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The times we’ve been living through feel drained of color, don’t they? It’s similar to Pruett’s world in Nancy Viau’s latest picture book, PRUETT AND SOO.

Pruett is from Planet Monochrome, where everything is black, white, and gray, and everyone follows the rules and walks in straight lines. And they never, ever ask or answer questions.

But then Soo arrives from Planet Prismatic. She’s bursting with brilliant colors! She zigs and zags all over the place! When she asks Pruett questions, he finds he wants to reply…and his whole world starts to change.

With a palette that shifts from grayscale to full color, this engaging story reminds us that what you feel defines who you are—and sometimes a friend helps you see that best.

CHANGE THE RULES. CHANGE THE WORLD!

Nancy, can you tell us about PRUETT’s journey to print?

PRUETT AND SOO sold to Two Lions waaaay back in the spring of 2017. After the first round of initial revisions, all was quiet for about a year. Jorge Lacera was brought on board to do the illustrations, and that’s when the story went through countless, but amazing and extremely detailed, revisions—For. The. Next. Three. Years.

Since the whole color palette had to change S L O W L Y from black and white to full color, every spread had to subtly sneak in a teeny bit more color. Jorge did a terrific job with this, and I am grateful for his hard work and that of the entire editorial team at Two Lions. They perfected every bit of crazy punctuation, every line, every unique color for dialogue, and more.

Funny story: After many revisions, no one noticed that in the first line I referred to Pruett as an alien. A very savvy editor noted right before the F&G was finalized that since Pruett is from the planet where the story takes place, he is NOT an alien! Only Soo is. Good catch, right? This is why we value lots of editors looking over our work!

PRUETT AND SOO blasts into our universe on March 22, 2022.

And now for the reveal:

Congratulations, Nancy!

Blog readers, you can win an F&G of PRUETT & SOO. Just leave one comment below to enter. 

A random winner will be selected later this month.

Good luck!


NANCY VIAU is the author of the picture books TODAY IS A BEACH DAY!, FIRST SNOW, STORM SONG, and more. Her middle-grade novels include SOMETHING IS BUGGING SAMANTHA HANSEN, SAMANTHA HANSEN HAS ROCKS IN HER HEAD (updated for 2019), and others. A former teacher and kid-at-heart, Viau loves to visit schools, libraries, and bookstores across the U.S. to present assembly programs and writing workshops. She currently lives in New Jersey and travels around the solar system in her imagination. Connect with Nancy on Twitter or Instagram @NancyViau1 or via her site: NancyViau.com

by Nancy Viau

Hey there, readers of this wonderful blog!

Betcha can’t wait for hot, hot summer days, right? I know I’m looking forward to lots of sunshine and NO SNOW!

WAIT.

A.

MINUTE!

I canNOT say that because I am all about snow these days. The reason? In September, my fourth picture book makes its way into the world, and it’s called FIRST SNOW (Albert Whitman & Co.). So, put on your clunky boots and funky hats, think chilly thoughts … instead of OMG, it’s summer and it’s ridiculously hot, and please check out:

What does this cover reveal about the book? Simple. Snow. Is. Fun! If you’re an adult, do you remember the hours spent building igloos, having snowball fights, sledding, and that feeling of cozy warmth from a cup of hot chocolate? (Yeah, I know, dear grown-ups, you’ve gotta put aside the snow shoveling, buried cars, bad roads, etc. for a minute. I haven’t forgotten about you. When the book comes out, look at my funny dedication!)

As with my other picture books, this story is written in rhyme. Before I even thought about being a writer, I loved to read rhyming books. The words seemed to roll off my tongue, yet I never really understood why until I tried my hand at rhyme. It was much harder than I ever imagined! With rhyme, there is so much to consider—the rhyming words, internal rhyme, meter, length of phrases, length of stanzas, vocabulary, and more. Still, I love it. I love that every single word counts. It often takes me weeks to find that perfect word—the one that fits for all the right reasons. When that happens, it’s magical, trust me. If you write in rhyme, you know exactly what I’m talking about!

As far as finding a topic for a rhyming picture book, nature has always been my inspiration. I enjoy every season and the weather that comes with each one—warm, breezy, rainy, super-hot and humid, or freezing cold. While some may grumble, growl, and complain about a pending snowstorm, I’m a little kid again. There is something about the crunch of snow under my feet; its clean smell; that blanket of white; the cheery voices of children playing; and at night, the quiet peacefulness it brings.

Puffy jackets. Scarves in place.

Extra mittens, just in case.

In FIRST SNOW, you’ll see the kids scramble to see those first snowflakes, then head outside for adventure. Illustrator Talitha Shipman has done an amazing job of showing how beautiful snow is. (It’s not easy to paint white snow on white paper, right?) The colors she has chosen are varied and bright, and the expressions on the kids’ faces are priceless. Seeing how an illustrator works with my words is one of my favorite things about writing picture books.

So, next winter when meteorologists predict a big winter storm, I hope you’ll curl up with a copy of FIRST SNOW and think back to a time when snow meant serious, crazy fun. Then bundle up and go out and play!


Nancy Viau is the author of five picture books: PRUETT AND SOO (Two Lions, TBA), FIRST SNOW (Albert Whitman), CITY STREET BEAT (Albert Whitman), LOOK WHAT I CAN DO! (Abrams Books), and STORM SONG (Two Lions). She also writes middle grade and has several published with more forthcoming. Look for her latest, BEAUTY AND BERNICE, at the end of August! During the summer Nancy works as a librarian assistant at a public library and is the first to check out the travel books, searching for adventures out-of-state and out of the country. It’s in nature where she finds inspiration and whether it’s navigating mountain trails or riding her bike, she’s always writing stories in her head. Visit her at NancyViau.com.

Nancy is giving away a signed copy of FIRST SNOW in September. Comment now to be entered into the random drawing. A winner will be selected…on the first day of summer…? (Oh, the irony.)

Good luck!

 

 

 

 

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My Picture Books

COMING SOON:

ABSURD WORDS
illustrator TBA
Sourcebooks eXplore
January 2, 2022

TIME FLIES
"7 ATE 9/PRIVATE I" BOOK #3
illus by Ross MacDonald
Little, Brown
April 2022

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