Lulu the Beaver Virtual Book Tour, Author Interview and Giveaway

Tuesday, January 17, 2023


Lulu the Beaver

Written by Bethany Gano

Ages 5+ | 48 Pages

Publisher: Bunny Books | ISBN-13: 9781736147269

Publisher’s Book Summary: In a colony full of busy beavers, one bashful beaver is hiding a gigantic secret.

Lulu tries to be a typical beaver, but her dream of being an artist is getting out! Despite her friends’ encouragement, Lulu’s struggle with fear and self-doubt has led her into a pattern of destroying her artwork — until an unexpected encounter changes Lulu, and the forest, for good.

With funny asides, sound effects, and elements of comic-book style, this eye-opening tale urges kids to confront gloomy thinking and gives them the courage to bravely share their gifts.

“The idea of feeling…boxed in by others’ expectations…is a complicated subject to tackle, but Gano handles it deftly. Gano’s evocative text, combined with her dynamic and multihued mixed media illustrations, make for an immersive and atmospheric reading experience.”
—BookLife Review, Editor’s Pick

“[Lulu] loves the rhythms of the world and cherishes her forest neighbors — but she also dreams in color and yearns to chew stumps into shapes. Ebullience ferries this inspiring tale forward, and the revelation of Lulu’s beautiful differences is a triumphant moment for all.”
—Foreword Reviews (Starred Review)

Available for purchase on Amazon and the author's website.


Bethany Gano’s first large-scale work of art landed all over her parent’s kitchen floor — despite her witty, four-year-old attempt to give credit for the fine piece to her imaginary friends! She never stopped creating, though, and eventually learned the best places to display her artwork. Bethany has worked in the commercial arts for over twenty years and loves storytelling through art and design. She is extra fond of picture books — a place where art and words can’t survive without each other. Lulu the Beaver is her debut picture book.

Off the clock, you can find Bethany covered in paint, playing board games, swimming, daydreaming at the beach, and attempting to walk her dogs. She, her husband, three kids (and other furry and scaly family members) call Central Florida home.

For more information, visit:


Life Is What It's Called - What will children like most about Lulu the Beaver?

Bethany Gano - When I visit classes to share Lulu’s story, kids usually get most excited about three things. First, they enjoy “chomping” along with Lulu during the story. The “chomps” are woven throughout the text, and it creates a rhythmic beat which (when combined with other natural sounds from the forest) whisks Lulu away to colorful, dreamy la-la land where she creates her artwork. (I will be vague about these other two items so that I don’t create any spoilers!) Second, they are thrilled to meet the surprise visitor, and how this character relays her own story. Last, they LOVE the wordless, art- filled scenes toward the end!

Life Is What It's Called - How is this book different from other books about animals?

Bethany Gano - There are so many amazing animal books that orbit around real-life animal environments and behaviors, but Lulu’s story probably nestles itself best next to books dealing with emotions and feelings. With that in mind, Lulu the Beaver is not unlike many children's books featuring animals, in that what she deals with is akin to the struggles we face as humans. She feels boxed in by expectations (most of which are in her head) about what it should look like to fit in with the industrious beavers in her colony. The story has been compared with non-animal books (like Spoon by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon), as well as with animal-centric books (such as I Don’t Want to Be a Frog by Devorah Petty). In I Don't Want to Be a Frog, the main character wished he wasn’t a frog and wished he was a cute and warm animal instead — until he discovered it wasn’t so bad being a frog after all. In contrast, Lulu knows she's a beaver (and actually loves being a beaver, loves her family and loves the forest) but doesn't realize that being a beaver doesn't have to crush her dream of being an artist. Lulu’s journey is truly about accepting and celebrating what makes each of us unique!

Life Is What It's Called - Why is it important to confront gloomy thinking?

Bethany Gano - I should start by sharing that Lulu is me. A little beaver stuck in a loop — suppressing her dreams, destroying her artwork, and resigning herself to blending in. I'd been working in the commercial arts for over 20 years, but never publicly shared any of my creative work before launching Lulu’s crowdfunding campaign through Kickstarter. I had let fear and self-doubt get the best of me for such a long time. We often experience these kinds of gloomy thoughts starting at a very young age — it may be the fear of water, not wanting to share something we drew, or maybe feeling nervous about making a new friend. So, when I share Lulu’s story with kids, I also share mine. I talk about the importance of facing our fears, the value of perseverance, and the reality that practice makes pathways — all of these start with self-acceptance. If I hadn't confronted my own gloomy thinking, this book would not exist.

Life Is What It's Called - Why did you decide to include humor in this book?

Bethany Gano - I absolutely love to laugh — I wish I would have included even more humor in her story! I think reading (especially as a child) should be a highlight of a kid’s day, and content that is fun and funny helps make learning this important skill enjoyable. Humor is also a great way to disarm and entertain, and allows us adults to slide right into important conversations with kids. Also, I should point out that I don’t like taking myself too seriously — I think that shows up in my work!

Life Is What It's Called - Why did you decide to incorporate elements of comic book style?

Bethany Gano - My love for art and drawing started when I was little. I created my own comic characters (two dogs named Willie and Wanda), and faithfully read each comic strip that arrived in the Sunday paper every weekend. I also subscribed to my favorite comic books, and probably watched more than my fair share of Saturday morning cartoons (also, it was the 80s, so I drew more Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles than I care to admit). There’s such an immediacy and playfulness about comics that I find magnetic. In comics, you often discover important clues or arrive at the joke’s punchline by scouring the artwork. I think this is something that lends itself beautifully to picture books. I hope to lean into these characteristics even more in my future books!

Life Is What It's Called - Do you have any activities to go along with the book?

Bethany Gano - Yes! I created an activity book that’s full of puzzles, mazes, coloring pages, writing and drawing prompts and more — it’s great for keeping 5–8-year-olds busy. Also, for teachers, I have a free teachers guide (to share Lulu in class) and offer free virtual author visits. You can also find info about all of that as well as printable activities at I think activities are a great way to get kids excited about reading and learning, and hope all of this creates a great tool set for parents and teachers — and, ultimately, kids!

Enter for a chance to win one of three signed copies of Lulu the Beaver or one of two very awesome Lulu the Beaver prize packs: The Illustration Pack or The Blast-Off Pack. 

One (1) grand prize winner receives: 

  •  A signed, hardcover copy of Lulu the Beaver 
  •  A blank sketchbook 
  •  A set of four Blackwing Volumes pencils 
  •  A pack of metal pencil caps 
  • One custom-painted illustration by Bethany of a name of your choosing (in Lulu’s forest lettering style shown, but the palette can be customized). 

One (1) grand prize winner receives: 

  •  A signed, hardcover copy of Lulu the Beaver 
  •  A copy of Lulu’s Activity Book One 
  • “Dream On” patch 
  •  One “Lulu Blast” sticker 
  •  One “Lulu Blast” bookmark 
Three (3) winners receive: 
  •  A signed, hardcover copy of Lulu the Beaver 

Lulu the Beaver Book Giveaway 

This post is in partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Bunny Books.

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