Linda Ashman is a favorite in our house.  My kids ask for her books by author rather than title.  She is one of the first picture book authors I got to know well here in Colorado, and how lucky I am for that!  Besides being a friend, she is also an award-winning author of more than two dozen children’s books, and a master of rhyme.  Linda’s books should be on your “must read” list if you ever plan to write in rhyme.

We’re here today celebrating three things.  First, the fact that Linda has had three (yes three) books released in the last three months.  Second, we are giving away signed copies of two of those books (details below).  Third, Linda will back tomorrow to breathe new life into the How I Got My Agent series for picture book writers with an added bonus – her agent Jennifer Mattson will be with her!!!  Now onto the goodies – the books!

Samantha on a Roll, Margaret Ferguson Books/FSG, October 2011:  Poor Samantha wants to try out her new skates, but Mama’s too busy to help her.  I’m pretty sure every child can relate to that scenario.  What’s a girl to do?  Sneak out and try them herself of course!  Hilarity ensues as the story takes on fantastical proportions that kept my kids on the edge of their seats.  My youngest literally let out a sigh when we reached the immensely satisfying ending.  I think he’d been holding his breath.  But you don’t have to take my word for it.  Kirkus gave it a starred review, saying, “Things get a bit dicey when plucky Samantha experiments with her new roller skates in one frightening, hilarious inaugural “roll” through town.”  And the School Library Journal said, “The rhyming text makes this delightful story tons of fun to read aloud.”  Too true.

The Twelve Days of Christmas in Colorado, Sterling, October 2011: I’ve seen books in the Twelve Days series but hadn’t picked one up until now.  What a joy!  Of course the format follows the song, replacing the traditional version with all things Colorado.  But the best part is the letters the little girl is writing home about her stay, which include many golden nuggets about Colorado’s history, landmarks, and vast recreational opportunities.  This book is perfect for my daughter (3rd grade) who is studying Colorado facts and history right now.  It’s way more fun to learn about the state bird (lark bunting), state tree (blue spruce), etc. reading this fun book than studying a list of facts on a sheet of paper that she got at school.  I’ve fallen in love with Colorado all over again – what’s not to love? – as a result of this beautiful book.

No Dogs Allowed! Sterling, August 2011:  I must admit that while I love all of Linda’s books, I’m partial to the ones with animals – especially dogs.  In this nearly wordless book, a cafe owner turns away a boy who wants to come in with his dog.  In order to prevent others from attempting the same, our cafe owner writes – NO DOGS ALLOWED! on his menu board.  Our poor owner, however, gets stumped as more and more customers arrive with more and more outrageous pets.  Eventually, the boy with the dog arrives at a solution which leads to a heartwarming ending.  My son has carried this book with him everywhere since we got it.  He loves that he can “read” the story all by himself because the story is told primarily in the illustrations.  As a writer, I am amazed by Linda’s ability to write a wordless book when she is not an illustrator.  She’s gotten so many questions about how to do that she’s kindly a near-final version of the manuscript on her website.

Linda is kindly giving away one personalized signed copy each of SAMANTHA ON A ROLL and NO DOGS ALLOWED.  You must be a follower of the blog to enter (new followers welcome!).  Here are the ways you can enter:

  • Leave a comment on this post.  Be sure to say which book you’d prefer if you win. – 1 point
  • Tweet this post (include link in your comment) – 1 point
  • Like this post on Facebook (include link) – 1 point
  • Blog about the contest (include link) – 2 points
  • Come back tomorrow and earn all these same points by commenting on Linda’s How I Got My Agent post.

I will be running the contest all week, and will announce the winners next Monday, October 10th.

Categories: Authors, Children's Books, Giveaway, How I Got My Agent, Picture Books, Publishing, Rhyming, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , ,



  1. Thanks for the up-close look at Linda Ashman. I would love to win any of these books, but Samantha on a Roll seems like the perfect choice to read to my grand daughters.

  2. Oh, Julie. I have no idea how to include a link to my Tweet. You have challenged me to learn something new today. I’m happy to have one entry by leaving this comment and a chance to win the Twelve Days of Christmas in Colorado. I need to learn about the lark bunting. (I’ve tweeted!/StacySJensen and shared on FB – again not sure about the specific link thingy …) I look forward to the agent post.

  3. These books look AMAZING! I seriously cannot decide which I’d rather have – which is probably against the rules 🙂 – but they both look so terrific that I would truly be happy with either. As a picture book writer who doesn’t illustrate, I’m heading right over to that link you mentioned to see the ms. I’m not sure where to find the post on FB – your page or hers? – but I’ll like it if I find it!

    • Susanna,

      I just meant you can share the post on your own FB page. But you can like it on mine too. Are we friends on Facebook yet? If not, let’s friend each other!

  4. Sounds like a fun trio of books. Hope the contest is a WIN-WIN for everyone.

  5. What a great bunch of books! I think I agree with you, the No Dogs Allowed book looks cool! What age range does Ms. Ashman write for?

    • She writes young picture books and older picture books. I’d say her main range is between 0-8, but my daughter is almost nine and still loves them – especially her longer and more complex ones. She has great range!

  6. What an awesome giveaway. I’d love the dog one. Off to tweet and FB.

  7. These books look fantastic! I know my kinder students would love them.

  8. Hmm. Not sure why my comment didn’t show up. My choice would be the Christmas book as I need an education about Colorado. I shared this via Twitter & FB. Thanks for the reviews.

  9. All of these books sound fantastic. I’m not sure which one to choose. I would love to get all of them for my kids 🙂

    We are thinking about getting a puppy so maybe No Dogs Allowed! should be my choice?

  10. Thank you… I am in the process of reading as many good rhyming PBs as I can at the moment. I so hope our school library has some of these (as I don’t expect they have been translated into French). I shall pop over straight away for that interview on wordless picture books! Samantha on a Roll look definitely like my choice!

    Very much looking forward to read how Linda got her agent!

  11. I love your idea on the last book. The dog on the front is absolutely the best, peeking around the sign. : )

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