The Weekly 411 (9/22/23)

© Olga Herrera

 Sept. 22, 2023 vol. 38

The Weekly 411 gathers all the links added to Kidlit411 each week. To receive this post by email, sign up for our email updatesAre you on Facebook? Join our Kidlit411 group for conversations and camaraderie. This week's illustration is by Olga Herrera.

Picture Book Giveaway

We are pleased to host a giveaway of the picture book, In a Cave, by Heather Farranti Kinser, illustrated by Bonnie Kelso (Gnome Road Publishing), out on Oct. 3! Enter to win a copy via the Rafflecopter below!

About the Book: Work up an appetite for cave popcorn as you journey into a subterranean world filled with dazzling cave formations and cave-dwelling creatures! Join two young explorers and their trusted guide as they head off on a wonder-filled underground adventure. Slip through crevices, creep through passageways, and stop to admire the beauty of a fascinating ecosystem. From stalactites and stalagmites, to dripstone, shelfstone, and pearls—there is something to discover at every turn. Troglobites, glow worms, spiders, and bats make your acquaintance before your return to the light and familiarity of places above. With a lyrical, rhyming text, and illustrations that illuminate and bring warmth to an otherwise dark and damp environment, In a Cave is sure to please science and nature lovers of all ages. 


About the Author: Heather Ferranti Kinser writes at the intersection of story, poetry, and nature from her home on the San Francisco Peninsula. She’s a former technical editor who now spends her days writing small stories―to make a big difference for kids! Heather loves to enter natural landscapes with an open mind and leave with a head full of poetry. In addition to In a Cave, , she is the author of Small Matters and Nature is a Sculptor, both from Millbrook Press. Connect with Heather at, or connect with her on Twitter or Instagram at @hethfeth.

About the Illustrator: Bonnie Kelso is an illustrator, author, and teaching artist. She has explored many backcountry caves and canyons. One time, she rappelled 328 feet just to see a glow worm! Bonnie loves everything about caving: the fabulous formations, the fascinating wildlife, and those neat drippy sounds. She studied art at the Rhode Island School of Design and worked as an exhibit designer for the Smithsonian. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada with her family. You can learn more about her and her art at


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Picture Book Giveaway 2

We are excited to host a giveaway of the picture book, First Night of Howlergarten by Benson Shum (Penguin Workshop/ PRH 2023). Enter to win a copy via the Rafflecopter below!

About the Book: First-day-of-school jitters take on a whole new meaning at Howlergarten, where future werewolves prepare for their big transformation! 


Most kids go to kindergarten, but there is a special place for those who turn into werewolves. Instead of attending school during the day, these supernatural students go to howlergarten at night! There they practice tracking scents, listening to whispers on the wind, and more. But when one student named Sophie doesn’t seem to possess the basic skills, she worries she won’t become a werewolf at all. What will happen if she remains human when the full moon appears? Will she still be accepted as part of the pack, or will she be cast aside as an ordinary outsider? 


About the Author-Illustrator: Benson Shum is an award winning children's book author and illustrator. He uses watercolor, ink and digital tools to create his illustrations. His books, Anzu the Great Listener and Anzu the Great Kaiju were selected as Kid's Indie Next List Recommended by American Booksellers Association. Alex's Good Fortune was selected to be part of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. And both Little Seed and Anzu the Great Kaiju was a Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Book for Kids.

Aside from writing and illustrating, Benson is also an Animator at the Walt Disney Animation Studios, where he was a part of such films as Frozen, Big Hero 6, Zootopia, Moana, Frozen 2, Encanto and Wish. Originally from Vancouver, BC, Benson now lives in sunny southern California.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • What: pitch your graphic novel projects for middle grade or younger
  • Who: un-agented and agented authors and illustrators
  • Award: interest/ invitation to submit from agents & editors

  • What: design a banner for Kidlit411
  • Who: anyone over age 13
  • Prizes: cash ($175/ $125/ $75 for first, 2nd, 3rd places) plus 9 honorable mentions; an Illustrator Spotlight; use of banner on website, in Facebook group, and in newsletter


  1. These both sound excellent and unique to currently published books.

  2. Both of these giveaways look amazing! Thank you for hosting!

  3. I cannot wait to read this! Hooray for the intersection of nonfiction and poetry!

  4. I think Caves are so fascinating and I would love to win the book In a Cave. The author’s other works sound interesting too. I’m getting more and more interested in STEM books for kids. I’m a former teacher.

  5. These books both look fabulous and the art is gorgeous. Thanks for the chance to win.

  6. My kindergartners would LOVE Benson's Howlergarten. I can just hear them howling!

  7. Many thanks for the opportunity!

  8. Congrats to Heather, Bonnie, and Benson!

  9. Both of these picture books sound terrific!

  10. Wonderful book giveaways! I can’t get over the stunning cover of In A Cave!

  11. Fun post & great book giveaways. Thanks!

  12. Both of these books look excellent. Caves are a big draw for kids and adults. I like the slant on the kindergarten book.


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