Book Launch Buttons for Book Bloggers

A children's book by Denver illustrator Jonathan Fenske called A Pig, A Fox and A Box

We’re officially getting ready for the launch of A Pig, A Fox and A Box in June! This Young Reader (Penguin USA) Jonathan wrote and illustrated features three stories with Pig and Fox and their pranking antics involving a Box.

With each book, we like to send out copies to our book bloggers who are working hard to let readers know about great books, new and old. This year, we’ll mail one of these buttons with the books!

If you’re a book blogger who would like to receive a copy of A Pig, A Fox and A Box, please leave a comment or send a note to me, Jennifer, at jennifer [AT] fatandappy [DOT] com. Thank you!

Parents and library staff, if you are in the market for an easy reader or young reader children’s book, we invite you to check out Jonathan’s other titles with Penguin, Love Is in the Air, Guppy Up and Woodward and McTwee

For Better, For Worse; In Art, In Writing

Jonathan is really, really supportive of my writing. He’s given me time, space, encouragement and the occasional dry-your-eyes pep talk our entire marriage concerning my writing dreams.

That’s why my two novels are both dedicated to him. Without my husband, they would not exist. I mean that most sincerely.

We usually work on separate projects but over the past few years, we’ve melded our artistic brains together on occasion. Fat and Appy Modern Art for Children is probably the biggest effort. But we also joined forces for my middle grade manuscript, MAGICAL RAINTREE DAUGHTERS.

Our newest project is a picture book—my first one ever! I thought ideas for picture books only flowed to one Fenske in the house, but a story popped into my head this summer. I was kind of shocked. Then, I wrote it down. Pages and pages overflowing from my pen. I handed it to Jonathan, sure he would connect with the text and bow low before me. (Just kidding on that last part.)

 

Illustration by children's book illustrator Jonathan Fenske of a boy jumping on a couch.

“Before lunch, a boy rode past with his dog. The boy jumped high. He jumped hard.” Illustration by Jonathan Fenske

He read it right away and then handed it back, saying kindly that I needed to get it down under 300 words. In other words, I needed to slash oodles and oodles of text. Words. Phrases. Helpful adjectives. You know, my stuff. 

Jonathan was completely correct. So I edited. Cut. Cut some more. Argued over word choice with Jonathan. Described some illustrations to him. Daydreamed about others that might come into shape once he started drawing.

It’s still a work in progress, but Jonathan has given me a rough illustration style he’s going for to match the sparse (now 199 words!!) text and the (I hope) evocative feeling of the story.

More details later. But I wanted to post this illustration because, to me, it represents love and dreams.

Have Some Happy Thoughts

Here are a few illustrations from Jonathan’s picture book HAPPY THOUGHTS. It’s not sold yet, but we’re working on it.

Excited about tomorrow: WOODWARD AND MCTWEE’S publication date! Yahoo! You can buy it in any bookstore or online, of course. Look for the Penguin Young Readers series carousel in your favorite bookstore. Thanks for supporting Jonathan’s work…we are so appreciative.

A little girl sleeping next to a cloud

 

An illustration of a sunset by Jonathan Fenske

 

An illustration from Denver artist Jonathan Fenske

A Pig, A Fox, and A Box Finds a Home

Yeah! We’re tap dancing here. Jonathan has sold A Pig, A Fox, and A Box to Penguin USA. We heart this, most completely.

It will be a part of the Young Readers series and is set for Summer 2015. We love our people at Penguin/Grosset & Dunlap/PSS. And Jonathan is so very happy to work with his editor, Ms. Bonnie Bader.

Just a reminder: Woodward and McTwee comes out next month–March 20, 2014–also from Penguin USA. Thanks for the love you’ve given Jonathan’s other two books. We think you’ll like Woodward and McTwee, too.

Also, in other news: Jonathan has finished two new picture book dummies and is shopping those around. I have also completed the writing for the first book in The Magical Raintree Daughters three-book series for middle grade readers. I am editing and hope to have it all polished up soon. Then, I have to sell it. THAT’S NOT HARD, IS IT? Hahaha, I’m laughing over here, just all by myself.

An image of Jonathan Fenske's children's book A Pig A Fox and A Box

#MSWL #MGLIt #MGlitchat

Crazy Like A Fox

We’re in full swing here at Fenske & Fenske, working on our most recent projects. So, we hope you don’t mind this second look at A Pig, A Fox and A Box. We hope to announce good news soon that this pranking duo have found a home. Soon, soon!

The cover of the children's book A Pig A Fox and A Box by Jonathan Fenske

An example of the potential cover.

An illustration from a children's book by Jonathan Fenske

Snarky Fox thinks he has pulled one over on Pig with the help of a cardboard box.

An illustration of Fox and Pig from Jonathan Fenske's children's book A Pig A Fox and A Box

Pig goes along with the game until he starts to suspect something isn’t quite right…

Thanks for stopping by our blog, especially while we’re working on new stuff. It’s really encouraging and we think you are LOVELY. Keep up with Jonathan and Jennifer (that’s me!) by subscribing to our blog at left. Or you can always check out what’s happening on Fat and Appy, our online store for canvas prints of Jonathan’s work. 

Buzzy Buzzy Creative Hive

Things are a little quiet on the blog lately. That’s because Jonathan and I have both entered a season of writing and illustration projects. We’re cranking to meet completely self-imposed deadlines for our literary pursuits. I am back at work, six days per week, on Magical Raintree Daughters, a middle grade (ages 8-12) fantasy adventure novel. I’m about halfway through with it. I’ll be finished at the end of the month. I posted the first two chapters on the blog a while back. They have been revised a good bit but you can see where I am going. Here’s a little hook I am working on:

Cassiopeia Raintree can cheat death with her hands and feet. The middle child of three magical sisters, Cassie is a climber. But she’s always had to hide that gift until the night a smoak kidnaps and drags her to the land of the evil Aramynes. That’s when Cassie finds out the Aramynes were turned to monsters years ago…and it’s all the magical children’s fault.

Chapter_One_Dragoblin-novel-by-Jennifer-Fenske

I love writing again in novel form. As much as I enjoyed writing my first two novels (and publishing them..that’s really fun!), writing for a middle grade audience is completely a blast. Each day, when my eldest daughter comes home from school, she reads the latest bit and tells me her thoughts and offers suggestions.

Some people have asked if I am going to post more of the book. I plan to sell it (hopefully) so at this point, I’ll probably bring it back inside the studio and not post more of it for now.

Jonathan is working on a new children’s picture book. He’s not ready to release the title yet, so I’ll just include one illustration here. I love this book and can’t wait to share more with you. That hyena illustration really cracks me up. He is also excited to finish the illustrations for Poor Peter Burke (the manuscript is complete).

An illustration by Denver illustrator Jonathan Fenske

A Peek at Woodward and McTwee

A scene from the children's book Woodward and McTwee by Jonathan Fenske

This illustration is from the forthcoming Woodward and McTwee children’s book written and illustrated by Jonathan Fenske, to be published by Penguin USA in March 2014. Here’s the marketing blurb from the publisher:

“Woodward and McTwee are the silliest of friends. A bird and a hippopotamus could not be more different, but they love playing hide-and-seek and pulling pranks on each other. Join Woodward and McTwee for a ton of fun with two hilarious stories!”

I’ve loved watching this book take shape and morph and then finally find a home at Penguin. Hurray! Can’t wait until it comes out. I know Jonathan is eager, too. Meanwhile,  he’s working on a series with three books, the first being called A Pig, A Fox and A Box (I’ve blogged about this one before). I’m picking up again where I left off on Magical Raintree Daughters (a middle grade adventure novel) and we’re both trying to keep up with the girls. Also on the to do list: put the garden to bed, weed the stones in the front and backyard and start pruning our climbing roses. Confidential to YouTube video makers: your advice on rose pruning is horribly inconsistent. I am lost.
Thanks for stopping by. We love ya’ll so much and it’s great to share art and beauty with you. And broken lightbulbs. And messy houses. Until next time!