Happy Book Birthday and a Whale of a Giveaway! April 8, 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!
ps. If you're in the NYC area this Saturday, please come and celebrate the launch with me at Books of Wonder!
Dianna Burt on May 31, 2015 13:13
I’m looking forward to working with all the neighborhood kids that come into my library! We serve a free lunch and have programs every day for 8 weeks and Summer Reading Program! I love your art and your books!
Betty Chu Pryor on April 16, 2015 23:32
The book looks adorable! I am a good friend of your two sisters and have been following you ever since they introduced me to your work. My daughter loves your books! We pretend to eat the food in “You Are My Cupcake” as we read it. :) I am looking forward to the summer off to spend with my 2 year old daughter and to welcoming our second child at the end of the summer.
Kathy Rupff on April 15, 2015 10:25
I am looking forward to my teacher husband being off from school! Thanks, Joyce!
Gia Lee on April 12, 2015 13:19
Spending more time with my furkids and volunteering at my local SPCA! :)
C.L. Murphy on April 12, 2015 09:52
This book looks so fun! I’m looking forward to long summer days and enjoying the great outdoors. Thanks for the great giveaway!
Jerry on April 11, 2015 11:17
I’m looking forward to catching up on my projects! (But that won’t happen because I have several comic-cons to look forward to this summer, too.) :)
Congratulations on another awesome book! You are smoking!
Kashif Ejaz on April 11, 2015 00:33
Me and my family is looking forward visiting our old swimming pool to meet and find old age whale in our pool.
Julie Gribble on April 10, 2015 23:21
Taking some time off to head back to Christ Church, Oxford, the home of Lewis Carroll’s Alice. I’m way past due for a visit!
Jaime McHugh on April 10, 2015 00:56
I’m looking forward to lazy days at home with the kids and playtime in the baby pool!
Steph on April 9, 2015 19:54
I am looking forward to having a short break from teaching to spend a week at the beach. My husband owns a pool and spa service business, so our time together is very short lived in the summer! Hope he doesn’t find any whales in anyone’s pool this year. :)
Tanya Miranda on April 9, 2015 16:43
Congratulations Joyce! The book looks adorable and I can’t wait to read it to my son. I am looking forward to FINALLY getting my one year old into a pool to see how he likes it!
Christen Orbanus on April 9, 2015 16:06
I’m looking forward to spending time at the local splash pad with my three year old son.
Nikki on April 9, 2015 14:41
Playing with my 6 month old outside in warm weather!
Brian Lau on April 9, 2015 13:20
I’m excited to learn how to ride a motorcycle
Vi on April 9, 2015 13:01
I’m looking forward to my baby girl turning one in August!
Emily Tong on April 9, 2015 11:59
can’t wait for the warmer weather to take Maddy on outings where she can finally roam free and just be a kid!
Evelyn on April 9, 2015 11:34
can’t wait to see the book! I have given many of your books to my grandchildren whom I hope to spend an awesome summer with, now that I am officially retired…going to the beach to play in the sand and water, and also being “whales” in their backyard swimming pool. I am sure they will be inspired by this latest children’s literary jewel!
Jessica Perilla on April 9, 2015 11:12
Hi Joy, I love your book! It’s so cute and fun! I’m happy that you were able to find the perfect home for it and bring it to life. Regarding this summer, I’m looking forward to doing fun activities with family and friends and spending a lot of quality time with them. :)
Margaret Pope-Rainey on April 9, 2015 11:07
Congratulations on the new book! It looks adorable…just like all your books :)
This summer we are looking forward to taking Camden on his 1st trip to the beach!!!
Kiomi N on April 9, 2015 10:59
My 5yo LOOOOOOOVES your books!!! We will definitely order this one today :)
We are looking forward to (hopefully) visiting my mom in Japan this summer!!! She hasn’t seen my boys in 4 years, so it’ll be a super happy reunion :)
Your 5yo fan in SoCal
Kristen Griffiths on April 9, 2015 10:16
I’m looking forward to fresh vegetables from our garden and reading this book, of course :)
Kathy A on April 9, 2015 09:41
We are looking forward to swimming in our pool for the first time this summer. We became first time homeowners and moved in the winter!
Jennifer Bontrager on April 9, 2015 09:21
There is so much I am looking forward too! First going on vacation to see my family. Also eating sno cones, swimming, reading, and just relaxing.
Kristin Beard on April 9, 2015 08:23
This summer we are most excited to explore our new home state of North Carolina. We plan to visit the coast which I hear is beautiful. I look forward to enjoying everyday this summer with my daughter as we prepare to start kindergarten in the fall! I see lots of pool days and lots of family time!
Jannie on April 9, 2015 07:58
I’m looking forward to no snow!! :-)
Linda on April 9, 2015 07:28
The warm weather!
Judy Carey Nevin on April 9, 2015 06:26
I’m looking forward to a trip to NYC this summer, when I’ll reconnect with a bunch of my Penguin pals, including the amazing Teresa Kietlinski!! Haven’t been back to NYC in over 10 years! Also looking forward to our baby girl getting to meet all of my pals. :-)
Sonia Mancha on April 9, 2015 06:16
looking forward to my long road trip with my kids to my mothers house in Florida. with a lot of fun pit stops. and then having a wonderful summer in Florida with Grandma.
Diane Au on April 9, 2015 05:55
Congratulations Joyce!! After this crazy winter, we’re looking forward to taking our little one outdoors and into the pool this summer. :)
Caitlin Furger on April 9, 2015 03:15
This summer will be my first with our currently 7 week old son. I can’t wait to take him out for long walks, picnics and fishing and of course to read him all of his Joyce Wan books!
Tiffany Witherspoon on April 9, 2015 01:40
I am looking forward to spending time together as a family. We have passes to Sea World, Aquatica & the new aquarium so I am hoping to get lots of use out of them. I am sure your new book would be a favorite way for us to end our fun-filled summer days. I can’t wait to read it to my little ones!