A MORNING WITH GRANDPA by Sylvia Liu + Giveaway!

May 13, 2016 66 Comments by Renee M. LaTulippe

UPDATE: GIVEAWAY WINNER

Congratulations to PATRICIA NOZELL! You’ve won a shiny new copy of A Morning with Grandpa!

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Once upon a time…

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in a Facebook critique group far, far away, there wrote and drew a talented, poetic girl named Sylvia Liu. 

Sylvia Liu pic © K Woodard Photography

Now, this writer/artist wasn’t just any ordinary writer/artist. This girl had poetry in her soul and she wasn’t afraid to use it. She would share stories with the rest of her Penguin Posse critique group, and each one would glisten with dewy gems of lyrical prose (the stories, not the Penguins).

Then one fateful day, Sylvia shared a sweet story about a yoga-crazy little girl and her doting, tai chi-loving grandfather. The Penguins fell all over themselves (as penguins are wont to do), and amid the chaos of appreciative groks rose cries of “This is it! This one’s a winner!”

And it turns out they were right. Unbeknownst to the group, Sylvia slyly submitted her poetic treasure to the Lee & Low New Voices Award … and she won. Then just like that, after only a few days, weeks … months … … … years ………

SPROING!

Out sprang a book.

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Naturally, this book was full of sweetness and poetry. The magical Christina Forshay even painted pictures for it, and those were full of sweetness and poetry, too. Sylvia gave us a wise GongGong who “moved like seaweed brushing the ocean floor” when he did tai chi, and a spunky little girl named Mei Mei who “hopped and bopped” like “a young frog trying out new legs” when she tried to imitate him.

When Gong Gong did Cloud Hands, he was “a warm summer breeze gently blowing through the trees” while Mei Mei was “a frisky fall wind tumbling among the leaves”  …

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… and “twirled like a helicopter seed flying down from a maple tree.”

Then Sylvia gave us Gong Gong serenading sunflowers and Mei Mei playing rockin’ riffs for the daisies.

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Although Sylvia loved sharing Gong Gong’s tai chi knowledge, it was time for Mei Mei to turn the tables and do her yoga thing. In Downward Dog, she “stood like a guard dog, strong and steady” while poor Gong Gong “wobbled like an old dog, creaky at the knees.”

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And he didn’t fare much better as The Cat.

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Sure, Sylvia created image after image, but she didn’t rest on her simile laurels–not when there were metaphors to sprinkle about! And certainly not when Mei Mei “was a creature of the deep sea guarding treasures” while poor Gong Gong was just “a fish in the water trying to escape a dangling hook.”

 

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Despite their differences, at the end there was great rejoicing when Gong Gong and Mei Mei came together to be “two royal palms swaying in the wind” …

… almost as much rejoicing as the Penguins did when Sylvia announced the imminent publication of her beautiful, lyrical debut picture book. Congratulations, Sylvia! We are all thrilled to enter your imaginative world and spend A Morning with Grandpa!

THE END

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Sylvia Liu is an environmental lawyer turned children’s author and illustrator. A MORNING WITH GRANDPA is her debut picture book as an author. She is inspired by oceans, aliens, cephalopods, and more. She lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia, with her husband and their two daughters. Visit her online at enjoyingplanetearth.com.

Christina Forshay was born and raised in sunny California, where she lives with her amazing husband and the two cutest kids in the world! Of course, as a child she could be found drawing, coloring, and admiring her grand collection of crayons. Christina graduated from California State University Long Beach with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Illustration in 2002. Since then, she has been proudly working as an illustrator for the children’s market.

MAPLE-LEAF-SMALL-ILLOGIVEAWAY!

If you would like to be entered into the drawing for a copy of A Morning with Grandpa, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. The winner will be drawn from a hat and announced here next Friday, May 20!

Please also check out all the wonderful features and interviews of Sylvia, Christina, and A Morning with Grandpa at these previous blog tour stops!

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The lovely Violet Nesdoly is hosting Poetry Friday today. Sway yourself over there for more poetic treats.
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AW, SHUCKS!
You’d like to receive my posts in your inbox, you say? Just sign up in the sidebar! 

See more poems in my poetry video library.

Text from “A Morning with Grandpa” © Sylvia Liu. Illustrations © Christina Forshay. Published by Lee & Low Books. All rights reserved.

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66 Comments

  1. Deborah Allmand
    10 months ago

    Loved the examples you shared from her book. Sylvia has crafted a lively lyrical book. Thanks for sharing her book. Can’t wait to read!

    Reply

  2. Jane Heitman Healy
    10 months ago

    Renee, thanks for sharing the background of this book with us, as well as some of the story & art. Sylvia & Christina, what a lovely book for all kinds of families! Congratulations!

    Reply

  3. Linda Carpenter
    10 months ago

    What a great post. This sounds so amazing and can’t wait to read and study!
    Many thanks for the great commentary and congratulations to Sylvia Liu and Christina Forshey.

    Reply

  4. Linda Mitchelll
    10 months ago

    I have many, many students and friends that would read this book!
    I love the entire concept for the book and Asian American characters. Thank you for writing. KEEP writing!

    Reply

  5. Kelsey Nolen
    10 months ago

    Such a beautiful book! I know my five year old would love this!

    Reply

  6. Alexia Andoni
    10 months ago

    It looks and sounds absolutely beautiful. I can’t wait to read it!

    Reply

  7. Marlene Rohr
    10 months ago

    Congratulations to Sylvia Liu and Christina Forshey on the publication of this beautiful picture book. Thanks Renee for the excellent review!

    Reply

  8. Penny Parker Klostermann
    10 months ago

    I can’t wait to read A MORNING WITH GRANDPA. I can tell from the tidbits you shared that I will fall in love with it! Congrats to Sylvia and Christina!

    Reply

  9. Sunaina Bhatia
    10 months ago

    This one reminded me of my late grandpa. My kids have not had the fortune of playing with their grandfathers as both my father and my husband’s father are no more. I often feel how much they have missed out. This book might be a perfect gift for them I feel. Keeping fingers crossed…:)

    Reply

  10. Donna Cangelosi
    10 months ago

    Thank you for this beautiful review, Renee! I can’t wait to read A Morning With Grandpa! Congratulations to Sylvia and Christina!

    Reply

  11. Kathy Mazury
    10 months ago

    I can’t wait to read the whole book. It sounds delightful. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  12. Rita Antoinette Borg
    10 months ago

    This picture book is a gift of poetry to children of this unique heritage and those looking in the culture and seeing the beauty of difference and diversity .

    Reply

  13. Vida
    10 months ago

    The title of the book and its cover page illustration are enough motivating to want to read a book right NOW. Some illustrations in the preview immediately reminded me of my husband and our younger granddaughter having fun in our back yard.Wonderful idea for such a beautiful book Sylvia. Every child deserves grandpa and a book about their memorable times together.Thank you for the giveaway.

    Reply

  14. Eileen Manes
    10 months ago

    What a great review! With a tai chi practicing grandmother and a 3-year old (and a dog named Mai!), this seems like a great fit for our family! Can’t wait to read it!

    Reply

  15. Jill Giesbrecht
    10 months ago

    Sylvia’s book looks so fun and beautiful. I’d love to read it with the kids.

    Reply

  16. Sherry Howard
    10 months ago

    This is a beautiful book, the writing and the art! Congratulations!

    Reply

  17. Kim Kersbergen
    10 months ago

    Thank you for this lovely book that shares the joys of t’ai chi and yoga. As a t’ai chi leader and former school teacher, I love the story and the way t’ai chi and yoga are shared.

    Reply

  18. Victoria Warneck
    10 months ago

    Renee! I love this post — the story of how we watched this beautiful book come to be! We did fall all over ourselves, didn’t we? 🙂

    I’m so proud of Sylvia — and I could not have imagined illustrations more perfect than the ones Christina has created. Hooray for Mei Mei and Gong Gong!

    Reply

  19. Johnell
    10 months ago

    Yay! Congrats, Sylvia. So glad your book is here now!

    Reply

  20. Caroline Webster
    10 months ago

    This looks like such a lovely book!!! And, I appreciated the behind-the-story story, with critique group members cheering this book on from its very start. Congratulations, Sylvia Liu!

    Reply

  21. Jane Haas
    10 months ago

    Delightful! Beautiful words and illustrations! I love the relationship between granddaughter and grandfather. It will definitely be a book on my “gifting to grands” list!

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  22. Rosemary Basham
    10 months ago

    I can’t wait to read this book!

    Reply

  23. Linda Baie
    10 months ago

    You know I love stories with grandparents, and this sounds/looks like a treasure, Renee. Thanks to Sylvia being brave to submit, and then the publishing with Christina’s beautiful drawings, we have a wonderful new picture book to love. Thank you!

    Reply

  24. Sandy
    10 months ago

    I really enjoyed reading the back story to Sylvia’s book. I can just imagine how excited her critique group is about her success! Congratulations, Sylvia!

    Reply

  25. Robin
    10 months ago

    Really enjoyed Sylvia’s interview during NaPiBoWriWee, would love to read this book!

    Reply

  26. Traci Sorell
    10 months ago

    WOW! A feast for the eyes and ears! I love this book and can’t wait to read it. Congratulations Sylvia and Christina!

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  27. Maria Gianferrari
    10 months ago

    The perfect blend of lyricism and humor. Love the downward dog spread–so cute!! Thank you, Renee, and congrats to Sylvia & Christina!

    Reply

  28. Darlene
    10 months ago

    What a beautiful write-up on a lovely book. Congratulations Sylvia & Christina!

    Reply

  29. Jilanne Hoffmann
    10 months ago

    Particularly love the illustration of downward dog, clearly showing the difference in flexibility between Grandpa and Mei Mei. A lovely author-illustrator pairing!

    Reply

  30. Angela Turner
    10 months ago

    Can’t wait to read this book. I love the illustrations and look forward to sharing it with my grands.

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  31. Matt Forrest Esenwine
    10 months ago

    You’re right, Renee, this is, indeed, very poetic prose! Beautifully written, and I’m very happy for Sylvia – a debut is something to celebrate!

    Reply

  32. Beth Gallagher
    10 months ago

    Congratulations! Can’t wait to get my little mitts on this one! 😉

    Reply

  33. Patricia Nozell
    10 months ago

    Love, love, love this book & you are so spot on, Renee, that the language is so beautiful & so, so poetic.

    Reply

  34. Books4Learning
    10 months ago

    I’ve seen this book at a few blogs. Looks adorable!

    Reply

  35. Jennifer Cole Judd
    10 months ago

    Oh my gorgeous! I cannot wait to read this book!

    Reply

  36. Violet N.
    10 months ago

    What a fun review! Your backstory of the book’s creation plus the story with its sample pages make this book irresistible. Congratulations to Sylvia and Christina – and Penguin for recognizing a good thing when it came their way.

    Reply

  37. Judy Sobanski
    10 months ago

    I’m so excited to read Sylvia’s lovely, lyrical debut PB. I loved the pages showing Christina’s wonderful illustrations too. Thanks for sharing, Renee.

    Reply

  38. Dee Hare Keymel
    10 months ago

    A book I want for my little great-grand daughter. She loves her “Paka”. Thanks for sharing.

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  39. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes
    10 months ago

    You didn’t have fun writing this post at all, Renée, did you? Nope. None at all. Thank you for the peek at this wonderful book (Congratulations, Sylvia!!!) and now I must own a copy. 🙂

    Reply

  40. Virginia Rinkel
    10 months ago

    I love this book! The interaction between young and old is so necessary for both groups. It’s what makes the world go round!

    Reply

  41. Hope Lim
    10 months ago

    This book looks wonderful! I can’t wait to read it.

    Reply

  42. Fran
    10 months ago

    Such a sweet story. As a yoga practitioner and teacher of young children, I am interested in this book for my classroom!

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  43. Lisa Rogers
    10 months ago

    This book looks absolutely beautiful–the lyrical text and the pictures complement each other in such a wonderful way. So cool that this book sprang out of 12 x 12! Congratulations to Sylvia!

    Reply

  44. Lindsay Hanson Mercalf
    10 months ago

    What lovely, lyrical examples. I can’t wait to read this book!

    Reply

  45. Kathy Doherty
    10 months ago

    The cover alone draws me in! I’d love to exercise with Grandpa!

    Reply

  46. Patricia Tilton
    10 months ago

    What a beautiful review of Sylvia’s book! I love intergenerational stories. I’m also excited to see more books published for kids about yoga and mindfulness. This book looks like a keeper. Loved the video. Congratulations, Sylvia!

    Reply

  47. Catherine Johnson
    10 months ago

    Lovely excerpts. I can’t wait to read this. It should beable in Canada any day now. Congrats!

    Reply

  48. mona
    10 months ago

    Of course I would love to win this book! I love what you’ve given us here. The contrasts/compliments of grandpa and child are so perfect presented. Thanks for the peek!

    Reply

  49. Brenda Harsham
    10 months ago

    Poetry, yoga and a cool Gong-Gong, what’s not to love? Way to go, Sylvia!

    Reply

  50. Kristi Veitenheimer
    10 months ago

    Congratulations! It looks like a wonderful story!

    Reply

  51. Dana Carey
    10 months ago

    Congratulations, Sylvia! What a lovely book.

    Reply

  52. g f
    10 months ago

    i love the verse in the book and the way the pictures follow it with their soft colors and movement

    Reply

  53. Pam Miller
    10 months ago

    Congratulations Sylvia and Christina! A story with heart for sure, and well-lauded by Renee. Hi-YAH! and all the best wishes.

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  54. Linda
    10 months ago

    I love the sample pages! Thanks for this very lovely review!

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  55. Mary Lee Hahn
    10 months ago

    Congratulations to both author and illustrator! What a fun story!

    Reply

  56. Susan Apps-Bodilly
    10 months ago

    Love this book! We do yoga with our students every week at school – can’t wait to share this with them!

    Reply

  57. Bridget Magee
    10 months ago

    This book is a must read! Love the storytelling presentation, too, Renee. =)

    Reply

  58. Marilyn Garcia
    10 months ago

    Thank you for this post. I have struggled with how to incorporate poetry and poetic language into prose. This is an outstanding example. These examples make it It look so easy, which is, of course, why they are so superb. I am adding this book to my wish list!

    Reply

  59. Doraine Bennett
    10 months ago

    What a beautiful book! You know I love the yoga connection, too. And a wonderful job of focusing on the poetic prose in this post.

    Reply

  60. Rajani LaRocca
    10 months ago

    What a beautiful book! Everything about it — the subject, the art, and the language — is so lovely!

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  61. Rene` Diane Aube
    10 months ago

    Sylvia I”m so very happy for you and your success in having this lovely, lyrical book published! Hooray!!!

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  62. Debra Shumaker
    10 months ago

    I cannot wait to get my copy of this book. A million “Congratulations” again, Sylvia!

    Reply

  63. Kristin
    10 months ago

    Playing guitar for the daises 🙂 and for reminding me of planting the seeds for sunflowers! Thank You, and for reminding me that i CAN read poetry. In gratitude.

    Reply

  64. Donna Smith
    10 months ago

    I was wandering through the Poetry Friday list to catch up, and, boy, am I glad I stopped by! Delightful book, and wonderful background to the creation. Thanks for sharing this today, Renee.

    Reply

  65. jan annino
    10 months ago

    I plan to find this one myself, but Renee, appreciations for this artfully written head’s up. It sounds lyrical + a perfect fit for No Water River readers & their young ones. Yay!

    Reply

  66. Sylvia Liu
    10 months ago

    Thank you so much, Renee, and everyone who commented, for your support and good wishes. I am so lucky that Renee is in my critique group–she really pushed me to make the language lyrical in this story.

    Reply

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