Sunday, July 13, 2014


     Do you know a kid who doesn't like music?
     Me neither.
     That's one reason I'm excited to be part of a blog hop tour for Jennifer Jackson's debut picture book blog tour for: THE PUNKYDOOS TAKE THE STAGE. The book comes with a CD of Punkydoo music!

     Although her debut picture book was just released on July 1, 2014, author Jennifer Jackson isn't a total newbie to the world of publishing. Jennifer Jackson's ( love of writing started in theater, where she has written and directed original ensemble-based physical theater pieces.She also choreographed many projects including American Dreamz and The Beckoning of Lovely.
   Today, Jennifer is graciously answering a few questions about her new book and her writing process.

1. The title, THE PUNKYDOOS TAKE THE STAGE, is so much fun? Which came first, the story or the title?
     The name of the band, The Punkydoos, came before anything else! "Punkydoo" is a nickname my family has used for years. One day I thought The Punkydoos would be a great name for a band that played music for kids. Then I realized it would be even more fun if the musicians were kids themselves. I began to wonder what that would look like in a picture book. The title for the book came once I knew that the story would be about Lexi-Lou finding a place for her (very big!) voice by starting a rock band and putting on a concert.

2. Your author dedication refers to the "real" Punkydoos. Where did you get the inspiration for your story?
 I mentioned that "Punkydoo" is a nickname. First, we all used it for my younger sister. Now it's what we call her little girls. They were the inspiration for the book, particularly for Lexi-Lou's bold spirit and the band's fearless attitude. My nieces are forever optimistic and they never back away from a challenge

3. Who do you picture as the perfect reader for your book?

     Kids who like to dream big!

4. I can picture the Punkydoos as characters in preschool Scooby-Doo-type adventures. Are there more Punkydoo books in the works?

     Yes! The Punkydoos are always up for new adventures. Stay tuned . . . (And by the way, Monkey's favorite cartoon is Scooby-Doo!)

5. Do you dummy the words in your manuscript?

     Once I feel a story is complete, I mock up the entire book with the actual pagination. My stick figures are pitiful, but I find that getting a sense of how the book reads with page turns really helps the revision process.

6. What have you learned from your experience creating your first picture book that you will incorporate into your next manuscripts?

    Some things I know I'll keep working on--conflicts that make kids want to turn the page, upping the stakes, and adding moments of real discovery and connection for the characters.

7. Do you have a critique group or use other revision strategies to polish that first draft?

     I actually love revising. I'm not afraid to take a story apart and put it back together in new ways. Once I feel that I've done all I can to write the best possible story (and this usually takes several drafts!) I'll show it to a few readers I trust to give useful feedback. I don't just want people to tell me it's good! I want to know what needs work. I also like going to conferences and workshops where you can dig in with a critique group run by a strong facilitator.

8. Writing requires a lot of perseverance--and fuel. Do you have a favorite writing snack to maintain your focus and keep the creative juices flowing? (everything chocolate is good in my book!)

     Oh, I agree, chocolate all the way! Mocha lattes. Double chocolate muffins. And for some reason, I love to eat chocolate covered banana chips when I write. You could say they're my Scooby snack!

And now . . . ta-da! Here's the cover of THE PUNKYDOOS TAKE THE STAGE!

I know Jennifer would love to hear your comments and congratulations below! 
If you want to learn more about Jennifer and The Punkydoos, the schedule for the rest of her blog tour and book buying information is listed below. If you want a copy for yourself (and who wouldn't!) visit one of the blog links below. Good luck!

The Punkydoos Take the Stage Blog Tour Schedule:
Friday, July 11th
·         Mundie Kids: Review and Giveaway

Saturday, July 12th
·         Lille Punkin’ Reviews: Guest Post and Giveaway

Sunday, July 13th
·         Book Rock Betty: Review and Giveaway

Monday, July 14th
·         Noodling with Words: Interview

Tuesday, July 15th
·         Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers: Review, Punkydoos Playlist, and Giveaway

Wednesday, July 16th
·         As They Grow Up: Giveaway

By Jennifer Jackson, illustrated by Dan Andreasen
Disney Publishing Worldwide
ISBN: 978-1-4231-4339-0; ages 3-5 Yrs; $17.99


  1. Sounds like a fun book for my grandkids! Thanks for sharing Wendy and Jennifer. Congratulations, too!

    1. Ooh yes! Read it and then sing along to the CD (it's easy to learn the lyrics, they're in the back of the book!) :))

    2. Thank you! And be sure you wear your dancing shoes when you listen to the CD!

    3. I think I did barefoot dancing to it! I'm such a rebel. :) Thank you for stopping by!

  2. Replies
    1. I don't know how Jennifer pitched the initial idea, but for me it's Scooby-Doo meets The Partridge Family for the pre-school set. FUN!

  3. Great interview Wendy! I know this is a fun read. Am I understanding this will be a series? If so, GREAT! Would love to read this to my group of early learners at my school. Oh and how they love to sing and dance!

    1. I just guessed at the series appeal when I sent the questions, Pam, but it looks like I'm right! Your little wigglers would love this.

  4. Congrats Jennifer, looks like a fun book!