Cover reveal for THE GREAT HIBERNATION!

Let’s not beat around the (thistleberry) bush. Here it is, the cover for my next middle-grade novel, The Great Hibernation, coming September 12 from Wendy Lamb Books/Random House! The illustrator is the incredible Rebecca Green.

9781524717858

Why yes, that is a sheep wearing snowshoes. And a boy in a 17th-century mariner’s costume. And a fjord, and an ice floe, and oh yeah, a bear photobombing everyone with a handful of thistleberries…

I promise, it’ll all make sense once you skate into the story–I’m only sad that nine more months need to pass before you can do so.

But wait! Maybe you don’t have to wait so long, because advance reader copies (ARCs) of the book have already been printed, and I am giving one away today! Yes, you could be the winner–and learn what that boy on the cover won his medal for before everyone else. 🙂

Leave a comment on this post to enter to win, and to earn more entries, please see the directions below.

Here’s the official summary of The Great Hibernation:

The most important tradition in tiny St. Polonius-on-the-Fjord is the annual Tasting of the Sacred Bear Liver. Each citizen over twelve must eat one bite of liver to prevent the recurrence of the Great Hibernation, when the town’s founders fell asleep for months.

This year is Jean Huddy’s first time to taste the liver. It doesn’t go well. A few hours later, all the adults fall asleep. And no one can wake them.

The kids are left to run things, and they’re having a blast. That is, until the town bullies take over the mayor’s office and the police force.

Jean suspects that this “hibernation” was actually engineered by someone in town. She starts to investigate, and inspires other kids to join her in a secret plan to save St. Polonius.

Courage, teamwork, and scientific smarts unlock a quirky mystery in this delightful and funny story.

ISBN 978-1-5247-1785-8 (trade)
ISBN 978-1-5247-1785-5 (library)
ISBN 978-1-5247-1787-2 (ebook)

 

And there are blurbs!

“Definitely will not induce drowsiness. Utterly original.” – Adam Rex, author of The True Meaning of Smekday and the Cold Cereal Saga

“Imagine Lord of the Flies as a comedy set in snowy terrain and you have The Great Hibernation: a hilarious, whip-smart page turner you don’t want to miss.”  – Jennifer Chambliss Bertman, New York Times bestselling author of Book Scavenger and The Unbreakable Code

“Should I say ‘Udderly original’? No—there are no cows in it, just a ram. Utterly original.” – Adam Rex again

(I am still freaking out about these blurbs. The True Meaning of Smekday and  Book Scavenger are two of my all-time favorite books. I am so grateful to Adam and Jennifer!)

Enter to win

ONE lucky reader will win an ARC of The Great Hibernation!

Leave a comment on this post to enter, and you can earn extra entries by signing up for my e-mail newsletter and/or tweeting about the giveaway.

Here’s a sample tweet you can use:

Cover reveal & #giveaway: Win an ARC of #TheGreatHibernation, @TaraDairman‘s Fall ’17 @randomhousekids comic gem! http://bit.ly/2iG8wlH

Let me know in your comment if you’ve signed up for the newsletter (either now or in the past) and/or tweeted so I can give you credit. This giveaway is open to domestic and international entries. I’ll announce a winner one week from today, on Wednesday, January 18.

And feel free to share this cover however you like. The Great Hibernation should be available for preorder very soon from all booksellers!

 

 

Všechny čtyři hvězdicky (All Four Stars in Czech!)

Czech it out (yuk, yuk): Author copies of the Czech translation of All Four Stars–Všechny čtyři hvězdicky–arrived on my doorstep this week!

Všechny čtyři hvězdicky - All Four Stars in Czech!

Všechny čtyři hvězdicky – All Four Stars in Czech!

The book was published by Albatros in 2016, with a new cover by Eva Chupíková. The cover was a glorious surprise to me, because the last I heard, the publisher was planning to use the American art. What a treat to see a different artist’s interpretation of my beloved Gladys! A few friends have commented that she has an “Amelie” vibe, which I love. You can see more of Eva Chupíková’s book covers here.

The translation was done by Alžbĕta Kalinová, and I’ve already heard from one Czech reader that it is excellent.

And the book itself is beautiful. It’s paper-over-board (basically, hardcover without a dust jacket), which is one of my favorite formats, and it even comes with sewn-in ribbon bookmark.

In short, Albatros did an amazing job. Thank you to them, and to the foreign rights team at Penguin! Here’s hoping Czech readers enjoy Gladys’s adventures as much as I’ve enjoyed perusing this new edition.

Dobrou chuť!

 

My next (next) book!

For all those who have been asking what’s coming from me post-Gladys, I finally have an answer for you!

In today’s Publishers Weekly Children’s Bookshelf:

deal announcement pw

Here’s a bit more of the story behind this book.

In January of 2013, my mother was very ill–on a breathing machine in a hospital bed, fighting for her life. I flew to New York to be with my dad and sister, sleeping on a mattress on the floor at my parents’ house for two weeks when I wasn’t at the hospital.

One morning, I woke up on that mattress clinging to the remnants of a vivid dream: Two children in a tiny boat in choppy, frigid waters, trying to sail for help because something was very wrong at home. All of the adults in their little town had mysteriously fallen asleep, and no one could wake them up.

Looking back now, the connection between this dream and my family’s situation at the time seems so obvious–but I didn’t see it then. I just thought “Well, that’s a decent story idea.” And I put it in my back pocket.

Miraculously, over the course of many months, Mom made an amazing recovery. I returned home and resumed my work on the All Four Stars series, though between contracts I started to play around more with my parents-falling-asleep book idea. My dream had also gifted me with the perfect setting, inspired by a remote town in northern Iceland that I had visited the year before. And I had a handful of characters who were starting to feel real to me.

Yes, people live here!

Yes, people live here!

Teasing out the story’s plot strands was harder. I’m a serious plotter–I love suspense and mystery and surprise–but the twists this story seemed to want to take scared me a little. It was a much bigger, much more complicated plot than I had ever attempted before (science and politics and myths and sheep farming!). When I finally drew up the courage to pitch it to my husband, he gave me the full-on “are you crazy?” stare.

I pressed on, though. I outlined. I tackled the dread synopsis. I finally finished an appallingly bad first draft in February of 2015–literally the day before I got the green light to write Stars So Sweet, the third book in the All Four Stars series. So into the drawer my draft went for several more months.

Non-negotiable deadline!

Non-negotiable deadline!

I finally got back to this book in the fall, writing a new draft nearly from scratch. Stars So Sweet was pretty much done at that point, but I had a new deadline: the due date of my first child, who was coming at the end of the year. The story took shape as my belly grew. I made it through two more drafts with the help of an intrepid team of beta-readers. I tamed that roaring bear of a plot (this is not a random metaphor–an unruly bear actually plays an important role in the story 🙂 ) and finally sent the book in to my agent, who had been excited about it ever since I’d mentioned my idea to her at our retreat in 2013.

Two days later, my baby was born.

And now, to my absolute delight, the wacky, challenging book I wasn’t sure I could pull off has found an editor who loves its quirkiness and wants to bring it to readers everywhere!

We can’t wait to share it with you all.

A whole new format for Gladys in 2016!

All Three CoversAs this year draws to a close, I’m thrilled to share one more very nice piece of news for the All Four Stars series…

THERE WILL BE AUDIOBOOKS!

My publisher, Penguin, has licensed audio rights to Ideal Audiobooks for All Four Stars, The Stars of Summerand Stars So SweetI don’t have all of the details yet, but I believe that they will all be recorded and released in 2016.

logo

On a personal note, I love listening to audiobooks, so this is a dream come true/author bucket list item for me. On a more practical note, I love that this new format will give kids with learning differences who need or prefer to listen to books access to Gladys’s adventures. And I think it’s great that families and groups of friends will be able to listen together if they want to, too.

I’ll share more news about the audiobooks here when I have it. In the meantime, dear readers, I hope that you’re having a very happy holiday season. This news has certainly made mine a little sweeter.

ALL FOUR STARS turns one! (and giveaway)

Launch day for ALL FOUR STARS One year ago today–after nine years of writing, rewriting, submitting, hoping, and waiting–a little book called All Four Stars hit the shelves. A whole bunch of you showed up to celebrate with me at Books Of Wonder in New York, and I could hardly believe what an amazing welcome you gave Gladys into the world.

Now she’s out in paperback, sporting a shiny Crystal Kite sticker, is continuing her adventures in The Stars of Summer, and has another sequel on the way. I’ve received letters, e-mails, and even book reports from young readers who have embraced her story. Enthusiastic librarians, teachers, and booksellers have put her into thousands of readers’ hands.

Crystal Kite stickerSometimes in her restaurant reviews, Gladys struggles to find the right words to describe a truly transcendent meal, and I feel the same way right now. But I’ll try. To everyone who has taken the time to read my book, recommend it to a friend, purchase a copy, request it at your library, write to me to share your thoughts on it…you’ve played a huge part in making my dream of becoming a published children’s author come true. THANK YOU.

I’m giving away a signed copy of All Four Stars on Twitter to celebrate Gladys’s bookaversary–feel free to enter or spread the word here: https://twitter.com/TaraDairman/status/619503550394073088

And now I’m off to eat some raspberry cake for breakfast. Methinks Gladys would approve. 🙂

And a one, and a two, and a one, two, THREE!

All Four Stars by Tara Dairman CoverThe_Stars_of_Summer_CVR_LIB1000px-Vraagteken.svg

Exciting news to share this morning: There will be a THIRD Gladys Gatsby book, coming out in 2016! Here’s the announcement from my agency.

I’m so excited that the foodie adventures of Ms. Gatsby and her friends will be continuing, and that I’ll get to work with my wonderful editor Shauna Rossano and her team at Putnam on another project.

2016 is a ways off, but All Four Stars is out now, and The Stars of Summer is coming your way very soon, on May 5! You can find order/preorder links for both books here, and I’ll be updating my events page soon with details about launch parties in Colorado, New York, and hopefully a couple of other east coast cities.

Meanwhile, feel free to whip up some bluebarb crumble today to celebrate Gladys’s new lease on life. She’d definitely approve! 🙂

Sequel title & cover reveal: THE STARS OF SUMMER!

 Recipe for a delicious sequel to All Four Stars:

 Take one ambitious (and now slightly more mature) heroine…

Gladys Gatsby

Load up her lobster backpack…

lobster

Pack her off to the very last place on earth where she wants to spend the summer…

Camp Bentley

Assign her to review one of her least favorite foods…

hot dog

Wait for the stars to align…
stars

And, as Aunt Lydia would say…voila!The Stars of Summer by Tara Dairman

The Stars of Summer

a sequel to All Four Stars, coming on May 5, 2015!
ISBN-13: 978-0-399-17069-0

It’s not easy being an undercover restaurant critic—especially when you’re only twelve years old!

After successfully completing her first restaurant review for the New York Standard newspaper, Gladys Gatsby is looking forward to a quiet summer of cooking and eating. But her plans quickly go awry when her friend Charissa Bentley delivers Gladys’s birthday gift: a free summer at Camp Bentley.

As Gladys feared, camp life is not easy; she struggles to pass her swim test, can’t keep the other campers happy while planning lunches, and cannot seem to get away from the annoying new “celebrity” camper. The worst part is she’s not able to find a moment to sneak away for her latest reviewing assignment: finding the best hot dog in New York City. But when Gladys learns that her hot dog assignment might actually be a dirty trick made up by a jealous fellow critic, she fears her reviewing career could be over forever.

This perfectly plotted sequel brings readers on a rollicking summertime adventure through New York City with all of the charm of All Four Stars—and even more foodie flavor!

****

Many thanks to the Penguin Young Readers design team, and in particular to amazing cover artist Kelly Murphy, for creating this incredible cover!

****

You can now preorder The Stars of Summer from the following vendors:

Powells * Barnes & Noble *  Amazon * Books-a-Million * Indigo (Canada)

And you can add The Stars of Summer to your to-read shelf on GoodReads!

Giveaway alert!

May of 2015 is a long way off…but I will have advance copies of The Stars of Summer sometime in the next few weeks. And, of course, I have copies of All Four Stars right now!

So TWO lucky commenters on this post will win their choice of either a signed hardcover of All Four Stars OR a signed ARC of The Stars of Summer.

Leave a comment on this post if you’d like to enter, and you can earn extra entries by signing up for my e-mail newsletter and by tweeting about the giveaway.

Here’s a sample tweet you can use:

Cover reveal & : Introducing THE STARS OF SUMMER, sequel to ‘s ALL FOUR STARS!

Just let me know in your comment if you’ve signed up (either now or in the past!) and/or tweeted. And feel free to share this cover far and wide. I hope you love it as much as I do!

The book can be sent to a mailing address in the USA or Canada. I’ll announce a winner one week from today, on 10/21.