1. Tell me a little about Mary had a Sleep Sheep.
Mary had a Sleepy Sheep is based on the original nursery rhyme, but with a twist. In this modern day version, Mary has a very sleepy sheep named Sheppard. Mary tries all different kinds of increasingly outlandish ways to wake her sleepy sheep. The story is filled with humor and an underlying message about the importance of persistence. Sadly, the illustrator, Wilson Williams, Jr., passed away unexpectedly right before the book was released. He was incredibly talented and packed the book full of fun games for young readers. My favorite activity is finding Whiskers the mouse, hidden in every illustration of the book.
2. It could have been any nursery rhyme, why Mary?
I can’t really give you an exact reason why. It’s just something that drifted into my mind and made me chuckle. One day, I suddenly thought to myself, “Mary had a little lamb his name was Sheppard sheep. And everywhere that Mary went that lamb was sure to sleep.” Once I got this idea in my mind I just couldn’t shake it until I got it down on paper.
3. You’re not a first time author and your latest book Blucy: The Blue Cat has made its debut. Congratulations! What is the book about?
Mandy is another determined pet owner, like Mary. She has a most unusual cat named Blucy who turns different shades of blue depending on the emotion she’s feeling. Mandy’s off on a wild goose chase when Blucy refuses to eat anything that Mandy serves her to eat. Blucy is a clever cat that uses her skills of camouflage to hide in the most unusual places. Erika LeBarre is the amazing illustrator who created truly masterful pastel illustrations that will delight and amuse young readers.
4. Why do you write for children? What do you want children to garnish from your books?
I love the imagination and humor of young children. I am also a gifted elementary specialist and mother, so I try to create value added in my books by instilling a subtle message and fun activities that extend the learning through literacy. My goal is to create life long readers and writers, who love stories as much as I do.
5. What’s next? Are you working on anything in particular?
I am working on a chapter book for early readers that I’m eager to share with my picture book readers who are ready for the next level in reading. This is something I’ve never undertaken before, so in some ways, I’m growing up alongside my readers!