Tag Archives: MY DOG IS THE BEST

WHOSE Dog is the best??

 

covermydogIn Laurie Ann Thompson’s wonderful new release, My Dog is the Best, illustrated by Paul Schmid, a boy gives his reasons for why his dog is absolutely the best, in his world and in his heart. No doubt, the dog depicted in this delightful picture book is outstanding–and it got us all thinking about the pets who bless our lives, and why they, too, are the best!

 

JanetFoxDog
Janet Fox, author of several titles for young readers, wanted you to know that HER dog is the best–because he loves his toys to pieces.

 

“This is my dog, Sable,” says author Rebecca VanSlyke. “Sable is the best because she is such a smart dog! She can dorebeccavsdog many tricks, from the regular sit, down, stay tricks to things like ‘High Five,’ ‘Shake,’ ‘Roll over,’ ‘Be cute,’ and ‘Sit up.’ When she needs to go outside, she rings a bell that we keep by the back door.  She also plays the piano (a little Fisher-Price toy piano), says her prayers (putting her nose on her paws and waiting for her treat until I say, ‘Amen!’ and when I point my finger at her and say, ‘BANG!’ she falls over on her side and lies still. Plus she’s just so doggone cute!”

 

Donna Bowman Bratton tells us, “Here’s a picture of Sparky Malarky, our lovable shelter dog with super powers. BesidesSparky incessant begging, which is both adorable and annoying, he can pierce the human soul by morphing his eyes from doggy-joy to pathetic tale of woe. He’s a master manipulator. And it works for him every time.”

 

Tam's Pets“The cat is Bantam,” Tamara Ellis Smith explains. “The dog is Fundy.  Fundy is our 15 year old chocolate lab.  She is deaf and blind and, as you can see from the picture, her back legs are barely working anymore so we need this harness to help her get up to go outside.  Fundy is also easily agitated these days…she seems to go in and out of senility.  She gets confused and seems to not know where she is at times. Bantam, our six year old cat, is her best friend. Every time he comes in from being outside, he goes straight to Fundy to say hello.  He weaves his body in and around hers, rubs her face with his nose, purrs so that that she can feel the rumble.  He takes care of her, plain and simple.  It truly seems like that.  And he has gotten more vigilant about it, the older she has gotten.”

 

 

christinehayesdogChristine Hayes wants you to meet her dog, too. “Here’s our funny Wheaten Terrier, Chewie (short for Chewbacca). We chose him because he doesn’t shed (allergies) and because he’s like a big teddy bear. He also looks a lot like the family dog, Cotton, that I adored growing up. Plus he keeps me company during the day. I may have been known to carry on conversations with him from time to time, and he never argues or talks back!”

 

Megan Morrison offers up this entry into the world’s best dog. “This is Jake, my brother’s dog, and the best loved dog I’ve everJakeDog known. My brother took the Jake dog to work every day. They were never apart for long. Jake was a big bullmastiff and the sweetest, gentlest animal. He loved children. He loved everybody – and everybody loved him. He listened to everything my brother said; they were like their own pack of two. Jake passed away last year, and it was rough for the whole family. He really was the best.” How could anyone resist THIS FACE?

 

pennyparkerklostermanndogPenny Parker Klostermann admits that she defected to cats in her adult years–but she’s no stranger to beloved pups. She sent a picture of a dog she had in childhood that she’s never forgotten. “Tippy had the privilege of being the first puppy to live with the Parker girls and they all agreed that he was the BEST dog ever. He was named for the white tip on his tail. As you can see, there were four girls to love on him, so Tippy never lacked for petting or playmates.”

 

Maria Gianferrari makes no excuses for believing her dog is the most awesome ever. “Becca is the best! She’s a Dixie Chick,mariasdog a rescue dog from Chattanooga, Tennessee. We’re so lucky and grateful that kind-hearted souls rescued her after she was dumped on the side of a highway! She was meant to be in our family. We had a friend who was about to have a baby girl, and I was discussing some possible names with my daughter who was then four. And the name “Rebecca” popped into my head. The next day, I went on Petfinder and found our Rebecca. I just fell in love with her sweet face in this photo, and knew she’d be the perfect dog for us. She was transported on a rescue truck to NH, where we picked her up. That was in August 2006, and she’s been the best family member, writing companion, and dog sister to Anya, who’s an only child. She’s playful, yet mellow, and so very tolerant. And she’s doesn’t bark often, only when alerting us to someone at the door. She’s definitely the best dog in the universe!!”

 

 lukeandfrodoAs for me, I have THREE dogs, and couldn’t begin to pick which one is the best. Instead, I’ll just volunteer them as adorable, and much-loved. Here are two of them, the tiniest (Frodo) and the hugest (Luke) making the best of a warm spring afternoon on our front porch.

 

Finally, you may be wondering what Laurie’s dog thinks of her mother’s new masterpiece. Laurie says, “My dog, Prim, loves the title, but wonders why the dog in the book looks nothing like her.”

 

lauriethompsondog
PrimII

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, is your dog actually the best? Tell us all about that special pup in a comment, and get a chance to win a giveaway! To purchase this outstanding book, check out these links:

University Books (for “authographed” copies!)

Indiebound

Macmillan Kids

Amazon.com

Barnes and Noble

 

 

 

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Susan Vaught

Susan Vaught is the author of many books for young adults, such as TRIGGER, BIG FAT MANIFESTO, and FREAKS LIKE US. Her debut novel for middle-grade readers, FOOTER DAVIS PROBABLY IS CRAZY, published by Simon & Schuster, hit the shelves in March, 2015. Please visit Susan at her website, follow her on Twitter, and like her Facebook page.

 

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Laurie Thompson is the BEST.

Sometimes we pick up a book because it simply looks excellent, and sometimes we pick up a book because we want to support an author who happens to be an excellent human being.

Laurie Ann Thompson head shot

She is also extra pretty.

Today, we can do both.

Laurie Ann Thompson is wonderful. Her debut picture book, MY DOG IS THE BEST, is wonderful too. She and illustrator Paul Schmid have created a gem that’s full of charm, heart, and huggable warmth – much like Laurie herself. Today, we celebrate not only MY DOG IS THE BEST, but also the bestness of its author, whose kindness and guidance has helped every single one of us Emus to become more sure-footed on this publishing journey. Everyone lucky enough to know Laurie is ready and willing to sing her praises. Here’s why.

Lindsey Lane

Laurie is community. She believes in it. She fosters it. She creates it. Whether I have a bumbling tech question or a crisis of confidence or a query about the politics of social media, she is ALWAYS there to help and advise. Her generosity of spirit is beyond compare. Laurie Thompson is the best. Really. I feel lucky to know her.

 Ammi-Joan Paquette

Laurie is an incredible multi-tasker: fiction PBs? Non-fiction PBs? Non-fiction for teens? You name it, she can do it. She’s organized and creative and her research skills—and attention to detail—never cease to amaze me. What’s more, she does it all with a smile and warm glow about her that just can’t be faked. Laurie Thompson is the real deal!

Tamara Ellis Smith

I’m not sure I can do brief when it comes to describing supportive and Laurie Thompson in the same breath. Laurie has been such a wonderful support to me personally, both emotionally (with such kind words about my book deal and my first EMU blog post and and and… the list goes on) and logistically (giving me technical pointers and book launch ideas and and and…THAT list goes on too!)  And the thing is…I know she is this way for so many people.  Laurie is just simply kind hearted and articulate.  At her core. Which is a very lovely, very unique combination!  🙂  She is a gentle, smart leader and a creative, intuitive soul.  I am grateful to know her.  (And I will never forget FINALLY meeting her in Vermont at the 2014 EMLA retreat.  it was a little like coming home.)

Christine Hayes

When I was nervous about joining EMU’s Debuts, Laurie welcomed me in and answered my many questions with kindness and patience. Throughout my time here she has been a steady presence: calm, smart, down-to-earth, supportive, super talented…I could go on and on! My favorite memory, though, is going horseback riding with Laurie and her family during the EMLA retreat in Montana. Although my back was mad at me for a few days afterward, I will never forget the spectacular scenery and the unique opportunity to chat with Laurie and learn first-hand what a fantastic human being she is.

Penny Parker Klostermann

Laurie Thompson is the BEST because she’s an expert at spreading EMU love. She’s a HUGE supporter of EMUs, as well as children’s authors in general. Luckily, she’s always there to answer technical WordPress questions. Laurie’s an EMU guru and we’re going to miss her terribly when she moves on to the EMU Emeriti Lounge. Love you, Laurie!

Maria Gianferrari

Laurie Thompson is the BEST—period .  I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Laurie in person, and yet, through all of our online exchanges, I feel very connected to her. I think it’s a combination of things: we have a lot in common, but she also just generally exudes warmth and kindness, and that’s not an easy thing to do in the cyber world, let alone in the real one. Laurie’s books, especially Be a Changemaker and Emmanuel’s Dream, are so inspirational and moving. They make me want to be a better person. And My Dog is the Best is sweet and funny. I really look forward to the day when we’ll finally meet in person!

Elaine Braithwaite Vickers

Laurie Thompson is the best! I met Laurie about two years ago and was immediately impressed by how kind she is. There are people who preach kindness (which is good!), and then there are people like Laurie, who embody it in a hundred ways each day. And that’s the best.

Mylisa Larsen

Laurie Thompson is the best because she can write fiction and nonfiction, long form and short form, she can herd emus with grace and good humor, she can steer people through trauma-with-technology crises with endless patience, and she does all this with a smile and a sense of humor. She may just be the best of the best.

Kevan Atteberry

Laurie Thompson is the best. As a support group member she is supportive (natch) and enthusiastic and so damn smart! As a friend she is also supportive and enthusiastic and caring. Her cheer is contagious. She has the best smile, the best laugh and is always a pleasure to be around. Laurie has a heart that not only sings, but takes requests.

Megan Morrison

Laurie Thompson is the best because she is truly kind. When she finds good in the world, she happy cries. When someone is flailing, her first instinct is to help. I wrote a whole post based on her helpful spirit. Laurie was the person who took me under her wing at my first Kid Lit Drinks Night and introduced me to everyone so that I wouldn’t have to stand around feeling new and awkward. She’s a class act from the old school, who promptly sends handwritten thank-you notes when they are called for (I know this because she sent one to my mother that surprised and delighted her). She also genuinely supports kids in their endeavors. One of my students is devoted to another of Laurie’s books, BE A CHANGEMAKER, and Laurie has sent him supportive e-mails, encouraging swag, and links to grant applications throughout the school year. Truly, she is outstanding.

Laurie Ann Thompson, congratulations on this debut, and thank you for being you.

 

Laurie’s debut fiction picture book, MY DOG IS THE BEST, is available at University Book Store, Amazon, Powell’s, and Indiebound.

Laurie herself, unlike her book, unfortunately cannot be cloned and distributed nationwide. But if you ever get a chance to attend one of her author visits or to meet her at SCBWI, you should take the opportunity.

You should also comment below for a chance to win a signed copy of MY DOG IS THE BEST!

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“My Dog is the Best!” Illustrator Interview with Paul Schmid

covermydog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laurie Thompson’s book, “My Dog is the Best!” is an adorably funny and sweet picture book with equally adorable art! I was lucky enough to interview the illustrator , Paul Schmid
(illustrator/author extradonaire of our household favorite, “Petunia’s Pet” among others)  And, he sent sketches! (As an illustrator myself, I love seeing the sketches!)

Thanks so much for your great answers, Paul!

 

1. Your style changes a bit from book to book. Were there any particular things that influenced the soft & cuddly style of “My Dog is the Best!”? Did you use any new tools or processes? 

Paul: Laurie’s book is so sweet and endearing, and I wanted the design of the characters to provide clues to who they are. The dog in the book just wants to nap, so I imagined an old, tolerant, comfortable Basset Hound of established habits. The boy is much more active, but young and naive. He is also sweet and loving, so I felt the boy needed a kind, gullible, gentle look that was at the same time visually sympathetic to his dog, in order to form an emotional connection between the two for the reader. Therefore they both ended up round and gentle looking.
early dog  dog sketch   boy sketch

 

2. Did the style or look change through the creation process or did you know how you wanted it to look in the beginning?

 

Paul: I developed the look for the characters fairly quickly, but the overall design of the book took several stages. We went from simple, to busy, then back to simple again. I really wanted the art to visually be in harmony with the story, which is so full of warmth and gentle humor.

Early  design:

 

 early design early cover
Final cover sketch:
cover design

3. Laurie said you have been friends for years but that the book was offered to you without a name, did you feel more pressure or less once you found out that Laurie was the author?

Paul: I fell in love with Laurie’s manuscript right away. It came in an email from my agent, who asked if I was interested in illustrating this story. Before I had even finished reading it I was sketching. By the time I did finish reading it, I had the book all laid out in my mind. Here are some excerpts from my emails with my agent:

“Initial impression: I love it. Laughed out loud even without knowing the dog was sleeping. Need time to digest tho. –PLENTY you can do visually with a sleeping dog!! Plenty. Really, it could be hilarious.”
Six minutes later I wrote again:
“Hell, there is nothing to think about. I’ll take it. I can’t wait to get started.”
When, a few days later I get an email from Laurie, informing me the manuscript was hers, I was even more delighted!

 

4. The difference between the words and the pictures is brilliant. Did you realize the joke as soon as you read the story or did that come later in the process?

Paul: It came in the editor’s notes that the author had envisioned it that way, but as inferred above, I started in on the manuscript before reading the notes. If I remember right, about halfway in I thought it could be screamingly funny to have the dog sleeping. Great minds think alike.

Pairing the active, enthusiastic boy with a sedentary dog just trying to get a nap in is rich in visual irony, and, as I’m sure Laurie knew, a juicy gift to the illustrator.
 
dog poses

 

Thanks again, Paul. You’re the best for answering my questions!

Remember, just comment on any post this week and you will have a chance to win a signed copy of Laurie’s book!

Or order your copy right now. You can find it at University Book Store  as well as:

Amazon

Powell’s

Indiebound

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The Numbers, or, How Writing a Book Is Like Giving Birth

Numbers 7/52

Before embarking on a second career as a writer, I was a software engineer. I majored in applied mathematics in college. Obviously, I enjoy using the analytical parts of my brain as much as the artistic ones. So now that both BE A CHANGEMAKER (my young-adult nonfiction) and MY DOG IS THE BEST (my fiction picture book) are in copyedits, I thought I’d reflect a little on some of the behind-the-scenes numbers involved in these 2 very different creative endeavors.

I knew when BE A CHANGEMAKER was acquired that it was going to be a lot of work in a short period of time: I’d sold it on proposal as a 20,000-word book that would take me 1 year to write, but they wanted at least 45,000 words in 5 months. I was open with the publisher that I wasn’t sure if I could do it (I’m a SLOW writer), but that I would give it my best shot. I dove in and started researching like crazy.

Almost immediately, life threw me a curveball, and I lost pretty much the first 2 months to an unexpected surgery, recovery, and ensuing complications. Things began to look pretty hopeless. Because of the time constraints, I was already drafting on the fly, sending it to the acquisitions editor, and incorporating her feedback as I went along. I became a much faster writer than I ever thought possible, but I still couldn’t quite get there in time. The editor and I strategized on what the highest priority pieces were and what could be left for later. TKWhen I submitted the “final” draft on the original deadline, the manuscript was a not-entirely-off-the-mark 42,200 words, but with 10 known holes left as TK, “to come” later. I continued working to fill in the TK pieces while the manuscript moved on to a full developmental edit round.

Since it had already been through 1 round of editing and the feedback I’d been getting was that it was in pretty good shape, I wasn’t expecting the developmental edit to be overly difficult, even though I had less than 2 weeks to do it. Wowzers, was I wrong! The marked up document I got back from the developmental editor (a different person) had 570 insertions, 414 deletions, and 339 comments, most of which were something along the lines of, “Can you please add x here?—where x was a quote, an exercise, an example, etc. They were excellent suggestions, and I knew I’d have a much better book to show for it if I could do them all! No TKBut try though I did, I still couldn’t get it all done in time: I just needed a few extra days. Luckily, the publisher was willing (bless her!). So, less than 3 weeks from receiving the revision letter, I returned a clean manuscript that was nearly 60,000 words, with 100% of the TKs removed and developmental edits accounted for. Phew!

During those weeks (and, to a lesser extent, the months that preceded them), I definitely questioned both my sanity and my career choice on more than one occasion. I told myself if I survived this experience, I would never, ever write another book like that one. Afterward, I walked around the house like a zombie for a few days, barely able to function, let alone dig out from under the piles of dirty laundry and unpaid bills that had accumulated. All of this couldn’t possibly be worth it, right?
Couch potating

Then a marvelous thing happened. Just like the pain of childbirth fades instantly when you hold your newborn child, I soon forgot the 10- to 12-hour days, the missed meals, the cramped EVERYTHING. The manuscript was accepted: I had done it! Unicorns and rainbows, kittens and puppies, walking on sunshine—that was me. I’d brought to life something that never would have existed without me, and I was on top of the world.
Unicorn

Then I moved on to completing the author questionnaire about who might like the book, review the book, use the book, etc., and THE BOOK started to become a real thing in my mind, a real thing that real people would really read! Recently, the publisher sent me the cover proofs… with my name on them! And now I’m thinking about blurbs and preliminary marketing ideas. I’ve got that floating-on-air feeling again, that hopeful exuberance that comes after an offer. Maybe, just maybe, someone out there will read my book someday and it will matter to them. What was I ever thinking? Of course it was worth it, every single minute! As Adora Svitak, one of the amazing teens I interviewed for the book, said, “It’s good to push yourself. When you really go all out for something… it’s the best feeling in the world.” She is absolutely right about that. I can hardly wait for my next opportunity to do it all over again!

On the opposite end of the spectrum, MY DOG IS THE BEST clocked in at 96 words, and I just found out it went straight to copyediting with zero revisions necessary. As you can probably guess, that feels pretty darn good, too!
smiley face stress ball


Laurie Ann ThompsonLaurie Ann Thompson’s debut young-adult nonfiction, BE A CHANGEMAKER: HOW TO START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS, will be published by Beyond Words/Simon Pulse in September, 2014. She also has two upcoming picture books: an as-yet-untitled biography with Schwartz & Wade/Penguin Random House and MY DOG IS THE BEST with Farrar, Straus, & Giroux/Macmillan. Please visit her website, follow her on Twitter, and like her Facebook page.

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