Picture Book Giveaway To Celebrate My 100th Post

This is my 100th blog post! (I feel a little like Bilbo Baggins announcing his 111th birthday.)

To celebrate, I’m going to depart from my usual history-related post and give away a picture book I had the pleasure of helping, in a small way, to bring into the world.

Freddie the Frog® and the Invisible Coquí (Mystic Publishing, 2015) was written by Sharon Burch and illustrated by Tiffany Harris. In the story, Freddie and his best friend, Eli, meet new friends that introduce them to Latin music and teach them how to dance the salsa.


Photo by Deb Watley

More than a decade ago, Sharon, an elementary music teacher, developed a way to teach her youngest students music concepts that were generally only taught to older kids. Sharon wanted a way to help other music teachers do the same, so she created her own publishing company, Mystic Publishing.

The Invisible Coquí is the sixth book in the Freddie series. All six books feature a story, a dramatized audio CD, music, and activities, such as games or dancing.

I’m proud to have worked with and for Mystic Publishing from the beginning! And I’m grateful to Sharon for introducing me to the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI)!

For more info:

Freddie the Frog®

Music-lovers, parents, teachers, authors, illustrators, etc. (US residents and non-relatives only), to enter the giveaway, please post a comment and tell me what kind of music you liked as a child. I’ll conduct a random drawing of the commenters on Tuesday, Feb. 9.


  1. Lyndsey

    I loved anything with fun rhythms. In elementary school orchestra, I still remember playing Dance Parhelia and Straight Up (yes, the one by Paula Abdul). In chorus, we loved Under the Sea from The Little Mermaid. And even the various little songs we created with classroom instruments. It was the songs with interesting rhythms that kept me engaged.

    • Deb Watley

      Yes, fun rhythms are important to kids! I’m so impressed you had orchestra in elementary and that you were able to play fun songs! Disney is wonderful at making music kids love. I think my first Disney songs were from The Jungle Book.

  2. Lynne Taylor

    Growing up in Virginia, I always loved Southern Gospel, especially a good men’s quartet. Since my son played trombone in HS Jazz Band, I really began listening to jazz. I play jazz music for my students quite a bit during Art class 😄. I love the Freddy books by Sharon and Tiffany ❤️

    • Deb Watley

      Hi, Lynne! It’s been a long time! I remember when you were expecting your son!

      My parents loved Southern Gospel, too! I grew up on The Gaithers! I don’t know a lot about jazz, but I like watching high school jazz bands. The kids make improvising sound like fun! I’m not much of an improviser, so I’m awed by their ability to do so. Music and art go together so well. I bet your students were inspired, and that your class was one of their favorites.

  3. Sarah Mason

    I loved anything with a beat! It was always fun to move my body or clap along even if it wasn’t in time! Now I teach Preschool and we study musical instruments! I get to bring out my saxophone and other instruments to create hands on experiences then create our own instruments with materials we have in the classroom and home! Freddy is fabulous with my students!

    • Deb Watley

      Hi, Sarah. It is so cool that you introduce your preschoolers to instruments and then help them make their own! My kids would put rubber bands on tissue boxes. Oh, that just made me think of using a comb (and tissue paper?) as a homemade kazoo when I was young.

  4. Katie Hubbard

    This new book is getting me so excited!!! My kids love Freddie!!! I loved the music of Disney growing up – Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, etc. I would play the music on my record player and sing for hours. I love that kids today have access to so such great music!

    • Deb Watley

      I still love Disney music! There is a lot of variety now for kids’ music. I don’t remember so much when I was little. However, when I was in third grade one of my friends had the LP for the songs from Grease. We sang with (and probably danced to) that over and over!

  5. Amy Houts

    Congratulations, Deb! One hundred blog posts is quite an accomplishment! The book looks very cute. I hadn’t heard of this publisher. I like the unique way music and story are combined. My favorite music as a child was Christmas carols. We had one audiotape of Harry Belefonte that I loved to listen to and sing along.

    • Deb Watley

      Christmas music!! Oh, yes! There is such a variety from the fun and silly to the sacred. My mom had a Bing Crosby LP that I later bought for myself on cassette.

  6. Mary Louise Sanchez

    My grandkids are celebrating 100 days of school this week–and that’s in two different states.

    My favorite music was the music I could create or recreate. I loved trying to figure out harmonies as a young child and would try to sing in parts with my sister who always ended up singing my part too. As a young child I played the piano by ear and then took piano lessons which helped me learn to read music. This led to playing solos and playing in the high school and college band. Now I help my grandchildren play instruments and accompany my family when we have sing-a-longs. My thirst for learning harmonies is quenched by singing alto in the church choir.

    • Deb Watley

      I’m so impressed with people who can play by ear! I can play piano (a little), but I need the music. I don’t have that natural ear. You’re giving your grandchildren wonderful experiences with family sing-a-longs! I remember being envious of how the Von Trapps would sing and play recorders togethers. I like singing with the congregation at church, but I “make a joyful noise.”

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