Welcome to my latest blog piece. I am super excited to share this post with you as not only is this part of a blog tour for a fun, interactive picture book but I also got to interview an author! Elizabeth Dale’s latest picture book, that has been brilliantly illustrated by Patrick Corrigan is now available and if you know of any young readers they are in for an entertaining treat.
The book follows a young girl, Ada May who is out with her brother Max. Together they are planning on feeding ducks, what could possibly go wrong? Well it seems that Ada May gets into a few rather tricky situations and it is down to the readers to help her. Can they tip, twist, tilt blow or shake the book to help her?
This is such an entertaining book that really involves the readers. This would be a very fun read to share in a learning setting and I can imagine the giggles the book would cause, it certainly did with my girls. Patrick Corrigan has completed illustrations that are bright and cheery and really in keeping with its target audience of 3 year olds and up.
Now on to the interview with author Elizabeth Dale.
Many congratulations on your new picture book, Save The Day for Ada May and welcome to the Mamma Filz blog.
Thank you so much! And thank you for your interest; lovely to answer your questions.
Can you tell us a little more about this interactive picture book that is perhaps different from other styles of picture books you have written previously?
You’re right. This is the first interactive picture book text I have ever had published, so that makes it quite different to all my others. Written with child participation in mind, Save the Day for Ada May! calls upon children (and grown-ups!) to tip, blow, shake, lift and turn the book to be a hero and places them in control of the action. In an age where gadgets and tablets are commonplace amongst our little ones, often at the expense of reading, my ambition with Save the Day for Ada May! is to provide a refreshing and alternative type of picture book, with a new and exciting power to engage, enthuse and delight. Whilst there are other interactive books out there, I feel that this one involves the reader far more in needing to actually help the main character, Ada May, escape from each predicament. But somehow each rescue seems to lead to another sticky situation ….
One similarity with many of my other picture books is that, as well as doing all these actions to help Ada May, the reader is hopefully very much involved in noticing and understanding what is happening to characters in the text – far more than those characters themselves actually do! And so the reader is therefore one up on them in anticipating what might occur. Ada May’s brother has absolutely NO idea what is happening throughout the story, just like Daddy Bear in Nothing Can Frighten a Bear. Similarly Gerty in Don’t Get Dirty, Gerty, and Jenny in The Carrot Cake Catastrophe! just don’t see the funny things they’ve done wrong.
I love to write picture books where there is so much extra detail in the illustrations than is ever said in the text, as I feel that children love interpreting them to get so much more out of the story. For example in Save the Day for Ada May! Ada May’s poor cuddly rabbit is never even mentioned in the text, but he almost has a story all of his own!
I try to make all my picture books funny, even when dealing with serious subjects, and hopefully Save the Day for Ada May! will have all readers chuckling as well as being heroes!
Patrick Corrigan has done a wonderful job at creating cheery, bright illustrations. We think Ada May is adorable. Can you tell us a little bit more about how the illustrations came to be?
All Patrick’s illustrations add so much humour and really help to bring the text alive. I couldn’t have asked for better design and illustration.
Apart from giving rough guidance with my initial text about what predicaments might be about to befall Ada May on each spread, I left it to the design team to work on the illustrations with Patrick. So, it was a wonderful surprise when I finally saw what the book looked like and how well Patrick portrayed the story and every pending scenario. In a book with very few words, the right illustrations are vital, and I am really pleased with how well Patrick’s vibrant pictures work with the text, adding so much more to the story. Ada May is just so cute and adorable – she has to be saved! And the expressions on the face of her cuddly rabbit and all the other animals are truly wonderful!
You dedicated this book to your grandson. Does he have any favourite books that he has/had enjoy(ed) reading with his nana?
We have loved reading so many books together. Particular favourites of Leo’s are The Tiger Who Came to Tea, The Elephant and the Bad Baby, and Baby Brains – the story of an incredibly clever baby, who is still a baby at heart. We also love the way that You Choose really enables you to allow your imagination to take off.
As a child did you have any favourite books or authors?
I absolutely loved all Enid Blyton’s books that involved mystery and adventure. What an escape they were! I really felt I was there lying in the grass with the children watching out for crooks and drinking ginger beer! Winnie the Pooh was another great favourite, as was Heidi.
We are aware that occasionally authors get inspired by their stories through ways like seeing peculiar objects or having a fun dream and of course personal experiences. Do you have any funny stories to share that have then inspired you to write a picture book about them?
Oh, I wish my dreams led to wonderful stories! Maybe one day!
Usually, bits of things that happen to me creep into my picture books, rather than inspire them. Fortunately, I haven’t had any near catastrophes with my own children, but there was a bull that chased our family car down a narrow lane in Devon that was the inspiration for the bull in Save The Day for Ada May. I think our red car was like a red rag to a bull! What we’d have done if we’d met a car coming the other way, I don’t know. There wasn’t room to pass. Fortunately, the bull eventually got tired, but he was very fierce and scary!
A near cooking catastrophe where egg whites were mistaken for peach juice inspired The Carrot Cake Catastrophe! And the death of my daughter’s hamster inspired my first every picture book, Scrumpy, about a dog that died. And the same hamster, who used to escape from her cage at night and steal my children’s little play people and take them back to her cage (and then nibbled through our phone wire one night!), was the inspiration for my story book, Hammy, about a hamster who thwarted a burglary.
I am aware that you have written many picture books and books now but if you weren’t an author what would you be?
If I was clever enough, I’d love to be an artist – or maybe an actor? How fabulous to combine both careers!
And finally very quickly which would you rather….
Old city trip or beach trip?
Beach! (But mountains beat both!)
Dogs or cats?
Tea or coffee?
Tea – except when I’m tired and have to get a book finished, then it has to be coffee for the caffeine!
Savoury or sweet?
Harry Potter or Lord of The Rings?
Winter or summer?
Summer – but not too hot!
Thank you so much for chatting with us. You are welcome back to our blog any time.
Thanks for the chat!
It has been an absolute pleasure welcoming an author on my blog. As mentioned earlier this piece is part of a book tour. If you have missed any fellow book bloggers pieces not to worry, here is more information about the tour.
Disclaimer: The publishers provided us with a copy of the picture book in exchange for participation on their book tour. All opinions are my own.