Tag Archives: Jan L. Coates

Book Review: Sky Pig – by Jan L. Coates

 

 

 

 

 

Book: SkyPig
Author: Jan L. Coates
Illustrator: Suzanne Del Rizzo
Publisher: Pajama Press
Date: April 1, 2016 - Canada; September, 2016 - USA
Genre: children's picture book; 4 - 7 yrs; K - 2
Pages: 32
Price: $19.95
My rating: a sweet story of determination and friendship

 

If this book looks familiar to my regular readers, it is because I mentioned it in this blog post last year. 

Here is Jan reading her book at the launch in May of 2016.

 

 

 

SkyPig by Jan L. Coates is a sweet story about friendship and determination. 

Ollie, a little pig, wanted so very much to fly. He watched birds, and airplanes, and bugs, and things being blown in the wind, and he wanted to fly more than anything. His friend Jack, being an inventive boy, did all he could to try to help him attain his dream – even though everybody knows pigs can’t fly.

To launch Ollie airborne they collected leafy branches and fastened them onto his back. They climbed all the way to the top of a very high hill, and Ollie did his very best to fly. Just when he was thinking, “I’m flying! I’m flying, I’m …” Crash! he came down hard, and sadly limped home.

Since that unsuccessful attempt didn’t dampen Ollie’s determination, Jack helped him construct a kite (fail), then wings with feathers and things (fail), and more inventions to try to make Ollie fly. Nothing worked, and nothing made Ollie smile, until the day they discovered something wondrous. 

Illustrator Suzanne Del Rizzo created amazing illustrations for Sky Pig. To quote: “The illustrations were rendered with plasticine, polymer clay, paper collage, milkweed fluff, watch gears, and other doodads.”  Take a close look at the cover illustration to see many of those doodads.

Sky Pig was a selection for the 2016 Best Books for Kids & Teens, won the 2017 Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for excellence in illustration, and was a finalist for the 2017 Shining Willow Award.

Sky Pig by Jan L. Coates is an inspiring story written with repetition of some phrases and humour children will love. Her word choices are delightful. Suzanne Del Rizzo‘s illustrations are gorgeous and complement the story perfectly. When you get to read this book, watch for two little friends who appear in almost every picture with Ollie and Jack, adding a smile for the reader.

You can find Sky Pig by Jan L. Coates on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and Chapters.Indigo when the book is available there.

Please encourage an author and illustrator by leaving a comment. Thank you.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 

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Book Review: Rocket Man – by Jan L. Coates

Rocket ManBook: Rocket Man
Author: Jan L. Coates
Publisher: Red Deer Press
Date: May 2, 2014
Genre: Middle grade (age 9-11; gr 4-6)
Pages: 120, paperback
Price: $12.95
My rating: many youngsters will relate

Rocket Man is a story I’m sure both male and female MG readers will really enjoy. Jan Coates‘ books are always appealing, and this one covers more than one topic to which many readers will relate.

Her main character is an eighth grader named Bob who is awkward around girls, bullied by a couple of guys at school and on his basketball team, feels he has to live up to his older brother’s example as an athlete. All that, and his dad, who also was a basketball legend, is fighting cancer. Bob considers himself to be Mr. Invisible.

The reader gets to like Bob right away. He practices hard to try to move up to the Division 1 basketball team, but things just don’t seem to go his way until one of his bullies gets into trouble. Bob’s brother starts paying more attention to him, impressed by his earnest efforts, and comes up with a more positive nickname for him – Rocket Man. You have to read the book to find out the reasons behind that.

Bob also puts a lot of work into an idea for a major fundraiser because of his dad having cancer, and that has exciting results.

Jan Coates has created a story of hope. She has touched on family dynamics and the emotions of a young boy in the midst of the struggles going on in his life, in a way that makes the reader care.  If your pre-teen boy (or girl) is a reluctant reader, give him/her a copy of this book – even if he/she is not into basketball. Don’t let the cover fool you, it’s not really a book about basketball but the main character finds a way to make the sport work for him. Rocket Man is a good read.

You can find Rocket Man on my BUY THE BOOK page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Launch May 7; Jan L. Coates does it again!

Today I want to let you know about an exciting book launch taking place tomorrow, here in Nova Scotia. When I was at the Children’s book fair last month I got to purchase a copy of this fun book – Sky Pig by Jan Coates –  directly from the author, and tomorrow it is officially being set free into all the world.

CONGRATULATIONS, JAN!

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The story is fabulous, and look at the illustrations by Suzanne Del Rizzo — they are made from clay! Impressive work.

This is such a wonderful children’s book by prolific author Jan L. Coates. I know if you could be here you would enjoy meeting her. You can send her a message HERE on her website to encourage her, too.  

In case you can’t make the journey and wish you could, you can pre-order a copy of Sky Pig HERE at Amazon.com or purchase HERE at Amazon.ca. It’s also available HERE on Chapters Indigo.

If Jan’s name seems familiar it might be because I interviewed her here, and I have reviewed two of her books here and here.  She is a talented, award-winning author.

Please pass this information along to your friends, neighbours, contacts, … even those people you’re not sure you like much. They and the little ones in their lives can all enjoy Jan’s writing.

And maybe I’ll see you at the launch!

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Inspiration at the children’s book fair

As I launch into the writing of this post I am still basking in the glow of a morning of meeting authors and buying books. This post will include more photos than I usually add so they will be sized down for your convenience. My apologies for the poor lighting. Please be sure to click on the links I’ve provided. Even if you aren’t local to these people and organizations there could be ideas you would like to emulate where you are located.

As to the above … yes, you heard read me right. I came home with more books, and these ones don’t have to be returned. Yay! In fact, I bought twelve books and a bookmark! Oh me. I DO need a new bookcase. (Ohh, HONeeeyyy!)  😉

It all began with an email from author Laura Best to let me know about a children’s book fair being held Saturday AM, April 23. Happily, I was able to get there before 9:00 when there weren’t many people crowding around yet.

children's book fair

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I arrived I talked with two ladies in the lobby who were enthused about their lovely art display they had set up there. They rent out works of art to children for only $2 a month. Beautiful work. You can see what they’re all about HERE. It’s a fabulous idea, plus they have an art program  – workshops once a month with local artists who work with the children.

At one table I met a lady representing the Valley Community Learning Association. She was happy to tell me a lot about it and suggested that if I were interested I could become involved in the family literacy program, helping people learn to read, including refugees who have recently come here and are learning English. They need the help. I think I would need more patience – like my mother had. It’s something to consider, though. You can check it out here.

I was delighted to be able to spend some time talking with many of the authors, and they all are such nice people – talented, inspiring, friendly, real, honest, and lovers of what they do. I came away invigorated and excited to write again. 

Laura B & Jan CLeft: Laura Best, author of Bitter, Sweet (see interview and review) and Flying With a Broken Wing (review and interview)

Right: Jan Coates, author of A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk (see interview  and review); Rainbows in the Dark (see review); and other books I purchased today that I will show you below.

 

 

Here are photos I should have shared with you long ago of Laura at her reading of Flying With a Broken Wing.      See, Laura? They are good pictures of you. 🙂Laura

IMG_0559

I got a chance to meet the lovely Starr Dobson whose first picture book I reviewed. Of course, I had to buy her second one, and she asked if I wanted a picture taken with her!  Okay.  🙂  Thank you, Starr.

Starr DobsonStarr Dobson & me

I don’t know why I didn’t take pictures of every author I talked with, or at least whose book(s) I purchased. Not thinking, I guess.

Meghan Marentette & Carolyn Mallory

Here are two ladies with whom I had an enjoyable chat, and one invited me to a local writing group I didn’t know  existed! They meet once a week. Thanks, Carolyn, I am seriously considering it.

Left: Meghan Marentette

Right: Carolyn Mallory

 

 

Now, look at all the books I purchased today:

  • The Power of Harmony – by Jan Coates
  • Rocket Man – by Jan Coates
  • The King of Keji – by Jan Coates
  • Sky Pig – by Jan Coates
  • Gertrude at the Beach – by Starr Dobson
  • Fire Pie Trout – by Melanie Mosher
  • A Gift of Music: Emile Benoit & his Fiddle – by Alice Walsh
  • Fiddles and Spoons: Journey of an Acadian Mouse – by Lila Hope-Simpson
  • Forensic Science: in Pursuit of Justice – by L. E. Carmichael
  • How Smudge Came – by Nan Gregory
  • Painted Skies – by Carolyn Mallory
  • The Stowaways – by Meghan Marentette

The Power of HarmonyRocket ManThe King of Keji

 

 

 

Sky Pig

 

 

 

Gertrude at the BeachFire Pie Trout

 

 

 

A Gift of MusicFiddles and Spoons

The Fiddles & Spoons cover is different from on the copy I bought today, but it’s the one on Amazon and other places so I used it.

Forensic Science - in pursuit of justiceHow Smudge CameI’d previously met Ron Lightburn, the illustrator of How Smudge Came, when his own book was released. (review)

Painted SkiesThe Stowaways

 

 

 

 

 

I was pleased to meet Lindsey Carmichael who is the Atlantic Representative for CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators & Performers). She is a sweet lady, and the many books she has written are quite amazing. She said she tried fiction but finds it harder to write than non-fiction. As you see above, I bought one of her books about a topic that fascinates me.

A fun bonus is I got to add to my bookmark and postcard collections.

bookmark from book fairpostcards from book fair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This fair opened my awareness to more about writing – that being a writer is very OKAY, that I should try writing non-fiction because I haven’t done that yet and it might work for me, that there is a writers’ group close enough for me to visit – especially tempting since I’ve now met someone who participates in it, and there are such fabulous books out there!  oh, I already knew that, but I found so many new ones! And I now own a few more. 🙂  Gotta love that.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our trip to the Children’s Book Fair. I certainly did.  🙂  Thanks for coming along.

What inspires your creativity and helps nudge you forward?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

5 authors give writing advice to hopefuls

As you know, I sometimes take the opportunity to interview an author. You can find those interviews by scrolling through my Book Reviews & Author Interviews page. One of the questions I asked specifically is if he or she had any advice for hopefuls? They all generously complied with some great tips from their own experience.

This seems a good time to refresh your memory and give you a little encouragement. I have excerpted from our interviews and included the name of the book being promoted at the time. Here is what those authors had to say:

1. Laura Best – author of Bitter, Sweet

“The best advice I can give to hopefuls is to write as much and as often as you can. Pay close attention to any comments that editors send your way. Forget the notion that your work can not stand to be improved upon. Everything can be improved. You’ll start to know when you’re getting closer to publication. Those comments will be laced with a sweet touch of sugar as your writing gets stronger. Lastly, don’t give up. If you believe in your talent keep working at it, perfect it to the place where someone will want to publish it.”

Check out Laura’s blog here. Reread our interview here.

2. Billy Coffey – author of Snow Day

“The best advice I can give? I’m a firm believer in the power of perseverance, so my advice is to always try once more. If you write a story you decide is awful, try once more. If you get a rejection, try once more. In the end, it doesn’t matter who gives up on you. All that matters is that you don’t.”

Check out Billy’s blog here. Reread our interview here.

3. Penny Zeller – author of Kaydie (of the Montana Skies series)

“When I meet a reader or fan face to face, I love to chat with her about what she envisions herself doing for God’s Kingdom and how can I pray and encourage her in that pursuit. If she is pursuing her dream as a writer, I tell her that one of the most important things to remember in being a writer is that if God has called you to do it, He will guide you every step of the way.

I would advise her to give her writing to the Lord and to not give up! I speak from experience when I say that when He closes one door, He opens another (much better) one.”

Check out Penny’s website here. Reread our interview here.

4. Jan L. Coates – author of A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk

“My best advice would be to read everything you can in the genre in which you’re interested in writing – I’m constantly amazed by how much I can learn from studying how great authors put words and stories together. And, of course, write – every day, if you can. Also, read your work out loud – it’s surprising how easy it is to pick up weaknesses that way. If it doesn’t sound right, it probably isn’t.”

Check out Jan’s website here. Reread our interview here.

5. Delia Ephron – author of The Lion Is In

“The important thing for all aspiring writers is believe in yourself, be driven and never give up.”

Check out Delia’s website here. Reread our interview here.

When you enjoy again the above-mentioned interviews, you will glean many more tips and advice you can apply to your own writing. What I have included here is only what was in direct answer to my question.

Have you found any of these authors’ advice to be useful to you? What other things do you do to keep on track?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Announcing the winner of A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk!

We have finally made connections and I now have confirmation of our winner.

Congratulations to writing feemail (Renee J.) whose name was drawn from those submitted into the draw.

Renee, your book will be in next week’s mail – thanks to Red Deer Press. I’m sure you will thoroughly enjoy A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk by Nova Scotia author Jan L. Coates.

Thanks to everyone who read the interview and those who participated in the contest.   I’m sure I will be doing more book reviews and author interviews as time and books become available. 🙂

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

Hurry! You could win a book today!

 

This is a friendly reminder of the BOOK GIVEAWAY I’m offering TODAY – November 12 – courtesy of Red Deer Press.

Please refer to my October 22 post and read my review of A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk – an amazing story written by Jan L. Coates.

Then, following my October 28 interview with Jan, you have the opportunity to win a copy of A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk by leaving a comment.

Please be sure to let others know about this, too, and get the word out about this heralded novel. There’s not much time left until 9:00 pm (8:00 EST). Tweet about it, mention it on Facebook and in your own blog .. use your imagination to get the word out there!  I know Jan will appreciate the publicity for Jacob and Wadeng Wings of Hope.  Don’t know who Jacob is? Read my blog posts of October 22 and October 28. ;)

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)