I would like to extend an appreciation to Dani and Steve Alcorn for allowing me to share a free copy of my second book, Breathe, Mustard, Breathe! with the excellent Writing Academy community, as well as a few key lessons I learned in writing and illustrating my second book.
Breathe, Mustard, Breathe! simply teaches our kids -in a fun and entertaining way- to stop and take a deep breath whenever life is stressful. As a father, I’m sympathetic to the endless stream of stresses placed on our children. With this idea, Mustard’s second adventure was born in Breathe, Mustard, Breathe!
Here’s the Book Description for Breathe, Mustard, Breathe!
Poor Mustard is stressed out! There’s no way he’s going to muster the courage to play at the school talent show. Everywhere Mustard turns, he finds himself in, yet, another stressful situation. Although his friends Mayo, Hot Sauce and Ketchup try to help, nothing seems to help Mustard!
Kids of all ages will love Breathe, Mustard, Breathe!, a charming story written and illustrated by author Jeremy Ross. Hilarious and a fun-read aloud, kids will finally learn how to stand up to their fears by simply using the power of breathing. Perfect for readers of all ages, Breathe, Mustard, Breathe! proves that sometimes the solution is right under our nose.
3 Big Lessons in Writing & Illustrating Book No. 2
1. It took me twice as long to write and illustrate Breathe, Mustard, Breathe! than Nobody Loves Mustard.
Like most Authors and Illustrators, my goal was to make my second book even better than the first. I was ready to take my illustrations to the next level, and that is exactly what I did. I want my readers to be blown away with the illustrations.
The story is slightly longer than my first due to the introduction of two new characters. It’s important that my readers understand that Mustard’s friends want to help; however, just like in real life, we sometimes don’t want to listen to those we care about most.
2. Show, Don’t Tell!
In Breathe, Mustard, Breathe!, the pace moves much faster than in Nobody Loves Mustard. I realized the importance of the “Show, Don’t Tell” mantra for illustrators and writers. Admittedly, I re-wrote the entire story at least 50 times before it was polished for publication. This daunting task, although part of the process, was the hardest for me. You see, I love words, but sometimes it’s lack thereof that makes a story beautiful and memorable. In contrast, Nobody Loves Mustard only went through roughly half a dozen revisions. Hopefully, when you read along to your children, you will enjoy the pace of the Breathe, Mustard, Breathe! You can let me know in your review (wink).
With so many ideas for Mustard’s next adventure, I finally decided to build a storyboard to put it all together. In fact, simply sketching the book in its entirety, as fast as possible and while the ideas were hot, really helped me see the book come to life!
I don’t want to spoil the story, but I would like to share a sneak peak of my original first sketches of the Breathe, Mustard, Breathe! storyboard.
Although I found my second book more challenging to illustrate and write, the process was just as enjoyable as my first book. I really hope you love Breathe, Mustard, Breathe!, but more importantly, I hope the kids in your life learn a valuable lesson in harnessing the power of the breath for calming their stress.
If you liked my book, please take a few minutes to leave a short review. I know you’re busy, but word of mouth and reviews are instrumental in reaching more kids.
Thank you so much!
You can follow Jeremy on his author page to get updates from Amazon on new releases: www.amazon.com/author/jeremyross
Also, this week, Jeremy is offering both Breathe, Mustard, Breathe! and Nobody Loves Mustard for free on Amazon! Just click the links below to get your copy now!
Author/Illustrator of Nobody Loves Mustard
Jeremy Ross is the author and illustrator of the hilarious read-aloud children’s picture book, Nobody Loves Mustard, a delightful tale that combines humor with a powerful message of love and belonging.
As a child, Jeremy Ross loved to draw and create stories – but it wasn’t until Jeremy had a child of his own that his passion for drawing and creating stories was reignited. As a first-time children’s book author, Jeremy strives to continue creating children’s books for young readers for years to come!