Thursday, March 7, 2013

Mom's Choice Silver Award-winner BABYSITTING SUGARPAW

Author Bio:
VS Grenier is an award-winning children’s author, Mom’s Choice Honoree, founder & owner of Stories for Children Publishing, LLC, partner and blog talk radio host at the World of Ink Network, and award-winning (former) editor-in-chief of Stories for Children Magazine

She won the Mom's Choice Silver Award and a 2011 League of Utah Writer's Silver Quail Award for her picture book Babysitting Sugarpaw. In 2007 & 2008, VS Grenier was voted one of the Top Ten Editors in the Preditors and Editors Reader’s Poll, won 2nd place for her article on, “Yes, Virginia, There IS a Santa Claus" for P&E’s Best Nonfiction of 2007 and won 7th place for her article, “Dinosaur Tracks in My Backyard” for P&E’s Best Nonfiction of 2008.

VS Grenier learned how to hone her writing skills at the Institute of Children’s Literature and is a member of the League of Utah Writers, current president of HWG (the Southern Utah chapter of LUW) and is member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

Her works include Babysitting SugarPaw (Mom's Choice Silver and 2011 Silver Quail Award-winner), the Best of Stories for Children Magazine Volume 1 anthology, and over 50 short stories, articles and crafts for children, parents and writers.

A California girl at heart, she currently lives in Southern Utah with her supportive husband, their three children and the family’s miniature schnauzer Taz.

Author: VS Grenier
Illustrator: Kevin Scott Collier
ISBN: 978-1-93526-806-2
Page count: 32
Genre: Picture Book
Price: $13.95 (print) $2.99 (eBook)

Tell us about your book:
A little bear named SugarPaw hopes to get rid of his babysitter, bonnie Whiskers, by getting her into trouble after making changes to his rules chart. As the story unfolds, SugarPaw learns about honesty and friendship. Babysitting SugarPaw, with its child-centered plot on getting to know others, is the perfect book for little ones scared of being left alone with a babysitter for the first time.

This book will delight three-to-eight-year-old-readers, especially those who like to create mischief.

How long did it take to write the book?
The actually picture book manuscript only took me a couple of months to writer and revise; however, there is a long story of how this story came to be. I actually wrote the first manuscript back in 2005 for my very first assignment for ICL. It was originally a short story that later became a picture book after some tweaking.

What inspired you to write the book?
Kevin Scott Collier is the inspiration behind my first assignment becoming a picture book. I had taken my first assignment and revised it after I was about half way through my course with ICL. Kevin had started StoryBox Online Library and was looking for submissions. We both were members of the same online groups so I sent it over to him to see if it was workable. He loved it, gave me some suggestions to make it a better short story and published it. He even did the very first illustration.

After the short story, titled Sugarpaw and the Babysitter had been on his site for a bit, he emailed me and said it was getting many views. He suggested I think about tweaking it into a picture book. Having Kevin make that suggestion was a big deal to this fashion buyer turned writer. Kevin had already illustrated a few picture books, many of which had won awards.

I’m glad Kevin was my illustrator for the picture book and my support throughout the process. He gave me the idea and helped make the book the best it could be. Thank you, Kevin!

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
When I wrote the short story manuscript, I did have a routine. I would look at a picture of these little baby bears destroying a bathroom. This was one of three illustrations we could choose for the first assignment at ICL. I would jot ideas down and ask my kids what they thought was happening in the picture as well. It was a joint effort.

There wasn’t any research as this is a picture book but I did have to look at my story through a child’s perspective. This meant getting down and dirty with my kids so I could remember what it is like to be their ages.

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
I hope the find the story fun and one they want to read again and again. I didn’t set out to have a moral in my story even though there are few, which reviewers pointed out.

"I think this is a wonderful read for children. It will make them think twice about playing pranks on the babysitter. What great colorful illustrations by Kevin Scott Collier, which bring the story to life. I recommend this book for parents." ~MYMCBooks

"Anyone who has ever done babysitting will empathize with Bonnie and her plight. So will anyone who has ever been babysat! VS Grenier has created a tender, heartwarming story that children will enjoy having read to them and that parents will enjoy reading. After all, what would we parents do without babysitters?" ~Home School Book Review

"The perfect book for children who will have their first babysitter soon and also for someone who is going to be a babysitter for the first time."
"This is a great story for young children. There is a good lesson in the book too. My son really enjoyed reading this book with me. In fact, we've already read it over and over a few times (or more) already. The illustrations are very cute too. I think they are quite animated and child-friendly." ~PS Mom Reviews

Excerpt from book:
Bonnie Whiskers tried to get SugarPaw to play Hide and Seek. SugarPaw pretended he didn’t see her hiding behind the couch.

And spilled water on her head instead.

Bonnie Whiskers checked the rules chart while drying her ears.

“We need to read Itsy Bitsy Spider,” she said. 

SugarPaw went and got his book.

Then threw it in the trash.

Where can we go to buy your book?
Amazon, BBN, Halo Publishing and my website

Any other links or info you'd like to share?
I have many links people can follow me on, but here are a few
Twitter @vsgrenier

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