Friday, December 19, 2014

Free Book Friday: Who Was Here?

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Congratulations to Cheri Crow (@crowsnest19015)! You've won Santa ClausesPlease send us a DM on Twitter or an email to publicityinfo@lernerbooks.com with the subject line "Free Book Friday" and your mailing address so we can get your books in the mail.

This week, enter to win another adorable picture book. Who Was Here?: Discovering Wild Animal Tracks by Mia Posada follows different animals as they run, slither, hop, and stalk across the pages.


What animal was here? Can you solve the mystery? Study the picture and read the clues to figure out who left these tracks. 


Watercolor and collage illustrations show the many kinds of trails that animal leave behind in mud, snow, and sand. Turn the page to find out about animals from around the world.

If you'd like to win Who Was Here?, please leave a comment on this post (including your first and last name), or tweet this line: "Free Book Friday! RT to win WHO WAS HERE? from @LernerBooks. bit.ly/1OrSN"

We'll announce the winner on Friday, January 9, so check the blog then to see if you've won!

Good luck!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Take Breaks; Make Better Books

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I write this while perching on the outer edge of my remaining work hours before I throw all my remaining paid time off to the winds and celebrate the holidays far away from my Lerner desk. And I'm absolutely positive that the books I'm working on will turn out better as a result of my two-week hiatus. 

"How are we going to find pictures of sound?!?
I'm too sleep-deprived to approach this calmly!!!"
Why? Because we think better and produce better results if we let our brains relax from time to time. This applies to regular office hours as well as extended vacation periods. It's especially important for us editors. We're obsessive. We care a lot about our books. And we don't always know when to step back and take a deep breath. Everyone who works at Lerner knows an editor (or is an editor) who has finished editing a book at 1 a.m. on a Sunday, has forgotten to eat lunch while working on high-priority projects, or has lost sleep trying to figure out how to resolve the plot of a First Step Nonfiction book. 

And that's just the editors--the designers can take things to a whole new level. Seriously, we've all been there. And we all should spend less time there.

Aside from being unhealthy, these habits don't serve books well. I make more mistakes when I'm tired and hungry and harried. So from all angles, it's wiser to turn down the obsession dial. And the holiday season is an especially good time to start.

Here are some tried-and-true strategies that I use to refresh my thinking cap in the midst of book-making.
  • Go across the street and buy that bagel. Or that orange. Or that fancy herbal tea that's supposed to energize your soul. 
  • Tape a list of puns to the bathroom stall doors (if you're my colleague Kris) or (if you're not Kris but admire her), just read said puns when you have occasion to encounter them.
  • Take five minutes to enhance your office/cubicle decorations. A picture of an adorable baby sloth or of Benedict Cumberbatch wearing a party hat may not improve your focus, but it will improve your mood, and grumpy editing is nearly always bad editing. 
  • Chat with a coworker for a few minutes about something non-work-related. Baby sloths and Benedict Cumberbatch are favorite topics here. Oranges, too.
  • Spend a few minutes reading a book that you're not working on (at least not currently; published books you have worked on in the past are fair game). Be reassured by the solid existence of this book, its good quality, its finished-ness. Return to the grindstone knowing that your current books will someday share a shelf with the one you were just looking at.
My golden rule: chill out once in a while.
As the holidays approach, I wish everybody a relaxing and refreshing end of 2014 and an invigorating start to 2015. Here's to more oranges, more puns, and more good books in the new year.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Free Book Friday: Santa Clauses!

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Congratulations to Heidi (@soundlyread)! You've won The Sharp SistersPlease send us a DM on Twitter or an email to publicityinfo@lernerbooks.com with the subject line "Free Book Friday" and your mailing address so we can get your books in the mail.

Christmas break is days away! To help you get in the holiday spirit, we're giving away Santa Clauses: Short Poems from the North Pole, written by Bob Raczka and illustrated by Chuck Groenink.


December 1
White envelopes float 
from my overfilled mailbox— 
December's first storm.


You know that Santa can fly a sleigh, squeeze down chimneys, and circle the globe in a night. But did you know that another of his talents is writing haiku? These twenty-five short poems—composed by Santa himself—give you a peek into life at the North Pole as the December days tick down to Christmas. See the hustle and bustle of the elves' workshop, feel the serenity of moonlight on fresh snow, and find out how Santa and Mrs. Claus keep busy as Santa's big night draws near.

If you'd like to win Santa Clauses, please leave a comment on this post (including your first and last name), or tweet this line: "Free Book Friday! RT to win SANTA CLAUSES from @LernerBooks. bit.ly/1OrSN #happyholidays"

We'll announce the winner on Friday, December 19, so check the blog then to see if you've won!

Good luck!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

FREE teaching guide for Robots Everywhere!

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If you're like me, you've started collecting wish lists from your friends and families in preparation for the approaching holiday season. And, like me, perhaps your online shopping cart includes a random assortment of items such as bow ties, books in Latin and Greek, loops for making chain mail (yes, my brothers are some of the coolest people I know), and robots.

This last request is nothing new. Over the past few years, my brothers have asked for robots in all shapes and sizes: Furbies, Poo-Chis, RoboSapiens, LegoMindstorm sets. Like many kids, my brothers just think robots are cool.

For that reason, I was especially excited to tell my brothers that we recently published the Robots Everywhere! series, a set of books that showcases robots doing everything from vacuuming floors to exploring outer space.


 




To enhance this series, we've also released a completely FREE teaching guide to help you use Robots Everywhere! in the classroom. Check out the book series then download the guide here.

Happy holidays!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Free Book Friday: Stephanie Perry Moore's The Sharp Sisters

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Congratulations to Judith Agosto! You've won Dino-BoardingPlease send an email to publicityinfo@lernerbooks.com with the subject line "Free Book Friday" and your mailing address so we can get your book in the mail.

We're giving away another of our Darby Creek high-low series this week. Stephanie Perry Moore's The Sharp Sisters follows five sisters as they strive to make their mark on the world.


Former NFL star Stanley Sharp is running for mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina. Running means putting his family—including his five daughters—in the spotlight. Fortunately, these young women are ready for it.

Each volume in this urban African-American series is told by one of the daughters, and each girl has a passion for something that develops into a career path as the book comes to its conclusion. Entrepreneurship and grit are persistent themes.

If you'd like to win The Sharp Sisters, please leave a comment on this post (including your first and last name), or tweet this line: "Free Book Friday! RT to win THE SHARP SISTERS from @LernerBooks. bit.ly/1OrSN"

We'll announce the winner on Friday, December 12, so check the blog then to see if you've won!

Good luck!