Introducing a New Scholastic Book: Barnacle Is Bored by Jonathan Fenske

Oh happy day, we get to share our special news with you! Contracts are signed and edits are underway. Drum roll…

Scholastic will publish Jonathan’s children’s book, Barnacle Is Bored, in 2016!

This will be Jonathan’s first children’s book with Scholastic. His agent, the lovely Carrie Hannigan of HSG Agency, sold the book to Katie Carella at Scholastic. I just got the shivers typing that sentence. I mean, Sch-o-las-tic! Home of Harry Potter! Keeper of book fairs across the land. Eek and eek.

So, yeah, we’re just a little bit excited over here.

Barnacle Is Bored is a tale of a barnacle who is fairly ho-hum about his life. The tide goes in. The tide goes out. One day, in the midst of his boring life, Barnacle spies a saucy polka-dotted fish. Surely this fish has a great life, right? You’ll have to follow the very bored Barnacle to find out!

We are deeply grateful that Jonathan has been granted the opportunity to work with two great publishers; first Penguin USA and now Scholastic. Writing children’s books is the very thing my sweetie was made to do, I think. And it’s really gratifying to watch this unfold right here in our little studio.

Here are a few illustrations from the book, which could change, but will give you an idea. (Savvy readers of this blog might remember that I blogged about Barnacle before.)

An image from Denver children's book author and illustrator Jonathan Fenske's new book from Scholastic Barnacle Is Bored

An image from Barnacle Is Bored by Jonathan Fenske

 

An illustration from Barnacle Is Bored by Jonathan Fenske Scholastic Books 2016

Thanks for stopping by the blog! Jonathan is the author and illustrator of Love Is in the Air, Guppy Up!, Woodward and McTwee, and A Pig, A Fox and A Box (June 16, 2015). In 2016, Scholastic will publish Barnacle Is Bored. Jennifer (that’s me!) is the author of two novels for adults and has a few projects up her sleeves, illustrated by Mr. Fenske. 

Advertisements

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

Jonathan Fenske Illustration: Chicken Legs

Jonathan is doing editorial/commercial illustrations for Mercury Payment Systems and New York Life this week. I’ll show some of that work later, but for now, here’s a quick illustration from Chicken Legs, an as yet unpublished children’s book Jonathan has written and illustrated. You can see more of Jonathan’s children’s book characters and books in this blog post.

Chicken Legs is about a young chicken who gets teased by his friend Pig and Goat because of his “chicken legs” His father lovingly steps in to help comfort his son by sketching some drawings…with some funny results.

Chicken Legs image, a children's book by Jonathan Fenske

Love Is in the Air: Jonathan’s New Children’s Book Is Published!

This week was a fun one in the Fenske household. Jonathan’s first children’s book that he wrote and illustrated published Dec. 27. Love Is in the Air (Penguin USA) is the story of a lonely balloon and a lively kite and their special day in the park together. Jonathan is pretty excited and I am over the moon. It’s not every day you get to walk into Barnes and Noble and see your sweetie’s new book on the shelf. Proud of you, baby!

 

http://www.jonathanfenske.com

 

http://www.jonathanfenske.com

 

Love Is in the Air is available in soft cover, hardcover and (soon!) it will be an enhanced ebook, produced by Penguin’s awesome ebook partner.

 

http://www.jonathanfenske.com

 

What’s next for Jonathan? Penguin will release Guppy Up! Feb. 7, 2013. Plus, he always has new children’s books in progress, and Penguin is interested in some new titles for 2014. So, stay tuned!

Heavy Odds: We’ll Take Them

Yesterday, we woke up to fun news and several “congratulations!” emails: Healthy Creatures, our children’s app for iPad was featured in the Denver Post. We were interviewed by technology reporter Andy Vuong; Aaron Ontiveroz took our portrait. Both journalists were awesome and couldn’t have been easier or nicer to work with. I liked Andy’s angle in the story about the hard road ahead of us as indie mobile app developers in a crowded market. He’s absolutely correct—finding mobile app success on the App Store without Disney or Dora in your name is really, really tough. But here’s the thing: working our tails off in the creative world is all Jonathan and I have ever known.

It was tough when Jonathan was a talented painter in search of a gallery. He walked in and out of galleries in Atlanta until he found one that believed in him. Jonathan’s paintings now hang in collectors’ homes across the U.S., a museum, foundations and currently, Santa Fe. His commission backlog is months long.

It was tough when I wanted so badly to publish my novel, I could barely step into a bookstore without being overcome by longing. I wrote query letters and was rejected by everyone on my list–until an agent took a chance and asked me to rewrite my first novel. That one didn’t sell, but my agent sold the next one to St. Martin’s Press. And the next one.

It was tough when I wrote novels at the kitchen table after working all day at my marketing job. Both times, my belly was swollen with a kicking, nutrient-sucking daughter. But Jonathan would not let me give up. When the development dragged on for Healthy Creatures, Jonathan told me to dig deep and keep at it—that we would see it through, together. And we did, with a third newborn daughter kicking on the floor beside me as I worked.

And it was tough when Jonathan kept rising to the top of the slush pile for his children’s books that he wrote and illustrated. He came so close several times before a major publisher offered a contract. We rejoiced, champagne flowing, and then plummeted to earth when the publisher shuttered the imprint, dumping all of the recently acquired titles. I watched in awe as Jonathan picked himself up and headed back out there, pitching his books on his own. In December 2012 and then again in February 2013 Penguin USA will publish Jonathan’s children’s books Love Is In the Air and Guppy Up!

Do you have a dream? Of course you do. If you’ve read this far, let me tell you: it will be tough. You’ll never work harder. But don’t you dare give up.

The odds are heavy? Of course they are. You are short of money? Time? Connections? We are, too.

But here’s the thing: the alternative is not trying. That’s not an option for so many of us. So, for that, I’ll take a longshot any day.

What’s your longshot dream? Tell us in the comments so we can encourage you.

We’re Making a Children’s App for iPad!

We’ve been missing from the blog world lately because we’re working feverishly on our latest project. It’s a children’s app for iPad called Healthy Creatures. The app is aimed at ages 3-8. Kids can make creatures out of fruits and vegetables, which makes playing with your food all the more fun! The launch of the new app is set for the end of July.

Our new company is called Fat and Appy. We plan to make as many apps as we can (if the first one sells okay, of course!) and also create fun digital games that go with Jonathan’s children’s books. His first book he wrote and illustrated—Love Is in the Air— is coming out Dec. 20, 2012 from Penguin USA.

Please head over to Facebook and like us. Your clicking “like” gives us so much confidence! We’re also on Twitter @ fatandappyfun and on YouTube. We just posted our first video. Jonathan talks about app development and how he came up with the art direction.

By the way, I did this entire blog post on the iPad…first time I’ve done it that way!

Thanks so much for your support. We couldn’t do any of this without you!

Eye on: Illustrator Ben Clanton

Getting lost in blogs today, following links down the illustrator rabbit trail. I am digging Ben Clanton (author and illustrator of the brand new Vote for Me! picture book. He also illustrates Jasper John Dooley: Star of the Week by Caroline Adderson). Fun, pretty and engaging work. We love it.

From Ben’s website: “It’s a big election year, and Elephant and Donkey are pandering for votes. “Hey you! Yes, you with the great hair and that dazzling smile,” says Donkey. “[I]f you pick me, I’ll give you peanuts!” promises Elephant. But it doesn’t take long for the candidates to forget about the voters and turn on each other (“Elephants don’t stink!” “Well, you certainly do, you big, stinky pooper scooper”), resulting in both figurative and literal mudslinging. Unlike some grown-up candidates, Elephant and Donkey repair their friendship—just in time to realize that the voters have already moved on. First-time author Clanton renders his battling duo in the pencil-like grays and blacks of classic editorial cartoons (Donkey almost always appears on the left against a blue background, while Elephant is on the right against red). Even readers unfamiliar with the political process will understand the demands being made on their loyalty. For children getting their first taste of presidential politics in 2012, this is a worthwhile testimony to the current state of political discourse. Ages 4–8.”