Guest Edition

Stef Wade–What Was on Her . . .

Stef Wade

A big welcome to Stef Wade, who is here to help us celebrate National Quiet Day and revel in the fabulous combination of Q + U. Stef is going to talk about her most recent book, Q & U Call It Quits. But–erm—if Q and U are calling it quits, what is going to happen to our QUiet Day Celebration?

Well, don’t worry.

It’s true, Q and U Call It Quits travels the ups and downs of friendship. But it also provides fantastic reinforcement for letters that go together. Q and U are QUick friends. T and H are THick as THieves. It all goes beautifully until U realizes she can hang out with more letters than Q. Q gets a little needy. U wants time alone. And suddenly all the letters are arguing about going solo. But, as I said, don’t worry. Q and U come together for one powerful word that brings all the letters back together again.

Whew! QUiet Day is still on! We get to talk with Stef!


                                Q & U CALL IT QUITS              written by Stef Wade, illustrated by Jorge Martin

What happens when best friends Q and U quarrel? It’s a real quandary, since they have always been quality friends—a true squad. But sometimes, U wants some time to herself—even though Q is lonely because he doesn’t always fit in with the other letters without her. When the rest of the alphabet notices the split, they decide they want to do the same. And utter chaos ensues!

Can Q and U come together to quell the mayhem and help the letters repair their friendships?


Stef is also the author of The Very Last Leaf and A Place for Pluto and has two more picture books coming out in 2022—Moving to Mars and Every Day’s a Holiday. She has three boys (four, if you count her husband) and visits schools whenever she has the chance.

So… (you may be asking) isn’t Stef too busy to be celebrating QUiet Day? Well, let’s turn things over to her and find out What Was On Stef’s…

QUietest Day This Month: That’s an easy one – every weekday since all three of my children went back to school! I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for the last 11 years and have always had a child at home with me for at least half the day. So now I’ve got lots of time to write (yay!) but it’s eerily QUiet in my house.

Favorite Q + U Combination: There are so many! In writing this book, I had a long list of Q&U words and there were some I had to leave out (and some I wanted to leave out, hello quarantine!) But here are some of my Q&U faves:

  • Quinoa
  • Quadruple
  • Quatrefoil
  • Quintuple
  • Quagmire

On a side note, and something I learned in my research, if you stare at a lower-case q long enough, it really starts to look like an upside-down d. Try it, your brain might trick you.

Discord Brewing

Back to School Prep List: I love back to school time. It always helps me to reset my goals and intentions – a nice, fresh start!

Back to school prep for our family means:

  • adjusting our bedtime schedules so we don’t have too much trouble getting up in the morning
  • getting all necessary supplies aka running through Target like I’m on Super Market Sweep while attempting to grab the last 3-subject wide ruled notebook
  • Fresh hair cuts
  • Stocking up on packable foods

And back-to-school prep for me is:

  • Polishing up my new Q&U CALL IT QUITS school presentation
  • Dusting off my favorite coffee mug
  • Making a play list because really, I’m not sure I’ll be able to work in such QUiet conditions!

The Very Last Leaf

Favorite School Presentation: This is almost like picking my favorite book, which I liken to picking my favorite child. I love presenting on A PLACE FOR PLUTO. Without fail, at least a few kids giggle every time we say Uranus when naming the planets. I’ve never given a presentation on THE VERY LAST LEAF in person, since it came out during the pandemic, but I do love when I “open my window” to demonstrate wind resistance during my virtual presentations (see photo!)

Bulletin Board: I have two quotes that hang on the bulletin board in front of me. The first says:

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

The other might not be inspirational to everyone, but it certainly is to me! I was an Advertising major in college and worked in marketing for many years after. I cut out this quote from the local paper when I was about 19 years old and hung it on my bulletin board. It still hangs on my bulletin board today. (see photo)

Words To Live By

Desk: On my literal desk are three journals, an empty bowl of yogurt, and an orrery (if you don’t know what that is, look it up and you’ll know why I have one!)

But on my “writing” desk – I’m currently working on a draft for a middle grade eco-mystery/adventure novel set at the Great Barrier Reef. I’m also doing research for my very first historical picture book, and working on a picture book with dinosaurs because my youngest son has been begging me to write a dinosaur book. It is time.

Mind: I’m thinking about the show NEVER HAVE I EVER on Netflix. My husband and I just finished watching season 2 and I seriously cannot get enough of it. I adore Devi as a main character and can’t wait for season 3. Props to Mindy Kaling for putting together such a funny and emotional show!

Thanks so much, Stef! I’ll have to put Never Have I Ever on my To Watch list. Also, thanks for introducing me to the word orrery. I had seen them, but didn’t know this was their name. I might just need one myself.


You can stay in contact with Stef Wade at stefwade.com, on Twitter @Stef_Wade, on Facebook @stefwadeauthor and on LinkedIn @stefwade.

If you would like to order Q & U Call It Quits, click on the book below.


Please mark September 24 on your calendar. Aimée Sicuro will be giving us the inside story on her gorgeous illustrations and telling us what inspired her most when she first read The Stuff Between the Stars.

Also stop by on October 9, when we will celebrating Hangeul Day, Korean Alphabet Day, with Carol Kim, and talking about her book King Sejong Invents an Alphabet, the story of how a 15th-century Korean king invented an alphabet for his people.


If you would like to know more about me and my writing, please visit sandranickel.com.

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