Monday, August 9, 2021

Together!

The Unicorn and Yeti team has been working hard to put the finishing touches on book six, Together--virtually of course, and it has been so much fun. I love revising and editing! I love poring over Hazel's illustrations!! And I love this cover!!!

How can you not love those lips?!  And those fabulous hats!

The book's title was chosen quite a long time ago, but now it feels even more meaningful with how much we have had to stay apart in the past year or so. In the stories, Unicorn and Yeti enjoy each other's company (mostly.) They spend time watching things zip, zigzag, and zoom in the sky. Unicorn wants to do all the things Yeti does--and becomes a copycorn! And, as you can tell from Hazel Quintanilla's fabulous cover art, Unicorn and Yeti have a tea party. Of course there are rainbows and sparkles and magic! I hope that readers will love it as much as I do, and I hope that it will inspire some tea parties as well! I do love a good tea party.

Unicorn and Yeti, Together releases on February 1st, 2022 and is available from your favorite bookseller!

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Book Joy Live!


Book Joy Live happens every week and I love watching when I can. John Schu has so much enthusiasm for books and I always learn about some great new children's books when I watch. (And my heart wants them all!) 

So, it is amazing to say that today, Hazel and I were on Book Joy Live with John Schu! It was a lot of fun talking all things Unicorn and Yeti with Hazel and John, plus we did a reader's theater-- we read aloud the first story from Fair and Square (around 18:00). And our Editor, Katie Carella even popped in! It was my first live author appearance and I couldn't have asked for it be more fun.

Thank you to everyone who watched and was so supportive! I loved reading through the comments on the Facebook feed. I've embedded the recording incase you missed it and want to watch. We can all use more book joy in our lives! You can also find the recording on the Scholastic Book Fairs Facebook page and on John Schu's website


 

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Fair and Square!

 
Hey, hey, it's an exciting day! 
Unicorn and Yeti book 5, Fair and Square, is out into the world!


As you can see from the book cover, in Fair and Square Unicorn and Yeti take on painting! They also build a forest out of shapes, and Yeti makes a pie! Hazel Quintanilla's illustrations are so amazing, as usual, and bring such joy and wonder to the stories. I am so excited for kids to get to read it!

Alt text
Looking at the completed book I can see a lot of my family in these stories. When my kids were small we had so many fun painting days. We'd build with blocks and sticks and whatever we could find to make towers and caves and robots--whatever struck our fancy. Our house was also under construction so we always had lots of building going on. My husband
built our house in his time off from working construction, so mornings before work, evenings after, and weekends.
I did a lot of holding up of big pieces of stuff, handing of tools, and nailing of nails--construction support. But let me tell you that a lot of things that you hold up during construction are not easy! And when we built our barn I had to get really high up and I did not have a trusty unicorn to fly me! (I definitely did my best to stay close to a holding place like I am in the picture.) It seems to me that sort of dedication deserves some sort of a medal. But we settled for pie. I made us lots of pies, and that seems to be a better prize anyway. Is the appearance pie in this book a coincidence? I certainly didn't think about it when I was writing the book but now I wonder!

 
Here's the family building a barn. The kids were older and loved helping!

Building, painting, pie making-- it's all fun and magical to me! I'm thrilled that Unicorn and Yeti is a 5 book series now and am so happy to be able to share more Unicorn and Yeti stories with readers! Just look at all of those amazing covers with those two amazing friends!


I can't wait to get to show you all book 6, Together. It comes out in 2022!








 

Monday, May 11, 2020

Scholastic OOM!

The Scholastic On Our Minds blog featured my Yeti craft. I feel so fancy! I hope that I get to see some of the Yetis that the kids make!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Monster List of Picture Books Publishers Update!

Have you gone the agent submission route with your picture book, found no takers, and still want to give your manuscript a chance at publication? Do you have a niche picture book and submitting straight to publishers seems to be the best course of action? Do you just like submitting your work yourself? Or do you simply want to learn about picture book publishers and what they are looking for? Then I have some good news! I've finally completed a full update of the Monster List of Picture Book Publishers. Of course, this is thanks to the time off I've had from work because of the quarantine but we've gotta take positivity where we can I suppose.

Publishing is in an uncertain place, just as pretty much everything else is in the world right now. But, books are still being made. Picture books take an average of like 2 years to be published so publishers still need to look toward their future lists. (No I did not look up this statistic, it just seems to be an average from what I've seen.) There may very well be changes along the way as publishers figure out how to make things work during this epidemic. I'd be surprised if there wasn't. But putting our work out there is what writers do, so I for one am not going to let that uncertainty stop me. Kids need books, maybe now more than ever.

Monster List logo by Dana Carey 
I am very excited to have gotten this Monster List updated. All the links have been checked and are working and go straight to submission guidelines. I removed quite a few publishers who were no longer accepting submissions but did leave some on the list that I am hoping may be open once again and want to keep an eye on. I also put in pertinent information on what the publisher is looking for in parenthesis where I found that info. And guess what? The list is looking quite monstrous and has 100 publishers on it! I hope that you'll find it helpful whether you are wanting to study up on publishers of picture books or are ready to start submitting a manuscript to.

As always, a monstrous THANK YOU to my friend Dana Carey for the amazing Monster List logos. I can't help but wish that image could be used to create an entire book, I just love it!

Are you ready to check it out? Go to the Monster List of Picture Book Publishers page now. Have fun and good luck!

Monday, April 20, 2020

Unicorn Day Quarantine Activities

Illustration by the amazing Hazel Quintanilla!
Did you know that there is an International Unicorn Day? Isn't that fabulous?! Hearing about Unicorn Day gave me that fun, sparkly feeling and I was inspired to come up with some activities for kids to do during the quarantine. Yes, Unicorn Day has passed (It's on April 9th) but it seems to me that every day is Unicorn Day! And why not? Having fun and being kind is something we can do anytime!

My amazing webmaster (and daughter) put together a fun Unicorn Day page for my website. Kids can find inspiration to get creative with Unicorn and Yeti: make a fancy hat, be a unicorn, write a letter to Unicorn and Yeti, and more! I hope that if you have children or students and are looking for some book-related or Unicorn and Yeti related activities to do, that you will find something they'll like. Just go to https://www.heatherayrisburnell.com/unicorn-day and check it out!

And if you have access to the Unicorn and Yeti books don't forget about the fun writing and drawing prompts at the ends of the books. Hazel shows step by step how to draw Unicorn in book 1, Yeti in book 2, and their bowl of ice cream and peaches in book 3. It's amazing what you can draw when you follow the steps! And educators, Scholastic has given permission to read their books online. That includes Unicorn and Yeti. See the Scholastic Digital Read Aloud Guidelines for details.

Of course, if anyone wants to share what they've done I'd love to see it! You can post in the comments here or I give other options on the Unicorn Day page. Most of all, I hope you have fun!

Hang in there and find your sparkle where you can.

xoxo
-Heather

Monday, March 30, 2020

Unicorn and Yeti Book 4!

Hello friends,

I hope that you are all being very careful and staying safe! I have some news I've been holding off on sharing. It feels strange to share happy news right now. But the more I think about it, the more I've come to realize that good things, no matter how small, are something we need, especially when times are hard. So I want to share... Unicorn and Yeti book 4 has a cover!

Hazel Quintanilla and the team at Scholastic have been working hard and they have done it again. They've made another cover full of happiness that shows the heart of our next book in the Unicorn and Yeti series. I am in love! Look at that scarf! Those leg warmers! That hat! Of course, I love the Unicorn and Yeti logo that has been on every book. The letter styling of the title makes it look so fun! The cover color is happy and bright!



Cheer Up is the 4th book in the Unicorn and Yeti series and in it, the two friends do some of those little things we do to try to help each other feel happy. It certainly seems we can all be a friend and try to help cheer each other up these days.

Just like Unicorn and Yeti books 1-3, Cheer Up will have three stories that can be read separately or all in a row. The stories include Unicorn having a gift for Yeti, but Yeti *gasp* not having one for Unicorn, Yeti sharing the love of crunching icicles, and Unicorn giving it a try, and Yeti thinking the dark forest is pretty but Unicorn perhaps needing to see things from a different perspective. And as you can see, Yeti knits! I can't wait for everyone to see the knitting that goes on in this book. Hazel created such fun illustrations and as she said, Yeti has skills!

Unicorn and Yeti Cheer Up will release in October 2020 and is available for pre-order now from IndieBound, Amazon, or your favorite book retailer.