Sunday, June 12, 2011

Guest Blogger - Kevin McNamee

Today we welcome Kevin McNamee, who will be talking about his children’s picture book, What Is That Thing?

Kevin McNamee is a writer and poet living in Yonkers, NY. He mostly writes for the children’s market. Kevin’s published work includes the picture books, If I Could Be Anything, The Sister Exchange, Lightning Strikes, The Soggy Town of Hilltop and What Is That Thing?

Kevin’s poetry has been published in the collection, An Eyeball in My Garden: And Other Spine-Tingling Poems. Other titles coming soon by Kevin include My Brother, the Frog, Papa’s Suns, Just for Today, and more.

Kevin, what is this book about?
Jenna has a vivid imagination. When a new baby comes into the house, she uses her imagination to try and figure out this new person in her life. Finally, she realizes that she doesn’t need to use her imagination. Things are fine just the way they are.

Why did you write this book?
A new baby is a big enough adjustment for adults and children alike. There may be children in the house who are struggling with the changing family dynamics. I wanted to find a child-friendly way to help with that adjustment and to help calm any fears that might arise from having a new brother or sister.

Do you think this book can help?
Yes, I do. To be unsure of the unknown is a common and normal reaction to big changes. I wanted to both validate a child’s sense of uncertainty and to show that change, especially when it comes to having a new brother or sister, isn’t a bad thing. I think this book accomplishes that in a way that children can understand.

What was the hardest thing about writing this picture book?
I had a hard time with this book during the editing process. This book has three separate imaginary episodes that are completely different from each other. Yet one scene flows directly into the other. I wanted to make sure that the reader would be able to follow the story from scene to scene. This is really where the other half of a picture book becomes so important, the artwork. K.C. Snider’s illustrations did an excellent job of bridging any gaps. The artwork blends the real and imaginary worlds together beautifully. The end result was a delightful picture book that educates, entertains, and hopefully solves a problem.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?I really wanted to write a book that is both useful and entertaining. I hope you and your child have fun reading this. If you find that this book has helped, please let me know. I love getting feedback like that.

What Is That Thing?
by Kevin McNamee.
Illustrations by K.C. Snider
Print ISBN: 978-1-61633-141-2; 1616331410
eBook ISBN: 978-1-61633-142-9; 1616331429

It’s an alien from outer space! … It’s a strange and smelly creature! … It’s a mysterious, roaring animal! … It’s my baby sister?!
Jenna uses her imagination to understand this new person in her life. When she finally sees things as they are, will Jenna like what she sees?

What Others Are Saying
“I recommend the book to any child who has younger siblings or is about to accept the arrival of a new sibling. They will be able to laugh and also accept the little being into their lives, and even be very happy and enriched by the new little baby sister or brother.” – Stories for Children Magazine

“McNamee has done a great job of capturing what the experience of having a new sibling can be like.

Illustrator K.C. Snider provided colorful pictures that show both Jenna's imaginary adventures and the real world in a cute way.” - Janet Ann Collins - On Words

“This cute and heartwarming story should be read to all children who already have or are about to have a new addition to their family.
Further value is added by the award-winning artist K.C. Snider, who elevates the story with her top-notch illustrations.” -

“In this delightful new story from talented poet and writer, Kevin McNamee, we see him doing what he does best–create a story that youngsters will love … What Is That Thing? would make a perfect gift for the little girl who is going to be a big sister soon.” - Children's and Teens' Book Connection

This book is available as a print book, a downloadable e-book, or a book on CD from Guardian Publishing.

Books are also available from,, or ask your local bookstore.

To find out more about Kevin, please visit his website or visit his blog

You can also find Kevin on Facebook.

Kevin is also on Linked-In and Twitter, but he doesn’t tweet too much.


Susanne Drazic said...

Sounds like a wonderful book. This will make a wonderful gift for all those children who are becoming the older brother or sister to a new sibling.

Mari said...

Awesome idea Kevin. I'll have to recommend it at my church. Tons of new babies there all the time!

Kevin McNamee said...

Thank you, Susanne. I think this would make a great gift for a soon-to-be sibling. It received a very good reception at a recent book reading I did.

Kevin McNamee said...

Thank you so much, Mari for recommending my book. Tons of parents/relatives buying my book for the tons of babies there, would be much appreciated. :-)

Karen Cioffi said...

Kevin, your children's book sound wonderful. I agree with Susanne, it's a wonderful gift for a child expecting a new brother or sister.

Best wishes for the success of your book.

Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing

Magdalena Ball said...

Interesting to hear the story behind the story Kevin. A new baby is tricky for a sibling and your book sounds like it fills an important niche.

Kevin McNamee said...

Thank you so much, Karen and Magdalena. :-)

Heidiwriter said...

You come up with great ideas for children's books, Kevin. Keep up the good work!

Carol Baldwin said...

Enjoyed the post. Sounds like a cute book.

Donna M. McDine said...


Congratulations on your latest book and the wonderful reviews. Best wishes for your continued success!

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