Today we are chatting with Megan Litwin, author of Twinkle, Twinkle, Winter Night
Read on for more about her, the book, and a giveaway!
Meet Megan Litwin:
Megan Litwin holds a Master of Arts in Children’s Literature from Simmons University and is a former teacher whose lifelong work is to grow lifelong readers. Megan lives in Massachusetts with her family. You can visit her online at meganlitwinbooks.com. Westborough, MA.
Nneka Myers illustrates for publishers and the animation industry. Although drawing is her favorite, she can often be found looking for inspiration in vintage fashion or video games. Toronto, ON.
About the Book: Twinkle, Twinkle Winter Night
Whether it’s the moon in the crisp, cool sky, flickering candles in a neighbor’s window, or the dazzling lights strung up about town, winter is a time of glowing warmth and cozy closeness. Twinkle, Twinkle, Winter Night captures this charm, making it perfect for bedtimes and sing-alongs on days when the sun goes to sleep early—and winter wonders shine bright.
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
The spark for Twinkle, Twinkle, Winter Night came on a dark December drive – eleven years ago! One of my then-toddler sons was captivated by all the light, from the snow to the moon to houses decked out for the holidays. He kept calling out things he noticed, repeating one phrase over and over…twinkle lights! We started using that phrase all season long whenever we saw some kind of light – still do, in fact, many years later. And when I realized I have never outgrown my own fascination with this kind of wintertime magic, I knew I needed to write about it.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the book?
That one is tricky, because they have both changed so much. This manuscript has had six different titles over the (many) years and (many) revisions. It began on that December drive, and so the first title was “December Delights”. I thought that the “lights” part of “Delights” was a fun play on words! Then it became more broadly about winter and I used titles like “Winter Wonderful” and “Twinkle Bright, Winter Night”. It wasn’t until my 17th draft, when I was really focusing on the read-aloud-ability of the words, that I thought about connecting the beat to that of the familiar and beloved “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”. And that moment was like magic! Twinkle, Twinkle, Winter Night came to me right away. It just happened to be seven years after the original draft…
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
The color palette is one of my favorite things about both the cover and interior art. The tones of purple and icy-blues and greens that illustrator Nneka Myers used are so eye-catching. She really created a unique wintry world. I love how if you open up the whole book to look at the jacket in full, you see the image expand to include the hushed, peaceful woodsy area and then also the festive town in the distance. All kinds of light! Also – up close, the title lettering is so gorgeous. It is made out of tiny snowflakes!
YABC: What’s a book you’ve recently read and loved?
The House in the Cerulean Sea! Talk about magic!! This is a book about love and friendship and family and acceptance…I read it in one big gulp this summer and fell in love with these characters. And now I need to read author TJ Klune’s newer title, Under the Whispering Door.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I am thrilled to be launching the first of two books in an early reader series with Penguin Young Readers in just a few months. Dirt & Bugsy: Bug Catchers is about two sweet boys…who love to catch bugs. Each book features small backyard adventures and lots of cool bugs – including a bit of backmatter for bug-loving readers. Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn did a fabulous job illustrating and I can’t wait for readers who are just learning to read on their own to hold these books in their hands. As a former classroom teacher, I know how important it is to have a wide variety of engaging books for newly budding readers and I’d love to keep adding to this important space.
YABC: What is the main message or lesson you would like your reader to remember from this book?
I hope that readers remember the refrain, which is the heart and soul of this book. Twinkle, twinkle, winter night. / Everywhere you look there’s light. You can say it, you can sing it…but most of all, I hope readers of all ages start looking for it! There is beauty and light everywhere, if you take the time to see it. Beauty and light we can share with one another.
YABC: What advice do you have for new writers?
Have patience. I know that is what everyone says, but it is so very true. When I wrote that first draft back in 2011, I loved it! I felt mesmerized by this idea I had just written on the page! But…that spark was just the start. Stay with those ideas that feel right to you, but give them enough time and attention to grow and change and find the right shape. Not every project will need to grow for a decade like this one…but all good things take time.
YABC: Is there anything that you would like to add?
Just that I’m so excited for this book to finally be out in the world, and with such gorgeous, glowing art from Nneka Myers! I hope it brightens hearts and bookshelves all season long – and leaves readers (young and old alike) wrapped up in cozy, wintertime magic.
Book’s Title: Twinkle, Twinkle, Winter Night
Author/Illustrator: Written by Megan Litwin, Illustrated by Nneka Myers
Release Date: 9/20/22
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s
Genre: Holiday Picture Book
Five (5) winners will receive a hardcover copy of Twinkle, Twinkle, Winter Night (Megan Litwin) ~US ONLY
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*