Sticks ‘N Stones ‘N Dinosaur Bones Blog Tour: Schiffer Publishing


Welcome to Day #7 of the “Sticks ‘N Stones” Blog Tour

To celebrate the release of Sticks ‘N Stones ‘N Dinosaur Bones, written by Ted Enik and illustrated by G.F. Newland, blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content about this humorous tall tale and giving away chances to win a copy of Sticks ‘N Stones ‘N Dinosaur Bones.

Pete Schiffer, the publisher at Schiffer Publishing, and Tracee Groff, the head of Schiffer Kids, the children’s books division there, talked about how Sticks ‘N Stones ‘N Dinosaur Bones strengthens the company’s fall lineup.

Q: Can you talk about Sticks ‘N Stones ‘N Dinosaur Bones? How does this book fit into today’s market for children’s nonfiction and STEAM learning?

[Tracee] Sticks ‘N Stones ‘N Dinosaur Bones is a spin on the infamous feud between fossil hunters Edward D. Cope and O. Charles Marsh. Author Ted Enik’s witty rhymes and G.F. Newland’s wonderfully crafted illustrations introduce children of all ages to the Bone Wars and the contributions these two men brought to the field of paleontology and their universities. Sticks ‘N Stones ‘N Dinosaur Bones is a strong addition to our STEAM-inspired lineup this fall as Schiffer has a long history of publishing in the natural and historical sciences. Children love to discover dinosaurs, and they remain fascinated by them. Enik and Newland capture this love of discovery in the pages of Sticks ‘N Stones ‘N Dinosaur Bones, presenting a rivalry that teaches while entertaining, making this book an ideal fit for today’s market.

Q: Sticks ‘N Stones ‘N Dinosaur Bones was published in 2013 by Pixel Mouse House, a small New York City firm. Why did Schiffer decide to publish it again with Pixel Mouse House?

[Pete] Our partnership with Pixel Mouse House is based in building on the strengths of both organizations. Including Sticks ‘N Stones ‘N Dinosaur Bones as one of the first titles in our new partnership is designed to re-launch an award-winning book into the global distribution network to connect with a broader audience. Sticks ‘N Stones ‘N Dinosaur Bones is a wonderful book and the beginning of a series that we feel will be a fun way of teaching unique stories from our past.

Q: What other books are being co-published with this company? Why is Schiffer co-publishing with this New York company? Is this part of your new focus on children’s books at Schiffer? Tell us about this new focus on children’s books.

[Tracee] Schiffer Publishing is partnering with Pixel Mouse House on three ventures this season. Sticks ‘N Stones ‘N Dinosaur Bones is one and the other two are Unraveling Rose by Brian Wray with illustrations by Shiloh Penfield and Mr. Owliver’s Magic at the Museum, written and illustrated by Carolyn Bracken. Pixel Mouse House brings to Schiffer Kids top writers and illustrators in the field of children’s literature. Our partnership was conceived from a mutual desire to grow and develop our newly expanded children’s book line.

Unraveling Rose is a beautifully illustrated story written to help children and families understand obsessive thoughts and behaviors, and how to stop them from getting in the way of enjoying everyday life. Brian Wray uses soft imagery allowing families to tackle tough issues in a way that relates to young children.

Mr. Owliver’s Magic at the Museum teaches children about art and design. Bracken introduces us to Mr. Owliver, a night watchman for the Animaltown Art Museum, and his whimsical world of famous masterpieces like the “Mona Lizard” and Auguste Wrenoir’s “The Loge.” The story of how Mr. Owliver comes to find that all the characters have disappeared from their frames is an engaging glimpse into the world of art history. In addition, the book includes a glossary listing the origins and artists of the paintings in the book and an art history timeline perfect for any burgeoning art history major.

Q: Sticks ‘N Stones ‘N Dinosaur Bones is the first in the Unhinged History book series. Will Schiffer publish more books from the series? Do you plan to publish more children’s books by Ted Enik or other children’s books illustrated by G.F. Newland?

[Tracee] Ted and G.F. are working on finalizing the next book in the Unhinged History book series featuring another infamous rivalry, this time racing to the bottom of the sea. Stay tuned for more details!

[Pete] We do plan to work with both Ted Enik and G.F. Newland on future projects and are discussing several new projects. There are many creative ideas that these two can bring to life to educate and inspire the next generation.

Q: Tell us about Schiffer Publishing, its history, and its mission?    

[Tracee] Our children’s book category has a long history rich in regional favorites like Chadwick the Crab and Lobsters on the Loose as well as the perennial classics The Future Architect’s Handbook, Change the World Before Bedtime, and The Angry Little Puffin. Our mission is to continue to produce timely and curated Chesapeake Bay regional titles while ramping up an expansion of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) learning. We are delighted to present our new mascot, Amelia. Amelia, like the Boston Terriers who came before her on the book farm, is a lively, smart, and affectionate girl who is enthusiastic to learn. She is leading the way at Schiffer Kids by announcing our new STEAM initiative in the 2017 children’s book catalog.

[Pete] Schiffer Publishing was founded in 1974 on our family farm with the aim to educate collectors about the things that they love. Over the years, we have focused on creating publications that serve readers’ passions and unique interests while providing new information and inspiration. This idea has lead us to develop a diverse publishing program where we focus on subjects that people care about deeply and develop their knowledge with over 6,000 titles in print. Our children’s books complement many of the areas we know well and are an extension of this philosophy to look for and serve people’s unique passions while educating them.

More About Sticks ‘N Stones ‘N Dinosaur Bones:

This first book in Ted Enik and G.F Newland’s “Unhinged History” series is a ripping yarn – full of adventure and deceit – that brings to life the best-known public spat in all of paleontology: the bitter rivalry between Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh that became known as “The Bone Wars.” Lively and witty rhymes plus beautifully demented illustrations by Newland reveal how the paleontologists’ infamous rivalry began and how their mutual obsession with outdoing and ruining one another spun out of control.

Sticks n stones blog tour authors

About the Author

Ted Enik has worked as an illustrator for most of the well-known New York publishing houses, applying his versatility to both original art as well as classic and current children’s book characters, including the Magic School Bus, the Eloise books, and the popular “Fancy Nancy I Can Read” series. This is the first picture book Ted has authored. It was first published in 2013 by Pixel Mouse House, New York, and honored as a Finalist in the American Book Fest’s 2014 Best Children’s Nonfiction and a Finalist in American Book Fest’s 2014 International Book Award for Best Children’s Nonfiction. Learn more about his books and his illustration at

About the Illustrator

G.F. Newland is a part-time illustrator and the systems administrator at the School of Visual Arts, New York, NY. His doodles have found their way onto buttons, bags, posters, and T-shirts, and have been published by Scholastic, Hachette, and Pixel Mouse House. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and a pet fish named Enki. Visit his website at

Schedule of Blog Tour

November 6Can You Read Me a Story?

November 7A Fuse #8 Production

November 8: Books My Kids Read

November 9Rockin’ Book Reviews

November 10Kid Lit 411

November 11Shelf Employed

November 12Frog on a Blog

“Why, Oh Why, Oh Me, Oh My!” by Sonja Anderson


Frog On A Blog Certified Guest Post

Why, Oh Why, Oh Me, Oh My!

by Sonja Anderson

Writing a novel: Difficult

Publishing a novel: Difficult

Writing a picture book: Difficult

Publishing a picture book: Nearly IMPOSSIBLE!

That sums up my writing journey to date; I hope yours has been easier! After fifteen years on the publishing trail, my first children’s novel (Sophie’s Quest) was released last summer, and two picture book manuscripts have nearly been published. A third is currently in a round of encouraging emails from the publisher I submitted it to two years ago! 

Unfortunately, I’ve learned that emails from publishers containing the words, “I LOVE IT! I want to publish it!” and even signed contracts do not translate to a book on the shelf. In the first case, the owners chose a different project over mine at the very end of a year of personal email conversation. A “Dear Author” form rejection letter brought that correspondence to a painful end. OUCH!

The second picture book got even farther—I was a finalist in a contest, awarded a contract, and I even got to see the finished, adorable artwork. So close! Then, the little company was purchased by a great big company, and my story was “orphaned.” Ironic, as Luna Whooping Crane, the main character, is nearly made an orphan in the story itself. So sad, right?

Luna Crane cover2png (2)

I find myself fearfully hopeful now that a manuscript has entered yet another round of encouraging, personal emails. Will this end up in a 32-page, glossy, full-color picture book? Will it instead, like other manuscripts, end in disappointment? Why submit myself to this agony again and again?   

Why, indeed. Do you know why you stick with it? What pulls you over and under, around and through all the obstacles on the way to publication? What makes the choice to write worth it to you?

Dead ends and hopelessness over my novel led my husband to ask me what I would give to read something written by my great-grandparents that showed their creativity, faith, and maybe even their sense of humor. That would be priceless, right? “You’ve already done that for your great-grandchildren. Even if it doesn’t ever get published. You’ve done it.”

He was reminding me that the “holy grail” of publication isn’t the only game in town. If I am writing to help children draw closer to God and to love his creation, I also need to trust God for the outcome and to have joy in the journey. That hope, that surety that God will take my gifts of time and talent, and use them for his purposes (published or not), outweighs the fears of rejection, the unbearable waiting for publishers to respond (and some never do), and the sudden turns of events that make even a signed contract meaningless.

A few quick tips to get through your own dark times:

  1. Think hard about your reason to write. Does it connect to your greatest passions?
  2. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. For example, while I’m waiting for one of my picture books to “make it to the shelf,” I’m practicing my writing skills and connecting to kids through “Sophie and Timley’s Bible Time.” Found on my website, it connects the characters in my novel to a Bible study about interesting animals in the Bible, and connects me to my readers as I read aloud a story through a recording that they can click on.
  3. Enjoy the writing journey by making friends along the way. Lauri Fortino and I became online friends through the experience of becoming finalists in that infamous contest together, and then commiserating together the merger of the company that orphaned our stories.
  4. Avoid being a bitter whiner! Focus on small victories and be grateful for opportunities to learn the craft and meet other writers. Agents and editors will LOVE to work with you if you do!

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

2 Corinthians 9:8

Sophie's Quest2 (2)Sonja Anderson writes from Seattle and enjoys hearing from readers. Find more information, including Sophie and Timley’s Bible Time (a free Bible study for kids}, on her website at

Thank you, Sonja, for sharing your personal publishing journey with us. Your words have reminded me that, as children’s writers, we are all in the same boat, yet on very different journeys, as we pursue our passions.