Thursday, January 23, 2014

INTERVIEW and GIVEAWAY: Baby Penguins Love Their Mama! by Melissa Guion


When you're a mama penguin with lots (and lots) of little ones to take care of, the days can melt together in a blur. Monday: swimming lessons. Tuesday: sliding. Wednesday: waddling. And on and on. Mama loves her babies so much. Do they know, she wonders, just how much?

As it turns out, they do--because they love her just as much! And to show it, they surprise her with a thoughtful gesture of their own on Sunday.

In her companion to Baby Penguins Everywhere! Melissa Guion offers another adorable book for sharing between mother and child. A perfect Valentine's Day, Mother's Day—or any day—gift for the person who is always there for us.


Melissa Guion's first picture book, Baby Penguins Everywhere!, was selected for The Original Art 2012, an exhibition of the year's best illustrated children's books. Melissa swears she could draw baby penguins all day, but she may take a hiatus to do a book about her daughter's guinea pigs. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York. For more information, visit her website:


What’s the ‘story behind the story’?

Hmmm, the story behind the story. I can tell you something funny. After my first big NY library reading of BABY PENGUINS EVERYWHERE, which went pretty well, a senior librarian said to me, “and to think it was FOUND ON THE SLUSH PILE!” I thought he was making a joke about, I don’t know, snow. There’s a lot of snow in the book. But he insisted, no, he heard the manuscript was discovered in the slush pile at my publisher. I’m sorry to disillusion anyone who heard this rumor, but the book is not a million-to-one slush-pile success story. It was sold in a fairly normal way to the publisher after my agent set up a meeting with my now-editor, Michael Green, of Philomel. Perhaps someday I will have a slush pile story to share, though. Don’t count me out!

What do you enjoy/hate most about writing/illustrating picture books?

The thing I enjoy most is simple. Getting to do what I love for a living, getting to invent things for a living. What do I hate? Sitting down all the time.

Which author/illustrator would you most like to meet?

In the last year I’ve been lucky to meet many, many amazing author/illustrators, so my list is shrinking. I’d still really like to meet Tom Ungerer. I worry that it would be hard to connect with him, but it would be worth it, if we were actually able to talk. I’d also love to meet Alice Provensen. I’d ask her all about her life and work. Who knows, maybe she’s also terrifying.

Where in the world would you most love to travel if you could?

Antarctica is the place I want to travel that seems most outside the realm of possibility. Every year the National Science Foundation gives a grant to one writer or artist to travel there, and live and work at one of the base stations. I fantasize about winning that some day. Total pipe dream. That’s where I’d go.


Is there ever any way to fully thank our mothers for all they do? The good ones anyway! This book beautifully celebrates all that mothers do to help their children reach their full potential.  Mama penguin has many babies and she spends her week training them to swim, slide, waddle, preen, fish, and squawk followed by a weekend to recover. A sweet discussion at the end of the week reminds us all that mothering is a job that never ends yet has the sweetest of rewards.  A perfect book to share for Mother's Day or any day of the year between a mother and her children. Loved this one and plan to share it with all the mothers I know. Adorable illustrations and a simple story make this especially appropriate for preschoolers.


One lucky winner will receive a deliciously-scented mama and baby penguin goat's milk soap (for preening practice, of course!) and a signed copy of BABY PENGUINS LOVE THEIR MAMA. (U.S. addresses only.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to follow the adorable mama and baby penguins on Melissa Guion’s blog tour!

Monday, Jan 13
Susan Heim on Parenting
Tues, Jan 14
The Children's Book Review
Wed, Jan 15
Once Upon a Story
Thurs, Jan 16
Kid Lit Frenzy
Fri, Jan 17
Momma Drama
Sat, Jan 18
Booking Mama
Mon, Jan 20
5 Minutes for Books
Tues, Jan 21
Just a Little Creativity
Wed, Jan 22
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Thurs, Jan 23
Geo Librarian
Fri, Jan 24
As They Grow Up
Sat, Jan 25
Obsessive Mommy


  1. Heidi, thanks for sharing my book on your blog, and for the kind words! They mean a lot.

  2. Great interview Heidi. I saw Melissa's book during our PiBoIdMo month and thought it looked fabulous. Thanks Melissa for sharing your non slush pile story and for joining us on the Kid Lit blog Hop

  3. Hi! One of my son's favourite animals is the penguin, he'd love this book. Thanks for the tip!
    Best regards from Spain,

  4. Oh nuts! I was hoping your giveaway would be open to Canadians! That looks like such a sweet book. My kids and I love penguins, and I'm with Melissa - I'd love to visit Antarctica one day! Thanks for linking into the Kid Lit Blog Hop. I will tweet about your giveaway.


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