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Some of you may already be familiar with my crazy cat, Phoebe.

She meowed at my back door one night, I opened the sliders, and she sashayed in, looked around and said, “Isn’t this great?”, just like Damone from Fast Times at Ridgemont High—anywhere you are, that’s the place to be! (Especially if it has a fireplace and tuna.)

So when Maria Gianferarri asked if I’d do a cover reveal for her companion book to BEING A DOG, Phoebe stepped up to ask the questions about BEING A CAT: A TAIL OF CURIOSITY.

(For ease of reading, I’ve translated from Phoebe’s native Feline tongue.)

Maria,  I’m curious, where is Cat’s favorite place to nap?

Cat’s favorite place to nap is dog’s bed.

Surely that can’t be the ONLY place to take a snooze?

Atop a radiator, or in a slice of sun.

Ahh, I know all about sun slices.

Anything else Cat wants to impart to the readers? 

Yes. Curiosity did NOT kill the cat.

Thanks, Maria! Now without further meow, the BEING A CAT cover by illustrator Pete Oswald!

Sittin’ pretty!

Blog readers, the prolific Maria is giving away a PB critique with this reveal.

Just leave one comment below.

A random winner will be selected at the end of the month.

Good luck!


Maria Gianferrari wonders and is in awe of the natural world and its inhabitants, domestic and wild cats included. She lives in Massachusetts with her inquisitive scientist husband and Maple the dog, a watcher who’s curious about anything that moves, especially if she can chase it! Curiously, though an unabashed dog lover, this is Maria’s third book featuring cats as main characters, most recently Bobcat Prowling, as well as Officer Katz and Houndini. You can learn more about Maria at her website, MariaGianferrari.com.


Pete Oswald is a #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator and an Annie Award-nominated animation production designer best known for The Angry Birds Movie film franchise and Oscar® Nominated ParaNorman, in addition to multiple animated studio films. He is also known for his work as a children’s book author and illustrator, and painter. Pete lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and three sons.

Ahhh, relax, it’s finally Monday!

What, don’t like Mondays?

You will once you read BEING A DOG: A TAIL OF MINDFULNESS by Maria Gianferrari, illustrated by Pete Oswald. This pupper knows how to just BE.

Maria, I know you’re an animal lover, as your books always feature them. Tell us, why a dog for this book?

This book was inspired by my late rescue dog, Becca. We had a very special bond, and she inspired many a book, including this one.

After she died I was deeply depressed for a couple of months and unable to do much of anything. When I was finally ready to write again, I thought of the ways that dogs are present and how they live in the moment. I wanted to feel the joy and calmness I felt being with Becca, and as I wrote, the moments and memories came alive and the words flowed out. I like to think of this book as Becca’s gift to me.

Aww, Maria, that is such a sweet story! 

We have all been through a rough time lately and need some uplifting reads. What is your hope for children who read this book?

Great question, Tara! That they can find moments of joy, and try to be present as much as they can. This comes naturally to kids, but the pandemic has brought so much stress and fear and sadness and isolation to us all. When we play, experiment, do art, play or listen to music/dance and explore nature, these moments come more easily to us all—we immerse ourselves in what’s in front of us, or in the process. There’s a mindfulness breathing exercise in the book, and my hope is that kids can use this whenever they feel sad or scared or stressed to self soothe and find some calm to help them cope.

A little birdie told me there’s another book in this series. I’m as curious as a cat! What can you tell us about that?

Yes! It’s called BEING A CAT: A TAIL OF CURIOSITY and it will release next April. The final art just came in this week and Pete worked his magic again—it’s sweet, adorable and very funny. To counter the idea of “curiosity kills the cat,” let’s instead inspire curiosity and wonder in kids—they are already wowed and curious about so many things in the world, and I’m hoping this book will also encourage them to ask questions, experiment and play. It’s dedicated to our editor, cat-lover Nancy Inteli and her trio of kitties, Jerry, Lulu & Keiko.

One last question—I thought this dog might be named Becca, but I see the dog doesn’t have a name! Is there a reason why?

I intentionally left the dog unnamed—that way it leaves things more open for readers. Kids can imagine it’s their very own pooch, or it invites them to imagine one who might be their furry friend.

Excellent!

Thank you for stopping by, Maria!

Blog readers, BEING A DOG: A TAIL OF MINDFULNESS was released last week from HarperCollins.

You can win a copy here just by commenting. (Tell us about your pet if you have one!)

A random winner will be selected next month.

Good luck!

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Coming soon:


TIME FLIES
"7 ATE 9/PRIVATE I" BOOK #3
illus by Ross MacDonald
Little, Brown
April 26, 2022

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