ROSIE THE DRAGON AND CHARLIE MAKE WAVES
Copyright Date: 2020
It's summertime, and you're invited to a rollicking day at the pool with Charlie and his pet dragon (and best friend!) Rosie. But be careful, because swimming with a dragon is, um, challenging. Grab your towels and sunscreen and join Rosie and Charlie for a fun-filled summer adventure! (Note: Fireproof clothing not included.)
Debut picture book – the first of 2 in the “Rosie the Dragon” series – a fun-filled summer adventure!
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Google Hangout has licensed rights to include Lauren Kerstein and ROSIE THE DRAGON AND CHARLIE MAKE WAVES (illustrated by Nate Wragg/Two Lions), in a promotional video about Second Star to the Right Books in Denver, CO.
Let’s dive in to learn more about Lauren, her process, that sweet duo of Rosie and Charlie, and #kidlit advice for not-yet-published authors:
Q. Which swimming skill best describes your writing process for this book?
a. learning to float
b. flutter kicks
c. treading water
d. diving into the deep end
e. swimming the Individual Medley (IM)
Lauren: Swimming the IM seems fitting since you have to swim a different stroke for each leg of the race. I needed to switch the structure of the narrative arc, and my approach to this manuscript many times. I also added actual swimming skills (per my agent, Deborah Warren’s brilliant suggestion) which changed the manuscript in the most wonderful ways! By the time Rosie and Charlie splashed to shelves, I felt like I had swum the IM.
Q. They say most books are a tiny bit autobiographical. Are you more like Rosie or Charlie?
Lauren: I am definitely more like Charlie. I am a list-making, graphic-organizer creating, spreadsheet-designing kind of gal!
Q. Did you ever have (or wish you had) an unusual pet like Rosie?
Lauren: I used to collect the long worm-like things that fall off oak trees and put them in my baby pool. (I just looked them up and they are called catkins (or more technically aments)). I pretended they were seahorses. As a child, I always wanted a seahorse as a pet! Now, I would just love to see one in its natural habitat.
Q. Congratulations on your debut picture book. Any advice for beginning, not-yet-published #kidlit writers?
Lauren: Thank you! There are two things I wish I understood better right from the beginning of my journey.
One–Writing is not a solo endeavor. Critique partners, paid critiques (through conferences or other offerings), and beta readers are just as important to the process as solo BIC time. (Or in my case SAYD- Stand at Your Desk) moments.
Two–Focus on developing your craft right away. Craft books, workshops (such as Erin Dealey’s workshop about character development. *Disclaimer–I did NOT pay Lauren to say this.), classes, and conferences are extraordinarily important. Reading mentor texts is critical as well. You have to know the rules inside and out if you want to break them. You have to know what works and what doesn’t. You need more than just a good idea. You need to hone your craft so that your manuscripts are as strong as possible.
Q. Do you have any #kidlit heroes?
Did you use any picture books as mentor texts?
Lauren: I have so many #kidlit heroes. I think my biggest heroes are authors who are able to incorporate lots of humor, or conversely, writers who are able to truly capture emotional resonance. For example, I love Mo Willems’ humor so much! I also love Ame Dyckman’s humor! I am in awe of the emotional resonance in THE REMEMBER BALLOONS (Jessie Oliveras) and MY DAD’S DREAM FOR ME (Beaty/Collier).
I read tons and tons of mentor texts. There are mentor texts I read over and over again like MOTHER BRUCE (Higgins), STRICTLY NO ELEPHANTS (Mantchev), and anything Mo Willems. I also have mentor texts I read with a specific purpose (i.e., to analyze arc, emotional resonance, and humor). Mentor texts are a critical part of the writing process!
Q. If you had a magic snow globe that would grant you a wish, what would your Snow Globe Wish be?
Lauren: My Snow Globe Wish would be that everyone might experience the beauty of random acts of kindness every single day. (Is that too corny?)
Full disclosure: Not corny at all. In fact, it fits right in with my upcoming holiday book. (Yes, that last question was sneaky but Lauren Kerstein, you might be psychic…) My jacket flap bio says:
You can learn all about Erin Dealey and her books at erindealey.com.
She believes in magical snow globe mornings and the power of kindness. As her mother used to say, “Actions speak louder than words.” Her snow globe wish is that this book might inspire many acts of kindness in our world.
More Blog Tour fun here:
Download Rosie and Charlie Activity Sheets & Cards
“The first time that I met Rosie the dragon and Charlie on the manuscript’s pages, I found myself immediately smitten with their loyal and fun-loving personalities. And when the art came in, I was even more in love. Rosie, a rotund, bright-pink dragon, has all the characteristics of your favorite pet—she’s a little shy at first but eager to please and completely silly, with just a touch of rebellion. Charlie, on the other hand, takes his job as Rosie’s owner and best friend very seriously, and he’s always there for Rosie with a reassuring word or a big hug. It’s not easy teaching a dragon how to swim! But Charlie never gives up on his best pal, Rosie…even if she does cause a few calamities along the way. From ice pops by the pool to cannonballs under the blazing-hot summer sun, this lively romp exudes all the best things that summertime fun has to offer. I hope you’ll enjoy taking a splash with this adorable duo!
— Marilyn Brigham, acquiring editor; Two Lions
“Kerstein’s playful story about friendship, patience, and responsibility for a pet is nicely matched by Wragg’s bold, colorful illustrations.”
Young dragon lovers and fans of mischief …will revel in this silly romp.”
Do you think that dragons can actually swim? Well, in this story you will meet Charlie and his friend Rosie a red dragon. Charlie adopted her and they do all sorts of fun things together including swimming. They pack snacks but Rosie really shouldn’t have gummy skunks because they give her really bad dragon breath. Charlie and Rosie are careful to go over the rules, but he still has to tell her to share pool toys and no nibbling on friends’ fingers. Charlie and Rosie are having a great time blowing bubbles, practicing flutter kicks and even gives kids a ride on her back. But there is something that Rosie has always wanted to do at the pool. Can you guess what that might be?
This book is a perfect first read for any beginner. Easy to follow sentence structure along with hilarious and brightly colored illustrations make this a fun read-a-loud for any home or classroom. Parents and teachers can discuss what they would do at the pool and even talk safety at the pool.
Exploring Pool Safety with Rosie the Dragon!
“… The story touches on topics that will be familiar to all kids spending time around pools during the summer, including pool rules, fear of the water, learning to swim, and having fun with friends. The brightly colored illustrations are hilarious, highlighting the silly situations that Rosie gets herself into. Kids will love following along with Rosie and Charlie’s adventures, while parents will love the reminders about pool safety, sun safety, and social situations.
This book provided us with the perfect opportunity to talk about pool safety and swimming rules, just in time for summer! One of the pages even shows the pool rules in large detail, with matching drawings created by Rosie. Before you head to the pool for the summer, create your own list of rules as a family. You can even let kids illustrate them like Rosie did!” https://www.babiestobookworms.com/2019/05/30/pool-safety-for-kids/
“With pool rules and swimming skills, this debut picture book is a PERFECT summer read.
This book was so silly and cute! We loved Charlie and the great care that he took of Rosie, and made sure Rosie behaved at the pool, and had snacks, and that she was careful with the other kids. And that they had a fun day at the pool! The illustrations were so fun, very vibrant, and eye catching. This is one of those kids books that I don’t mind reading over, and over again.”