Double Book GIVEAWAY and interview with author Sherry Ellis

March 10, 2011 at 5:32 am 12 comments

Let’s welcome children’s author Sherry Ellis to KidsRead today!

Thanks for being a guest on KidsRead, Sherry.  I especially appreciate the autographed copies of That Baby Woke Me Up, Again! and That Mama Is a Grouch; more details about the giveaway follow my reviews of the books !

What inspired you to write?

I pretty much stumbled into the world of writing.  I am a professional musician, so prior to writing my first book, my time was divided into taking care of my two children and playing and teaching the violin, viola, and piano.  My career as an author began six years ago in a rocking chair.  It was about three in the morning, and my five-month-old son had awakened – again.  It was the seventh time that night.  This was pretty typical.  As I sat in my sleep-deprived state, a poem started going through my head.  It was the beginning of That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN.  Every time my son woke up, I added to it.  By the end of the week, the entire story was composed in my head.  I shared it with my three-year-old daughter who suggested that it should be a book.  The rest is history.

What type of books do you mostly write?

I write picture books for children and books for middle-grade readers.  Everything I have written for children thus far has been fiction.

Can you share with us a little about your current book?

My current book, That Mama is a Grouch, is a story about a mom who is having a bit of a tantrum.  There are toys on the floor, messes in the kitchen, finger paint on the walls, and she is tired of it.  The narrator, a precocious child indeed, can’t understand why Mama is so upset.  Mama explains a few house rules and then it all makes sense – at least for a little while.  That Mama is a Grouch is a fun book that shows kids that parents are human with feelings and emotions.  It’s also a nice tool that parents can use when explaining some of their own house rules.

Do you have any other works in progress? Can you share a little about them?

I am working on a series of books for middle-grade readers called The Adventures of Bubba and Squirt.  I recently completed the first draft of the first book, Big Hole to China.  These are books in which the main characters travel via magic, to another country.  They have an adventure while learning a little about the language, culture, and history of the people who live there.

What well known writers do you admire most?

My favorite writers are Jane Yolen and JK Rowling.  I remember reading books by Jane Yolen when I was a kid.  It’s neat to see a children’s author still going strong even after forty years!  JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series is just amazing.  Every time I read her books, I discover something new.

Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?

I do participate in competitions.  My book, That Mama is a Grouch, was honored as a finalist in the Parenting category of the 2010 USA Book News Awards.

Congratulations on being a finalist, Sherry!  Readers, you have a chance to win autographed copies (one each) of That Baby Woke Me Up, Again and That Mama Is a Grouch…read the reviews then find out how you can enter to win!

Sherry, thanks again for being a guest on KidsRead!


That Mama Is a Grouch by Sherry Ellis, illustrated by Don Berry; published by CreateSpace, North Charleston, SC; 2010.

As Sherry mentioned in our interview, this book is about a child watching Mama have a tantrum.  What’s wrong with that Mama?!  Well, subtly added to the text, and more obvious in the illustrations, is a mess of hurricane proportions left in the wake of our dear narrator.  Poor Mama has stumbled over toys and more toys.  Together, mother and child discover how the rules of the house help keep everyone safe and playtime fun.

As a librarian, I am always putting together lists of books to recommend for a variety of topics.  With the preschool set, finding books to explain house rules, or even that parents have feelings too, are hard to come by.  I have surely set this one aside for a pathfinder on both subjects.  Berry’s illustrations do a nice job of adding to Sherry Ellis’ story, providing hints to the reasons for Mama’s grouchiness that would be appropriate to cue listeners to look for.  Listeners should also keep a keen eye on each page: Berry has added a mouse on each two-page spread and that little fellow also helps push the story along.  I believe that after reading this book together a few times, families will be repeating the author’s rhyme to remind them about picking up (and not being grouchy!).

That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN! by Sherry Ellis, illustrated by Don Berry; published by BookSurge, North Charleston, SC; 2005.

That baby just can’t stay asleep!  Just when Mama, Papa and the narrator, a baby’s big sister, finish counting sheep and get themselves to sleep, that baby gives a “waaaah!” and all dreams of princesses and castles are shattered.  What’s a family to do?!

Any family with a new baby, or expecting one, should read this book together with an older sibling.  Sherry Ellis has created a fun poem that sums up all the frustration associated with sleepless nights and rude awakenings.  Again, I predict the poem will become a chant in many households struggling with new-baby-sleeplessness.  As with That Mama Is a Grouch, the illustrator has incorporated a friendly mouse throughout his images to help the story progress.  Toddlers and preschoolers will have a great time following him through the story.

Both books are lovely additions to family libraries and will encourage cuddle time together for reading aloud.

You can win an autographed copy of both books!

Have a new baby in your house, or know someone who does?  Do you have a toddler or preschool that could use a reminder to pick up toys?  Enter to win an autographed copy of each of Sherry Ellis’ picture books.  Here’s how:

  1. Click the title of this blog post.  You’ll be redirected to a page where you can leave comments and choose to share this interview.
  2. Share this blog post by choosing one of the social media buttons on the comments screen.
  3. Leave a comment on the KidsRead blog.  Let us know why you’d like to have these books! And be sure to mention how you shared the information.
  4. Make sure you enter an email address when you fill out the comment form; if you want your address kept private, let me know and I’ll remove it before posting your comment.  But I need it to contact you if you’re the winner! 🙂
  5. The first person to leave a comment AND share this interview is the winner!
  6. All comments are held for moderation.  Please allow 24-48 hours before your comment is posted! 🙂

Good luck!


Entry filed under: Picture Book. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Free Book Thursday!!! Book Giveaway winner!

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sherry Ellis  |  March 12, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Congratulations, Suzanne, on winning the books! I hope you enjoy them. Thank you to everyone else who has posted comments! I liked reading through them, and I certainly appreciate that you took the time to stop by! .

  • 2. Nora Keene  |  March 11, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    I subscribed to the blog…great reviews. Do you review movies too? I’d like to win the books to give as a shower present!

    • 3. N Messmore  |  March 12, 2011 at 11:07 am

      Thanks Nora…. Yes, I do review movies but haven’t in a while. Now I’ll pick up a couple of DVDs and review them! 🙂

  • 4. Kelly May  |  March 11, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Nice reviews and I’d like to read them to my kids! I think I figured out the Redditt…hope to win! 🙂

  • 5. Gail Cooper Chan  |  March 11, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    ooh, look so cute! Where can I get them? Love your reviews…more website suggestions please!!!!!!

    • 6. N Messmore  |  March 12, 2011 at 11:10 am

      Gail, Sherry’s press release states that That Mama Is a Grouch is available through,, Baker and Tayler, and Ingram Book Group. I found That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN on as well (I did not check the other sites).

  • 7. JJ Baker  |  March 10, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    Looks like great books!!!! Would like to win them to add to silent auction basket for our school fundraiser!!! I added it to Reddit.

  • 8. Laura Newton  |  March 10, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    I figured it out!! I hope I win!

  • 9. Suzanne  |  March 10, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Put it on Stumbleupon – my first post there, and my only post there. Guess that was a given. Hope this helps.

    • 10. N Messmore  |  March 12, 2011 at 8:56 am

      Congratulations, Suzanne! You’re the winner! I’ve contacted you by email and will send you the books Monday! 🙂

  • 11. Suzanne  |  March 10, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    I’m a little confused because the link to this keeps me right here, it doesn’t take me to a new blog to comment and share.

    Does this mean the first person already posted and won?

    About that, if the first person to post wins, why should anyone else bother to make a comment? Seems a tad wrong thing to do. The more comments the better, so why not use a randomizer and randomly pick from all the comments you get – more comment to win, you have more emails address to add to your marketing and a few more fans.

    Anyway, since I have no idea why I was re-directed back here, and no one has left a comment here, I will be the first and say that I would love to have these two books because I am an aspiring children’s writer and the more good, published children’s books I read, the better a writer I should become.

    I will gladly share this on both Facebook and twitter. If a winner has already been chosen and this was not the correct place to leave a comment, I hope you will reconsider using a randomizer.

    Take care. Please send me books. 🙂


  • 12. VS Grenier  |  March 10, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I’m going to share this with everyone I know. Sherry is a great author.


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Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that sometimes books are received for review for free by publishers or authors. All books (ARCs, galleys, library or purchased) will be reviewed fairly; no special consideration is given to anything reviewed on this blog. In addition, I make every attempt to avoid spoilers. Sometimes they happen inadvertently or because they are important to defend a review; not all spoilers have been removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement included as a warning to readers.

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