Welcome to the third installment of Books Talk! This is the series where I interview the people behind the books you and your children love! (and maybe introduce you to a new favorite 🙂 ) Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to a new author, some great new characters, and even some new recipes! Because this great lady will have you cooking along!
One of my favorite memories in first grade was making stone soup as a class after reading that book. So get ready to have some fun with your kiddos by reading and cooking together, and of course by hearing from the author behind these stories!
AND don’t forget to register to win a signed copy of your very own!
Aileen Stewart is an author and a stay-at-home mom who lives in Ohio. When she’s not reading or writing you might find her in the kitchen, garden, or putting a quilt together (way more crafty than me!) To learn more about Aileen and her work please click here!
1. Tell Books Talk about your books.
Cooking in Fern Valley is the third book in my Fern Valley Series, and like the first two books, it contains twelve short stories. It is a bit different however, in that it also includes twelve recipes. Besides writing, one of my other passions is cooking, and I wanted to share that with kids as well. So after they read the adventures about secret valentines, an unfriendly guest, and much more, they can go the kitchen with a relative and whip up something delicious.
Quack and Daisy is my brand new picture book and the first in what will also be a series. It is the story of unlikely friends. Quack, the duckling, and Daisy, the kitten, meet in the meadow and decide to be friends. After encountering some peer pressure from family members, the two have to decide if they really can be friends.
2. For what age group is each book intended?
Cooking in Fern Valley is written for children in the age range of six to ten and Quack and Daisy is written for the four to eight group.
3. What is one character that you think will really connect with that age range and why?
The characters in my Fern Valley Series are many and varied so it is difficult to say which one children will be drawn to. Since most of the main characters are children in farm animal form, I guess it would just depend on whether or not a child loved chickens, pigs, goats, turkeys, or sheep best. And as for the Quack and Daisy series, children seem to love Quack and Daisy equally because after all, who doesn’t love cute ducklings or sweet kittens.
4. I love the idea of including recipes in your book. What made you decide to do that?
As I mentioned above, one of my other passions is cooking. I also have an eleven year old who has been learning to cook since she was about four or five. So I thought, why not combine two things I love and encourage kids to not only read, but to share an experience with a parent, grandparent, or older sibling. Cooking brings people together and helps build skills, memories, and confidence.
5. What is your favorite thing about being a children’s author?
Choosing one favorite thing about being a children’s author is a bit like having to choose only one dessert for the rest of your life. There are so many wonderful things about being a children’s author, the first being the creativity. I love to take a wisp of a thought and grow it into a full-fledged story much like a seed turning into a mighty oak. I also love to read and visit with children at schools, libraries, and book fairs. They have the most amazing minds and come up with some pretty stupendous questions. And it goes without saying how much fun it is to meet fellow authors and illustrators.
6. Do you have any great stories from school visits/ book signings you can share with Books Talk?
My favorite story is something that happened a year after my very first book signing. A grandmother tracked me down and called me at my home. She told me she had attended my first signing with her granddaughter who was a reluctant reader. She purchased my first book Fern Valley for her. At the time, I had small pin on buttons of my characters that I handed out to the kids. Apparently the girl had taken a button of Alice Redfeather, a turkey, and had read the entire book so she could find out which stories talked about Alice. Her grandmother went on to tell me that this was the first time she had ever finished an entire book. Furthermore, she had taken her button and her book to school and shared it with her classmates thus boosting her very low self-esteem. It is moments like that one that keep me from getting discouraged in a very difficult business.