I'm happy to say that Booklist also gave Phoebe a thumbs up. So thrilled, so proud, and want to give a shout out to my supportive and fantastic agent, Sara Crowe, my tireless and astute editor, Eve Adler, and the fabulous illustrator, Joelle Dreidemy, who brought Phoebe to visual life. Thanks guys! Go Phoebe!
Review from Booklist:
Curious third-grader Phoebe G. Green is an incessant list maker and Sage’s BFF. On the first day of school, Phoebe befriends Camille, a new student from France. At lunch, Phoebe notices that Camille’s lunch—a tiny loaf of bread, bleu cheese, a salad with duck meat, and strawberries—is exotic compared to her soggy, mushy noodles. After several lunch comparisons, Phoebe invites her new friend to dinner to prove that they eat like the French, too. The preparation and dinner are adorably disastrous, but Mom comes to the rescue and soothes her daughter’s disappointment by explaining that differences between friends are meant to be shared. Meanwhile, Sage feels neglected and confronts Phoebe about Camille. Again Mom offers good advice and lets Phoebe know that it’s okay to have more than one friend. This is a splendid attempt to convey several lessons about growing pains to young readers, with age-appropriate humor via an outspoken, lovable, take-charge narrator. Dreidemy’s wiggly spot illustrations, meanwhile, supply plenty of nervous energy.
— Jeanne Fredriksen
Next month the first two books of my chapter book series, Phoebe G. Green, hit the stores. I just finished what will probably be my last round of revisions on the fourth book of the series (each one its own little marathon, but that's for another post!) and now I have a little breathing room for some reflection. I've been thinking about how this experience is different from when my first book, The Whole Story of Half a Girl, came out.
I can't help but make the parenting analogy. My first book was like my first child. Everything was new. I was in awe. I didn't know anything. Everything felt equally important and kind of terrifying. It was very special, thrilling, and somewhat strange.
This time around, I'm a little more relaxed and experienced. I know that the series will have the life it has, no matter how many tweets I tweet, blog posts I write, and appearances I make, yet I want to put myself out there even more.
I'm still in awe about the fact that I get to write books for a living and people actually read them. I'm in awe that I'm allowed to enter the private relationship between reader and story, especially the one of child reader and story. A lot of magic happens in that space and I'm grateful to be a part of it.
I'm more knowledgeable about marketing and publicity. And with each revision, hopefully I'm able to sharpen my skills. I'm less nervous about public appearances and have a better idea of what to do. But now it will be different in ways I can't know and I'm most excited for that--the unknown, the adventure, the new connections. Who knows where this is all leading? I'll tell you when I get there.
Nothing like a good review of your work to not only make you feel proud and excited, but also relieved. Getting my work published has been such a great experience and I feel grateful that I'm able to share my work with so many people and get paid for it! It can be a little scary, though, particularly the whole review thing. It's a subjective process and you never know what's going to happen. But luckily this happened! Can you hear me breathing that sigh of relief? Now go pre-order those books!
"List-making foodie Phoebe G. Green adjusts to the addition of a new best friend. Phoebe and Sage ("who's a boy, if you were wondering") are best friends. They are both excited about being in Mrs. B's third-grade class this year. Also exciting is the addition of a new girl, Camille, from France. Phoebe is especially taken with Camille at lunchtime, when the kids compare lunches. Camille brings duck, goat cheese, strawberries and a tiny loaf of bread—and that is just on the first day! Phoebe becomes obsessed with Camille's interesting food and makes a plan to get invited to her house, where she imagines gold goblets full of fabulous food. The plan involves inviting Camille over to Phoebe's first, but the girl's fancy menu falls flat (her family is more a salad-from-a-bag family). While Phoebe is focused on Camille and her food, original best buddy Sage is pushed to the background, even though his mother does cook Indian food. Hiranandani has a light touch when exploring the friendship issues of these three likable characters. Nothing is over-the-top, and the plot is fun and easy to understand for the newest chapter-book readers. Gently humorous black-and-white illustrations pair nicely with the text. With all the foodies out there, this delightful series deserves a long shelf life…and many more courses. (Fiction. 7-11)"
Introducing the first two covers for my new chapter book series, Phoebe G. Green! Books #1 and #2 will both be out this October from Grosset and Dunlap.
The adorable and fabulous cover art by illustrator Joelle Dreidemy, is hot off the press and I just had to share. I can't tell you how thrilled I am to get Phoebe on the shelves and into your hands! Still, the pub date is months away...sigh.
In the meantime, here's a little about Phoebe to tempt you. She's in third grade and discovers her inner foodie when a girl from France moves to town. She's funny, she's brave, she's silly, and sometimes gets in her own way, but that's okay, because she usually figures out how (deliciously) to make everything right again.
So get ready, because your lunch may never be the same after reading about Phoebe and her food-inspired adventures. You can pre-order the books at your local bookstore or online here, here or here.
Stay tuned! More about Phoebe to come!