Boo’s Bad Day by Penny Lockwood: Red Carpet Day

Boo’s Bad Day


Penny Lockwood

Boos Bad Day - cover resized

Boo is a very bored kitten. When Timmy and his mom return home, Boo sneaks out of the house.  Boo is frightened by the noises of the big world outside of the safety of his warm home.  When Timmy coaxes Boo back into the house, Boo realizes some places are safe and some are not.

Alberta:  I have read this book  and have to say it is quite enchanting, from the storyline to the delightful illustrations.

Boo a bored small kitten who longs to explore the great outdoors.  The story line is just right for children being read too and also for those who are spelling out books for themselves.  The illustrations are beautiful, very simple, and full of colour, movement and expression.

Today I am welcoming not just Boo but also author Penny Lockwood onto


Red carpet at night.

Alberta:   I am so pleased to welcome you on the Red Carpet today, Penny.  I do hope your tour is progressing well.   Now Boo’s Bad Day. Poor Boo has an amazingly scary and exciting time of it when he slips out of the house, doesn’t he? I can see children shuddering in sympathy. It has been a while since I have had to read to a small child but I don’t believe they have changed too much.

 Penny:  Alberta, thanks for hosting me and the lovely review.  At the end of the tour, I will pick out one commenter’s name and send an autographed copy of Boo’s Bad Day to a United States address only.  If the name I pick is someone who lives outside the U.S., I will send a PDF copy of the book.  So remember, readers, be sure to leave contact information when you comment!

 If your readers missed yesterday’s post, they can catch up at Tomorrow, I’ll be visiting with

 Alberta: Now for the cross examination:): What inspired you to write this tale?

Author Photo Pen smiling copyPenny: Many years ago, we had a black kitten named Boo.  At that time, we allowed our cats to go in and out of the house.  Even though Boo was a teenager, he happily followed the adult cats outside.  One winter, during an ice storm, Boo went out, but he didn’t come back. We called him in the evening, but when he didn’t come, we assumed he was hiding in a barn in the neighborhood.  When he still didn’t return the next day, we went searching and located him by his cries, stranded in a huge fir tree.  My husband got out his 50-foot ladder but couldn’t reach him.  We tried calling the fire department, but they told us they no longer rescued cats from trees.  Poor Boo’s cries were getting weaker and weaker, and it was freezing cold.  We ultimately called a friend, taller than my husband, who worked construction on multi-story buildings.  By climbing to the top of the ladder and stretching, he reached Boo, grabbed him, and got him down.  Poor little Boo spent the next week curled in front of our woodstove with no desire to go outside.

 My grandchildren are of an age to enjoy picture books, and when I wanted a new  writing project, Boo’s story came to mind.  I thought it would be a perfect tale for little people.

 Alberta:  Is it intended to be just a tale to amuse or did you intend it to serve as any kind of lesson?

Penny:I wrote it more for entertainment, but there are definitely lessons to be learned and things parents and teachers can speak to their kids about.

      If you had a pet, what do you need to do to take care of it?

      Why would you need to do more for your pet than just give it a hug once in a while?

.      What kinds of dangers are there on a busy street?

      Why shouldn’t you cross the street by yourself?

      Why do you think a big truck or snowplow wouldn’t be able to see you if you were outside by yourself?

                    What do you think is a safe place?

      What do you think is an unsafe place?

      What do you think could happen if Timmy couldn’t get Boo out of the tree?

      Have you ever had a pet sneak out of the house?  What happened?

  What do you think makes a pet feel safe?

 Alberta: There is a great deal to think about, especially if contemplating having a pet , but there  are I agree lessons for the child to absorb as well.

The illustrations are as I said delightful, how closely did you work with Deborah  Johnson with them?

Penny: Thank you.  I love the illustrations, too, and I believe Deborah must have cats in her life to be able to catch their expressions so well.  I actually did not work with Deborah and only saw the illustrations when they were completed, and the final galley proof was sent to me.  This is my publishing house’s rule.  I believe this is similar for other houses as well.

Alberta: You write in other genres as well. I’m wondering how different/difficult you found the process of writing for such a young age group?

Penny: This was my first picture book, however, I’ve had the opportunity to work as a submissions editor and read a lot of books for young children.  I’ve learned to spot what makes a good manuscript and what makes one mediocre.  I’ve also had many years of reading stories to my children and now my grandchildren. I didn’t find the process particularly difficult, but it was different.  With a picture book, an author is limited to a very few words, yet must create obstacles, develop a character, and have a beginning, a middle, and an end.  It can be a challenge!

 Alberta:  Do you have a preferred genre to write in?

Penny:I enjoy variety in my writing and have penned romance, science fiction, fantasy, horror, contemporary children’s, paranormal children’s, and non-fiction.  I think my favorite, though, would be fantasy, since this is the genre I most enjoy reading for pleasure.

 Alberta:   When not writing what do you most enjoy doing for relaxation?

Penny: For relaxation, I enjoy a number of things including gardening, playing with my grandchildren and pets, reading, crocheting, walking, spending time with family and friends, and attending water aerobics classes.

 Alberta:   Do you enjoy music? If yes, what kind and do you use music to aid your writing?

Penny: I enjoy classic rock, but I don’t like to have distractions when I’m writing, so I don’t listen to anything as I work.  I do enjoy writing outside, though, and the music of the birds in the trees is very soothing.

 Alberta:   Do you have favourite author/authors?

Penny:There are so many it’s hard to choose favorites, but I do enjoy Tolkien, Frank Herbert, Terry Brooks, George R. R. Martin, Kim Harrison, Devon Monk, and Jim Butcher.


Boos Bad Day - cover resized

By Penny Lockwood

 Boo sneaks out of the house and discovers that freedom by himself can be scary.

Picture book for children aged 18 months to 6 years

Published by 4RV Publishing

ISBN# 13: 978-0-9852661-5-8

4RV –

$8.99 includes s/h

Look inside at Amazon

Out And About At The Zoo: Red Carpet Day

I welcome Jo Linsdell back on the Red Carpet today, Jo is touring her children’s book Out and About at the Zoo and joins me here to tell us how the process of creating this lovely book happened.



Jo Linsdell is the author and illustrator of the rhyming children’s picture book OUT AND ABOUT AT THE ZOO. Find out more about her at

From idea to finished product  By Jo Linsdell

I got the idea for my children’s picture book ‘Out and about at the zoo’ after taking my eldest son to the zoo for the first time. I decided to make the text rhyming as they were his favourite types of books.

My son was always an eager audience when I needed to read through the text and wasn’t shy about giving feedback either. As with most kids his age, he asks a lot of questions too which actually really helped me loads as it made me think about the project from a different angle.

I got him to help me with the illustration part too. He loves drawing and so was excited at the idea of helping me create the animalsfor the book. We researched together to find pictures of the animals I needed using our own photo’s from our trip to the zoo and pictures we found in books and on the internet. Every illustration included in the book was given his seal of approval… and trust me he was very demanding. If it didn’t look right to him it was redrawn.

Once I had the sketches for the illustrations I mapped out the book on paper. As standard children’s books have 32 pages I used that as a guide. I pencilled in pages for the title page and copyright page and then divided the text between the remaining pages. I then choose which illustrations would cover single pages and which a double spread.

Next I checked production costs for various book sizes and decided on the size for the book (6×9). I wanted it to be small enough to keep costs low but big enough for children to be read in groups as my target audience would be primarily mums with their young children.

I then draw an in-scale version of the book, page by page, including illustrations and the placing of the text. Once I had the rough draft version it was time to make it digital.

As I wasn’t familiar with any graphic programs I did some research into what programs and tools other illustrators were using and decided to use Adobe Illustrator. After playing around with it for a over a week I realised I needed some help and luckily for me, a friend of mine offered to help. I then just need to edit the pages. He was a real life saver.

Before adding the text to each page I asked a few writer friends to proofread the text for me. I wanted to make sure I hadn’t missed any mistakes (something that can happen when you have in mind what you want it to be). Once I’d done the final edit I added the text to the illustrations. It was then just a case of making sure it was formatted correctly for uploading to create space.

Involving my son in the project made everything more fun and he was fantastic at motivating me to work on it. He would often ask “Mummy did you finish that picture yet?” or “Is the book ready now?” This book definitely holds a very special place in my heart.

ISBN/EAN13: 1477446591 / 9781477446591

5 Stars

“Out and About at the Zoo by Jo Linsdell is a delightful story set in rhyme about a boy and his mum. The two spend the day at the zoo and meet many animals along the way. Your child will enjoy reading this book time and time again. The colorful illustrations make this book a joy to read. Pick up a copy of this book and share a day at the zoo memory with your little one”.

By Kate Mueller, Author of Bella’s Birthday Surprise

for more reviews check out yesterday’s spotlight here

Purchasing links:

Thank you Jo. I have always thought writing for children to be really hard, so am very impressed with any who can do it. It sounds like you had great fun creating and I think your son will hold the book dear as well.  Who else has experienced writing for children is it as difficult as I imagine.

Last but certainly not least see how well this book is doing at Amazon

Out and about at the zoo book tour

The zoo, fun pictures and rhyming verse what more is needed for a cosy curl up with your child, or indeed for a child just learning to read for themselves. Jo Linsdell has created one such delight. I am pleased to showcase her book on her tour. Tomorrow Jo will be guest posting here on a Red Carpet Day and telling us how she created this delightful book, with a little help from her young son.

Out and about at the zoo

Written and illustrated


Jo Linsdell

Rhyming text and colourful pictures accompany this fun day out discovering different animals at the zoo.


5 Star

“Our family has enjoyed reading aloud for years, even beyond the early reading days. There was a lull in the aloud reading department after our children left home and before grand-kiddos came along. Now when they visit, we have both serious story reading and funny romps through books. Out and About At the Zoo will be one that will be fun.

The rhyming text will be easy for little ones to memorize so they can “read” along. Author Jo Linsdell adds enough action to the simple text for children to play along with the kangaroos, monkeys, and zebras.

I especially like the simple illustrations. Young children like to copy pictures as they learn to draw. Ms. Linsdell’s pictures, with the circles, ovals, and other shapes, can be copied easily with crayons, even by an adult.

I look forward to gathering on the sofa with a gaggle of giggling grandkiddos and sharing this story.”

By Susan K. Stewart

5 Stars

Its all Happening at the Zoo!

I review many books. When I see a children’s picture book, I tend to savor the artistic way the writer and the artist tend to mesh. Sometimes its the blending that makes a simple child’s book something really worth reading.

Out and About at the Zoo is a combination of the artist and the writer being the same person Jo Linsdell. She crafted a very cute and adorable children’s volume. This simple children’s book with bright colors of animals from the zoo is crisp in it poetic delivery. The art sparkles in its simple characters of the zoo animals.

Ms Linsdell seems to know her target audience and gives them a bright a images for them to enjoy. These young children will delight in this books rhythms that come from its verses and art. It is a good book to give for those young and young at heart”.

By Bennet Pomerantz

5 Stars

This is a fun, short book for the grandkids! If you love reading to your children or grandchildren, this book will become a family favorite quite fast. The simple wording and bright interaction of characters makes it easy for very young readers and exciting for toddlers still listening.

Jo puts some serious thought into toddler reactions and includes those in the book. My favorite part was the last page, because my toddlers decided immediately that we needed to take a trip to the Denver Zoo. “Yay!!! I get to see the elephants!” (Okay, that part was ME not them. But they get to go too.)”

By Jan Verhoeff

5 Stars

“Out and About at the Zoo by Jo Linsdell is a delightful story set in rhyme about a boy and his mum. The two spend the day at the zoo and meet many animals along the way. Your child will enjoy reading this book time and time again. The colorful illustrations make this book a joy to read. Pick up a copy of this book and share a day at the zoo memory with your little one”.

By Kate Mueller, Author of Bella’s Birthday Surprise

5 Stars 

“Out And About At The Zoo is a cute book that describes a child’s memory filled trip to the zoo. Are you heading to the zoo and you would like to tell your kids what animals they will see there and what they might be doing? Then Out And About At The Zoo would be a great choice. Easy to understand and easy for children to read along with. It is filled with simple yet colorful pictures that even held my one year old’s attention!

Would also make a good gift for young readers who are just beginning to read!”

By Virginia L. Jennings

5 Stars 

“What is your favorite animal to see at the zoo?  Author and illustrator Jo Linsdell both describes and pictures a fun day at the zoo that a young lad has with his mum.  They get to look at colorful parrots, tall giraffes, screaming monkeys, meat-eating lions and tigers, striped zebras, scary crocodiles with big teeth, hopping kangaroos, bathing hippos, and huge elephants.   But how does the boy feel when it’s time to go home?   How would you feel?

Children love to visit the zoo.  Our two boys certainly did when they were little, and we still do even today.  Jo Linsdell is a freelance writer and artist who is originally from the United Kingdom but now lives in Rome, Italy, with her husband and their two young sons.  The rhyming text and colorful pictures in Out and About at the Zoo not only make a truly fun story for children to read or have read to them and imagine what it’s like, but will also help to familiarize them with the different kinds of creatures that they will discover at the zoo when they do go.”

By Wayne Walker, Home School Book Review

5 Stars 

“I have always been told that if you are going to write a rhyming picture book you had better make sure the entire thing rhymes. An author named Verla Kay has many picture books written only in rhyme. Her rhymes are excellent and I use her as a standard for good rhyming. She would enjoy this book!

Jo Linsdell has written a picture book with pictures that are so adorable you want to hug each animal in the book. Both the pictures and the text bring a child’s wonder and excitement during a day at the zoo to the reader. The illustrations leap off the page and the animals are so inviting. Each one has a smile and the text tells children what each one does. I think this would be a great bedtime story for any child or a good introduction to a day at the zoo. As a primary teacher, I recommend this highly for a beginning reader. After a few readings the child will be able to read many of the words.”

By Barbara Ehrentreu 

5 Stars 

“Jo has chosen a palette of bright flat colours such as young children love for her first picture book, “Out and About at the Zoo”, which she wrote with her small son acting as honorary head of her children’s consumer advisory panel.  Her son influenced her story’s creation each step of the way, which has made the whole experience  of making this, their first picture book, very special indeed.

The images of the animals are cheeky and fun and are complemented by the simple narrative with a strong rhyming element. Children love the musicality in rhyme so I can see why her little boy loved this mode of storytelling. I’m sure other children will find it fun too!”

By Jennifer Poulter

5 Stars 

Too Cute! Learning Colors, Rhymes and Animals!

Out and About at the Zoo is such a fun book. I can’t wait to read the rhymes in this story to my grandbabies. I know I will be sending them their own copy of this book to read and soak up the colorful pages.

The illustrations are so cute and will definitely grab the child’s attention to the bright colors and the zoo animals they are visiting in this darling book.

Here is one of my favorite pages, it teaches the child about the description of the animal and teaches colors in fun rhyming words.

“Zebras with stripes
of black and white
trotted over, much to my delight.”
page 14

I see this as not just for a fun read but also for the education of young children.

I highly recommend this book!

I rated this book a 5+ out of 5

By Its Time to Read Mamaw

4 Stars 

“I enlisted some help from my daughter who turns three next month to write this review.

After reading “Out and About at the Zoo,” to her, I asked if she liked the book. Her response: “I YOVE it.” (she can’t pronounce “L’s” very well yet but you get the drift).

Caitlin has summed up everything you need to know and there’s not much more to add to her comment. Jo’s book is fun with cleverly rhyming text and is brightly illustrated. Your littlies will love “Out and About at the Zoo.”

By Pete Abela

About the author:
Jo Linsdell is a freelance writer, author and illustrator. Originally from the UK, she now lives in Rome, Italy with her husband and their two young sons.

Jo Linsdell

Author website:

Purchasing links:

Contact details:



Out and About at the Zoo is now an Amazon Best Seller!

Out and About at the Zoo has climbed the Amazon ranks and reached the number 1 spot in various categories.

Release Date: 1st June 2012

 Product details:

ISBN/EAN13: 1477446591 / 9781477446591

Page Count: 32 : Binding Type: US Trade Paper

Trim Size: 6″ x 9″: Language: English

Colour: Full Colour with Bleed

Related Categories: Juvenile Fiction / Stories in Verse

 Out and About at the Zoo is now an Amazon Best Seller!

Out and About at the Zoo has climbed the Amazon ranks and reached the number 1 spot in various categories. Including

Juvenile Fiction/stories in verse


Large Print children’s books

RED CARPET DAY: Come back tomorrow when Jo will be posting a guest post on the creating of her book.