Monthly Archives: March 2016

Celebrate #EarthDay With Great Deals On Our Greenest Titles

For the month of April  2016 only, get the paperback edition of Sofia’s Dream and A Bird On Water Street for only $5 each, and the hardcover edition of Sofia’s Dream and What Does It Mean To Be Green? for only $10 each!

Sofia's Dream pin, 12,31,13, final

Sofia’s Dream 

In this picture book for children ages 3-7, Little Sofia befriends the moon and sets off on a dreamy adventure to visit. The view from up high inspires Sofia to protect our Earth.


"A Bird on Water Street" cover, a light-blue bird silhouette against a grass-green sky

A Bird On Water Street

This middle grade novel has won over a dozen awards and honors. It tells the story of Jack, who is 13-years old and loves his town, but not the dangerous mine that keeps nature away. But how can he tell his dad, who wants Jack to be a miner, too?


What Does It Mean To Be Green? cover

What Does It Mean To Be Green?

Drawing on two sides of your paper instead of just one. Walking to the park instead of getting a ride. Turning off the water while you brush your teeth. In this picture book, a young boy and girl explore the myriad ways they can be Green over the course of a day. There’s so much we can all do to save our world!

Sap to store

Sap to Store:

The Journey of Maple Syrup

There are three of us in the house, and three different waffle styles. Junior likes his waffle cut into pieces, which he then picks up and dabs carefully (Corners only!) in a tiny puddle of syrup. I drizzle a bit of syrup into each “pocket” and dig in. Larry systematically drowns his waffle in the remaining syrup and wonders if we have any more.

No matter how you serve it, real maple syrup is a treat that takes breakfast to a whole new level. While you probably don’t want to know how most commercial table syrups are made, the sap-to-store timeline of maple syrup production is kind of amazing. Check out these fun facts, courtesy of Deseret News and Mental Floss:

  • It takes four maple trees, at least 40 years old, to yield enough sap over six weeks to produce one gallon of maple syrup. It takes 35 to 40 gallons of maple sap to produce one gallon of syrup.
  • Maple syrup and maple sugar are rich in potassium, calcium and iron, and are fat free.
  • Today, about 80 percent of the world’s supply comes from Canada.
  • In Korea, sap is usually preferred to syrup. The gorosoe, or “tree good for the bones,” is a Korean maple that’s been tapped by southern villagers since at least the ninth century. Locals consume its sap in huge quantities; drinking over 5 gallons in one sitting is a common practice.
  • Imitation maple syrup is mostly corn syrup, containing 2 to 3 percent of real maple syrup.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our sneak peek at what goes into your breakfast, and we hope you have the chance to enjoy a real, home-cooked meal with your loved ones very soon. After everyone is fed, may we suggest a bit of post-prandial reading? Today is the last day to get our APP-etizing iPad adventure, based on The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen, for a mere ninety-nine cents.

How do you like YOUR waffles?

Sap to store

The Egg and I

In a teeny little corner of a tiny little unincorporated township, there lived a mismatched flock of the most indulged hens to ever cluck. These chickens had a peach tree in the middle of their enclosed yard, from which they picked pecked their own fruit. They were let out multiple times each day to chase bugs and eat grass. They were named and petted during their lives, and mourned and buried upon their deaths.

They also produced some of the best eggs to grace a breakfast table.

I grew up knowing that no, eggs did not simply appear in the grocery store, scrubbed shiny and lined up in neat cartons. They were laid by living, breathing chickens and frequently streaked with something unmentionable.

If you’ve ever wondered exactly how an egg is made (or you just want to freak out your kids the next time they get picky about what’s for breakfast), the video at the end of this post is for you. After you watch and share, please visit our iTunes store to purchase and download our egg-ceptional app, based on The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen, available for only ninety-nine cents through March 17th.

  • Eggshell production drains calcium from the hen’s body. The comb, wattles, legs, and ear lobes will fade as the calcium leaches out. Calcium must be replenished through either feed containing calcium, supplements such as oyster shell, or high amounts of calcium in the soil of birds with outdoor access.
  • Hens don’t usually lay eggs in the dark, so once a hen’s laying cycle reaches dusk time, she will usually not lay till the following morning.
  • The shell color is a breed characteristic. Most chicken breeds lay light-to-medium brown eggs. A few breeds lay white, dark brown, green, blue, or cream colored eggs.
  • Often a hen will sing “the egg song” before or after she lays an egg. Some will sing during the process of laying. It is a cheerful song that seems to be a proud announcement.
  • If you aren’t sure how old an egg is, you can submerge it in water. The freshest eggs will remain at the bottom of the container, while old eggs will float. Floaters should either be discarded or opened far from your nose.

Thanks to The American Cowboy Chronicles for the nifty trivia!

How do you like your eggs?

Sap to store

Cow to Cup:

An Udderly Fascinating Process

In my part of the Midwest, cows outnumber people. I’ve had raw milk on my cereal and fresh cream in my coffee. I’ve churned butter, made cheese, and frozen ice cream. Heck, I can even tell you if the farmer let his herd graze a little too close to the wild garlic.

With my eyes closed.

Not every kid is lucky enough to grow up where the slightly-less-wild things are, however, so we at Team Pickle want to share a few of the many absorbing farm-to-table journeys (such as today’s cow to cup process) with you. From now through the 17th, drop in to read the details and view some footage about three breakfast staples: milk, eggs, and maple syrup. In addition to fun facts, we’re also offering super savings on our iPad adventure that’s based on the award-winning The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen. The app is ninety-nine cents for a limited time, but the learning is priceless.

Speaking of learning, here are those facts that I promised you, courtesy of Green Meadow Farms, Inc.

  • The natural yellow color of butter comes mainly from the beta carotene found in the grass cows eat.
  • Contrary to popular belief, cows do not have 4 stomachs; they have 4 digestive compartments in one stomach: The rumen holds up to 50 gallons of partially digested food. This is where cud comes from. Good bacteria in the rumen helps digest the cow’s food and provides protein for the cow. The reticulum is called the hardware stomach because if cows accidentally eat hardware (like a piece of fencing scrap), it will often lodge here causing no further damage. The omasum is sort of like a filter. The abomasum is like our stomach.
  • Cows only have teeth on the bottom.
  • All 50 states in the United States have dairy farms.
  • The average cow produces enough milk each day to fill six one-gallon jugs, about 55 pounds of milk.

What’s your favorite dairy product?

We’re always looking for new ways to share our stories with you!

Lee here, and I’m excited  that I’ll be heading out to New York for the 2016 Digital Book World Conference + Expo, #DBW16, March 7-9, 2016.

#DBW16 banner

It’s all about publishing’s “digital transformation” and how we can be innovative and have our stories make an impact whether they’re on the page, the screen, the audiobook, or something that hasn’t even been invented yet!

Two of the innovative companies Little Pickle Press is already teaming up with will be at the conference, Hummingbird and Enthrill, so I asked Steven Blake Mettee of Hummingbird and Kevin Franco of Enthrill to each do a quick interview for this blog.

Happily, they both said yes!


Stephen Blake Mettee of Hummingbird

Stephen Blake Mettee is the president and chief visionary officer of Hummingbird Digital Media an e-book retailing start-up destined to disrupt the e-book retailing oligopoly. He founded independent presses Quill Driver Books and The Write Thought. During his time at the helm of QDB, Mettee shepherded two titles into Book-of-the-Month Club selections and one onto the New York Times bestseller list. One QDB title was cited in a Supreme Court decision.

He served two years as chairperson of The Independent Book Publishers Association.

Lee: You’ll be one of the speakers on a panel, “New Paths for Direct Sales.” Can you encapsulate Hummingbird’s innovative approach?

Stephen: Anyone can have their own branded and curated e-book and audiobook storefront from which they can sell the titles from more than 2,700 publishers—including their own titles if they’re a publisher. No hurdles or costs are involved. The program is turnkey; it’s as easy as setting up a Facebook page and works to produce sales 24/7/365.

Lee: At lot of people see the ongoing digital changes to publishing as intimidating—change is difficult, and this change seems constant. What’s your advice on transforming that focus to look for the opportunities in all the change?

Stephen: Don’t fear change, embrace it. Don’t reinvent the wheel, look at what others are doing and copy their best practices.

Lee: What do you most look forward to about attending the 2016 Digital Book World Conference + Expo?

Stephen: We’re excited about exposing Hummingbird Digital Media’s unique platform to an industry audience of one thousand plus.

Thanks, Stephen!


Kevin Franco of Enthrill

Kevin Franco is co-founder and CEO of Enthrill, a digital content distribution company proliferating the distribution and sales of ebooks for publishers world-wide. Enthrill is based in Western Canada, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Enthrill’s copyright protection software delivers ebooks into the native app or platform which the consumer has already chosen as their default reader. Enthrill developed the online and in store ebook program for Walmart Canada and is working with many large retail chains in expanding the points of sale for ebooks.

Lee: One of the conference focuses (and the panel you’ll be on) is “New Paths for Direct Sales.” Can you encapsulate Enthrill’s innovative approach?

Kevin: Focused on building alternate paths to market, Enthrill has paved the way, developing new direct sales for publishers. Some of these include bulk/corporate sales, author download cards and physical retail gift cards distributed through Walmart, Safeway, Sears, Toy’s R Us and many other major retailers. The platform Enthrill created utilizes PackaDRM, the key to delivering content into any device, including e-inks. This new copyright protection software opens up the possibilities for publishers so they can sell ebooks in as many different ways as they can sell print books – with no restrictions placed upon them.

Lee: At lot of people see the ongoing digital changes to publishing as intimidating—change is difficult, and this change seems constant. What’s your advice on transforming that focus to look for the opportunities in all the change?

Kevin: The direct to device (D2D) market, which is what ebook sales is largely comprised of has plateaued and growth in this area is likely to remain slow now that the market has established its settling point on ebook penetration. We see a massive opportunity for publishers to expand their sales in many ways that they are currently unable to access fully, such as B2B sales, bulk, corporate, gifting, educational and via online retailers. We estimate this to be a $4 billion white space of uncharted territory, waiting for the right tool for publishers to access, and we believe we’ve created that tool.

Lee: What do you most look forward to about attending the 2016 Digital Book World Conference + Expo?

Kevin: For me personally, this event puts me face to face with book people. The book industry hosts the most passionate people when it comes to what they produce. Helping to proliferate distribution for publishers and expand the network of people that enjoy books drives our entire team. Digital Book World helps attendees learn about advancements in the industry such as alternate sales channels and new production and distribution tools.

Thanks, Kevin!

If you’ll be at the conference, say hello! And if you’d like to register, #DBW16 is offering a discount on registration: Use the code SCBWI5 to get 5 percent off.

If you want to know more about #DBW16, you can check out my post about the Author Earnings website and Launch Kids here, as well as five more pre-conference interviews (with Christopher Kenneally, Peter Hildeck-Smith,  Jane Friedman, Kristen McLean and Lorraine Shanley) here.

And you can follow along on social media with the hashtag #DBW16.

Thanks for letting me share,