A MORNING WITH GRANDPA by Sylvia Liu + Giveaway!


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


Once upon a time…


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 ………


Out sprang a book.


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”  …


… 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.



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.”


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


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.”



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!




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.


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!

The lovely Violet Nesdoly is hosting Poetry Friday today. Sway yourself over there for more poetic treats.

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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.