Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: Cover Reveal: Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers

Sometimes a request comes and you are honored to be the one asked. I am excited to be able to host the cover reveal for author, Melissa Stewart's 2018 title - Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers: Celebrating Animal Underdogs (Peachtree Publishers). I had the opportunity to read a very early copy of the book and I love it. Melissa uses her skill as a writer, understanding of the animal world, and knowledge of what children will love to create a fabulous new book that you need to add to your "list of books to read". 

Thank you Melissa for sharing the cover of your upcoming book and telling us a little about it. Let me turn the blog over to Melissa for her thoughts on the cover and ideas behind the book.

Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers: Celebrating Animal Underdogs   by Melissa Stewart, Illustrated by Stephanie Laberis Peachtree Publishers (September 2018)

Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers: Celebrating Animal Underdogs
by Melissa Stewart, Illustrated by Stephanie Laberis
Peachtree Publishers (September 2018)

Don't you just love this cover? 

Pipsqueaks back cover.jpg

Okay, now here's the back. It's just awesome right?

Stephanie Laberis is crazy talented! The animals she creates are scientifically accurate and a whole lotta fun. Her style is absolutely perfect for this book.

Here’s the publisher’s description:
“Puny? Poky? Clumsy? Shy? Written in a lively and playful voice, Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers: Celebrating Animal Underdogs introduces young readers to a variety of “animal underdogs” and explains how some of the surprising characteristics we see as weaknesses actually play a critical role in their survival.”

There are lots of books out there about the biggest, fastest, tallest, strongest animals. You know,
creatures we admire. If they were people, we’d give them shiny gold medals. But our book isn’t
about them. Instead, it focuses on some of the world’s underappreciated animals and shows that
they’re pretty amazing too.

Even though the information is presented in a fun way, the book’s central nugget, its creative
core is serious. I was severely bullied as a child, and this book is my way of offering hope to
children who might be facing something similar right now.

Here’s my favorite spread in the book:

Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers_lizard spread.jpg

I was a clumsy, uncoordinated, unathletic kid, so the western fence lizard is kind of my hero. See how its “weakness” helps it catch prey? Let’s face it. Eating is pretty important if you want to stay alive, and this lizard has come up with a completely unique way to getting the job done.

Everyday across America, children get picked on for being small or slow or shy or overweight or clumsy, but sometimes these perceived flaws turn out to be a core part of what makes them successful adults. Using examples from the animal world, I encourage children to flip their thinking, and to be kind to one another. 

Thank you Melissa for stopping by and sharing your new cover and a few thoughts on your upcoming book.


About the Author: Melissa Stewart is the author of more than 180 science-themed nonfiction books for children, including award-winning A Place for . . . series. She holds a degree in biology from Union College and a master’s degree in science journalism from New York University. Melissa believes that nothing brings nonfiction writing to life like firsthand research. While gathering information for her books, she has explored tropical rain forests in Costa Rica, gone on safari in East Africa, and swum with sea lions in the Galapagos Islands.

Illustrator Bio:  Stephanie Laberis is a character designer and Illustrator who specializes in creating art for animation and children’s publications. She has illustrated several picture books, including My Little Golden Book of Sharks and Grumpy Cat ABC Book. She lives California. Visit her website at


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