I’m thrilled to announce the release of TRUCK STOP, written by Anne Rockwell and illustrated by moi!! The official Viking pub date is this Thursday, but we are kicking off our blog tour today. TRUCK STOP is a fun picture book for young kids that celebrates all the different trucks and their drivers who gather for breakfast every day at the young narrator’s family’s truck stop diner.
When I first was offered the manuscript in 2011, I was so excited to see it was written by Anne. I’ve been a big fan for a long time. She`s written over 100 children’s books for all ages, on topics ranging from boats, history, mythology, to the first day of school, bugs, to the seasons. Go check out her collection of books here! Needless to say, I didn’t need much time to think it over and said “yes” to my editor immediately.
Most people don’t realize it, but usually the author and illustrator don’t meet or collaborate at all on the book. Exceptions are made, of course, if they are married, related, or perhaps have worked together in the past. So it was such a pleasure last week when I finally had the opportunity to meet Anne in person. We had been corresponding via Facebook for the past year after I turned the artwork in (yes, it takes a year for a book to be printed!)
Last year, during our trip to California I did research and took a lot of a reference photos at a truck stop near my hometown.
A large portion of the story takes place in the truck stop diner. I took a lot of photos inside.
I love that TRUCK STOP has the food component–yummy breakfasts bringing people together. Here is the narrator (the son of the owners) helping to make breakfast and opening the truck stop diner:
One of their first guests is Maisie and her Milk Truck. Maisie orders donuts and coffee for breakfast:
Note plates of collaged donuts:
Inspired by Maisie, I decided to make Baked Buttermilk Donuts to celebrate the TRUCK STOP release.
Anne and I will be doing book events in the area. If you are nearby, please stop by and get a signed copy! We will both be at Book Court in Brooklyn at 11 am on June 1. I will be alone at Greenlight Bookstore participating in some “Artists Battles” (I’m a little nervous since I’ll be “competing” against Sophie Blackall and Sergio Ruzzier and Melissa Guion….!) this coming weekend, May 18 at 11 am. Come cheer me on!
In the next two weeks, Anne and I will also be doing a blog tour. Our book will be reviewed and given away on several blogger’s sites. I will be tweeting about it and will also be hosting a give away of a signed book here on The Hungry Artist, so stay tuned.
Here are some giveaways already going on if you want to try and win a copy!
For some fun free downloadable games, puzzles, and coloring sheets based on TRUCK STOP, please visit the Activity Sheets section of my website here!
Baked Buttermilk Donuts (inspired by TRUCK STOP)
This recipe is based on this one at Heather’s French Press. I omitted the nutmeg and used different toppings in place of the cinnamon sugar. Also I would advise rolling dough out to 1/2″ (instead of 1/4″ as directed) and cutting out donuts with a 3″ cookie cutter or glass and holes with a 1″ cutter. I love that these are baked instead fried!
Also, I love that you also get donut holes!
White Glaze- just pour about 1/3 – 1/2 cup powdered sugar in a bowl. Add a little bit of milk at a time and stir. Keep adding 1/4 teaspoon or so at a time until consistency is opaque but thin enough to pour over donuts. Decorate with sprinkles, chopped nuts, or shredded coconut.
Chocolate Glaze – Melt chocolate chips (I used about 1/4 for two donuts) in a microwave safe bowl at 20 second intervals. Watch closely. Stir until smooth, the coat donuts.
For filled donut: I used the dough scraps and made a solid donut. I filled it with raspberry jam and dusted with powdered sugar.