Thursday, October 22, 2009

S is for Story, interview with Esther Hershenhorn

If you read this blog often, you know of my love of Sleeping Bear Press books, especially their awesome alphabet series. Well, there's a new one on the block, S is for Story: A Writer's Alphabet, written by Esther Hershenhorn and illustrated by Zachary Pullen.

Setup as all the other books in this series are, we are given cute rhymes introducing younger readers to each alphabetical topic, with a sidebar filled with facts regarding the topic for older children. There are also quotes from famous authors all throughout the book, as well as writing tips for those children that are interested in writing, as a hobby or even a future career.

The illustrations are just magnificent, probably my favorite out of any alphabet book in this series, making for a very pleasant journey from A-Z. The page spread for D and E is exceptional, featuring Abraham Lincoln, looking very real!

The author has graciously answered a couple of questions that I thought you all might be interested in learning about.

How did you become involved with Sleeping Bear Press’ alphabet book series?

I’ve always known about, used and recommended Sleeping Bear Press books, from their earliest legend retellings and abecedarian titles up to their current list of YA fantasy. Their books both educate and entertain; the iconic format allows beginning and older readers to participate. I credit my good friend and fellow Sleeping Bear Press author Steven Layne for introducing me to the possibility that I might propose a relevant series title. As I wrote in my January, 2007 proposal for the originally-titled W is for Writing, “I live and breathe this book.” I write children’s books, teach Writing for Children to adults, coach writers of all ages and facilitate writing workshops for teachers and students. Creating an A-to-Z journey through a writer’s life and process was right up my alley.

Which letter entry is your favorite?

I so love “M is for Magic.” It sits smack dab in the middle and it was the choice of 16 of my 22 Louisa May Alcott School fifth graders with whom I brainstormed letter possibilities. But “Z is for Zorro” especially grabs my heart. What better way to affirm young writers than to remind them to place their signature beneath their stories, perhaps with an identifying symbol or a telling signature quote. Richard Peck’s closing words also make me smile: “My advice for children who want to write is, you can start right now.”

I soooo appreciate Ms. Hershenhorn stopping by this blog to give us an author's insight into one of my favorite series. I know a lot of others out there are fans of the Sleeping Bear Press books as well, so check this one out next time you're at your library. :)

S is for Story: A Writer's Alphabet
Esther Hershenhorn
40 pages
Picture book
Sleeping Bear Press
September 2009
Review copy provided by publisher

To learn more, or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon. I'm an Associate and will receive a small percentage of your purchase price.

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