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Putting the Pieces Together

July 17, 2020– She’s one of our own and we love her to bits! You know her as the author of Pants and Unfrogged, Tamara Botting; she’ll have two more books coming in 2021, so be sure to look for them in stores, on Amazon, and on our site. I’m thrilled to have her guest blog for us today!

I’ve had a longstanding love of Disney’s animated masterpiece, Beauty and the Beast. I wore out my first VHS copy of the film (yes, I’m that old and yes, it can be done). I bought the DVD as a teen, then bought the DVD again a few years later when the special collector’s edition came out. (So far, I’ve resisted the siren’s call of the Blu-ray). To this day, I can quote the opening of the film verbatim.

So, when I found a 1,000 piece Beauty and the Beast-themed puzzle, I decided to splurge a bit. (Hey, it’s not like I was going out, so why not bring a little entertainment home?) The thing is, as much as I like the idea of puzzles, I’ve only worked on a few over the years, mostly when I’m at a friend’s house, and they have one in progress.

Now that I’m working on one all on my own, I realize it’s a much bigger task than I’d anticipated. There’s a lot to work with, and a lot of pieces to try and fit together. And sometimes it takes a really long time to realize that what you thought was part of Belle’s dress is actually Beast’s waistcoat.

In a way, working on a puzzle is sort of like working on a book. Sometimes you find it’s easier to work on the framing; other times, you find yourself diving right into the middle of it. Sometimes the piece you thought should go in one place actually belongs in an entirely different spot.

It can be really easy to get discouraged when you have part of it coming together in one spot, part of it coming together in another, and for the life of you, you can’t figure out how those two parts come together.

But if you keep picking away at it, keep coming back to it, and keep on just telling yourself that you’re going to stick with this and get it done, eventually the parts will fit together. The bits that seem to have no home prove to actually be really important parts of the whole picture.

And once you have it all put together, you get to enjoy not only the completed project, but also the fact that your table is now clear, and you have room to work on a whole new project.

Because let’s be honest – whether writing or puzzles, it’s pretty hard to stop at just one.

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An Excerpt from Unfrogged

July 10, 2020– Have you read Unfrogged by Tamara Botting (cover art by Christopher Botting) yet? If you haven’t you should! Unfrogged is not your average fairytale and is perfect for middle-grade readers who love adventure. Here is an excerpt from the book, available at Pandamoniumpublishing.com/shop

The carriage lurched and shook as it worked its way over the dirt-packed road. Even though it was one of the best carriages in the kingdom, there was no escaping all of the dips and bumps. Meredith and Frog were well-cushioned, though; the inside of the carriage was, as Frog described it, “like being in a pillow.” Meredith looked out the window eagerly, hungry for a view of the world outside the castle walls. She didn’t realize before now how badly her shyness had crippled her ability to see the world around her; to go on a trip like this, even back to the first home she had known, was an adventure. …They stopped for lunch and gave the horses a rest. Meredith and Frog were happy for a chance to stretch their legs; Frog took a short, refreshing swim in a happily chattering brook. As Madame Lench and the guards were some distance away, Meredith dared to leave her silken stockings bunched into her shoes on the bank and dip her feet in the cool water. 

Unfrogged was the second book ever published by Pandamonium Publishing House, and it’s still one of my most favourites! If you don’t have this book in your collection, you’re missing out on a wonderful story and thrilling adventure.

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How Many Books?

July 1st-I know that we’re moving at breakneck speed lately when it comes to pumping out books around here, so to ensure that no one is lost or unaware of what’s available and what’s coming up, let’s recap our collection:

Children’s book (ages 3-8 depending on reading level)

-Panda the Very Bad Cat
-Panda the Very Bad Cat Farm Frenzy
-Panda the Very Bad Santa Claws
-Deer Diary
-Phillip Star
-The Adventures of Milan and Friends; Trouble with Trolls (A Halloween Tail)
-The Adventures of Milan and Friends; Baseball Bedlam
-Sammy the Singing Cat
-Spiders Wearing Sweaters
-Martin the Tap-Dancing Frog
-Mount Fuji has Free Wi-Fi
-Miranda the Very Loud Mouse
-Pants!
-Grandma’s Table
-Zoe’s Princess Pants
-Lost and Monkey Around (Coming October 2020)
-Twelve Days of Rescue (Coming October 2020)
-The Midas Haircut (Coming October 2020)
-The Clouds Above Lamasol Island (Coming July 2020)

Middle-Grade Novels (Grade 4-6 depending on reading level)

-Unfrogged
-DJ the Terrible
-The Old Farmer’s Treasure
-Grandpa’s Gift (Coming September 2020)

Adult Fiction/Non-Fiction

-Obsessed with Her
-Becoming James Cass
-Duty’s Dad
-Duty’s Daughter
-Duty’s Son
-Acts of Remembrance (Non-fiction)
-Life Supports
-Dealer
-114 World Series in 1 Book (Non-fiction)
-Advice from a Publisher (Non-fiction)
-Machinia (Science Fiction, Coming October 2020)
-Silent Anvil (Coming October 2020)
-My Name is Jessica Westlake (Coming August 2020)
-Acts of Kindness (Non-Fiction, Coming November 2020)

All of the books are and will be available on our site under SHOP and available on Amazon as paperbacks and e-books. We’re also exploring film options and audiobooks, so stay tuned for more information!

Thank you for supporting our work, we appreciate you.

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Guest Blogger, Christopher Botting-Unfrogged

January 10, 2020– Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to our very special guest blogger, Christopher Botting, the illustrator of Unfrogged! Let’s check out what he has to say about his experience as an illustrator with Pandamonium Publishing House.

Hello friends and fans of Pandamonium Publishing! My name is Chris Botting, and I am the illustrator for the ‘Unfrogged’ book; Pandamonium Publishing’s second book offering. One day back in two thousand and too far back to remember right now, my sister (Tamara Botting), had written a story she greatly desired to publish someday. She was asking me to do the artwork for it. I made a half-hearted attempt at some rough ideas, but in the end, I told her that publishing companies would have the final say on the art direction they were looking for and not necessarily something I may come up with. That it would be a waste of time to try anything before a publisher picked up her manuscript. What a big bother brother I quite often turn out to be. Well, time went on and one day I did receive a phone call….from a publisher…wow! (Good for little sis, she stuck with her dream and never gave up). Pandamonium Publishing’s very own Lacey Bakker was interested in seeing a sample of my art portfolio. She was hooked! She absolutely loved the idea of a brother/sister team working on their first published book together. (Bucket list items for both siblings!). There were meetings and deadlines made. The rough copy art sketches were approved and used for the final pieces after colour and corrections were added. Did I ever learn a thing or two about books;  They have chapter titles to illustrate. They have front covers to draw. They have a back cover too…what? Whodathunk? Do you know what else they have? A spine that needs artwork! My first book art job, and it was a ton of work! But it was all well worth it! Someday, when I see a well-worn copy on a used book store shelf, I’ll know a second generation is about to enjoy something my sister and I put so much of ourselves in to; I’ll know we’ve ‘made it’. I believe that when you do something or create something, in the brief second that follows the last pen stroke, or saw cut, or screw turn, or musical note, or whatever; that your creation, your project, art piece is instantly a classic. Just in that moment, the passing of time. Because, when you look back at your accomplishment, finished or not, there’s that feeling of ‘I remember doing that’. And ‘it’s out there, other people are going to see it, and remember seeing it, and to them, it instantly becomes a classic. Because they’ll remember it too. Something ‘vintage’ with the passing of more time’. I know people enjoy our work, I can tell by the time they spend absorbing it and taking it in. By how long someone will look deep into a drawing I have done, and make positive comments. I really enjoy doing art and sharing it with other people. I hope it makes them feel good inside, peaceful. Open a sense of awe in them and myself that the world can be a beautiful place. I am so thankful for the experience of working with Pandamonium Publishing and my little bother sister on ‘Unfrogged’. They are creating great friendships and books along the way. Check them out and enjoy some instant classics!

An Excerpt from Unfrogged by Tamara Botting

July 15, 2019- Today I’ll be reading an excerpt from the middle-grade adventure novel, Unfrogged by Tamara Botting! https://www.podbean.com/eu/pb-73cja-b7ef1e Check us out on Google Play, Podbean, and iTunes to tune into all of our podcasts. Also, to order your very own copy of Unfrogged, just click on the link! https://pandamoniumpublishing.com/product/unfrogged/

https://www.podbean.com/eu/pb-73cja-b7ef1e

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Fun Facts about Our Books!

December 10, 2018- This is super fun! Each one of our books is very special in their own right. Check out the details below on what’s hiding in our books!

Picture books: 

  • Did you know that in Miranda the Very LOUD Mouse, there is a hidden piece of cheese on almost every page? Can you find them? Also, on the page where Miranda is at the museum, there are some pretty famous art pieces that include Michelangelo’s David statue, Starry Night painting by Van Gogh, The Scream painting by Edvard Munch, and of course, The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci.
  • The book Pants, by Tamara Botting, has different pieces of fabric that were digitally scanned in to get the colours and textures on the page. This book also contains colouring pages at the back for kids to design their very own pair of pants!
  • Martin the Tap-Dancing Frog and Spiders Wearing Sweaters are both hand painted and then scanned in digitally to an illustration program! That’s why both books have such a unique look. Also, Spiders Wearing Sweaters can be ordered with or without the adorable plush spider that came in your kit!
  • Sammy, the Singing Cat, features some very famous Jazz artists on the wall of one of the music schools; Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra make a cameo, but this time in animal form!
  • The Adventures of Milan and Friends; Trouble with Trolls (A Halloween Tail) has the titles of our books on the spine of the books that are featured in the treehouse! Plus, there’s a tribute to all of our animal friends that we have lost, on the wall of the same page. Also, Milan is a real golden retriever in the author’s life!
  • Phillip Star has the best ending! You’ll have to read it😊
  • Panda, the Very Bad Cat, is based on the author’s real cat named Panda and a smug shot of said cat is featured in the back of the book. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this title is donated to animal shelters to help animals in need.
  • Deer Diary features a sneak peek on an overlapping character! There is a poster on the wall of the last page that features the character Frog from Martin the Tap-Dancing Frog.

 All of the books by Lacey L. Bakker, feature a PANDA in one form or another as a hat’s off to the book that started this entire company and adventure which was Panda, the Very Bad Cat!

Mid-Grade Books:

  • Unfrogged, by Tamara Botting, features a princess named Meredith who is based entirely on the author and how clumsy she is. Tamara let this book sit for ten years before getting it published!
  • The Old Farmer’s Treasure– is based on the author’s husband’s childhood in Northern Ontario. There is also a sequel to this book coming in 2019 where the boys are all grown up!

 Adults Only:

  • Obsessed with Her– Was consulted on by the head of the Toronto Homicide Unit for not only credibility in some scenes, but also accuracy! This book is rated R and had to have a sticker put on the front of it because of the complaints that we were receiving. It has mature themes, language, and violence, and is not for the easily offended or squeamish. Also, the PREQUEL to Obsessed with Her, titled, Becoming James Cass, will be available for pre-order on our site in January 2019 and will be released in February 2019. This book currently has a 4.5-star rating on Good Reads. While the author was writing this book, her husband was away for five weeks, and she had to stop writing because she was scared to be alone! A lot of people think the author of this book is a man, but they are mistaken. And one more thing? The front cover gives away the ending:)

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NEW! Book Parties!

July 3, 2018- Did you know that Pandamonium Publishing House offers Book Birthday Parties? How awesome is that? Here’s how it works:

  1. We bring the books to the party! Select your 2 favourite titles that you’d like to have read from our online catalogue selection.
  2. The author reads the books at the party with one of our special mascots! Lots of time for pictures too!
  3. Each child takes a signed, personalized book home as whole or part of their goody bag and 2 activity sheets that compliment the book!

That’s it, it’s that easy!

Be sure to book today, as spots are filling up fast! Call 905-979-4949 or email pandapublishing8@gmail.com. 

Here is the pricing structure:

1-hour author visit with mascot: $100.00/hour 

1 author signed and personalized book for each guest: $8.00/book 2 activity sheets included. 

Make their wishes come true with a Book Birthday Party from Pandamonium Publishing House! 

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Let’s Talk About Middle-Grade Novels! A Quick and Dirty Guide

November 3, 2017- There seems to be a lot of confusion around three little words…Middle-Grade Novel. Let’s dive into the basics and explore what elements make up a middle-grade novel.

  • Middle-grade books are for kids in grades 4, 5, and 6-ages 9,10, 11.
  • This is a diverse group of readers, and the middle-grade word counts are as follows: books for younger kids are 20,000-25,000 words and the books for the older kids usually contain 35,000-40,000 words.
  • These books are usually large print, fast reads. A great example of a younger middle-grade novel is Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and a great example of an older middle-grade book is our very own Unfrogged by Tamara Botting.

Middle grade interests include the following things:

  • PEERS– I capitalized this word because it’s the single most crucial thing to middle -graders and it’s important to know that kids care what their friends think above anything else at this age!
  • Family-The child is the main character, the child is in the middle, and everything revolves around him or her. For example, parents are getting divorced what does that mean to the child?
  • Self Concept– How do I belong? Who am I? Kids at this age are just starting to figure this out and ask the questions that will eventually shape them into adults.
  • Puberty-Looks, development, gender, opposite sex and relationships.
  • Future-Upon who does the future depend?…It depends on the main character of course!

So if you’re planning on writing for middle-graders, keep the above things in mind!

LB

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Spooktacular Stroll! See You Tonight Binbrook (Friday the 13th!)

October 12, 2017- Today is the day; We’ll be seeing you at the Binbrook Fairgrounds and boy, do we have some awesome treats to give away! Visit our Pandamonium Publishing House Booth to meet author Tamara Botting of Unfrogged and Duncan from Deer Diary who will both be signing copies of their books. The fun starts at 5:00 pm and goes until 9:00 pm. Enter our Spooktacular draw for an awesome prize just in time for Halloween! See you tonight!

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Upcoming Events! September 2017

September 4, 2017- I just want to keep everyone updated on what’s going on regarding events and appearances by Pandamonium Publishing House and their authors. You will be able to purchase Unfrogged, by Tamara Botting and Panda the Very Bad Cat by Lacey L. Bakker…some exciting news…Deer Diary will be available in time for BOTH FAIRS! 

Here is our schedule for September; wait until you see October!

Super Crawl: 

Friday, September 8th6:00 pm to 12:00 amSuper Crawl (Lacey L. Bakker)

Saturday, September 9th12:00 pm to 6:00 pmSuper Crawl (Lacey L. Bakker)
6:00 pm to 12:00 amSuper Crawl (Tamara Botting)

Sunday, September 10th12:00 pm to 4:00 pmSuper Crawl (Lacey L. Bakker)
4:00 pm to 7:00 pmSuper Crawl (Tamara Botting)

 

Binbrook Fair: 

Friday, September 15th5:00 pm to 10:30 pmBinbrook Fair (Lacey L. Bakker)

Saturday, September 16th10:00 am to 5:30 pmBinbrook Fair (Lacey L. Bakker)
5:30 pm to 10:00 pmBinbrook Fair (Tamara Botting)

Sunday, September 17th10:30 am to 2:00 pmBinbrook Fair (Lacey L. Bakker)
2:00 pm to 6:00 pm Binbrook Fair (Tamara Botting)

 

Ancaster Fair: 

Thursday, September 21st5:00 pm to 10:00 pmAncaster Fair (Lacey L. Bakker)

Friday, September 22nd10:00 am to 6:00 pmAncaster Fair  (Lacey L. Bakker)
6:00 pm to 10:00 pmAncaster Fair (Tamara Botting)

Saturday, September 23rd 10:00 am to 5:00 pmAncaster Fair (Tamara Botting)
5:00 pm to 10:00 pmAncaster Fair (Lacey L. Bakker)

Sunday, September 24th10:00 am to 2:00 pmAncaster Fair (Lacey L. Bakker)
2:00 pm to 6:00 pmAncaster Fair (Tamara Botting)

Other Dates: 

You’ll also be able to get your copy of Unfrogged signed by the author, Tamara Botting during September at the following locations: 

Chapters BurlingtonSATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 9TH FROM 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
(Woodview Place, 3315 Fairview, Burlington, ON L7N 3N9)

Indigo Stoney Creek- SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 16TH FROM 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm (Heritage Greene Shopping Centre, 1783 Stone Church Rd. East, Stoney Creek, ON L8J 0B4)