When I discovered yarn bombing a few years ago, the idea grabbed me so much that it inspired a children’s book. Fast forward to today … and YAZZY’S AMAZING YARN has hit the shelves! Yarn bombing is a craze that you may (or may not!) have heard of in which knitters and crocheters decorate everyday outdoor objects with their soft and fuzzy creations. For example, you might see a telephone pole wrapped in yarn or a statue wearing a playful, knitted cap. I guess outsider art—which is art produced by self-taught artists who are not part of the mainstream artistic establishment—is something that draws me in. Isn’t it cool? I must think so, because this is my second children’s book that focuses on this kind of outside-the-box artistic endeavor.
My first outsider-art-type book, ARTHUR ZARR’S AMAZING ART CAR, won First Place for Children’s Picture Books-All Ages in 2017, from the Texas Association of Authors. It also was a winner in the 10th Annual National Indie Excellence Award competition for Picture Books-Ages 4 to 8; and it was a finalist for Book Cover Design, also from the NIEA that same year. It’s about a man who builds an art car and makes friends along the way. I was inspired by the art cars I see around Houston and at my city’s annual Art Car Parade (hosted by The Orange Show). The book, which is illustrated by Bill Megenhardt, sold so well that I’m now in my second printing of sweet Arthur’s whimsical story.
But let’s get back to YAZZY’S AMAZING YARN. The story is about a creative girl who loves yarn and loves to knit. Her mother taught her the craft, and then Yazzy goes on to teach her two best friends—Kayla and Isabel. Yazzy’s neighborhood park is dull and rusty, but she has a grand plan. The three friends transform Penny Park into a fuzzy rainbow of warmth and color. Visitors to the vibrant playground love it more than ever! The story ends by asking: What yarn-tastic idea will Yazzy think of next? My illustrator, Emily Calimlim, brought it all to life with her beautiful watercolor images, and I couldn’t be happier with the results.
So much has happened since the book released this month in August 2019. First of all, the reviews! I’m getting the most wonderful feedback from readers, and I appreciate every single mention. One really cute reviewer wrote: “This book has definitely inspired my crafty daughter to create some yarn bombing of her own. It would make a great birthday present to accompany a knitting kit.” And I need more reviews! So, if you don’t mind posting one on Amazon, I would really appreciate it. It’s easy, and I can explain how: Log into your personal Amazon account, search for my book, click on it, scroll down until you see “Write a Customer Review” in a box, choose a certain number of stars, and then write something. Voila! It’s fairly simple and helps me so much. Even a short review is beneficial, because it’s all based on the number of reviews, not on the length of each one.
- I’m currently part of a virtual book blogging tour with Lone Star Literary Life! So you might be seeing posts about my book, including a drawing for a free autographed book. I’m giving three away! Google the LSLL website to find out more.
- I’ll be signing books from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, Saturday, September 14, at the Texas Word Wrangler Book Festival, 276 N Orange Street, Giddings, Texas. Open to the public so drop by if you’re in the area.
- I’ll be signing books from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, Saturday, October 12, at the Galveston Book Festival, 5600 Seawall Blvd. Open to the public so please stop by if it’s a beach day for you and your family.
- I’ll be signing books from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm, Saturday, October 19, at Tomfoolery Toys and Books, 4844 Beechnut Street in Houston (in the Meyer Park Shopping Center across from Meyerland Plaza). Please come out to this fun event that is open to the public!
- I’ll be doing quite a few school author visits, which even includes a bit of travel outside of Houston.
I hope you will take a minute to check out YAZZY’S AMAZING YARN. It’s been so much fun to write, create, and now … to launch! Follow me on Instagram (@catheynickell) and Facebook. Thank you for all your support and remember to …
BE AMAZING! xoxo