JESSiCA SINSHEIMER: A Vrooming Kidlit Agent
The first thing I noticed was that I couldn’t WAIT to read it out loud to my office. Multiple times. While exclaiming “Oh my gosh this is so cute” on each reading. It is! It’s so darn cute! I LOVE the idea of this animate car having a bath (car wash), book (all about speed! Cheetahs!), and dreams, just like we do. Cars are just plain fun. Sharon got the meter and rhyme beautifully, which is incredibly difficult (and amazingly rare in my inbox). I couldn’t stop thinking about it, talking about it—that’s how I know I really love something.
What do you love about working with Sharon as a client?
Sharon, first of all, is a big ball of sunshine. Every time I hear her voice (which is a lot! I do plenty of work over the phone), I just feel great. She is so pleasant, upbeat, hardworking, and creative. I love that I can chat with her about ideas and she’ll not only be open to them, she’ll take them and run with them.
Why did you decide to send the manuscript to Running Press editor, Marlo Scrimizzi?
I met Marlo in Philadelphia when I was there to visit my aunt, who lives nearby. Over an incredibly cool lunch (there was kale involved, but in a great way!) I grew to really appreciate Marlo’s vision for picture books, her warmth and intelligence. She’d encouraged me to send anything I was excited about, and Sharon’s work definitely applied!
What did you think when you found out Dave Mottram would be the book's illustrator, and how do you feel about the final art?
I was so excited! We saw all these gorgeous sketches on his site, and I just knew he’d make Race Car into a car with real life and expression, which was my top priority. That said, he exceeded all of my expectations. I LOVE the way the wrench is almost like a teddy bear for Race Car, and how the moon smiles down on them. It’s beautiful. It’s the kind of book I’d think about framing for wall art. I just love the idea of looking at it all the time.
Tell us about BULLDOZER DREAMS, the companion book for RACE CAR DREAMS to be published by Running Press in 2017, and its editor, Julie Matysik.
I was sad, of course, to hear Marlo was leaving Running Press Kids soon after RACE CAR DREAMS had gone to press—though she is, I’m sure, doing wonderful things in her new role. (She’s just that kind of person; she’ll be brilliant wherever she is.) That said, when I heard it was Julie taking over, I actually sent an email with (direct quote) I’M SO GLAD IT’S YOU. I may have actually used all caps. I’d corresponded with her in the past and always appreciated her intelligence and enthusiasm.
I believe it was Julie who came up with the idea for BULLDOZER DREAMS. We loved the image of a bulldozer making a playground (what’s more fun than a playground?) and getting tired having a long day making all of this fun happen.
After a day at the track of zipping and zooming, a race car is tired and ready for bed. He washes his rims, fills his tummy with oil, and chooses a book that is all about speed. All toasty and warm, he drifts off to sleep, he shifts into gear . . . and dreams of the race!
RACE CAR DREAMS is a delightful, bedtime tale written by Sharon Chriscoe, illustrated by Dave Mottram and published by Running Press Kids (September 2016).