Mae and the Moon Review: "...a perfect bedtime read."

With less than two weeks until the official release of Mae and the Moon, we're excited to share yet another lovely review. Foreword Reviews had this to say:

Mae loves playing hide-and-seek with the moon each night, but she becomes worried when she notices it is waning away into darkness. The endearing young astronomer embarks on a mission to find her luminous friend, and the ease of Gigot’s clear, flowing narrative and night-hued illustrations propel her wondrous journey along. Everything, even the silky quality of the paper, makes this gentle story a perfect bedtime read. Ages two and up.


Have you preordered your copy yet?

Mae and the Moon Review

With just three weeks until the release of Mae and the Moon, we are excited to share another great review from Booklist Online.


Mae is in awe of the night sky and considers the moon her constant companion—particularly for playing games of hide-and-seek. Over time, she observes the moon changing, becoming thinner, until one night it disappears altogether. Although Mae’s mom assures her that “even moons need to rest,” Mae builds a cardboard rocket in order to find her lunar friend. Soon though, the moon reappears and all ends well. Appealing pencil and digital paint illustrations make use of a dark-hued palette of purple, black, indigo, and blue to effectively convey the nighttime setting, against which Mae, her dog, and the moon appear as bright spots. The illustrations are in perfect harmony with the minimal text, carrying the story through several wordless sequences and capturing Mae’s sense of wonder. Gigot’s debut is especially appropriate for a quiet bedtime story, but it would also work well in the classroom as a mini lesson for the phases of the moon, as each moon phase is pictured and identified on the final pastedown. — Randall Enos

The Idea Syndrome

Ripple Grove Press President and Founder, Rob Broder, is passionate about sharing picture books and his ideas for what makes a great picture book.

His most recent article "The Picture Book Idea Syndrome" was posted on Writers' Rumpus today. 

Here's an excerpt:

"Your idea has been sitting with you for days or years, you’ve shared your idea with others, and they love your idea. Your idea is good and clever and unique, and yet—your idea isn’t a story. You haven’t reached for a pen to starting writing. Why is that? Maybe it’s because writing a good children’s picture book is difficult!"

George looks over the RGP submission pile. George, and her sister Martha, are named for James Marshall's famous picture book hippos.

George looks over the RGP submission pile. George, and her sister Martha, are named for James Marshall's famous picture book hippos.

Read the full article here.

Rob first article, “You Can Judge a Book by Its Title, and Other Wisdom from the Submission Pile” has been Writers' Rumpus' most popular post to date. 


Interview with MaryAnn Sundby

Ripple Grove Press author MaryAnn Sundby recently did an interview with about her 2016 debut picture book Monday is Wash Day.

Here's an excerpt from the interview: 

What is the approximate reader age range for your book? While on that topic, if you could tell us a little about your book, that would be great!

The target audience for Monday Is Wash Day is children, ages 4 to 8 years old, and their parents. The story is about two girls helping their mother tend to “the wash”. They understand that they can play after completing the household task. They know that helping others is rewarding and fun. Most importantly, working together establishes a bond between the sisters and respect from the mother.

You can read the interview in full here.


Monday is Wash Day, written by MaryAnn Sundby, illustrated by Tessa Blackham, will be out in late 2016. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all news and sneak peeks for our 2016 books.

2016 Picture Book Debut Author/Illustrator Group

Ripple Grove Press author, Wendy BooydeGraaff, with her first title Salad Pie coming out in 2016 has created a Facebook group dedicated to sharing the debut journey, to support, market, discuss, share new ideas and enable each other. It will be a space to connect with and promote each other, to celebrate this achievement, and to find out about the great new books that are coming into the world. It’s open for anyone who has a picture book coming out in 2016, and it’s meant to be a space to share the debut journey,

Read more about Wendy and her group on Tara Lazar's blog Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

And check out the Facebook group: 2016 Picture Book Debut Authors and/or Illustrators

Also, be on the look out for Salad Pie, written by Wendy BooydeGraaff and illustrated by Bryan Langdo, coming out in late 2016. More details will be coming soon!

Salad Pie by Wendy BooydeGraaff, illustrated by Bryan Langdo

Salad Pie by Wendy BooydeGraaff, illustrated by Bryan Langdo

Mae and the Moon Review: "...magical book..."

We love to hear from our friends at the Midwest Book Review. They are great supporters of us and other small presses.

Their review of Mae and the Moon will be featured in their July issue of Children's Bookwatch and can be seen on their website.

"Mae and the Moon" is a new sort of bedtime story that encourages children to explore mysteries and enjoy darkness, whether lit by moonlight or shadowed. Velvety backgrounds abound in the delicate, fanciful illustrations, while few choice words tell the exciting tale of Mae's friendship with the moon. They play games together in the friendly night, and their favorite game was hide-and-seek. One night Mae could not find the moon in the sky. Pages of blackness lit only by tiny white twinkling's emphasize this loss poignantly, while Mae and her dog look out the somberly lit window, bereft. Mae is a girl who takes action when faced with a mystery, so the next day she commenced building a mighty cardboard rocket ship named Moon Chaser, with the help of her black and white dog. Many hours of seeking in the day and the night end with a miraculous finish, under the benevolent care of Mae's Papa and Mama. Mae is delighted when her friend the Moon returns, and not surprised at all when the Moon smiles at her. "Mae and the Moon" is a magical book, with all the mystery and magic of a moonlit night.

Interview Alert: Jami Gigot

Ripple Grove Press author Lauri Fortino has a great blog that is dedicated to all things picture books including reviews, interviews, and picture book related content. She recently interviewed Jami Gigot, author of Mae and the Moon, coming out September 8, 2015.


Read the interview on Lauri's website: Frog on a Blog

Jami Gigot

Jami Gigot


Also, check out Jami Gigot's website.

Mae and the Moon Reviews

We are always excited when we get word of reviews for our books. 

Here are the reviews of Mae and the Moon by Jami Gigot that we've received so far:

From Publishers Weekly, June 15, 2015:

Gigot, a visual effects artist for film, debuts by introducing Mae, a girl with long blond braids and a deep attachment to the moon that hangs above her cozy small town. Set almost entirely at night, the story follows along as Mae plays in the backyard in the moonlight and strolls through a park with her parents. As the pages turn, readers will likely notice that the moon is waning; midway through, it disappears completely, with Gigot offering a wordless spread of a black night sky, dotted with stars. “Even moons need to rest,” explains Mae’s mother. Determined to reunite with the moon, Mae constructs a cardboard rocket ship, and in the book’s triumphant climax, Gigot pictures Mae’s vessel tethered to the coolly glowing crescent while the young aviatrix gives the moon a full-body hug. Gigot’s pages are bathed in the dusty dark blues and grays of twilight, the moon literally looming large in Mae’s life. The straightforward writing doesn’t call much attention to itself, but Gigot’s smart use of wordless scenes allows the story’s emotional peaks to have their full impact. Ages 1–8. (Sept.)


From Kirkus Reviews, June 23, 2015:

A little girl loves the moon and worries when it disappears. 

Mae’s favorite game to play with the moon is hide-and-seek. But suddenly, one night, the moon is gone! Mae looks for it everywhere. Her mom tells her that even the moon needs to rest. But Mae can’t just sit and wait. This petite, pigtailed heroine must do something, so she creates a rocket ship out of a cardboard box. She flies up to space and gratefully hugs her long-lost friend. But when her papa interrupts her imaginary play, Mae looks up to the sky and realizes that the moon really is back. In its crescent shape, it looks like it is smiling at her. Gigot’s picture-book debut is awash with deep, purple-blue nighttime hues and luminous moonlight. The text is placed sparingly on the page. At the climax, when the moon disappears, a full spread of inky, starry blackness heightens the drama. A labeled diagram of the phases of the moon appears at the end (to be covered by pasted library flaps, alas). While it’s hard to imagine that Mae could not have noticed the phases of the moon before this, her attachment nevertheless rings true. 

Not spectacularly innovative but sweet just the same. (Picture book. 3-6)