Thursday, October 12, 2017

Presenting: I'm Not a Scaredy-Cat, by Max Lucado! And a BOOK GIVEAWAY..enter by 10/15 midnight PST

It's a pleasure to present to you, my most recent illustrated book, 

I'm Not A Scaredy-Cat

A Prayer For When You Wish You Were Brave
By Max Lucado
Published by Thomas Nelson

From New York Times bestselling author Max Lucado, comes I'm Not A Scaredy-Cat, a hilarious new picture book to help kids manage their fears and worries and learn to trust God. Laugh-out-loud funny, yet filled with an important message that God is near so there's no need to fear, kids will learn to put into perspective those things that frighten or worry them.

Thank you to the fabulous people at Thomas Nelson, and to my awesome agent, Nicole Tugeau for this wonderful opportunity, as it's such an honor to illustrate this book! Working with the team to create Scaredy-Cat was a great experience as I tried to create a character that was scared (but not too scared or scary), dealing with his fears throughout the book. It was quite a lively and fun manuscript to work from, and some of my favorite scenes are of Scaredy-Cat battling his fear at the playground, and at the pool. I took some time to make myself laugh a bit with extra details in the pool and newspaper scenes. Some of the articles on the crumpled sheet of newspaper dealt with "Feline Feelings" and "Cats Who Comfort". I hope that these little details bring a smile to the reader.

One of the challenges I had for the cover was that my editor was particular about making that pink doughnut as pink and large as possible, and to make those sprinkles shine. To my delight, the hardcover books with beautiful slipcovers come complete with spot-gloss varnished & embossed Title, and shiny spot-gloss varnished SPRINKLES! SO fun!

I'm hopeful that the story of Scaredy-Cat's ability to maneuver his fears with the help of God's words is helpful and useful to many young readers.

For a chance to win either a hardcopy book or a board book, please leave a comment below before 12/15/17, midnight PST and I'll announce the winners on Monday.

For links to purchase the hardcover and/or board books:

 Also, here's a link to view the author, Mr. Max Lucado, sharing the book in his own words!
(scroll to "Product Media"and view video)






10 comments:

  1. Congratulations on another amazing looking book, Shirley! I'm excited to read it!

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    1. Thank you so much Myrna! I really appreciate that!

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  2. Congratulations Shirley! I look forward to reading the story. You are living my dream! Do you write about your journey as an illustrator, finding an agent, etc.? It would be such an encouragement to read.

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    1. Thank you Melanie, and I appreciate that!
      As for my journey, I can say that I think it began with Illustrationfriday.com - Linda H, I met you from that site and am so grateful to have, as the community is awesome. I posted each week, trying to develop my illustration skills and then through many many sketches and watercolor paintings, I started posting them on other social media, such as Facebook. From there, an author asked if I was interested in working on illustrating a children's book, which I did and was for the Alabama Public TV, titled, "The Magic Behind the Screen" by Charles Ghigna. It turned out to be the first and largest illustration project I ever took and was a great learning experience. I started getting the courage to send little packets of illustration samples to potential illustration agents and found my first agent, Bernadette Szost, who is now retired. I was able to work on some educational projects under her and then went on my own for a year, focusing on narrative illustration and at that time, through the SCBWI, kept attending these annual events in SF (the Illustrator Day) where you could pay for a portfolio review with visiting agents, illustrators, editors, publishing industry experts, and kept getting feedback each year. At one of these Illustrator Day events, I received a review from Melissa Sweet, who spoke, and she encouraged everyone there to "paint, or do something creative each day". She and Amy June Bates, did these once a day challenges, which I took to heart and I think it really helped my drawing confidence, by sketching each day, and posting for a year. From those 365 days, I was able to put together a booklet and shared it with Melissa who said she thought I should be working on picture books. It was amazing..it truly gave me confidence. As I posted each day, my current agent, Nicole Tugeau, had noticed me, and called me to see if I was represented and interested in touching base re: writing and illustrating and after awhile, decided to sign me. I've been illustrating books primarily ever since..she's been so wonderful. If you have any other q's please do let me know - shirley@shirleyngbenitez.com, and I'll be happy to answer! Best of luck to you!!

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  3. This is so awesome Shirley!!! I can't wait to read it and see your illustrations!

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    1. Thank you SO very much Bethany!! :)

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  4. Congratulations!! It looks adorable. Also, let me second Melanie's comment. I'd be interested in your journey.

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    1. Thank you so very much Linda! I mentioned you in Melanie's comments above - which I shared the journey..and definitely if you have any q's or anything, please write! shirley@shirleyngbenitez.com - I wish you a wonderful fall! Hope you're doing well!

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  5. Congratulations to Mette Engell for winning the hardcover book, and to Stephanie Ruble for the board book. THANK YOU everyone for your wonderful support!!

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  6. Oh WOW! Hello, dear Shirley. And CONGRATULATIONS! The illustrations are fantastic and adorable. I definitely want to be a cat that comforts this little kitty. :) It's lovely to see your work, and I LOVE your header. Seeing your little characters make me feel like the world will be okay again. Sending big hugs. xoxo

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