Cover Reveal: Just Like Millie by Lauren Castillo

Happy, happy Tuesday! I'm thrilled and excited and sooOoooOoooOOOo happy Lauren Castillo stopped by to finish my sentences. We discussed Harrisburg, Millie, soft pastels, dogs, and more. I wrote the words in purple, and Lauren wrote the words in black. Congratulations, Lauren! I cannot wait to share Just Like Millie during my 2024 Books I Love presentation! 

Just Like Millie tells the story of a little girl and her mom who move to a new city. The child is uninterested in any of the social activities her mom offers . . . that is, until she meets a dog named Millie.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is where my tale takes place and where I make my home. It is a wonderfully creative small city that more people should visit! (And if you plan to, let me know!)

Dogs make a forever imprint on your heart. Millie was inspired by my late dog Peanut and has the same spots and coloring and short legs! My other dog, Keiko, who recently passed away, also makes a cameo in the book.

This Is a Story is a picture book by you (John Schu) and illustrated by me (Lauren Castillo)! I created the art with ink, watercolor and soft pastels. I had so much fun with this technique that I used a similar process for Just Like Millie!

John Schu, you should have asked me if I’m currently fostering a dog? Why, Yes! Yes I am! The rescue named him Cole, but we call him Fennec (after the foxes) and he’s a 3yr old chihuahua-pug mix. He’s a very good boy. But not quite as good as Millie. We’re working on it. ;)

Thank you, Lauren! 

Just Like Millie releases on April 4, 2024. Pre-order a copy from your favorite bookshop. 

In a gentle story from Caldecott Honoree Lauren Castillo, a shy young girl finds exploring her new city and making friends overwhelming—until a rescue dog helps her uncover the bravery that was always in her.

A young girl and her mother move to an apartment in a new city. Despite her mother’s efforts to take her out, the girl would rather play by herself in their cozy home—she feels just fine on her own. Introductions to children her age have her hiding behind her mother’s legs, and invitations to group activities have her in tears. That is, until she meets Millie, a rescue dog who is not too big, not too small, and kisses her arm when the girl nervously reaches out. With Millie, saying hello to new people isn’t so scary . . . and maybe making a friend isn’t either. Through emotionally honest prose and soft, expressive illustrations, Lauren Castillo explores one girl’s shyness and anxiety—and how one dog’s love helps her open up—in a warm picture book that reminds readers of how the right companion can make the world feel like a less frightening place.


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