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Word by Word

The Next Big Thing Blog Tour!

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
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