Author Spotlight: Kirsti Call


April 23, 2021

We are excited to feature author Kirsti Call and her recent book, COW SAYS MEOW, illustrated by Brandon James Scott (HMH Books for Young Readers), out now. Enter to win a copy!

Tell us about yourself and how you came to write for children.  

I started writing in rhyme when I was 8 years old.  

“My mother’s smile is the best. 

She smiles at every guest.  

And yet the while I know that I 

get almost all the rest.”

Needless to say, my mom loved the poem. But I started writing for children when I had five children between the ages of 6 mos and 8 years old. Perfect timing, right? I’ve been writing for children ever since--10 years now.  

Congrats on your recent picture book, Cow Says Meow! Tell us about it and what inspired you.

Cow Says Meow is filled with mixed up onomatopoeia and wordplay. It's based on a joke I used to tell my kids when they were little. Every time I made the wrong animal sound, it never failed--they laughed. They also loved other variations of this joke. Like if I said: “You’re the Mommy.” Also, I love the idea that it's okay to be different. It's okay to meow if you're a cow. It's okay to growl if you're an owl. My 15 year old daughter wrote a song for the book with that theme. (insert video:

Was your initial road to publication long and winding, short and sweet, or something in between?

Ha! I signed my first book contract 3 months after I started writing for kids.  But after my first book came out, I had a seven year dry spell. 

What projects are you working on now?

I've got a picture book and board book releasing within the next year. And I’m working on a YA novel, a chapter book, and several board books!  And of course, I always have several picture books in the works. 

What advice would you give to your younger self? Is this the same advice you'd give to aspiring authors? 

(yes, same advice!)

Don’t give up. Write. Revise. Revise. Revise. Submit.  And write some more.  Rejoice in the small successes. And always remember 

success lives in the neighborhood of failure. 

What is one thing most people don't know about you?

I lived in Japan and Brazil.

Where can people find you online?

Twitter: @kirsticall

Instagram: @kirsticall


Author Website: 

Creative Coaching Website:

Kirsti Call co-hosts the PICTURE BOOK LOOK podcast and co-runs ReFoReMo. She’s a critique ninja and elf for 12×12, a blogger for Writers’ Rumpus, and a Rate Your Story judge. She’s judged the CYBILS award for fiction picture books since 2015 and she is a therapist trained life coach for creatives. Her picture book, MOOTILDA’S BAD MOOD (Little Bee) released last fall. COW SAYS MEOW (HMH) and COLD TURKEY (Little Brown) release in 2021. Kirsti is represented by Emma Sector at Prospect Agency.


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  1. My twins will love this book!

  2. I can't wait to read and see your upcoming releases.

  3. I think we will want to know all about any cow that says meow!

  4. I love funny picture books like this and so do my kids.

  5. Kirsti, your book sounds like fun. Kids will love the mixed up animals and their unique sounds. Good luck with your many pursuits. Great post!

  6. Such a sweet message! Would love a copy for my 4th graders.

  7. Wow to getting your first contract so quickly in your writing career. I appreciate how much you give back to the writing community and boost others to keep trying and never give up.

    1. Thank you, Danielle! I'll always be grateful for that first contract :)

  8. Sounds like so much fun, kids will have a blast with this book. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  9. "Rejoice in the small successes" is good advice. Big successes are rare (at least for me!). Today I'll try to notice a small success and be happy for it.

  10. This sounds like a really cute and fun book.

  11. This is such a fun book Kirsti! Love that your daughter wrote the song. :) Congratulations and best wishes!

  12. This looks hilarious! I love word play, and who could resist those eyes!

  13. Congrats Kirsti! Love the song written by your daughter. I'm looking forward to your new books!

  14. Kirsti is an awesome and supportive #kidlit person. I wish her continued success.

  15. Congrats, Kirsti. Such a cute cover and fun title. Love that you stuck with it for seven years. It's hard to do, but obviously, so worth it! Yay for all your success.


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