Tag Archives: Too Many Visitors for One Little House

TOO MANY VISITORS FOR ONE LITTLE HOUSE by Susan Chodakiewitz

Too Many Visitors 2Author: Susan Chodakiewitz
Title: Too Many Visitors for One Little House
Publisher: Booksicals
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Language: English
ISBN: 1419654705

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The crabby neighbors of El Camino can’t bear all the music, fun and laughter at the house of the new family on the block as aunts, uncles, cousins and grannies arrive for a big noisy reunion. Too Many Visitors for One Little House is a joyful story about the importance of being included.

Review:

This book took me back to my old children’s picture book days and how I miss writing them!  As a children’s book author (many moons ago), I can relate to Susan in many ways.  She has a message and uses the whimsicalness of a children’s book to do it.  So enjoyable!

Ever had snotty neighbors?  Or better yet, have you been that snotty neighbor where everything the other neighbors are doing that changes the way you have been living up to that point is driving you up the wall?  Susan Chodakiewitz’s Too Many Visitors for One Little House could have been written about me!  Susan’s message rings loud and clear: if you can’t beat’em, join’em!

The illustrations by Veronica Walsh were beautifully displayed with whimsey and charm which makes reading to your toddler even more enjoyable.

You’ll fully enjoy this cute little picture book.  Highly recommended!

4.5 stars

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Interview with Children’s Picture Book Author Susan Chodakiewitz

Susan ChodakiewitzAuthor and Booksicals founder Susan Chodakiewitz believes that children learn best when you engage their imagination: “I believe you can develop a child’s love for reading by expanding the world of a book beyond its pages. Bring the characters to life and bring reading to life. ” And this is precisely what inspired her to create Booksicals.  Susan Chodakiewitz is a writer, composer and producer. She lives in Los Angeles in a lively household filled with music, three sons, a husband, a Dalmatian and lots of visitors. Too Many Visitors for One Little House is her debut children’s book.

Read Susan’s  blog at www.booksicals.com,.  Follow her on Twitter at susanchodak,.  Find her on facebook at Susan Tresser Chodakiewitz.

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Too Many Visitors for One Little HouseQ: Thank you for this interview, Susan. Can you tell us what your latest book, Too Many Visitors for One Little House is all about?

A: Too Many Visitors is a story about wanting to be included.

The crabby neighbors of El Camino Street can’t stand all the fun, music and laughter coming from the house of the new family on the block as grannies, aunts, cousins and nannies arrive for a big family reunion.

The story is based on the summer we moved into our new house and all these visitors came to stay!

Q: Is this your first picture book?  If not, how has writing this book different from writing your first?

A: This is my first published picture book. Actually the second one I wrote.  The first one called Mr. Blueberry and the Fish from Down the Street is a picture book in rhyme.  Since I am a song writer and I write musical theater, it felt natural for me to approach picture books with rhyme.  All the publishers I sent the book to advised me to keep away from rhyme.  Personally I love rhymed books and love to read them to kids.  Lucky for me this story did not appear in my head in rhyme—otherwise I probably would have written it that way as well.  However I did have a rhythm in mind while writing it.  I am very aware of rhythm while writing and work hard to achieve a rhythmic flow of the words.

Q: How difficult was it writing your book?  Did you ever experience writer’s block and, if so, what did you do?

A: Writing is always hard.  If it were easy, EVERYONE would do it well.  I blurted out the story in one sitting.  While the format for the story remained the same, the tone changed, the point of view changed and the focus of the story changed.

I get writer’s block when I know there is a problem but I don’t know exactly what the problem is. I usually get very frustrated and feel like dropping the project.  I’ve learned to recognize this phase and I’ve stopped getting upset when I feel that.

Once I identify the problem in the writing the writer’s block disappears and I can usually (hopefully) find a solution. I may try various ideas but at least I have a new direction. Then the writing becomes exciting again.

Q: How have your fans embraced your picture book?  Do you have any funny or unusual experiences to share?

A: I’ve been so pleased with the kids and parents reactions at each author reading or a musical performance of Too Many Visitors for One Little House.  The kids seem to really love the family and especially the dog.  I’m also surprised to see that the kids as young as 2 years old totally relate and enjoy the book.  I thought it would be for an older group.

At one reading in Arizona, I brought in the actual grandparents from the story.  The kids were thrilled to meet the real people behind the fictional characters and showered them with hugs and questions.  (It was great for the kids and great for the grandparents)

At the Booksicals musical performance of Too Many Visitors at the Robertson Library the kids were thrilled to meet and greet the actors and were so excited to have one of the characters actually sign their book!

In fact it was the kids themselves that helped me decide to write a sequel to Too Many Visitors and feature the dog as the main character. It took me by surprise when they kids asked me if I would write another book about the family.  I asked them to tell me which character they would want me to write the next book about.  Unanimously they all shouted – the dog!  That’s how the Dog Naming Contest was born and how I decided to write a sequel.

Q: What is your daily writing routine?

A:  If I am in the middle of a story I try to write early in the morning unless life gets in the way and I’m forced to sneak to the computer at night (during family time).

I write everyday, whether it’s working on a story, writing a blog, or writing marketing materials.  If I don’t get to any of this I am not so nice to be around.   Everyone in the family usually knows if I’ve accomplished what I needed to write that day.

Q: When you put the pen or mouse down, what do you do to relax?

A: Love having big family dinners. My kids and husband are all musical so we like to sit and jam at the piano, have drum circles, sing.  I really enjoy going to the beach with hubby or the kids and riding a bike.

Q: What book changed your life?

A: Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky, Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Night by Elie Wiesel,  The Chosen by Chaim Potok.  To name a few.

Q: If someone were to write a book on your life, what would the title be?

A: The title would be: The world is for those who dare.  That’s always been my motto and it drives me to follow my dreams.

Q: Finish this sentence: “The one thing that I wish people would understand about me is…”

A: that I never give up and don’t take no for an answer.

Thank you for this interview Susan.  I wish you much success on your latest release, Too Many Visitors for One Little House!

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Books! Books! Books!

Well it’s that time of year again – summer is in full swing!  It’s buzzing here on the island – boats, jet skis, people riding bikes, you name it, are all whizzing by my front door.  It’s crazy, I’m telling you, and in a couple of weeks, I’ll be vacationing in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina…just can’t get away from the ocean, lol.

But I love it.  We had a disastrous trip to the Smokies last month what with the rental breaking down and the cabin being haunted – creepy stuff, so hopefully this one will be filled with nothing to do but relaxing stuff.

I do want to mention I’ve gotten in lots of wonderful books lately, so because I’ve had my nose in tours for weeks on end, I thought I’d take the time now to let you know what goodies arrived at my doorstep.

Oh where do I begin…not necessarily in the order of preference they are:

Too Many Visitors 2Too Many Visitors for One Little House by Susan Chodakiewitz.  I will be giving it a review on the 31st, but it is sooooo cute.  Beautiful cover and inside, the illustrations are masterfully done.  It’s a beautiful little picture book.  Susan is in fact one of our clients on virtual book tour this month and what a joy she has been to work with.

Gracious Living on Social Security by Valerie Kent.  Cheryl Malandrinos is in charge of her tour but I asked if I could have a review copy so I could review it here.  Cute cover with an old lady and old man dancing and in the prime of their life so that gives me the impression this book is going to help me when I’m at that ripe old age which isn’t that far off!  I haven’t even attempted to read this yet and I think I better check to see when I have to review it for the tour, but it shouldn’t take too long.  It’s roughly 130 pages so I should be able to do that in a couple of sittings but I do have to mention the illustrations inside are really, really cute.

Coming for MoneyComing for Money by F.W. Vom Scheidt.  Another one of Pump Up’s clients and another book I’m really looking forward to reading.  The book is labeled a literary fiction and I can now see why…this guy knows how to write!  I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to review it before his tour ends in August, but the review will be forthcoming!

Summer HouseSummer House by Nancy Thayer.  Yep, another client.  Look, this woman I have admired for years ever since I bought her book The Hot Flash Club.  And omg, I have started reading this….no wonder she’s a NY Times Bestselling author!  I’m taking this book with me to South Carolina and hopefully while I’m sitting on the beach, I can finish it.

Writing as a Sacred PathWriting as a Sacred Path by Jill Jepson.  Another client…Jill will be touring in August and let me tell you this is a wonderful lady.  Her book is EXCELLENT.  I’ve only read a few pages just out of curiosity but I’m hoping to have her a nice review before the end of her tour.  Another book I’m taking with me to Myrtle Beach.

Angel LaneAngel Lane by Sheila Roberts.  Sheila is an old bud of mine and I was so excited she was coming back to Pump Up in October.  Love this woman!  But look, this book is so up my alley it’s not even funny.  The main character moves to a scenic lakeside community and they all decide to do one good deed a day, or at least that’s what I’m getting from it.  It is from this  good deed doing, she falls in love.  I haven’t even started into this book, but I think it’ll be another one I’ll take to the Carolinas.

Affordable Paradise by H. Skip Thomsen.  Even though he spells his name quite different from the way I do, he can’t be half bad with the same last name as me!  Skip emailed me a few months ago about a tour which we’re getting ready to set up, but he wanted to send me his book so I could see just what it was all about.  Okay, who wants to move to Hawaii?  Me!  Me!  I wish I had the guts to move all the way across country but it sure is tempting.  The thing is, we all think it’s expensive to live in Hawaii, right?  Well Skip says he has found ways to live in Hawaii and not have to spend your life savings doing it.  Really looking forward to reading this book!

Distant ThunderDistant Thunder by Jimmy Root, Jr.  Jimmy (doesn’t it feel weird calling a pastor by their first name?), but Jimmy is so down to earth and not only that, this book is excellent. I’ve only skimmed it so I’ll let you know more later when I review it but whew this guy can write.  Jimmy is touring with us in August and September so you’ll be hearing a lot about him over the course of his tour.

Night of FlamesNight of Flames by Douglas W. Jacobson.  Who doesn’t love books about WWII?  I was frothing at the mouth to get this one.  Douglas will be touring in September and October I believe, but omg, this looks like a great read.

American LionAmerican  Lion by Jon Meacham.  Talk. About. A. Huge. Book.  This book is almost 500 pages but I LOVE biographies and supposedly you’ll be hearing about all kinds of things Andrew Jackson did in the White House that you never knew about.  Jon, btw, is editor of Newsweek and get this…American Lion was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize.  So you know I have to read this one.  He’s also been touring with us this week, so check out some of this reviews, guest posts and reviews…excellent writer and what a fantastic historian.

The Spies of WarsawThe Spies of Warsaw by Alan Furst.  Another Pump Up client touring this month.  And another book that was based on history – WWII.  It’s gotten excellent reviews.  The L.A. Times says, “…one does not so much read them as fall under their spell,” when talking about Furst’s books.  I cannot wait to read this one either!

Homer's OdysseyHomer’s Odyssey by Gwen Cooper.  Another one of Cheryl Malandrinos clients at Pump Up and I just had to email her to see if I could review Gwen’s book.  What’s not to like about a cat story, you know?  But it’s no ordinary cat.  Homer is blind and supposedly he teaches a woman how to love, so there’s going to be a love story in there, too…sounds terrific!

Well that wraps it up.  Too many books, so little time, but my suitcase is going to be really heavy come the first of August!

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