WHAT IF…? THEN WE… Rebecca Kai Doltich + Fred Koehler picture book giveaway

Looking for Poetry Friday? This is but one blip bit of it. Visit poet pal Robyn at her lovely  Life on the Deckle Edge. She is this week’s host, until next Friday, when we will meet at Teacher Dance with poet pal Linda

This moment at Bookseedstudio, we enter a double-decker day called  Friday Finds. One find  is Try this one, it’s good”  a book to herald. The 2nd find is words from the wild . First up, the words.

Friday Finds 1 – words from the wild 

singed     kettle      minnow      incantation
tilt        pyjamas      paraffin

Most writers I’ve sipped a cuppa with collect words. Culled from hand-written menus, the subway wall, in listening to a busker at the plaza, maybe talk overheard in the Post Office line, or ___________________, where? You tell us.

My heart sparked as I read kettle at a travel website, reminding me of a Revere Ware copper-bottomed tea kettle. It  squatted on our kitchen stove in my child days. Haven’t listened to a tea kettle whistle in eons; I heat water for tea in a trendy, safe-glass, all-glass, sort-of tea kettle I do love. With no built-in music maker. I am partial to all the words above I hadn’t read or heard for too long. Minnow is now added to a notebook of the current writing project – minnow, I see possibilities for you. Another time here I expect to have words from the wild that I wouldn’t have thunk, because I never knew them until . . .found ’em in the wild.

Friday Finds 2 – TRY THIS ONE, IT’S GOOD. In which I share a good good book.

WHAT IF…? THEN WE . . .Creators: Rebecca Kai Dotlich, author, Fred Koehler, illustrator.
Boyds Mills Press fresh-published this picture book, subtitled Short, Very Short, Shorter than-Ever Possibilities.

Two polar bears who walk upright, like kids, enjoy adventures. Events are altered by the idea that everything could fall apart. WHAT IF…? is finishing up a BIG blog tour.** 

It rides the waves as sequel to this creative team’s ONE DAY, THE END, the short, very short tales that understandably won Golden Kite & Boston Globe Horn Book honor awards.

I love both these impish books for their pixie quality. And since they go together like spooled
typewriter ribbon & a manual Olivetti, I’m offering my personally bought copy of ONE DAY, to accompany a brand new, publisher-given WHAT IF…?, for your exploration.

This new partner book, WHAT IF…? will be sought for lap-readers,
school floor readers, bedtime readers, worrywart readers, park blanket readers, beach
hut readers, hill top readers, bus readers, high flown readers & their kin.

Why? Events bubble out of characters’ very own imaginations, which spins
the story wide to activate a young reader’s quick mind. As Rebecca says, she wrote
this book for those who “fish for dreams.”

Page after page pull my eyeballs to Fred’s big images of creativity – paintbrush, pencil, coloring tool, looking glass, origami, a map, musical notes & the like. Fred is generous in unfolding ambitious situations where the bear pals, (unnamed, better for the reader to provide them) might want to call upon these tools.

Quick pick: This tumbling-along story entices our youngest ones, offering a high-five that imagination is wonderful. The take-away is that it is good to be bold and experimental.

[Appropos of nothing but a smile, I want to share that one typeface name for text is Rather Loud (bold.)]

Fred’s website +
Fred’s TED-like talk on p.b. creation (in which you can learn to pronounce his last name, among other things)

I have written about Fred, (who we in Florida are lucky to claim as one of our own) in the launch of another picture book.

Rebecca’s blog + You can meet Rebecca – Highlights Foundation workshop

Highlights Foundation offers this great interview with Rebecca by my Poetry Friday pal,
Matt Forrest Esenwine, author of FLASHLIGHT NIGHT, Matt’s & Fred-Koehler’s irresistible picture book,)

**Don’t take my word for it!  Please visit other WHAT IF?…THEN WE... sites invited on the tour:

Monday, 2/11                       Simply 7 Interview    

Tuesday, 2/12                      Storymamas

Wednesday, 2/13                Librarian in Cute Shoes

Thursday, 2/14                    Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook

Friday, 2/15                          Miss Marple’s Musings

Monday, 2/18                      Bridget and the Books     

Tuesday, 2/19                      Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme

Thursday, 2/21                    KidLit Frenzy

Friday, 2/22                         Unleashing Readers

                                             Book Seed Studio       (you are here!)

COMMENT here at Bookseedstudio to win a chance for the two pal books & you could also win the new one, it’s own self. Try, try, try.

Comment with a collected word or two from your lists, mention a connection with author Rebecca or artist Fred (or with Highlights/Boyds Mills Press/WordSong) or maybe, just let us know who will enjoy this team’s clever ONE DAY &/or also the new book, WHAT IF…? You know you want a chance to win. Make sure to leave your name/contact info so I can ask your United States postal address. (You may also comment & mention that you don’t want to win.)

Leave a response by NOON next Thursday so I can announce winners on Poetry Friday March 1 hosted by Teacher Dance.

So many appreciations for your visit today. (And if we haven’t met yet at a Highlights Foundation writing workshop, then someday, I sure hope we do.)

Remember to visit poet Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge, for her blog & her wrangling of this week’s Poetry Friday collection of Kidlitosphere blogs.

c.2019 Fred Koehler from inside the expanding universe of WHAT IF?…THEN WE… by Rebecca Kai Dotlich & Fred Koehler, from Boyds Mills Press

UPCOMING – I travel to Group Blog on Wed. March 6, 2019 with another new Boyds Mills Press book. See you there?


[I recommend that you b l o g  AT WORDPRESS.COM.]


29 responses to “WHAT IF…? THEN WE… Rebecca Kai Doltich + Fred Koehler picture book giveaway”

  1. What a fantastic blog post Jan!!! I’m really looking forward to this book, as I love Rebecca Kai Dotlich’s poems and picture books. I have her book– “Bella And Bean” which is delightful, I picked it up after hearing a talk of Jane Yolen’s where she invited Rebecca in to join her, at a local midwest SCBWI conference. I have their joint poetry book “Grumbles from the Forest.” I also have Matt and Fred’s gorgeous adventure–”Flashlight Night” which I reviewed on one of PF posts. I’d love to attend one of the Highlights workshops, not in my present budget as we’re putting our daughter through art college presently… I am most definitely a word collector, though my organization of collecting these precious words needs a little help, they are usually dashed away in my current notebook. Thanks again for this rich, take-away post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi there dear Michelle –
      I am so pleased you mentioned GRUMBLES! I have loved that book since I bought it upon publication & I have met the illustrator, Matt Mahurin & I have also met Jane Yolen, at our local library. Thank you for tipping me off to Bella and Bean. And best wishes to your college gal. In Art! Well, I should have known, of course, coming from such a talented artist as yourself. Our gal finished university, worked a couple years at a great science museum & now, is back in grad. school – so I well understand the eye on the pocketbook. Ah, there – pocketbook – let me deconstruct that – Pocket. Book. Have to lookitup . . . So glad for your visit.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such fun. Every bit of this, Jan! I’ve only recently started officially collecting my favorite words in writing and so regret losing a few along the way. My current faves are “dryad,” a spirt of trees and woods, “Waldeinsamkeit,” a feeling of being alone in woods or amongst trees (a place I often find myself!), and “murliks,” fine snow that settles lightly and squeaks underfoot as one walks. Robert Macfarlane is my word spirit animal! Now onto WHAT IF…? My Kindergarten writers will adore this! What inspiration is would be. Thank you for all this goodness! — Christie @ https://wonderingandwondering.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Christie. YOUR words are to savor & save, especially the sound-filled “murliks.”
      I remember that moment from winter woodland New Jersey child days, before the years of squeaking of sand underfoot here in Florida. Hmmm. Makes me ponder if there is a similar word for the fine sand squeak of Siesta Key & other beloved powder sands …

      I digress. So glad to have your visit – appreciations always for your creative work with the kinderfolk.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Started a comment yesterday and then lost it. I’m not familiar with either of these books, but I’m off to request them from the library. I would love winning them. As for words I love . . . whimsy, sassafrass and britches. I’ve taught britches to my 2 year old grandson. He knows that it’s Grandma’s name for his pants and we both giggle when we say it. Connections with Rebecca – I love, love, love Lemonade Sun! And I recently purchased Sweet Dreams of the Wild, her first book! I just pulled it off the shelf to share with grandson Jack. Finally, I used Mama Loves in my classroom every spring to inspire poetry writing for Mother’s day. When I visited Rebecca’s blog, I saw that she has a book Grandpa Loves. I’m off to try to find it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isn’t asking a librarian to lay in a lovely new title the best fun?

      These Rebecca connections are deep & wonderful – thank you so much for sharing.

      And the WORDS! So cute – the britches story. My father used that word, hunting in the laundry for his 🙂
      But only if they were his farmer dungarees (now there’s one) & not his office pants. Hmm… an idea perks.

      Whimsey & sassafrass are so fun to say & think about.

      I have much loved this visit today, dear Ramona.


    • Exactly, Tabatha, thank you. There will be answers bubbling up all over, to this great question Rebeca & Fred pose.

      And speaking of bubbling up, you have the mighty fine words today. I think I’ll borrow flub. And maybe, enchant.

      peace & joy to you.


  4. Jan, finally at the end of my busy day I get to end with your post, delicious and fun, full of Rebecca and Fred’s wonderful newest book that will thrill student writers and their teachers! I know many say it’s for younger writers, but in my last teaching, I used One Day. . . The End to great fun (& writing) so know this would be wonderful for them, too, if I was still teaching. I have had the joy of learning from Rebecca two times at Highlights, wish I could someday meet Fred. Thanks for the words. I collect many from my daily wordsmith, and the word today is ‘throttlebottom’ – Hmm. from a play long ago, means “A purposeless incompetent in public office.” Hmm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I should have known you are a ONE DAY . . . fan. You find all the best books, and much earlier than me. Lucky you & clever you, to navigate yourself to Rebecca’s workshops! It shows in your writings.
      Appreciations for advance permission to borrow your archaic funny word to describe a public office lout – for my words in the wild that I could never have thunk up, as I didn’t ever ever know them. But also, maybe for general conversations about the D.C. trauma. Also sounds like a fabulous name for a historic novel character, or a stage name right out of Shakespeare.

      YOU are the treat at the top of my morning, so we make good bookends.

      I can’t wait for your hosting at Teacher Dance, next week!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, your POSTS are worthy to be incantations, Jan! Thank you for those wild words, and for this terrific peek into what is sure to be another winner. I’m thrilled young readers will have more of Rebecca & Fred K’s magic to enjoy and to inspire! (Adults, too….) XO

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for these ebullient words, Robyn, which make me bow my head & say, Awww…
      That you have studied with Rebecca Kai Doltich is so evident in your lyrical writings.
      Appreciations for hosting us today in an extensive, labor-intensive round-up that reads like cozy introductions
      around a castle fireplace. I loved reading your descriptions of the offerings at Poetry Friday sites.


  6. I love your collection of wild words — especially “kettle,” since I have a Mickey Mouse kettle that whistles, and “pyjamas” — love the British spelling with the “y” in it. In our house, we pronounce it “pa-JAY-mas” after my name. 🙂

    Words from my collection: meringue, porridge, pandowdy.

    Rebecca and Fred’s new book looks fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, did you hear that world? I think we can all agree it must be pay-jay-ams for you!!!And I am so glad you are a kitchen kettle
      fan. Appreciations for the tasty words; I cook porridge often & my hubby even likes it at times, savory with spinach stirred in!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jan, you have become quite prolific lately so I am hoping that you are feeling so much better. Here’s to good health. I raise a cuppa to you and add a five-o’clock tea. What if the tea perks us up and leads us to imaginative word play? Then we, will “fish for dreams.” Love this post and the new book looks great.Thanks for holding a raffle. Can’t wait to see who wins.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi dear Carol! A cuppa AND a five-o-clock tea sound like the perfect indulgence. Some day the miles between us will evaporate – perhaps we’ll be South Florida beachcombers yoga season when you unroll your mat on the sand. Thank you for asking after my constitution; I am much better by a million miles! Still some wee issues, but don’t we all have a loose tooth or cranky ankle?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love words so every time I hear one that is unfamiliar to me, I have to look it up! I enjoyed reading your thoughts on “kettle.” It brings up childhood memories for me too. I loved ONE DAY, THE END so I know I’ll love this new one too. I was fortunate to have worked with Rebecca a few years back at a Highlights Workshop. She is as delightful as the books she writes! I would love to work with her again!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What If, then We is such a clever and fun book. I can’t wait to read it myself as mentor text for my own writing learning curve. Thanks for the chance to win a copy too. Someday I will go to a Highlights workshop. dhammelef(at)yahoo(dot)com

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Danielle – pleased to say hello & hope you’ll visit here again. If you have time, I recommend an amble through the Poetry Friday group. At the very tip-top of the post, the link to “Life on the Deckle Edge” will take you into a round-up blog, with links to many other mighty fine spots.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Yay! Today I can comment on your blog post! I love this Rebecca-Fred collaboration — the first one was my most-gifted book that year. And I did not know Fred was from Florida! Rebecca and I had an opportunity last year to co-write a poem for nErDcampGA… and R. Gregory Christie illustrated it! Pretty darn cool. And you, dear word collector Jan, are such a bright spot in the universe. Thank you. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll want to remember to find future links to that Rebecca co-written poem, Irene – Brava!

      Glad you also love the first of the Fred & Rebecca short short short co-conspirator picture books of adventure.

      Lucky, I am, that several dear souls such as yourself contributed to a clue caravan that led me to a missing comment box. As you can see – found!


  11. LINDA MITCHELL – A Word Edgewise

    Ta da! Here I am in the comment box. How wonderful! I think I need to get a cuppa tea and fish for dreams at my kitchen table. What a wonderful post. And, I have a list of word prompts to share with readers this week too! I grabbed my words from my reading of Countdown to the Moon. Such a wonderful book. I love it. So glad to see your blog is working and healthy. I’ve seen some tweets about ‘What if…then we?” and have been curious…that title makes a person curious! It’s great to see a review here. Ahhhhhhh. Wouldn’t I just love another Highlights workshop?! Someday. Someday.

    [hopefully, after adding this comment, all others can join in. please alert me at jgaoffice at gmail dot com
    if foibles foil your comments – many appreciations.]

    Liked by 1 person

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