What’s the best way to launch a new children’s book set in WWII England and on the ship the Queen Mary? With a British-themed Tea Party, of course!
To celebrate the release of the new historical fiction picture book WELCOME TO AMERICA, CHAMP! (beautifully illustrated by Doris Ettlinger) friends and family joined together for tea sandwiches, scones, fruits and sweets catered by The Madhatter’s Tea Shop. And British tea, of course!
Professional Storyteller Veronica Gard (known as “Your English Storyteller”) offered a lovely and lilting tale, relating the family stories that inspired the new picture book. Ms. Gard, who was born in England during WWII, also taught me the proper way to make tea in my grandmother’s heirloom teapot. And it does make a delicious difference!
For children, there was a tea set designed for bubble-blowing spread on a child-sized outdoor table, and a “design a royal crown” craft.
Thank you to our friends, Raul and Annie, who provided for us many lovely photos from the day – including those shown here.
Thank you, also, to the family members who traveled across the country to join us – my parents and my Aunt Pat. Finally, I appreciate the SCBWI-SWTX board members and all the friends who stopped by to celebrate that day.
I am so pleased introduce my first historical fiction picture book, WELCOME TO AMERICA, CHAMP! (Sleeping Bear Press). Set during and just after WWII, the story takes place in England and on the great ship, The Queen Mary and features stunning watercolor paintings by award-winning illustrator Doris Ettlinger. It offers a look at a unique historical event — the Brides and Babies voyages of 1946, when from many parts of the world, the WWII War Brides of American and Canadian servicemen traveled with their children to a new life and their waiting husbands across the sea.
Young Thomas celebrates as his widowed mother marries Jack, a kind American serviceman stationed in WWII England. But Thomas realizes someday he and Mum will move faraway to Jack’s home in America.
Once the war ends, Thomas is about to embark on a history-making event – the “Brides and Babies” voyages of 1946. Great ships are readied to transport tens of thousands of “soldier brides,” ladies from across Europe who, like his mother, married American servicemen. They will cross the Atlantic, crowded in small cabins with their babies and children, to awaiting husbands in the United States.
Thomas is excited to sail aboard the famous RMS Queen Mary. But is he brave enough to leave England – forever?
In this hope-filled WWII and immigration story, Stier and Ettlinger present an extraordinary historical event as experienced by one spirited boy from England.
Heartfelt watercolor illustrations bring to life the anxiety and tentative joys of this unique historical situation.” Booklist
This just-released picture book features a new kind of hero:
Saturday, October 13, 2012, 2 p.m., Combined SCBWI-Southwest Texas / Barnes and Noble Educators’ Day event, Barnes and Noble San Pedro, 321 NW Loop 410
Saturday, October 20, 2012, 1 p.m., Barnes and Noble San Pedro, 321 NW Loop 410
A Great Day at the Dallas Kids Read! Event 2012
In a celebration of Election Day and the election process, this just-released title features a classroom of “Future Voters” as they illuminate all that goes on from early morning to the late night hours on this all-important day. Kirkus Reviews calls it “A proudly buoyant tour of Election Day in the U.S.A.” while Booklist notes “Readers will learn what makes a candidate…how they campaign, and how voters can get information about them.” (For more of this review and a summary of the book, visit the Albert Whitman website at www.albertwhitman.com).