Friday, August 13, 2010

THE DRAGON AND THE TURTLE - Donita K Paul & Evangeline Denmark - Free Book

When Donita told me about this book and her daughter had written, I knew I wanted to feature it on my blog. Then my copy of the book came. I read it, and it's wonderful. I can hardly wait until I see my great grandson again. He'll love it, too.

The Dragon and the Turtle is written by mother-daughter team Donita K. Paul and Evangeline Denmark. How did you collaborate to write this book? Can you tell us a little about the process?

The basic story concept came from a bedtime story I, Evangeline, told my then three-year-old son. I shared it with Mom, Donita, and she wrote the first draft, adding the character of Padraig the dragon. It then bounced back and forth between our laptops. We’d each read it, make changes and suggestions then send it back. Later on in the process, we’d sit in the same room with our laptops and read it aloud to each other, making changes as we went. When I look at the story now, I honestly can’t say which words are mine and which are Mom’s. It has melded into our story.

Donita, you’ve written the bestselling fantasy series The Dragonkeeper Chronicles and the follow-up series Chiril Dragon Chronicles. Tell us what made you decide to branch out into children’s books.

I’ve always loved picture books. You should see my collection: two seven foot bookcases! And I’ve always dreamed of writing picture books. I took every “kiddy lit” course I could find in college. I took the Institute of Children’s Literature course through the mail. I’ve read thousands of books to thousands of children. (Really. No exaggeration.) And I’ve finally done it, thanks to my daughter and editor.

Evangeline, your bio states that you grew up living and breathing good stories. What does that statement mean?

I can’t remember a time when books weren’t part of my life. Like many families we made weekly trips to the library, returning home with a tower of books. And like many parents, Mom read to us every night. But in addition to the picture books my brother and I devoured, Mom also read longer chapter books to us in the evening. I remember listening to classics like The Wizard of Oz, Little Britches, The Chronicles of Narnia, and even The Lord of the Rings when I was around six or seven. That nightly routine of listening to high quality fiction really stretched my attention span and my imagination.

Mom also made up stories for us and incorporated the fictional characters into our day. She had a series of stories about three naughty monkeys who were always making trouble for Evangeline and Case, my brother. More than once those monkeys were blamed for something Case or I had done.

Donita adds, “They spent a lot of time in time-out.”

Aside from the well-known educational benefits of reading to your children, what are some advantages of having story time before bed?

It’s definitely family bonding time. I, Evangeline, like reading to my kids before bed because, no matter what kind of day we’ve had together, we can end it on a positive note. That’s good for a child’s emotional development and good for a mommy’s heart as well.

I so agree. I bought books for each of my grandchildren and took them to the hospital the day they were born. We started reading to them that day. The Dragon and the Turtle focuses on friendship. What are some ways that Roger and Padraig demonstrate good friendship skills?

Padraig puts aside his search for a snack to help Roger who is lost. Roger invites Padraig into his pirate game. Both boys share their interests and hobbies with each other, and both boys are open to the differences between them.

How can parents help their children put these skills into practice?

We’ve included a parent page in the back of the book with suggestions for applying the lessons learned in The Dragon and the Turtle. Talking about concrete ways to be a good friend and then putting those plans into action can be fun and rewarding for little ones.

Will Roger and Padraig have any more adventures?

Yes! The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari comes out January of 2011 from Waterbrook Press.

Terrific. Can you give us a sneak peek into that adventure?

You might be able to guess from the title, but there are lots of animals involved, and Roger and Padraig will have to rely on their friendship as they learn a lesson about courage.

Where can readers find you online?

We’re very excited about our new Dragon and Turtle website.

It’s full of fun games, puzzles, crafts, and recipes and is meant to be interactive. Visitors can send their own contributions to our webmaster, and, just like all proud parents, we’ll display their artwork on our online “fridge.”

For more on Donita’s books and doings, check her website.

Evangeline writes a humorous blog for women who don’t have time to breathe in and breathe out. You can find it at

Thank you, Donita and Evangeline, for this wonderful look into the world of Roger and Padraig.

Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment. Here’s a link.


Robyn said...

This book looks spectacular. I love the Dragon Keeper series so I'm sure this collaboration will be fantastic.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Patsy said...

Book looks great!I know my grandson would love it. Thanks for giving away a copy.

apple blossom said...

Love children's lit. please include me thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

grannyvon said...

The cover is what attracts in childrens books and this one is great. I love the fact that the book teaches also. Teaching in a fun way in childrens books is really a great mission. I would love to win this book for my great granddaughters. Thanks for the chance. ybutler@oppcatv,com

A J Hawke said...

THE DRAGON AND THE TURTLE sounds like a perfect read-out-loud book for a little one.

Please put my name in the draw.

A J Hawke
ajhawkeauthor at aol dot com

Bakersdozen said...

I would love to read this to my kids. vidomich(at)yahoo(dot)com

Evangeline Denmark said...

Thanks, Lena, for having us on your blog. We're so excited about the book. We're glad to connect with your blog readers as well. Hello, everyone and thanks for checking out The Dragon and the Turtle.

mariska said...

Hey, I love this book ! When i see the cover. i imagine, i read it to my Son. Count me in please !

uniquas at ymail dot com

Linda Kish said...

This would be great to give to my DIL's niece.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Michelle said...

Looks like a wonderful book! My son would love it!

Thank you for entering me!

scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Donita K. Paul said...

We have our first official booksigning tomorrow at Mardel's Christian bookstore here in Colorado Springs. We made a dragon who has goodies in his tummy for those brave little knights and princesses who will reach through his mouth to get a trinket or piece of candy. Evangeline is going to read the book midway through the signing time. You can tell I'm excited. thanks for having us on your blog, Lena. Be sure to visit the website. There are coloring pages, games, recipes, and a parents page promoting literacy. Neat little things a parent likes to know are helping her child get ready to read.

Julia M. Reffner said...

My kids are 2 and 5 and love fantasy stories. I like the lesson behind this one, too.


Simply Stacie said...

Please count me in.

Jennifer @ Quiverfull Family said...

My little ones love picture book time :). Please enter me!

jennifer at quiverfullfamily dot com

Maureen said...

This books is 3 and 5 year olds would love it!

kristen said...

What an adorable book. The cover is so cute. Can't wait.
Please enter me:)

Cherie J said...

Enjoyed the interview! This sounds like something my 7 year old son and 3 year old daughter would enjoy. Please enter me. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I am very eager to get this book for my grandchildren. Please enter me in the drawing. You are very kind to give away a copy.
Kaye Whitney

rbooth43 said...

I would love to read The Dragon and TheTurtle to my five year old grandson. The weekends that I keep him, he loves for me to read to him before bedtime. Our special time together means so much to both of us. I am a typical grandmother. LOL

Brenda said...

The book sounds special. I would love to be able to share it with my nephew!

dancealert at aol dot com

rubynreba said...

I would love to be entered. Thanks!

raspberrygirl said...

I would like to be entered for this Children's book. thanks!

Katie G. said...

Looks great! I am a big fan of Donita K. Paul and I think my little brother would love this book!

God bless!

~Katie G.

katiegalyean (at) yahoo (dot) com

Bluerose said...

The cover is so cute!!!! If we lived in Colorado, I would difinitely take my little boy to the story time! :)

Bluerose said...

Sorry for the typo above!! I hate it when I spell words wrong! :P

Judylynn said...

I would love to win this book! Thanks.


wmmahaney said...

This looks like a book that my youngest would love.

Molly(Buukluvr81) said...

Would absolutely love to win this book!

Thank you!