Debut Review Challenge with Lauren Kerstein

Welcome, Lauren, to the Debut Review Challenge Blog! Your debut has made quite a splash. Thanks for joining us to tell us all about it.


Number of years writing:

At least 12 years of serious writing (I’ve written my whole life).

Number of years from contract to published book:

1 ½ years

Date your book was released:

June 1, 2019

Number of pages:


Number of launch events:


Number of days per week that writing takes a backseat to marketing & publicity:


Number of critique partners:

I belong to 5 critique groups.

Number of books you hope to publish over the next ten years:


Number of times you’ve pinched yourself that you really have a book out: 

Infinity and BEYOND!

Current number of reviews:

On Amazon: 163; On Goodreads: 73

A Few Questions

  • Why do you write for children?

I write for children because I love the idea that one of my books may help a child smile on a day when a smile seemed out of reach. I hope my work inspires, energizes, and touches children’s hearts. if only for a moment. 

  • Who/what are your greatest inspirations?

Pippi Longstocking was my greatest inspiration! Her take-charge, fearless agency inspired me. 

  • When you need to take a creative break, do you have another activity or hobby that recharges you?

When I take a creative break, I often take a walk to recharge. 

Time to Play: STORY SMASH!

Think about all the stories you’ve written that have hit a dead end or are hidden away in a drawer somewhere. For each of the items below, lift an element from a different story to create a weird, unexpected mash-up. Who knows? It may even inspire a new manuscript!

Character(s): Addie Klein

Setting: Science Class

Theme: Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Problem: Allergies

Pitch: Addie Klein sets her sights on a science experiment that is sure to thrill her classmates. But, when her allergies arrive with a vengeance, she has no idea how to turn her mess into magnificence.

A STEM mash-up with a common childhood experience: allergies! I love it! Thanks for playing, Lauren. 🙂

It’s time to write some reviews! Leave an honest review on Amazon, Goodreads, or other online site. For every five reviews you write for debut Kidlit creators, you can fill out this ENTRY FORM for a chance to win prizes. Lauren has generously donated a signed book, swag, a free 15-minute Skype visit, and a picture book manuscript critique (less than 1,000 words). Thank you, Lauren!

TIPS: Support debut authors by suggesting their book titles to your local library! Purchase them as gifts for children in your life, a teacher, or a local school. Share book titles or reviews on social media and tag the author/illustrator!

For BONUS ENTRIES, complete this Rafflecopter giveaway!

#DebutReviewChallenge #ReadReviewRepeat

Read More About Lauren and Her Book

BIO: Lauren Kerstein is an author and psychotherapist. She is a Jersey girl at heart who loves reading, drinking tea, and devouring chocolate. Lauren currently lives in Colorado with her husband, Josh, their two dragons…er, daughters, Sarah and Danielle, and Hudson, the dog. Lauren is the author of books in her field that include such topics as sensory issues and emotion, flexible thinking, autism spectrum disorders, and emotion regulation. She is also a children’s author. Her debut fiction picture book: Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Make Waves (Illustrated by Nate Wragg)swam to shelves in June 2019. The companion volume, Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Say Good Night , is expected Fall 2020. Lauren also has another soon-to-be announced book upcoming in 2020 called Calvin’s Home, about foster care. Lauren is a member of SCBWI, runs a critique business, is a judge for Rate Your Story, and is one of the founders of #ReVISIONweek. Her writing goals are simple. Read voraciously. Embrace feedback. Grow each day. Work hard. Be passionate. Write courageously. Touch children’s hearts.


Author/Illustrator: Lauren H. Kerstein/Nate Wragg

Publisher: Two Lions

Year: 2019

Synopsis: It’s summertime, and you’re invited for a rollicking day at the pool with Charlie and his pet dragon (and best friend!), Rosie. But be careful—swimming with a dragon can be, um, challenging. As Rosie and Charlie blow bubbles (don’t forget your umbrella!), practice flutter kicks (watch out for tidal waves!), and offer shoulder rides (hang on tight!), Rosie proves that dragons make the most fun pets ever. Now if only Charlie can keep Rosie’s attention focused on the rules at the pool and NOT on her gummy snacks (you know, the ones that cause stinky dragon breath!)…Grab your towels and sunscreen and join Rosie and Charlie for a fun-filled summer adventure!

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