Children’s Book / Picture Story Book
Date Published: April 14, 2016
Birdie and his friends are back! All of Birdie's friends in the town of Ponderville are in for a treat. Someone new is moving to Ponderville! In this second picture book by Cindy Helms, everyone is curious to see who could possibly be their new neighbor. Part mystery and part matching game, Birdie and his friends track down and reveal “Who's New” with intriguing shapes leading the way. How well the newcomer will fit in? Will Ponderville be welcoming?
What is the hardest part of writing your books?
The hardest part of writing books is that I don’t really have any co-workers. This is both a blessing and a curse. Being alone so much of my day allows me to really focus on my work and tune out the world. On the other hand, there is no team effort, no camaraderie. Sometimes I get tired of listening to myself think.
What songs are most played on your Ipod?
I have over 55,000 songs on my Ipod!! I love Spanish guitar music so typically that is the most played. Right now, however, I just returned from a trip to Italy and I am listening to Italian opera music. Music is almost always on in my studio, it seems to fill in for the lack of co-workers!
Do you have critique partners or beta readers?
I have two sons, now ages 16 and 13, and they have been amazingly helpful. If they don’t like something, they tell me. I have two professional re-viewers, one is paid and one is free. Right now I am not in a critique group. I have joined them before for other projects and I am always on the lookout for a person or group that would improve my work.
What book are you reading now?
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson for my adult reading. In the children’s genre, I just finished writing reviews for two children’s books: The Most Important Thing: Stories About Sons, Fathers and Grandfathers by Avi, and The Cantankerous Crow by Lennart Hellsing and Poul Strøyer. (Reviews posted on ).
How did you start your writing career?
I started my writing career sixteen years ago by reading. Seriously, I have spent countless hours reading children’s books. Over and over by myself to study them page by page and over and over with my sons to learn what makes a book click with a kid. I attended years and years of library story times and spent months and months volunteering in elementary classrooms. I began writing middle-grade fiction and I have many files that may someday make it to book format, but for now I love the freedom, color and whimsy of illustrated picture books. I started this genre about three years ago.
This summer I have released Who’s New. A new-comer has arrived to the town of Ponderville. Everyone wants to see who it is. The story is meant to be very simple. The reader is presented with a silhouette shape of the new character and compares that shape with shapes of the regular residents of the town. It is great fun because the shapes are not the typical circles and squares that my readers are becoming accustomed to but strange and new ones that pique their curiosity. The reveal of the new character does not disappoint, she is as funny and interesting as the other cast of characters in the town. Everyone loves her and welcomes her…well, maybe not everyone, there is always someone who is a bit grumbly.
Cindy Helms is an artist based out of Centennial, CO. She has two sons and two cats. She loves road trips, camping, and being around friends.