Enter to Win a Copy of The Very Hungry Duck!

Very Hungry Duck 2nd edition cover 2

Enter to win an autographed copy of The Very Hungry Duck!

Entry begins April 21, 2015 (12:00 am)  and ends May 1, 2015 (11:59 pm).

Just click on the following link:  a Rafflecopter giveaway and follow one or more of the instructions listed there. You can enter every day!

After you enter to win this copy, you can increase your odds of winning another book if you go to Goodreads and enter a separate giveaway there! This link will get you there ASAP: Goodreads giveaway for The Very Hungry Duck

Good luck, and happy reading!

How Long Did it Take to Publish The Very Hungry Duck?


One of the questions people like to ask is, “How long did it take to write and publish your book?” In this episode of Beyond the Written Page, I share how long it took to write, illustrate, and publish The Very Hungry Duck

Believe it or not, I find this a hard question to answer. In the video, I share the length of time in months. But it’s hard to “quantify” that time, because when I’m in the middle of a project, I don’t think in terms of hours and minutes. I focus in on the project, and get so caught up in it that I lose track of time (and of other responsibilities I should be taking care of).

And each project is different, so each book I work on will have a different answer. The story/rhyme for The Very Hungry Duck came together very quickly. (In fact, I tell you exactly HOW quickly in the video–be sure to watch it 🙂 )

But very few stories fall into place that way. Most of them require more time for the story line or the right wording to come together. 

That’s one of the things I love about stories, and about writing them. Each one has a unique “story” behind how it comes together.

I hope you enjoy learning a little bit about the story behind The Very Hungry Duck. And if you have any questions, please post it in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer.

The Very Hungry Duck, Second Edition!

I received the first order of books last night for the second edition of The Very Hungry Duck! I have been so involved with the final details for this book, as well as for my OTHER new book (called Do NOT Turn This Page), that I haven’t shared much about the project with you yet.

So, be sure to watch the above video, then read on to find out more about Duck’s new look!


1. Why a second edition?

I’ve wanted to make a hardcover edition of The Very Hungry Duck so that Duck can find a home in libraries, where she will be able to meet, entertain, and encourage children around the world! The biggest challenge with printing the first edition of the book was figuring out how to make the illustrations appear in printed form the way I intended them to.  I redid the original illustrations twice, then made changes to the digital files another couple of times to brighten the images.

I have learned so much about digital illustration, as well as picture book layout and design, during the last year that I decided to give Duck a “page lift,” as I like to call it.


2. What has changed in this second edition?

  • The color scheme changed dramatically. This helps distinguish the second edition from the first one.
  • Very little of the text changed in the story–just a word here and there to flow with changes to the page layout.
  • I redid all the illustrations digitally, though I incorporated the original character drawings.
  • This book is 32 pages. The original edition was 24 pages.
  • I included a number of new, fun illustrations.
  • I used a new font for the text, called Quicksand. I chose it because most of the letters look similar to letters that preschoolers and Kindergartners learn to recognize and write. This will help support parents, caregivers and educators as they teach children early reading and writing skills.


3. What is the release date?

The publication date was February 20, 2015. Physical copies of the book should now be available by request through local book stores as well as on my website, and at online retailers. The e-book is available at Amazon.com.


4. Are there other books coming?

Oh, yes! I will be working on translating The Very Hungry Duck into other languages, starting with a Spanish translation. There are also at least three other stories planned for the Duck Tales series. I’m working out the final details in the story line for the second book in the series, which will feature Duck, her Auntie Duck, and a mischievous frog.

Also, in February I completed final edits to my first book for seven- to ten-year-old children, called Do NOT Turn This Page. It was published on February 19, 2015, and is available for purchase by request at local bookstores, at online retailers, or on my website.


5. What surprised me most when I saw the first printed copy?

The book looked so amazing, I almost cried. What surprised me most, though, was the color for the page backgrounds. The background colors I THOUGHT I chose were light purple, dark purple, and a tannish-brown (in addition to plain white). The actual printed colors (except for the plain white)  looked off-white, purple-gray, and a mustardy yellow-brown. Although the page colors still worked fine with the story, it was a good reminder that colors can be very different in print than they look on a back-lit computer screen.

If you’d like, you can purchase an autographed copy of The Very Hungry Duck on my book page.

If you have any questions, please let me know! I hope you enjoy Duck’s new look as much as I do!


Beyond the Written Page: Picture Books as Textbooks


Writers do a lot of reading! More often than not, the textbooks I learn the most from are picture books.

In this edition of Beyond the Written Page, sneak behind the scenes to find out about a project I’m working on, and a few of the picture book “textbooks” I draw inspiration and direction from.

Free Printable Fruit Stick Puppet Set for The Very Hungry Duck

Duck fruit bw bms


Here is the set of Fruit Stick Puppets that go along with The Very Hungry Duck Animal Stick Puppets. This set features the four fruits from The Very Hungry Duck –an apple, a pear, an orange, and strawberries.

You can download and print the pdf by clicking the picture above or by clicking here. Then simply color, cut along the dotted lines, and tape craft sticks to the back. Reenact the story, or make up a new story of your very own.

You can also use the Fruit Stick Puppets to help reinforce healthy eating, fruit recognition, colors and shapes, and numbers.

Watch for other activities that help make learning fun.

Free Printable Animal Stick Puppet Set for The Very Hungry Duck

duck puppet animal set


Stick puppets are a fun way to reinforce pre-reading and pre-writing skills and to help young children be ready to read.This set of animal stick puppets features the four characters from The Very Hungry Duck–Duck, Bunny, Puppy and Kitty.

You can download and print the pdf by clicking the picture above or by clicking here. Then simply color, cut along the dotted lines, and tape craft sticks to the back. Reenact the story, or make up a new story of your very own with the characters.

Watch for the free companion The Very Hungry Duck Fruit Stick Puppet Set, coming later this week, as well as other activities to help reinforce learning while having fun.

Enter to Win an Autographed Copy of The Very Hungry Duck

very hungry duck front cover 2 click free


Do you like free books? You can enter to win an autographed copy of The Very Hungry Duck, softcover edition!

Following is a list of ways you can get entry tickets for the free book giveaway. The more steps you complete, the more entries you receive! Sound easy? It is!

Simply complete any of the following steps, then post a comment below stating which ones you’ve done. A ticket will be entered into the drawing for each step you have completed.

Step 1. Share this blog post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or any other of your favorite social media sites. (1 entry for each media site shared to)

Step 2. Like my Facebook author page. You can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/BerniceSewardWriter (if you’ve already liked it, just say “I already liked your author page” in the comment section)

Step 3. Order the free ebook (click on the picture above), then share about it on one or more of your favorite social media sites. (1 entry for each media site shared to. If you already own a copy of the Kindle ebook, that counts!)

Step 4. Sign up for my free newsletter, Mothergoosical.

The drawing will be held Monday, April 21st.

Good luck, and happy reading!

Duck Helps Color Pictures

duck coloring

“You know, Duck, it’s good that I like yellow.”


“Because I color so many pictures of you.”

“I can help.”

“You want to help color pictures?”

“Yes. I like to color.”

“Okay. Here is the yellow colored pencil.”

Duck holds the colored pencil. She works hard to color. She scribbles yellow all over her tummy.

“Phew!” Duck says. “Coloring is hard work. But it is fun!”

“It sure is. Thanks for helping, Duck.”

“You’re welcome!”

Where’s Duck?


mother duck


“Duck?” Mama asked.

“Where are you, Duck? The other kids are at school, so we can work on your coloring pages now.”

Duck didn’t answer.



duck sleep


Mama walked in to Duck’s room.

Duck was curled up on the floor. Her beak was tucked under her wing.

What was Duck doing?



duck blankie


Duck was sleeping!

“Ah, my sweet little Duck,” Mama whispered. She pulled a blanket over Duck and gave her a gentle kiss. “We can work on your coloring pages another time.”



If you would like to print and color pages from Duck’s coloring book, check out the Resources page for her free coloring pages. She and Mama will post them after her nap.