Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Make a Yeti of Your Own

As a parent, librarian, and children's book author I absolutely love book-related crafts. They're a great way to extend a story (and the learning) plus they're just plain fun! I put together a Yeti craft that I totally adore. It doesn't take many supplies, is cheap, and can come out looking like Yeti who was designed by Hazel Quintanilla for our Unicorn and Yeti series. And, of course, it can be a unique creation with any face design and as much (or as little) fur as the maker wants!

If you're a librarian you're probably already thinking about Summer... because Summer Reading is coming! This year's theme of the Collaborative Summer Library Program is Imagine Your Story. I love this theme because it encompasses so, so much. Just as with imagination, the possibilities are endless! I personally am hoping to fill my library with rainbows and unicorns, yetis and dragons, and as much fantasy fun as I can find the time to put together!

Below I have photos, a list of materials, and instructions for my Yeti craft. I hope I've made it easy to follow. It's a great craft to do with just one child or a whole group. I plan on doing this craft at my library this summer and I cannot wait!

Downloadable versions of the instructions and templates are coming soon, so please check back if you're interested in that. If you do the craft I hope you have fun with it! And if you have time to share a photo with me, I'd love to see it!

To make one Yeti you will need:

  • ½ Sheet of White Cardstock
  • Colored Paper
  • Approximately 12 Cotton Balls
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Tape
  • Fine tip markers
  • Glue Stick (optional)
  • Construction paper, sequins, glitter glue, feathers, chenille stems, etc. (Optional for accessories)


  1. Cut a strip of cardstock about 4" wide. (Template to come.)
  2. Roll into a tube and tape together.
  1. Cut two strips of white cardstock approximately 3” long and ¾” wide for arms. Tape one on each side of the tube at arm height, about ¼ of the way down the tube. (Template to come.)
  2. Cut an oval out of colored paper & draw your Yeti face. Glue the face onto the tube using a glue stick. (Template to come.)
  3. Stretch and tear cotton balls to use as fur. Glue onto your Yeti body and arms. Keep gluing on cotton balls until your Yeti has as much fur as you want.
  4. Fill in the top of your Yeti's head by gluing in cotton. (*Tip - If you fold and glue some of the cotton balls over the top (head) hole it will help hold the other cotton balls on when you fill in the top of the head.)
  5. Lightly trace around the bottom of the Yeti onto card stock. Add feet to the traced circle. Cut out. Put Elmer’s Glue on the bottom of the Yeti and press feet on. (Template to come.)
In SPARKLY NEW FRIENDS Unicorn makes Yeti a fancy hat to wear. You can make your Yeti a fancy hat too! Make a top hat out of construction paper and decorate it. Make a crown out of chenille stems! What other accessories can you make?

Check back for a downloadable version with templates coming soon!

Saturday, January 25, 2020

A Unicorn Explosion!

"In the last few years I've noticed an explosion of unicorns—" is how the New York Public Library's new list of Books for Unicorn Lovers of All Ages starts off. And it is an explosion! A happy, sparkly one if you ask me.

I am completely thrilled that Unicorn and Yeti, Sparkly New Friends is on the list where it is in fabulous company amongst a selection of books featuring unicorn characters, from picture books to middle grade novels. Of course, I've read a lot of the books listed and am adding the ones I haven't to my to be read list. I certainly love that Sparkly New Friends is on a list with so many fun unicorn books. But, as a librarian myself, I am also super excited to have a book on a list by the New York Public Library. What fun!

If you want to find more unicorn books to check out, go take a look at Books for Unicorn Lovers of All Ages by Clarissa Cook on the New York Public Library blog. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

A Unicorn and Yeti Giveaway!

I'm so excited! I now have an updated, professional-looking website! The one I build for myself was... fine. But my daughter (EllamaeRoseCreative) made one for me that is next level. It looks amazing and really reflects me and my writing so well. She used some Unicorn and Yeti illustrations by Hazel Quintanilla, put links to all my books, convinced me to write a longer bio, added a couple of videos and did a bunch of other cool stuff that I could not have possibly done, and I just LOVE it. If you want to see what I'm so excited about go to www.heatherayrisburnell.com

You may have noticed that I've also updated my blog (finally!) Plus, if you haven't heard, Scholastic Acorn Editor Katie Carella has acquired 3 more books in the Unicorn and Yeti series with the next one to release in 2020. We are working on those books right now. Woohoo! It is so much fun. I adore writing Unicorn and Yeti's stories. 

Then today, Sparkly New Friends was unanimously selected to the Texas Library Association Little Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List! The list is selected by public and school librarians and serves to encourage children to explore the variety of graphic novels and to read for pleasure as well as aid children's librarians, caregivers, and teachers in the purchasing and recommending of graphic novels for children. Pretty special!

With all this happening, and right in the midst of the holiday season, all in all it feels like a celebration is in order! Want to celebrate with me? Enter to win a set of three signed Unicorn and Yeti books! I am giving away a hardcover set of books 1-3: Sparkly New Friends, A Good Team, and Friends Rock. These are graphic novel style early readers illustrated by Hazel Quintanilla and published by Scholastic Acorn. If you want to learn more about the books you can go to the books page on my website.

The giveaway is limited to U.S. addresses only. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter. I’ll send the books out to the winner as soon as I receive their mailing address.

*I have randomly chosen a winner via Rafflecopter. Congratulations Heather B! (And no, that is not me. We just happen to have the same first name and last initial. What are the chances!?!) Thank you to everyone who entered and for all of the kind notes and enthusiasm. It really was a lot of fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 25, 2019

An Updated Monster List of Picture Book Agents!

Logo by Dana Carey
I've finally done something that is way past due. I have updated the Monster List of Picture Book Agents! It was fun to finally dig in and get it done. And things have definitely changed! Not only some of the agents and agencies but the way I put the list together.

I used to do a lot of research for the Monster List. I tracked down interviews and linked lists of all the different places you could go to research the listed agent. It was a lot of fun and the way I feel that a writer should do their research when considering which agents to submit their work to.

Those old posts are still up but they are no longer linked on the list. Unfortunately, I don't have time to do that research anymore. And really, if you're looking for an agent it is good for you to do it! So, I've changed the list. It is easier for me and now, because I am not doing so many links, it is a much more monstrously big list for you!

Now you will find a list of agencies with links going directly to the agency submission page. If an agency has pretty clear and easy to find submission wants I simply have that link that takes you to the agency submission page. From the agency website, you can read the agent bios to see which agents are open to picture book submissions, learn about who they represent, and find any links they have provided. Of course, I recommend doing some internet searching as well. Searching keywords such as the agent name + interview or represented by can bring up good current information. Also checking if the agent has a blog or Twitter feed you can peruse can be helpful. There is a bit more information that you'll see at the top of the page when you go there. I have a 'For Writers' page in the works on my blog here where I'll list some helpful links for research. Of course, I'll post when I have it up.

In the meantime, head on over to the Monster List of Picture Book Agents. I hope you have a good time digging into research.

Happy agent hunting!

Sunday, October 13, 2019

More Unicorn and Yeti Books!

It has been so much fun writing the first three Unicorn and Yeti booksKatie Carella at Scholastic is the best editor I could ever hope for. Hazel Quintanilla brings Unicorn and Yeti to life so fantastically with her fun illustrations. Sarah Dvojack designs the books! And so many other people at Scholastic do so many things that I don't even know about. It is amazing! I have gotten fan letters and photos and nice reviews. After many years of writing, it really has been a dream come true. Of course, this is many thanks to my awesome agent, Sean McCarthy.

So, I am thrilled to share that Katie Carella has acquired three more Unicorn and Yeti books! We're working on them now and I'm looking forward to sharing more details when I can. I absolutely love the look and feel of the entire Scholastic Acorn line and am thrilled to get to be a part of bringing three more Unicorn and Yeti books into the world! Yippee!!!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Friends Rock

Unicorn and Yeti book 3 releases today! Friends Rock makes the Unicorn and Yeti series a sparkly trio of books for kids who are learning to read (or just like fun stories!) Like the first two books, there are 3 stories in this third book. In Friends Rock, Unicorn and Yeti are learning to share… a swing, peaches and ice cream, and a sparkly rock, and of course they figure things out in their Unicorn and Yeti way.
My agent, Sean McCarthy, is doing a giveaway of all three books in the series to celebrate. If you’re on Twitter then hop on over to enter. Here’s his tweet:
Happy #bookbirthday to UNICORN & YETI: FRIENDS ROCK by @heatherayris & @HazelQuintanil9! To celebrate, I’m doing a #giveaway for all THREE Unicorn & Yeti books! To enter, simply: 1) Follow @heatherayris and @HazelQuintanil9 2) Retweet this! A winner will be chosen on 10/4/19

A Good Review for A Good Team

Unicorn and Yeti Book 2 – A Good Team, is set to release in July and I am thrilled that Kirkus gave it a good review!

“Quintanilla’s colorful, expressive art and Burnell’s infectiously whimsical tone make their own good team.”
Kirkus Reviews
I could not ask for a better team than the one I have at Scholastic Acorn! I do so love this second book in the Unicorn and Yeti Series. Unicorn and Yeti play ball, have a race, figure out how to ice skate, and of course, they have some silly and magical fun. You can read the full Kirkus review here.
Unicorn and Yeti: A Good Team is available for preorder from your favorite book retailer!