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November Guest Guru: Jackie Kruzie, Blue Whale Press

What do you LOVE about children’s books?

I love how children’s books can take a complex issue and present it in a safe and comforting manner allowing children to feel validated and secure in their world.

What brought you to children’s books?

I have always been a book lover but my love of children’s books, picture books in particular, took hold when I became a parent. My favorite pastime is sitting with a child in my lap reading a book. I turned that love into a career as a children’s librarian where I got to read out loud every week during story time. I love to see kids excited about books! I eventually found my way to the publishing world as an author and now editor of Blue Whale Press.

What do you look for in a project to add a client to your list?

I love books with great read-aloud-ability. Not all picture books can hold the attention of a large group of preschoolers or elementary age kids while being read out loud. Books that grab the attention of a large audience have great pacing and use captivating language. I love to see manuscripts that have mastered these concepts.

What drew you to your latest acquisition?

The author’s ability to educate and entertain seamlessly. I am very excited about an upcoming project that weaves fact into story with such precision that it feels effortless and natural to the storyline.

What is a common issue with the submissions you receive?

I focus on STEM and often that is interpreted as strictly educational and this misinterpretation causes authors to put information before story. Picture books should tell a story first with information lightly sprinkled in. Children should want to come back and read the story over and over again therefore it must entertain before it informs.

Please share a revision Tip for our Members.

Use the read aloud function in a document program or app to hear the manuscript read out loud. The computer will find mistakes the human eye often misses and inconsistencies in rhyme.

Name a subject you would like to see in your in-box.

I would like to see a manuscript about maps or GPS that either introduces basic concepts or dives deeper into the history of map creators and why this job is/was so important.

Name something to avoid sending to your in-box.

At this time I am not looking for books about the ocean or ocean creatures.

Share a fun fact about YOU!

I live on a farm surrounded by furry animals! We have cows, horses, goats, sheep, chickens and ducks. I’ve been on cattle drives, sheared sheep, and cut hayfields with a tractor. My favorite animals on the farm are my chickens. I gather fresh eggs daily and use them to make homemade treats for my family and my animals.

Note: Clear Fork Publishing is currently closed to submissions, however, Jackie is happy to review four (4) Rate Your Story manuscripts during the Month of November for Blue Whale Press and will note on her feedback if there is any interest.

Likewise Editor Lynne Marie is also closed to submissions under the Clear Fork Publishing umbrella, but she is also happy to review four (4) Rate Your Story manuscripts during the Month of November for Dancing Flamingo Press, as well, and will note on her feedback if there is any interest.

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