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What could be more joyful than celebrating an exciting new book deal for a debut author? Nothing, I say! We are at peak joyful today!

And what a book it is – Carrie Kruck is an author whose voice captivated me from the moment I first read her work. Her evocative storytelling and whimsical imagination sealed the deal. Then, this text showed up in my Inbox:

Francine loves to open things up and find out what ticks deep inside. But when this curiosity leads her to accidentally drain an entire lake, she finds more than just gears and switches – she discovers an entire town’s past. But nothing is quite as people remembered. And who made them dig up all these old memories anyway? Francine will need all her curiosity to help the townsfolk discover what ticks deep inside each of them, and to turn their broken past into something brand new. WHAT FRANCINE FOUND AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LAKE is a 510-word picture book about coming to terms with the past and moving forwards with curiosity, for 4- to 8-year-old fans of Beyond the Pond and Ocean Meets Sky.

Can’t you picture it? I sure could! And so could brilliant illustrator Erin Kraan (and her agent, Catbird’s Kirsten Hall) – and not long after, the inestimable editor Andrea Welch at Beach Lane. The result is a match-made-in-picture-book- heaven, which will be popping out onto your bookshelves in Fall 2023.

Hooray and congratulations, Carrie! May it be the first of many to come.

- Joan