Lone Star Book Blog Tours – Yazzy’s Amazing Yarn by Cathey Graham Nickell

Illustrated by Emily Calimlim
  Genre: Children’s Picture Book, Ages 4-8 
Publisher: Twenty-Eight Creative
Date of Publication: August 1, 2019
Number of Pages: 32
Scroll down for giveaway!
Yazzy is a creative girl, always sketching out her next adventure. She loves yarn, and she loves to knit! Her neighborhood park is dull and rusty, but Yazzy has a grand plan. 
With a little help from her friends, Yazzy’s knitted wonders transform Penny Park into a fuzzy rainbow of warmth and color. What yarn-tastic idea will Yazzy think of next? 
The book includes a “History of Yarn Bombing” page for readers who are not familiar with this creative and whimsical type of art.
“As a teacher, it’s refreshing to find a book that exposes children to an alternative art form. I’m inspired by Yazzy’s story, and I know my students will be, too.” — Deborah Horwitz, Art Teacher, The Emery/Weiner School, Houston, Texas.

Top 10 Weird-But-True Details in
Yazzy’s Amazing Yarn
by Cathey Graham Nickell
As a writer, I think it’s fun to hide Easter eggs in my books here and there. Sometimes they are little nudges in my mind, other times they show up in the illustrations. For example, in my first book—Arthur Zarr’s Amazing Art Car—my illustrator drew a cute little black dog into several of the scenes. That dog did not make it to the pages by accident; she is actually my sweet little Cricket who passed away in 2017, and I asked Bill Megenhardt to put her in the book. When I do school visits, students love finding out that Cricket was my actual pet! In that same first book, I created the name Arthur Zarr because I wanted his initials to be A.Z. He adds objects to the car in alphabetical order, so it seems fitting that there be an A to Z theme. Bill even drew Arthur’s key chain on the last page with an AZ monogram on it! Not to be outdone, Yazzy’s Amazing Yarn carries a few fun facts within its pages as well. Here are some of my top ten favorite weird-but-true details from my most recent children’s book. 
1.  The main character’s last name is Bobbin. Yazzy Bobbin. But it’s never mentioned in the book. I’m the only person who really knows this … but now you do too! I wanted her initials to be Y.B.—in honor of Yarn Bombing! I also thought it was a cute name because bobbins are used in sewing. I decided to leave her last name out of the book, but she does have one! 
2.  Yazzy’s best friends are Kayla and Isabel. I made up Yazzy’s name from my imagination; but Kayla and Isabella are actually two very special girls I know in real life. I shortened the real Isabella’s name to Isabel for the sake of the book so that it would be easier to read. Kayla and Isabella are the precious daughters of a woman who works for me in various capacities, Tatiana. The illustrations don’t look like the real girls, but the characters were definitely named after them. 
3.  Yazzy’s favorite color is yellow. That’s why she uses yellow yarn when she knits the cover for her phone! Later, she hands a green phone cover to Mr. Green… because, of course his should be green. Right? 
4.  Kayla’s favorite color is pink. Isabel’s favorite color is purple. Readers discover this while the girls are at the sleepover at Yazzy’s house. 
5.  Yazzy’s mother grew up in the very same neighborhood where she is now raising her daughter. When Yazzy and her mother walk by Penny Park, Mrs. Bobbin says, “I used to play here when I was a child.” That’s a hint to readers. 
6.  Wondering why I named it Penny Park? Since my last name is Nickell (spelled with a double-L at the end), I thought it was a cute play on words. Get it? Penny. Nickel? Maybe I should have named the groundskeeper Mr. Quarter instead of Mr. Green! 
7.  Speaking of Mr. Green, he cuts the grass and trims the lovely trees at Penny Park. So “green” seems like the right name for such an outdoorsy guy.
8.  There is a fountain at Penny Park. I mention this in the text, but I never say that it’s a turtle fountain. I simply write, “Visitors tossed more coins than ever into the now-fuzzy fountain.” My illustrator, Emily Calimlim, is the one who thought it should be a turtle. I’m so glad because that’s the cutest yarn-covered turtle I’ve ever seen! This is what’s fun about a picture book: the author writes, and the illustrator visually brings the story to life! 
9.  Hopefully readers will notice how multicultural the characters are throughout the book. That was carefully planned so that children can see themselves in the illustrations. Emily did a wonderful job in creating such a beautiful melting pot. 
10.  Occasionally people ask me if the bird on the front cover of the book is Yazzy. Nope. Just a pigeon having fun at Penny Park. Yazzy is a girl who loves to knit! She also likes birds very much, and so do I. When I was in the sixth grade, my best friend (Nenie) and I tried to save a sick pigeon; we named him Rainbow. That same year, my family also had a pet duck named Sugarfoot. Maybe that’s why I’ve always liked birds! 

Cathey Nickell is a busy author and elementary school speaker, having presented at more than seventy schools to date. Yazzy’s Amazing Yarn is her second children’s book about creativity and outside-the-box artistic endeavors. She is also the author of Arthur Zarr’s Amazing Art Car, which was awarded first place by the Texas Association of Authors in the category of Children’s Picture Books-All Ages. Cathey lives with her husband, Kevin, in Houston, where they raised their four children.


Emily Calimlim, while not a knitting whiz herself, loves creating art with humorous and lively watercolor pictures for children. She lives in Houston with her fiancé, George, and silly studio bird, Simon. Emily spends her days capturing her ideas and imagination with paint and pencil.
August 27-September 6, 2019

Top Ten List
Sneak Peek
Deleted Scene
Sneak Peek


   blog tour services provided by

Leave a Reply