the cover!). Lift the flaps and play peek-a-boo with animals at the zoo! Join in on the classic game of peek-a-boo with a lion, a bear, and more zoo animals by lifting the flaps to reveal each cute critter's joyful face. A perfect board book read aloud with a simple interactive component babies and toddlers will love.



The idea for this book came to me in 2013. I've always loved books with fun interactive elements and textures which add an element of playfulness and surprise so I'm always thinking about books in that way. Here is the concept sketch that I submitted to my editor back in 2013. It was too hard to choose which animals would be in the book so there will be a follow-up book out in August called, you guessed it, Peek-A-Boo Farm!



Here are two interior spreads from the book:
  

Here are a couple reviews (so far so good!):

From Publisher's Weekly: "Working in her characteristic aesthetic of rounded, chunky shapes, Wan assembles a cute-as-can-be cast that includes a penguin, hippo, and more. A fun addition to the book-as-game category."

From Kirkus: "The warm, round illustrations provide a soothing tone, making this a perfect late-afternoon read right before naptime."

I'm so excited to be sharing another book with you and I look forward to seeing where these little peek-a-boo critters go. Drop me a message if you have any stories about what your little ones think of any of my books - I love hearing from you all!

xo-Joyce

ps. Keep your eyes peeled for a giveaway soon!


The New York Times Reviews The Whale in My Swimming Pool June 02, 2015 14:32

I'm excited to announce that my latest picture book The Whale in My Swimming Pool was reviewed in last Sunday's New York Times. I was informed by my publisher that this was going to be in the paper a few weeks ago and was on pins and needles waiting to see what the review would say. I was relieved to see that it was very complimentary and positive! HOORAY!

Here's an excerpt:
"Her curvilinear and comforting style recalls Hello Kitty and other Japanese pop art in its fat dark lines and squat characters, but the hero has an antic physicality and a wide range of emotional expressions. Her world feels safe and joyful, even as the hero experiences anger and frustration." Read the full review here.

xo-Joyce

Book Launch Party Recap April 14, 2015 23:59 1 Comment

A WHALE of a time was had by all (including me!) at Saturday's book launch party! Thank you so much to those of you who came by. Seeing friends old and new, meeting all the cute little fans, reading and signing my new book The Whale in My Swimming Pool at Books Of Wonderit was truly the stuff that dreams are made of.

For those of you who couldn't make it, here's a brief recap in photos!




I wore the Ahoy Lizzie Dress from Sourpuss Clothing - it was lined, it stretched in all the right places, and it had POCKETS! (Girls you know what I'm talking about!) (Photo courtesy of Samantha Berger)


I shared one of my favorite quotes with the audience which I think sums up the book nicely: "You can't direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails."


Refreshments! Whale and heart shaped cookies from Old Time Favorites on Etsy - they were so cute AND so delicious! (Photo courtesy of Samantha Berger)


I signed a gazillion books. Apparently, you CAN hold a pen/pencil "wrong" your WHOLE life and still become a children's book illustrator. I must have been absent the day they taught the kids at school how to hold a pencil.

I'm still beaming from all the love I felt in that room that day. There are so many who have made a difference to me this past yearfamily, friends, and colleagues. People who matter to me. People who inspire me. People who have reached out to me. I am so blessed to have so many amazing people in my life who love me. People who I too love dearly.

I am truly thankful for all of you out there for supporting me on this journey and allowing me to share my journey with you.

xo-Joyce

ps. There's still time to enter my giveaway if you haven't yet!

 

 


Happy Book Birthday and a Whale of a Giveaway! April 08, 2015 23:41 31 Comments

Sound the horns! Toss the confetti! It's finally here!
This book has been a long time coming. I first came up with the idea for this book back in 2009. The idea came to me after spending the day with my six-year-old niece and nephew who were always engaging in a lot of silliness. I ending up dedicating the book to them because they always helped me (and still do) see the silly sides of things. I mocked up a sketch dummy and sent it to my agent Teresa Kietlinski at the end of 2010 with a note saying "I thought it was a fun idea when I first came up with it but I'm sort of unsure about it now." Luckily, Teresa was there to squash those negative voices in my head. She told me she loved it and she helped me work on the book a little more over the course of the year until a book dummy was ready for submission by the end of 2011. A book dummy usually contains sketches of every page in the book and 2-3 finished pieces so that the publisher can see what the final art would look like. In one of Teresa's messages to me during this time she wrote "I always know a picture book is successful when I can describe it in 3 short sentences. WHALE just works. :)" Isn't she just THE best?! I feel so blessed to have Teresa on my team! Here is the cover sketch of the original submission that went out to editors:


I wish I can say the submissions process went swimmingly. The book was rejected (nicely) by more than a half-dozen publishers. It actually got really close to being acquired by two different major publishing houses, making it all the way to acquisition meetings only to have them tell me later they had to pass for one reason or another. The submissions process can be such a roller coaster of emotions! In my heart I know it was for the best because the book found its perfect home at Farrar, Straus and Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan. My editor, Janine O'Malley, and art director, Anne Diebel, along with the entire FSG team has been an absolute dream to work with and the book turned out better than I could have hoped!

The book has already received positive reviews from both Kirkus and School Library Journal and is a Junior Library Guild Spring 2015 Selection.

To celebrate, I'm giving away a signed copy of The Whale In My Swimming Pool, a beach ball featuring The Whale, and a whale squirt toy perfect for bath time fun to THREE lucky winners! To enter, answer the following question in the comment section of this post: What are you looking forward to this summer?


The giveaway ends Wednesday, April 22nd at 8pm EST. Three (3) winners will be selected in a random drawing from among all entries received. Open to residents of U.S. only, please. Winners will be notified via e-mail. Prize winners must provide me with a physical address to which the prize will be mailed. If this information is not received, an alternate winner will be chosen by random drawing. Winners will be announced in a separate post following the drawing.

Cheers to The Whale In My Swimming Pool! Here's hoping this book swims its way into the hearts of children everywhere!

xo-Joyce

ps. If you're in the NYC area this Saturday, please come and celebrate the launch with me at Books of Wonder!


Come celebrate with me! March 24, 2015 18:00


If you and your young picture book lovers will be in the New York City area on April 11th, please join me as I celebrate the launch of my latest book The Whale in My Swimming Pool (which will be released into the wild on April 7th) at New York City's largest and oldest children's bookstore, Books of Wonder. I will be reading the book, answering questions, and signing books. I'll also have some fun whale and summer themed surprises in store for the launch. Come help me make this a SPLASH!

Details for the event are as follows:
When:
Saturday, April 11, 2015
3pm-5pm
Where:
Books of Wonder
18 West 18th street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
(212) 989-3270

Hope to see you there!
XO-Joyce


Year of the Sheep 2015 February 18, 2015 23:12 1 Comment


Happy New Year...again! February 19th marks the start of the Lunar New Year as well as the Year of the Sheep. It's also sometimes known as Year of the Goat but I choose Sheep because they are fluffier and cuter to me!  Although the holiday is also known as Chinese New Year, the Chinese aren't the only ones who observe it. The holiday is also celebrated in other Asian countries including Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, and Taiwan. The Lunar New Year is like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years rolled up into one giant celebration! For the Chinese in particular, the Lunar New Year is celebrated with big family dinners, the exchange of "lucky money" contained in red envelopes, and vibrant, lively festivals with lion dancing and firecrackers.

The lunar calendar is based upon the cycles of the moon and has 12 animals signs, one to represent each year of the cycle. The Sheep is the eighth sign of the Chinese Zodiac with the others being the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. Don't know what zodiac sign you are? Look it up on this fun printable color sheet and place mat I created here!

According to Chinese tradition, a person’s birth sign has a profound influence on personality and destiny. People born in the year of Sheep are tender, creative, clever, determined, and amicable. They have special sensitivity to art and beauty and are brimming with a strong sense of kindheartedness and justice. Sheep year people are also often worriers who can be moody, indecisive, and over-sensitive. Notable people born in the Year of the Sheep include Bill Gates, Mark Twain, Nicole Kidman, Mick Jagger, Whoopi Goldberg, Barbara Walters, Michelangelo, Robert De Niro, and Jane Austen.

I will be celebrating by having a special dinner with Husband Guy consisting of lucky foods to eat during the New Year such as whole fish for abundance, noodles for long life, and dumplings for prosperity. Do you celebrate the Lunar New Year? If so, how do you like to celebrate?

To celebrate here at Wanart, all orders over $10 placed on the website for the rest of February will receive FREE SHIPPING! (U.S. orders only.)

Here's to a New Year full of Happiness and Prosperity! CHEERS!

xo-Joyce

 


For your little Valentine... February 10, 2015 16:14

Books are always the perfect gift to show someone how much you care...
Get them by Valentine's Day here.

xo-Joyce


New Year - New Books - New Website! January 08, 2015 23:00 1 Comment

Happy New Year everyone! I'm so very pleased and excited for the launch of my new website! Technology changes at lightening speed these days and my website was in dire need of an overhaul. Please bear with me as I continue to add more goodies to the shop. I hope to keep it filled this year with fun, new things.

I hope you all had a fabulous New Years Eve however you spent it. Mine was quiet as DH and I spent the evening eating, drinking, and reflecting on the year gone by. As you may know, 2014 was a tough year for us but one of the major highlights was that we bought a new house and will be making Ridgewood, New Jersey our new home very soon! We are tackling with a gut renovation of the kitchen and bathrooms right now but I'm hoping to share with you some before-and-after pictures in a couple of months (if we survive the renovation- ha!).

If you follow me on social media, you may already know that I also celebrated the end of the year with the launch of my latest book with Scholastic: Are You My Mommy?


The book is filled with baby animals, die-cut surprises, cuddly cuteness, and lots of love! This book would make an adorable addition to any Easter gift basket this year. Here's a video I made to show all the fun little cut-outs in the book:



What's there to look forward to in 2015? The Year of the Sheep starts February 19th. My long anticipated picture book The Whale in My Swimming Pool launches April 7th. Who knows what else but that's why I just love New Years. It's like starting a fresh notebook. Empty pages full of possibilities.

Cheers to a Happy New Year to all of you. Let's end with some inspiring words from Neil Gaiman:
"May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”

xo-Joyce


Gratitude Giveaway Winner December 26, 2014 03:58 1 Comment

Wherever and however you spent your holidays, I hope they were filled with warmth, laughter, and love! It’s time to announce the winner of the Gratitude Giveaway for my 6 signed books. I had over 300 giveaway entries on the blog and Facebook combined! My heart is so full from reading through all of your comments and I can’t thank you enough for all of your encouragement and support. I truly wish I had copies to give to all of you!

The winner of the Gratitude Giveaway, selected at random, is... Pamela Landau Marietta who wrote:

I'm grateful for my 2-month old granddaughter Clara Jeane. I've had cancer two times and never dreamed I'd live long enough to see and hold a grandchild...it's so wonderful.

CONGRATULATIONS PAMELA!

Because this was so much fun I've decided to select 5 ADDITIONAL WINNERS at random to receive a signed copy of SLEEPYHEADS! The 5 winners for this SURPRISE GIVEAWAY are:

Melanie Bowers who wrote: I'm grateful that everyday I get to help children grow. Books are everywhere in our classroom and these would be a great addition. Happy holidays and thanks for making someone's day a little brighter with this giveaway.

Dorothy Boucher who wrote: This holiday season I'm grateful for my family, friends, those all around.

Ande Davis who wrote: This holiday season, I’m most grateful for a break and a new baby (not necessarily coinciding).

Tanya who wrote: I’m most grateful for my 8 month old son Nicholas and my husband. Both of whom bring so much joy into my life and have given me the kind of love I never could have dreamed of.

Einstein Guu who wrote: ..my happy and healthy, often stubborn, always demanding, sometimes attentive, perfect baby boy.

I will be contacting all of you shortly for your mailing address so I can send you your prize. Thanks again everybody! Here's to a New Year full of Blessings for us all! CHEERS!

xo-Joyce


Gratitude Giveaway: 6 Signed Books December 09, 2014 23:19 211 Comments



'Tis the season of gratitude and giving so let's have a giveaway shall we? Besides, I think a giveaway that includes my latest book Sleepyheads is long overdue! I'm also including signed copies of You Are My Cupcake, We Belong Together, Hug You Kiss You Love You, and My Lucky Little Dragon.

To make it even more exciting, I'm throwing in my YET-TO-BE-RELEASED board book due out December 30th, Are You My Mommy?!

To enter, simply finish this sentence in the comment section below.
This holiday season I'm most grateful for ______________________.

**BONUS! For an additional entry, share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media network and leave me a separate comment with the link. The giveaway ends Saturday, December 20th at 12PM EST. One (1) winner will be selected in a random drawing from among all entries received. (Open to residents of U.S. and Canada only, please.)

Good Luck!
xo-Joyce