The 2023 Best Book of the Year Winner Speaks Out

Last month Outskirts Press crowned its 2023 Best Book of the Year winner, Sarah Sebring Binder, for her book Pack Rat’s Lost and Found, illustrated by Virgil Pedro.

Ms. Binder wished to share these thoughts about her award-winning publishing experience in the interest of inspiring other authors to pursue their dreams.

“I have enjoyed working with Outskirts Press on several children’s books. Each time, the staff members have been helpful with every phase of the book publishing process, from submission of the manuscript and the necessary paperwork, acceptance of the manuscript to the actual work on the book itself. Different staff members have differing expertise and help with various phases of the book, from working with the illustrator, designing the interior concept and exterior cover of the book, creating a video, submitting the necessary paperwork for copyright, to nominating my books for the EVVY award.

Each staff member has been encouraging, patient, and helpful as I figure out what it is I want. They make me feel like my book is the most important project they are working on and I have their undivided attention which is very reassuring during the process.

With some of my books, I have worked with the illustrators from Outskirts Press. It is amazing that with a simple description, the illustrators create a sketch and then turn that sketch into a beautiful color illustration. Such talent!

For Pack Rat’s Lost and Found, I worked directly with an artist. That was a first for both of us. We learned a lot along the way. When it came to submitting the illustrations, the Outskirts Press staff were very helpful in helping us navigate our way making sure the illustrations worked. And as you can see, the book with its colored pencil illustrations is striking and worthy of a Gold EVVY Award. 

Publishing a book and putting yourself out there take a lot of courage. The Outskirts Press staff members with whom I have worked appreciate that and applaud your courage. What is more, I have enjoyed all the people I have worked with and they have helped to make the process fun and exciting- a dream come true for me.”

About the Author – Sarah Sebring Binder

Sarah Sebring Binder has been an educator for more than 40 years, sharing her love of reading, writing, and storytelling. When not writing, she loves to garden, dance, fiddle, travel, and quilt.

About the Illustrator: Virgil Pedro makes his home in Arizona. He became interested in creating art when his daughter became an artist, and honed his skills by taking classes, attending workshops, and working in art studios. He and his wife enjoy spending time with family.


2023 Outskirts Press Book of the Year and EVVY Gold Medal Winner!

The desert critters concoct a clever plan when Pack Rat’s wish is granted.
Every night, by the light of the moon, Pack Rat whispers to the glittering stars, “Star bright, star light, first star I see tonight, wish I may, wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight. I wish I might find a treasure tonight!” When Pack Rat’s wish comes true and he finds a glittering, gorgeous star, he is ecstatic and takes it back to his desert palace. But oh no, Mrs. Binder is missing one earring—a very special glittering gold star, a gift from her husband. Cat helps in the search and then recruits the desert birds. “Meow, meow, have you seen a glittering star?” Roadrunner races here and there spreading the word. The doves coo and call a crowd. Cactus Wren twitters. Gila Woodpecker tat-a-tat-tats and knocks on Owl’s door. Red-Tailed Hawk squawks, “I know the rat who stole the star. Pack Rat dragged it to his nest, and now he’s taking his daily beauty rest.” Now Cat must concoct the purrfect plan, with the help of his desert backyard critters, to retrieve the glittering gold star.

Save 10% on Pack Rat’s Lost and Found at Outskirts Press

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