A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK
By Jody Jensen Shaffer
illustrated by Daniel Miyares
Sometime in 2013, I was brainstorming ideas for my next picture book. After reading about Kate DiCamillo’s inspiration for her mouse main character in Tale of Despereaux, I was inspired to write my own story of an unlikely hero. I decided a rock would fit that bill, so I began playing with ideas. That’s when the line "Rocky loved his rock star relatives" popped into my head. I loved the “rock star” pun and the idea that Rocky valued his family. I knew he was going to try to be a rock star in his own way; I just needed to write the story and find out how. That line has since changed, but it was the spark that started it all.
I got an offer from Nancy Paulsen (Penguin) in March of 2014 to publish A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, then called ROCKY, and by January of 2015, the illustrator, Daniel Miyares, had signed on. I was excited to see what Daniel would do with my text. I was familiar with his work, and I thought it was fun that we lived close to one another. That rarely happens with authors and illustrators.
Jody Jensen Shaffer is an award-winning poet and the author of more than 30 books of fiction and nonfiction for children, including PRUDENCE THE PART-TIME COW, Missouri’s pick for the 2017 National Book Festival, A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, and IT’S YOUR FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, BUSY BUS! Jody’s poetry has been published in great magazines like Highlights, Ladybug, and Clubhouse Jr. Jody lives in Liberty, Missouri and is a member of SCBWI. When she's not writing, Jody can be found watching baseball or walking her rescue dog, Sophie. Visit Jody at jodyjensenshaffer.com or on Twitter @jodywrites4kids.