Weird Stories from the Lonesome Cafe

Fall 2013

Coming soon--Ukulele Hayley!

Chicago Public Library Best of the Best list 2012

Oregon Book Awards 2012

Ukulele Lady

Bank Street College of Education, Best Books of 2011

200,000 people attended the National Book Festival.

Each state had a table at the Pavilion of States. Look closely, and you'll see CARMEN LEARNS ENGLISH.

Everyone got a map. Kids took the maps to each state's table to get it stamped. I helped stamp using Oregon's Ramona Quimby stamp (because Beverly Cleary is an Oregon author.)

We saw Giant Pandas at the National Zoo in Washington, D. C.

After visiting Washington, D. C. we took the train back to Portland, Oregon--from sea to shining sea!

After three days on the train, I look a little bit tired. But happy!

Move over Rock Bottom Remainders! Here comes "Banned"! From left to right: Neysa, Monelle, Michelle, Judy (not pictured: Docena, Lucinda)

Keynote address at SCBWI--Southern Idaho/Northern Utah April 2011

Bank Street College of Education, Best Books of 2011

Prince George, B. C. gets a lot of snow!

Fleur in Aberglen Castle (Div. 6 Highglen Elementary)

At Heather Park Elementary with Ishbu the rat puppet.

Frederick and Ishbu's first adventure!

The second book in The Tails of Frederick and Ishbu

Summer Reading

Word by Word

The Power of Fan Mail

January 26, 2015

Tags: judy cox, children's books, ukulele hayley, the secret chicken society, writing, fan mail, authors, kid lit, Mrs. Millie

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I recently got a couple of fan letter—emails, actually—about my Tails of Frederick and Ishbu books:

“Are you going to make any more Frederick and Ishbu adventure books? I read both of those books in two days, so could you at least think about it?”

For those of you who don’t know, there are currently two books in the series. The first, THE MYSTERY OF THE BURMESE BANDICOOT came out in 2007. It introduces rat brothers Frederick and Ishbu, who live in a cage in Miss Dove’s fifth grade classroom. Ishbu loves marshmallow treats and carrot sticks, and Frederick loves geography. During their sojourn in the class, Frederick has learned to read. When the two rats are called to save the world from the evil mastermind (a blind, albino opossum named The Big Cheese) Frederick’s reading skills—and the fifth grade education he’s received—save the day.

The second book, THE CASE OF THE PURLOINED PROFESSOR, came out in 2009. It can be read on its own, although it includes several continuing characters. The lovable rats must again save the world from the Big Cheese and his gang, the Bilgewater Brigade.

The books are part adventure, part mystery, and total fun. Cultural references range from Edgar Allan Poe, to the Maltese Falcon.

Both books received good reviews and THE MYSTERY OF THE BURMESE BANDICOOT was awarded “Book of the Month” at a library in Wellington, New Zealand! Some fans in Prince George, BC invited me to come and visit their schools, and I had a marvelous time.

I loved writing those books, and I was heart broken when my publisher decided not to publish any more in the series. According to them, the books didn’t sell well enough.

Fortunately, I have options. With new technology, I don’t need a publisher; I can bring the third Frederick and Ishbu book out on my own. It’s truly a labor of love.

At the time of this writing, THE CASE OF THE PURLOINED PROFESSOR is still in print and is available from Amazon.com and all leading bookstores. THE MYSTERY OF THE BURMESE BANDICOOT went out of print in hardback, and I brought it back out in a paperback edition with my own cut paper artwork on the cover. It’s also available on Amazon.com.

I hope to have the third book finished by this summer. (Keep your fingers crossed!) So keep those cards and letter coming, folks. You inspire me.


The Next Big Thing Blog Tour!

January 16, 2013

Tags: judy cox, next big thing blog tour, children's books, snow day for mouse

The Next Big Thing is here!

What is it? It’s a terrific blog event that shines a spotlight on authors’ upcoming book releases. The event was originally launched in Australia and is now spreading around the world. I received my tag from children’s author, Lori Mortensen, and at the end of my interview, I’ll tag several other writers who’ll share what their Next Big Thing when they blog next week.

Here's my interview about my Next Big Thing:
What is the title of your new book?
SNOW DAY FOR MOUSE

Where did the idea come from for the book?
This is the fourth picture book about Mouse. He began his adventures in ONE IS A FEAST FOR MOUSE: A THANKSGIVING TALE; continued in CINCO DE MOUSE-O!, and HAUNTED HOUSE, HAUNTED MOUSE.

What genre does your book fall under?
My book is a humorous fiction picture book.

What is the synopsis of your book?

Hooray! It's a snow day. The family is baking cookies, and Mouse gets showered with yummy crumbs. But the real adventure begins when he accidentally gets swept out the door with the snow Dad has tracked into the house. Mouse is in for a wild winter wonderland romp with Cat close on his tail!

Who published your book?
Holiday House. They’ve published quite a few of my books, including the entire Mouse series. They are the oldest independent children's book publishers in New York City.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

The idea developed over a few years, as I kept changing the holiday from Valentine’s Day to Christmas and finally settled on a book that would reflect winter rather than a specific holiday. The actual draft took only a couple of weeks.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Picture books with engaging animal characters such as Peter Rabbit, Olivia, and Angelina Ballerina, and of course my other Mouse books.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My husband likes to feed the birds on our back deck in the winter. We get wintering juncos, white-crowned sparrows, and house sparrows. Nothing as exotic as the birds that Mouse meets! We also have mice living under our deck, eating the birdseed that falls through the cracks. They occasionally dart out to steal seed the birds have dropped. I love watching them—and so does our cat!

What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

There is a free activities page on the Holiday House website Holiday House Activities Page

And here’s what reviewers are saying:

"Readers will look forward to taking this snow-day romp again and again." --Kirkus Reviews

"Ebbeler's generously detailed acrylics brim with comedic details."--Publisher's Weekly

“This fourth story about Mouse perfectly sums up the euphoria of fresh-fallen snow. Cox’s text rhymes throughout, and reads aloud well.”--School Library Journal

What’s coming up?

My next “Next Big Thing” is a chapter book titled Ukulele Hayley, that will come out in Fall 2013 from Holiday House, with illustrations by Amanda Haley. It’s the story of third grader, Hayley, who saves her school’s music program when she starts a ukulele club. While researching the book, I taught myself to play the ukulele. Now I teach classes and run a ukulele group. I’m totally hooked! Watch for UKULELE HAYLEY in Fall 2013.

Next week, check out these fine authors:

Pamela Smith Hill
Erik Brooks
Linda Benson
Margaret Fuller
Donna Peterson

the secret chicken society honored

January 10, 2013

Tags: the secret chicken society, backyard chickens, judy cox, children's books, chicago public library, fiction

Best of the Best 2012--Chicago Public Library
The Secret Chicken Society is now out in paperback, making a perfect selection for book clubs and literature circles!

It was recently honored with being named to the Chicago Public Library's "BEST OF THE BEST 2012" list of children's books:

http://www.chipublib.org/forkids/kidsbooklists/bestofbest_list.php

Next week, I'll be part of The Next Big Thing Blog Tour, so stay tuned to this channel!

Highlights of 2011

December 31, 2011

Tags: new year, judy cox, children's books, 2011, Snowmouse, Haunted House Haunted Mouse, Don't Be Silly Mrs. Millie, The Secret Chicken Society, Happy Birthday Mrs. Millie

Visit to Kenwood School
This has been an amazing year for me, both personally and professionally! Here are some of the highlights:

January--I sold a new Mouse picture book to Holiday House, tentatively titled SNOWMOUSE. It will release in Fall 2012.

I taught "Writing Your Life Stories" for Treasure Valley Community College. The senior citizens have amazing stories to tell, and I was proud to help.

February--My first International school visit to Prince George, BC was a lovely experience.

March--I taught a poetry workshop for Oregon Writing Project at Eastern Oregon University.

April--My mini-book tour of Oregon and Washington included school visits to Lincoln City, Dallas, Tacoma, and Vancouver, WA.

My first keynote speech for the Boise SCBWI conference

May--A trip to England with my sisters and their daughters! We visited Bath, Glastonbury, York, the Cotswolds, and London. More story material!

June--My son graduated from college. I am the proud mom of a college graduate!

July--August--Lots of belly dance performances, including my first solo veil dances. Also, lots of kayaking (lots of Advil, too!)A trip to Coos Bay, Oregon for a family wedding and a short story, "Dustbowl Journey", published in Cricket Magazine cap the summer.


September--National Book Festival. My husband and I flew to Washington, DC where I hosted the Oregon table. DON"T BE SILLY, MRS. MILLIE! was listed as a "52 Great Reads" book by the Library of Congress. We took the train home--a memorable trip across the country. Look for it to show up in a book someday.

October--HAUNTED HOUSE, HAUNTED MOUSE was released to good reviews. School visits in Sonoma, CA and the Humboldt County Author's Festival in Eureka, CA. A short story, "Dad Battles the Bat" published in Ladybug magazine.

November--A school visit to tiny Harper, Oregon, home of the Harper Hornets. My husband and I played lots of music gigs with "The Swingin' Four". Thanksgiving with our son.

December--I got the advance readers copies for "THE SECRET CHICKEN SOCIETY" (releasing from Holiday House in February) and "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MRS. MILLIE!" (releasing from Marshall Cavendish in May). Christmas in Portland, OR with our son.

What a year! I hope your New Year is filled with joy, good health, and happiness!





Win a copy of Cinco de Mouse-O!

March 25, 2010

Tags: judy cox, children's books, cinco de mayo, mice, picture books, contest

Enter to win an autographed copy of Cinco de Mouse-O! and read an interview with me at Linda Benson's website: http://www.lindabenson.blogspot.com/

I met Linda when we were both living in the same small Oregon town. I taught a class on writing for children at the local community college and she signed up. We hit it off right away and became good friends. Not long after that, however, we each moved away. A year or so later, she wrote with the good news that she had sold her first mid-grade novel, The Horse Jar.

Now we live hundreds of miles from each other,in different states, but keep in touch through Facebook and email. Thank goodness for the internet!

Linda has been kind enough to host an interview with me on her blog page, and include a drawing for a signed copy of my new picture book, Cinco de Mouse-O!.See her webpage for details.

I hope to return the favor and post an interview with her soon (as soon as I figure out how to do it. Stay tuned!

Selected Works

Picture Book
Animal Adventure
A stand-alone companion volume to "The Mystery of the Burmese Bandicoot" and "The Case of the Purloined Professor" also by Judy Cox.
Award
Bank Street College of Education Best Books 2014
New Books
Join Mouse on his fourth adventure--a romp in the snow!
Mrs. Millie's Kindergartners surprise her with a pun-filled birthday party!
Mouse is back in a Halloween adventure.
Nora's rowdy cousin from Texas is coming to stay. Is Ellie as bad as Nora remembers? Junior Library Guild Selection
Award Winners
Oregon Spirit Award
Bank Street College of Education, Best Books of 2011
Bank Street College of Education Best Books of 2011
TIME magazine Best Children's Books of 2009
Anne Izard Storytellers' Choice Award 2009
Children's Choices list 2009
TIME magazine Best Children's Books of 2005
Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award 2004
Nevada Young Readers Award 2002