Getting in the Christmas spirit yet? We are! That’s why this book is perfect – an adorable Christmas penguin in a snow globe 🙂
by Maria Ashworth
Illustrated by Sunny Choi
Published by Spork
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Format Read: Paperback
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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Pointing. Gibberish. Showing the book to her brother. Taking the same book back from her brother. She’s just shy of 2 years old . . . really, what did I expect? Oh yea . . . this!
So. Adorable. I love that we are reading about not only one ginger but a whole family of redheads! That is big for me.
The story – I loved that this was a story about a character who wants what he doesn’t have. He’s lonely and a little jealous to be honest. He wants to be able to do all the things that this little girl is able to do. Well, then something happens and he gets to do all those things. But he’s still lonely. And then he wants back what he had before. It teaches kids that just because you don’t have something that someone else does, doesn’t mean you can’t be happy with the life you have.
Illustrations – very well done. This book put me in the Christmas spirit big time. We snuggled up on the sofa with a blanket and read this one together. You could almost imagine that it was snowing outside (it’s not, thankfully!) The only thing missing was a hot cup of cocoa. But focus! The artwork – I loved how clean it was, yet with a very unique feel to it. The illustrations were simple, able to hold the little ones’ attention for quite awhile, until they started fighting over who was going to read the book. #siblinglife
Maria, thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview! Reading with children is extremely important to me and I love talking with authors who are putting it first, as well! I just want to say how much I admire what you are doing!
Q1 – Why did you want to be an author?
I didn’t plan to. It just happened. I was going through a divorce in 2006 and was chronicling in detail. Thought someday it would make a great self-help. Even have the title ready. Then it fell to the side when I got my life back together and remarried in 2008.
Q2 – Why KidLit (children’s lit)?
After I became engaged, the thought of bringing more kids to the family tore into my daughter. I looked for a book to help with transitioning children from two families to one. There was nothing out there. I thought I could try to create something for her to help. I wrote the manuscript in rhyme to help make a serious situation more relatable. She loved it. My husband said he thought I should look at this more seriously. So I invested my time with SCBWI in 2009. Been writing ever since, married for the second time.
Q3 – I adored Iggy Loo. Did you have a certain inspiration for it or just sit down one day and create on the fly?
All my stories come from somewhere. Step One, Step Two, Step Three and Four, from becoming a blended family. My Big Tree from a visit in Hawaii, Tommy James, The Littlest Cowboy in Reckon, from being bullied as a child / being married to a cowboy. Iggy Loo was no different. I was shopping in Target and admired the snow globes. Santa, a snowman, reindeer and a penguin. Living in a snow globe forever! The kid in me wondered if they ever wished to live outside their globe. Then Iggy Loo was born. Why the name Iggy Loo? It’s because the little girl can’t pronounce igloo, so I thought Iggy Loo would be adorable.
It really is! You did a wonderful job with that!
Q4 – Are you an introvert or extrovert?
It’s so funny, as a child introvert. High school, same. It wasn’t until I left home and got married at the age of twenty-two, that something changed. I found myself. Today I’m an extrovert but there are times that I revert. Especially in uncomfortable situations or feel as if I’m being judged. Then there are times I love to be alone and recluse. I think I was a cat in another life.
Q5 – The booknerd in me has to ask – what are the top 5 books on your wishlist right now?
Anything by Richard Paul Evans. I collect his books. Anything YA, my daughter passes her favorites to me. And I love to cook, so I’ll read through a good cookbook.
Q6 – Do you have a certain process when you create (snack, location, handwritten or digital)?
Starbucks soy latte before the gym. Workout for an hour. Come home and type. To writeit by hand and transfer to paper is a waste of time for me. Unless it’s a hand-written letter. I break for lunch. Creature of habit, usually Torchy Tacos, Mr. Orange. I come back and type some more. Creating for me can be in the shower, driving or anywhere to foster ideas. Mostly I usually sit at my desk, calendar by my side and cat at my feet.
Maria, thank you again for joining us! I loved your answers and can’t wait to see how my little ones react to your book as they grow 🙂
Happy Tuesday, booknerds and mini booknerds!