Join me in welcoming fellow rhymer and picture book author, Rebecca J. Gomez, whose brand new picture book, FEDERICO AND THE WOLF (Clarion Books), delightfully illustrated by Elisa Chavarri, releases tomorrow! FEDERICO AND THE WOLF received a lovely review from Kirkus and a starred review from School Library Journal. Rebecca’s spot-on rhyming makes the story a joy to read aloud and is a deliciously latino take on the traditional Little Red Riding Hood. As a student of Spanish, I especially appreciated her infusion of Spanish words throughout the story. Now, you are in for a special treat as she shares FIVE FUN FACTS about the book’s creation. (And don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end!)
Five Fun Facts about FEDERICO AND THE WOLF
By Rebecca Gomez
1. FEDERICO AND THE WOLF sold quickly!
The manuscript sold the same year that I wrote it. I wrote the first draft in January 2017, and the offer from Clarion came the following November. I often tell kids at school visits about how slow this business can be, but ten months have never seemed so short!
2. I owe my daughter for the pico recipe.
Most of the credit for the pico de gallo recipe in the book’s back matter goes to my daughter Samantha, whose love for salsa and willingness to experiment in the kitchen with me led to the “perfect pico” recipe. We used tomatoes and jalapeños grown in our very own back yard.
3. No major revisions!
The text of this story changed very little once my editor, Anne Hoppe, got her hands on it. I was prepared to do a round or two (or three) of major revisions, but Anne loved it as it was and only asked me to do a few minor tweaks. Based on my experiences with my previous editors, I was both stunned and relieved!
4. Elisa was on my dream illustrator list.
Elisa Chavarri was on my list of dream illustrators long before Clarion chose her to illustrate Federico’s story. How lucky is that! I could not have asked for a better illustrator for FEDERICO AND THE WOLF.
5. Habanero peppers are as hot as they say!
I tasted a fresh habanero pepper (mentioned at some point in the book) many years ago on a dare from my husband. I barely took a mouse-sized nibble, but I can promise you that those peppers are every bit as hot as they say! I can still feel the burn on my lips when I think about it.
Rebecca J. Gomez enjoys writing stories as much as she enjoys reading them. When she isn’t reading or writing, her favorite things to do are baking, creating art, and hiking through the woods with her husband and three grown children. She lives in Nebraska, where she grows a salsa garden every summer.
On the web at:
NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!!! If you’d like a chance to win a FREE copy of FEDERICO AND THE WOLF (Clarion Books, May 2020) leave a comment below. (NOTE: Must be U.S. resident and at least 18 years old to enter.) The giveaway ends Monday, 5/25/20 at 11:59 pm EST. The winner will be announced next Tuesday! THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW OVER. The winner is announced here.
[Note: Thank you to the author for a sneak peek at the book which I was under no obligation to review. The views and opinions expressed on this blog about books and other things are purely my own.]