Happy 2018!

Here is the cover for THE TURTLE SHIP! Courtesy of illustrator Colleen Kong-Savage and publisher Lee & Low

Happy 2018! I don’t know about you, but I’m super excited about this year!

Politics and other heavy concerns aside, there are some good things in store. For one, my debut picture book, THE TURTLE SHIP, will be released this year! Check out the gorgeous cover above, which is provided courtesy of brilliant artist Colleen Kong-Savage and our wonderful publisher Lee & Low. Visit Colleen’s website for more sample illustrations from the book.

Our editor, Jessica Echeverria, has been fantastic — so smart, dedicated and passionate. A great team has been working on this book. My dad even got involved and called a museum in Korea to secure rights to a photo of the real turtle ship, which we are including in the book 🙂

The book is currently in the final phase for the illustrations as well as the text, so it’ll still be a few more months before it hits the market. Each step of the process has been so fun and illuminating. I’m grateful for the hands-on course on all the ins and outs of getting a book to publication. I’ve loved every moment of it.

We’re hoping to have a book launch party in L.A. and/or NYC, so stay tuned for more details!

And I am SO happy to report that our little chubster, Sherwin, is (finally!) potty trained. He sits by the door and rings a set of bells hanging from the doorknob whenever he needs to go out. The funny thing is, sometimes the rascal rings the bell when all he wants to do is kick it in the sun or spy on our neighbors. He’s basically turned us into his personal butlers. When he rings, we come running!

Sherwin learns that he is Batman…

I must admit something: I underestimated this pup. His clownish personality misled me into believing that he would never learn commands. But he is SO smart. He picks up on things very quickly, even when we think he’s not paying any attention at all. When we say “time to eat,” he races to the kitchen. “Drink water” means he walks over to his water bowl and starts guzzling. And he’s learning to distinguish among his toys. It’s pretty cool to watch him think about the words we’ve spoken before grabbing the correct object, whether it’s his duck, squirrel or ball. This clown is actually a genius.

Sherwin loves to play fetch with his squeaky squirrel. While I repeat the word “squirrel,” he’s actually concentrating very deeply, absorbing the word and committing it to memory. You wouldn’t think so when you witness the chubster joyfully bounding after the squirrel.