The Weekly 411 (7/5/24)

© Natasha Yaskina

 July 5, 2024 vol. 27

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 Natasha Yaskina.

Illustrator Spotlight

We are pleased to spotlight illustrator Abigail Rae this week and her website banner design for Kidlit411.

© Abigail Rae

Picture Book Giveaway

We are excited to host a giveaway of the picture book, Pie-Rats! by Lisa Frankel Riddiough, illustrated by David Mottram (Viking Books for Young Readers 2024). Enter to win a copy via the Rafflecopter below!

About the Book: A pirate’s sweetest treasure is dessert!
Pie-rats sail the starry night,
seeking treasures baked just right.
Pie-rats don’t want gold doubloons—
their bounty comes on forks and spoons.

A band of swashbuckling pie-rats has only one goal: to find dessert! Whether it’s banana cream, lemon meringue, apple, or cherry, these ravenous rodents will battle storms and scallywags to find the best pie. But will their adventures reveal that there is more than one way to satisfy a sweet tooth? With rollicking rhyme and lively illustrations, Pie-Rats is a hunger-inducing read-aloud that will have readers begging for another helping.

About the Author: Lisa Frenkel Riddiough has an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Hamline University. She is also the author of Letters to Live By: An Alphabet Book with Intention and the middle grade novel Elvis and the World as It Stands. Lisa is a former sales executive, a backyard squirrel watcher, and a frequent baker of chocolate pound cake – and pie! Visit her at or follow her on Instagram and Twitter @LisaRiddiough.

About the Illustrator: David Mottram worked as a graphic designer for many years before illustrating full-time. He is the illustrator of The New Kitten by Joyce Carol Oates and the Wordy Birdy books, among many others. He lives in Ohio. Visit him at or follow him on Instagram and Twitter @Dmott70.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Picture Book Giveaway

We are pleased to host a giveaway of the picture book, Summer: A Solstice Story, by Kelly E. Gross, illustrated by Renata Liwska (Simon & Shuster/ Paula Wiseman 2024). Enter to win a copy via the Rafflecopter below.

About the Book: It’s early morning, and the forest seems silent, but life is all around. As the sun shines through the pines, one by one the animals wake.Owl, Squirrel, Raccoon, Bear, Sparrow, Rabbit, Woodpecker and Deer gather to celebrate summer and offer loving wishes as they send their young into the world. Summertime is here for all to share!

About the Author: Kelsey E. Gross grew up in Wisconsin and lived in New Mexico and California before returning to the Midwest. She now lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with her family. When she’s not writing, you can find her hiking or skiing in the woods. She is the author of Winter: A Solstice Story, also illustrated by Renata Liwska. Find her online at, on Instagram, or Twitter.

About the Illustrator: Renata Liwska grew up in Warsaw, Poland, and now lives in Calgary, Canada. She is the illustrator of The Quiet Book and The Loud Book!, both New York Times bestsellers written by Deborah Underwood, as well as Solstice series picture books Winter and Summer by Kelsey E. Gross. For The Quiet Book, Renata Liwska was awarded the 2010 Society of Illustrators Gold Medal and named a 2010 Governor General’s Award finalist. You can learn more about her at her website, or follow her on Instagram or on Twitter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 The Art of Self-Editing: Tips & Techniques for Picture Book Authors

For Writers

8 Tips for Plotting a Great Heist Novel

Find and Delete These Phrases from Your Novel

Contests & Awards

  • What: a kid lit free verse poem suitable for elementary or middle school or YA with a "summer snapshot" theme, under 100 words
  • Prizes: cash ($300 1st place, $200 2nd place, $100 3rd place)
  • Fee: $10 entry free
  • What: submit your traditionally published nonfiction book for children or young adults
  • Award: $2500 plus $500 to purchase copies for schools and libraries
July 1- Sept. 15 The ILF Encouragement Fund
  • What: apply for a grant to continue or finish a middle grade novel
  • Who: a traditionally published author working on a middle grade novel
  • Award: $2000

July 15 7-8:15 p.m. ET; July 17 7-8:15 p.m. ET Successful Strategies for Submitting Your Manuscript to Agents and Editors   We believe in getting the very best stories to children and teens. Part one of this journey is crafting the very best story. Part two is collaborating with publishing professionals to bring it into the world. How do you know when you are ready to move to part two of the journey, and submit your manuscript? Join editor Harold Underdown to answer this question and many others on your journey to submitting your work.

Oct. 6 Rutgers One-on-One Plus ConferenceThe unique one-on-one format gives writers and illustrators a rare opportunity to share their work with an assigned mentor from the children's publishing world, whether it be an editor, agent, art director, or published author or illustrator. These professionals generously volunteer their time to not only critique the work of new and talented writers and illustrators, but also to share constructive information about the overall business of publishing. Every attendee is guaranteed a forty-five minute one-on-one manuscript or portfolio review session, and there are additional opportunities to network with our faculty members. (New Brunswick, NJ)


  1. Both of these books are high on my list to read.

  2. I can't wait to read these picture books! Summer, a Solstice Story is at the top of my list! Congrats!

  3. Such fun (Pie-Rats!) and such sweet illustrations (Solstice)! Beautiful. Thank you for sharing and congratulations!

  4. Thanks for sharing! Both books caught my attention right away! Can’t wait to read them this summer!

  5. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of these fun, beautiful books!

  6. I would love to win Pie Rats for my kindergarten classroom to add to my pirate book collection. What a fun premise!

  7. Excited for these new PB titles!! Hannah Roy LaGrone

  8. Look forward to reading both of these new picture books.

  9. Look forward to reading both of these new books.

  10. These books look great!

  11. I love Pie-Rats! It is such a cute story. Thanks for all the great links.

  12. Very nice. Congrats to both authors!

    1. Colleen Kosinski. Don't know why I came up as anonymous.


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