The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes Blog Tour

Publisher:  Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Date: October 1, 2011
ISBN:  978-1402255441
Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
Source: for review

Image by FlamingText.com


I don't review a lot of picture books. In fact, this is my first one ever! But I love reading them. As an ex-nanny, ex-children's bookseller, big sister and a life-long babysitter, I've got this soft spot for picture books. I love them. I even have favorites. There's something about creating a world for a child that I've always loved. These simple principles and thoughts presented in fun, imaginative ways. 

When I was asked to review THE GIRL WHO NEVER MADE MISTAKES, I said yes immediately. As a girl who never makes mistakes (kidding! I make tons but I hate them!) I was intrigued. The book is a cute concept of a girl who learns that mistakes are part of life and when you make them--even though it's terrifying not to be perfect--things are more enjoyable.

You should check out this book. I also have a treat for you. Co-author Gary Rubinstein has offered up this lovely guest post about co-authoring a picture book. It's really interesting stuff. I know about the process of a YA book, but a picture book brings other challenges--especially when you are co-authoring.

Mark and I met in 2000 at a Teach For America reunion. At the time he was writing a comic strip called Mr. Lowe, about a teachers, and I had just had my first book Reluctant Disciplinarian (about my first year of teaching) published. We became friends and soon found ourselves sending each other drafts of our new projects for one another to evaluate.

Ten years later, around the time that both of our daughters had turned one, Mark and I talked about finally working together on a project. We each came up with about five ideas and over Skype we agreed to work on one of Mark's ideas about what life might be like for a girl who never made any mistakes. When I wrote the first draft, I thought it reminded me a bit of a Twilight Zone episode where a world exists with an unusual character with an unusual ability, yet people are accepting of this reality.

Throughout the next four months, we went back and forth writing drafts until we had about fifteen. Then we evaluated what were the best parts about each draft and assembled them together. Mark drew rough sketches for the book, which we learned needed to be exactly 32 pages. This limitation was a challenge since it meant that certain scenes we had wanted to have needed to be completely changed or deleted so the ending wouldn't be rushed.

We sent the illustrated draft to several agents, and heard back from Kerry Sparks at the Levine Greenberg agency that she wanted to represent us. Within two months, we had an offer from a great publisher called Sourcebooks. The next year was a lot more work than we had anticipated. There were a lot of issues that our editor pointed out to us about certain word choices and other things which we needed to fix. It was tough, sometimes, trying to get all three of us to agree, but the final product, I think, is that much better for the process.

When the final text was approved, Mark got to work on the huge task of producing 32 watercolor paintings. As the co-writer, my job was to 'annoy' Mark (at his request) by asking him how it was going every few days. Finally, after more than two years the book is a reality.

I'm glad that Mark and I both already had internalized the message of the book--that you can't be paralyzed by the fear of making mistakes. Getting a children's book published is hard and had we really thought about the likelihood that it would never go anywhere, we may not have worked so hard on it.

Luckily, they didn't think it through and now this cute book is in the world!! Thanks so much Gary for stopping by.

 Get more info/pre-order:
Goodreads ||| Amazon ||| IndieBound ||| Book Depository |||| Barnes & Noble

The author on the web:
Mark Pett |||| Gary Rubinstein

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