Welcome to SCBWI-MI's Book Birthday Blog!
Where we celebrate new books by Michigan's children's book authors and illustrators
SNAIL, I LOVE YOU!
Q#1: How did you come up with the idea for SNAIL, I LOVE YOU?
When my daughter was little she liked to express her love in similes. She'd say, "I love you as curly as a snail," or "as giant as Jupiter," or "as endless as numbers," and I wrote these all down. "Snail, I Love You," which I co-authored with my daughter who is now 7, is a series of poems written around those similes, capturing our love as well as the ideas that we were exploring together during her preschool years.
Q#2: What was the most difficult part of writing this book?
The illustrations for "Snail, I Love You" were sewn, quilted, and photographed-- and then, later, pieced together to form an actual quilt. In some ways the writing of this book was "quilted" as well, in that it gathered together existing material, using additions and subtractions to pull it into one coherent piece. I found it challenging to decide what to add and cut along the way.
Q#3: What do you hope readers will experience or take away from your book?
I think this book could inspire young readers to do their own sewing and poetry-making, but what I really hope is that readers close this book feeling love and feeling loved.
Q#4: What are your marketing plans for your book? Where can we find it?
The 'love' theme of this book and even an open dedication page ("To _____, I love you as ____ as _____") make this book especially gift-able, and we're also creating a sewing kit that can be sold along with the book. We're marketing the book to local shops, libraries and community bookstores, as well as to sewing stores and the quilting market. You can order our book online at www.snaililoveyou.com or on Amazon, and it's available through national wholesalers like Ingram & B&T.
Q#5: Who is your author idol and how have they influenced your work?
Man, it would be impossible for me to single out just one author idol. I'm in awe of Julia Donaldson's rhyming game, David Macauley and Steve Jenkins for pitch-perfect non-fiction, and Cynthia Rylant, Patrick McDonnell and Mary Murphy-- to name a few-- for giving me the bedtime read-aloud feels. Children's literature in general has influenced the way that I write and the way that I understand the world. Since my daughter is co-author I'll also mention that I notice the influence of Dav Pilkey most in her latest writing. It's so meta!
A little bit about the book: This book of quilt-illustrated love poems was co-written by a mother and her daughter, who contributed each I love you sentence when she was 3-6 years old. These words of feeling linked to concepts she was exploring and mastering while she oriented herself in the universe. The parent-authored parts draw from the big and small worlds they joyfully investigated together. In this book about boundlessness, the authors and illustrator quietly celebrate girls as scientists and boundary-breakers, and all people and animals connected by the fundamental force of love.
A little bit about the authors: Tevah Platt is a public health researcher, science writer and former news journalist. Willa Thiel worked on this book between the ages of 3-6 and is a student at Honey Creek Community School. Both authors like social justice, nature and Legos.