I’m part of the Goodnight, Ark blog tour and I’m giving away a copy of this fun rhyming bedtime picture book. Author Laura Sassi also answers 5 short questions for me.
Rhyming Bedtime Picture Book
Goodnight, Ark by Laura Sassi, illustrated by Jane Chapman
In rollicking rhyme, this bedtime story will have kids howling with laughter as the animals on Noah’s ark make their way to his bed due to a scary storm. Thankfully, Noah knows how to get them all back asleep but not without a small mishap involving the skunks! [picture book, ages 1 and up]
Super Short Q and A with Author Laura Sassi
I have 5 question Q and A to get to know author Laura Sassi.
1) How old were you when you discovered that you like to rhyme?
2) Do you have some favorite rhyming word pairs?
What a fun question! One of my greatest writing pleasures is to be stumped over how to make a poem or story progress while rhyming and then after lots of playing with words to find a fun, fresh way to make it, not only work, but (hopefully) sing! I gravitate towards rhyming word pairs that are a little unexpected. For example, when writing Goodnight, Ark,I brainstormed rhyme pairs that involved unusual animals such as quail and boar. I also wanted the rhymes to have a riddle quality so that young readers could guess what would happen when page turned. My favorite rhyming word pair in Goodnight, Ark involves trunks/skunks. Other favorite pairs from other pieces include vigor/bigger, ingredients/obedience and fence/tents.
3) Tell me about the process of collaborating with illustrator Jane Chapman. Where their giggles involved?
I was thrilled when I learned that Zonderkidz had selected Jane Chapman to illustrate Goodnight, Ark. I was familiar with Jane’s work from Karma Wilson’s Bear Snores On series. The first glimpse I had of Jane’s work for Goodnight, Ark was when I got an advanced peek at the cover. A few months later I received the folded galleys and saw for the first time Jane’s wonderful lantern-lit depictions of tigers and sheep, boars and quail all scurrying up to Noah’s bed. Even though no direct collaboration was involved, her illustrations demonstrate that a lot of thought went into transforming my words into pictures and extending the story with little bits of added humor throughout. For example, I’ll never forget my daughter giggling the first time we read Goodnight, Ark and she noticed polka-dotted boxers hanging to dry on a clothesline and a toothbrush in a cup on the sill.
4) Was it hard to decide which animals to choose for the Ark?
No, but it was fun imagining all the possible animals I could highlight in the story. First, I made a list of my favorite animals and the sounds associated with each since I knew I wanted to incorporate onomatopoeic elements into my story. I also wanted animals that lent themselves to colorful illustration and that maybe were a bit awkward or unusual – like grunting boars and flapping quail. Once the ark started to tip I knew I needed a pair of animals who would be good at dispersing the rollicking, bedtime crowd in a hurry. Can you guess what pair I chose? And I was delighted when I saw that Jane expanded the list of animals on board by including many that aren’t in the text, but that add richness and humor to the story. See, for example, if you can spot which insects were on board. The penguins with their rocky bed also make me smile each time I read the book.
5) What’s next for you?
I have several more book manuscripts I’m working on and I’m always percolating on a few poems. I’m also happy to share that Zonderkidz will be publishing the second book of mine slated to come out next fall. Stay tuned for more details on that. Right now, though, what I am most excited about is finally getting to share Goodnight, Ark with kids. I have several local events planned, including a story time with a ceramic craft at our local pottery place and a book launch at Barnes and Noble. I’m also excited to be offering a dozen free 30-minute Skype author visits so I can share Goodnight, Ark and interact with young readers everywhere. I’m still finalizing the details for that, so please check my blog for signups later this month.
Goodnight, Ark GIVEAWAY
To win a copy of Goodnight, Ark, please enter the Rafflecopter below.
p.s. The other stops for the Goodnight, Ark tour are:
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.