Monday, September 27, 2021

Interview with Karen Jameson, and a GIVEAWAY!

My good friend, the multi-published lullaby—and non-fiction—picture book expert Karen Jameson has a new book coming out this month, and it’s a real beauty! I’m proud to present this interview with her as she prepares for the release of FARM LULLABY this month.

Karen, huge congratulations on your wonderful new picture book, FARM LULLABY, illustrated by the talented Wednesday Kirwan. Can you tell us a little bit about the book?

Thanks, Lynn! FARM LULLABY is a lyrical bedtime book just right for little ones. Listen in as the horse sings a neigh-a-bye, the sheep sings a baa-a-bye and the rest of the animals follow suit. Here’s what the jacket copy says:

"From the largest horse to the smallest mouse, every animal on the farm has a sweet, sleepy bedtime ritual. Curl up like a soft lamb, snuggle like a warm chick, and settle in like a cozy calf, letting this soothing farm lullaby lull even restless little dreamers into a deep and peaceful sleep."

FARM LULLABY is the second of three bedtime “lullaby” books you’re doing with Chronicle. Can you talk a little about how you met your editor, and knew she was the right fit for your work?

I met my editor, Naomi Kirsten of Chronicle Books, at the 2017 SCBWI Golden Gate Conference at Asilomar. Such a lovely wooded setting along the beach in Pacific Grove, California! I knew it was the perfect place to share WOODLAND DREAMS, my bedtime book featuring adorable woodland creatures. After hearing the story during an editor’s panel, Naomi’s excitement bubbled over. She loved the lyrical style and had a beautiful vision for the book. Such serendipity! It was acquired shortly afterward!

Did she agree to publish all three books at once, or was her acquisition of your work more gradual?

The process was more gradual. My agent, Kathleen Rushall, suggested waiting until WOODLAND DREAMS was underway before sharing my other two bedtime books. This proved wise, as FARM LULLABY was acquired the next year, in 2018, followed by WHERE THE WEE ONES GO, in 2019.

You also write non-fiction, and have a number of non-fiction picture books in the pipeline with other publishers. Can you tell us how the process of writing non-fiction is different from writing your bedtime books?

For both kinds of books, my prewriting process is much the same – brainstorming and more brainstorming! While I’m generating ideas, I consider potential hooks and play around with different angles or structures. Though I do a good amount of research for my nature themed bedtime stories, my non-fiction research is more rigorous and includes looking at how my subject fits into the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) curriculum for my intended age group. Adding in layers with informational sidebars and back matter is another piece of the non-fiction puzzle. Look for TIME TO SHINE: Celebrating the World’s Iridescent Animals (Groundwood Books) on April 5, 2022 and DOUBLE TAKES (Running Press Kids, Winter 2023).

I also want to mention that you have a fourth book coming out with Chronicle in Spring 2024, a companion to WOODLAND DREAMS, illustrated by Marc Boutavant.

Yes, I’m super excited about this one! Marc Boutavant is such a treasure and I’m thrilled at the opportunity to create a new picture book together. WAKE UP, WOODLANDS brings us back to the forest for a springtime celebration of animals waking to a glorious new season. I can’t wait!

I am so impressed with how beautifully and uniquely each of these books is illustrated, and how well they stand out on the shelves of bookstores and libraries everywhere! Congratulations on finding the right fit for your vision at Chronicle!

Thank you, Lynn! Naomi Kirsten did an amazing job of matching the perfect artist to each lyrical text. Wednesday Kirwan brings a beautiful vintage style to FARM LULLABY! The jewel toned colors in the art are so evocative of the farm setting. Marc’s painterly art in WOODLAND DREAMS is simply gorgeous. Next up, be sure to look for Zosienka’s dreamy style in WHERE THE WEE ONES GO (April 26, 2022).

Karen Jameson is the author of the lyrical picture books MOON BABIES, WOODLAND DREAMS and FARM LULLABY. More stories are in the works, including TIME TO SHINE (Groundwood 2022) and WHERE THE WEE ONES GO (Chronicle 2022). A retired teacher and active member of SCBWI, she holds a master’s degree in education. Lover of books, wildflowers, farmers’ markets and everything chocolate, Karen writes from sunny Southern California.

Wednesday Kirwan is an award- winning artist who has been illustrating and writing books for children for more than a decade. She lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains, in California, with her husband and daughter.

Karen has generously offered to give away a copy of FARM LULLABY to one person who leaves a comment below or on Twitter! Deadline is October 5.

And please join Karen and fellow author Dianne White in a virtual book launch through The Writing Barn in November. Details can be found here.

To order a copy:
Barnes and Noble
Indie Bound


  1. Karen is so talented and I can't wait to dive into her latest books - both at bedtime with my kiddos, and at my desk for research. Thank you for the interesting post :)

  2. This book looks lovely. I can't wait to check it out.

  3. Congratulations,Karen! The cover is adorable. The series is a clever idea. Kudos to you, Chronicle and the illustrators for creating such a beautiful series.

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Terry! I love the cover, too!