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. The ones I have been sent photos of are so cute!

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.


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 a 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!

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!

Yeti Craft Instructions are below or if you'd like to download the instructions along with the body, face, and feet templates just click here: Yeti Craft PDF.

Yeti Craft Instructions

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)

Directions:

  1. Use the Yeti craft template, a toilet paper tube, or cut a strip of cardstock about 4" wide. 
  2. If you used cardstock, roll it into a tube and tape it together.
  1. Use the Yeti craft template or cut two strips of white cardstock or stiff paper 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.
  2. Use the Yeti craft template or cut an oval out of colored paper. Draw your Yeti face onto the oval, then glue your face onto the tube. (A glue stick works well for this but liquid glue will do as well!)
  3. Stretch and tear cotton balls to use as fur. Glue them 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. Use the template or lightly trace around the bottom of the Yeti onto card stock and add feet to the traced circle. Cut out. Put glue on the bottom of the Yeti and press feet on.
Now you have your very own Yeti! 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?

Do you want the downloadable pdf now that you saw how easy and fun it is to make your own Yeti? Just click here: Yeti Craft PDF (Note that the Yeti arms are supposed to meet the top edge of the paper when you print out the template so cut them straight across.)

If you make a Yeti I'd love to see it! You can post a photo as a comment on this post or tag me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook!



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.