Room 313 here–taking over Erin Dealey’s blog.
Hi from Bainbridge Island, WA!
Before we zoomed with Erin Dealey last week and celebrated PETER EASTER FROG‘s BOOK BIRTHDAY, we read a bunch of her picture books. Here are 10 questions we had for her, and a few of our reviews:
Q. 1 —from Vivian & Hannah: How old were you when you decided you wanted to be an author?
Erin Dealey: I was teaching high school English and Theater. (That’s OLD!) I was not the kid who wanted to write books when I grew up. Remember those journal entries from 6th grade that I shared? I thought writing had to be perfect. I liked Math because I knew how to get the right answers. That’s why I tell students #WritingIsNeverWrong. We need to rethink the “Writing Process.” Those edits don’t mean what you wrote was wrong. But we do want other people to be able to read it, don’t we? That’s where the editing tools (spelling, punctuation, grammar, and format) come in handy. They help us to turn our WRITING into READING.
Q. 2 —from Luisa: Why do you choose to write rhyming stories?
Erin Dealey: I honestly don’t choose to write in rhyme. The story idea shows up that way in my head. I’ve always been drawn to rhyme and rhythm–from my favorite songs, cheers (Yes, I was a cheerleader.), to studying and directing Shakespeare. You’ll notice that while my first books, like GOLDIE LOCKS HAS CHICKEN POX, rhyme all the way through, my most recent books, PETER EASTER FROG and DEAR EARTH…From Your Friends in Room 5 are combinations of rhyme and prose.
Room 313 Reviews:
This story made me laugh and I enjoyed the character of the brother and how he behaved. —Vivian
I enjoyed how her little brother was so excited she was sick (spoiler alert!) then he got chicken pox. —Sophie
We liked when her brother (spoiler alert!) got chicken pox. —Kaleb, Annika, Liam, Mason, & Sean
Q. 3 —from Naomi and Vivian: Why is LITTLE BO PEEP CAN’T GET TO SLEEP in black and white?
Erin Dealey: I loved that Room 313 asked me this question. I turned the tables and asked them to guess the answer. Here’s what they said —
- The story takes place at night.
- She is anxious.
- She is having a bad dream.
And here’s the real answer: It’s not supposed to be in black and white!
Buyer beware: There is a batch of BO PEEPS printed in black and white that have been circulating for years and years. I tell people to either send it back for a correct copy–in color–or keep it as a collector’s item. Then again, it’s a great writing prompt AND life lesson: No one is perfect.
LITTLE BO PEEP CAN’T GET TO SLEEP
Room 313 Reviews:
We like how Erin Dealey included other fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters. —Mason, Harper, Naomi, Benjy, Hannah, Liam & Sophie
I liked the plot line of Little Bo Peep because of how Little Bo Peep was having such a hard time telling her parents that she lost her sheep. —Sam
Q. 4 —from Sam: What inspired you to write SNOW GLOBE WISHES?
Erin Dealey: I wrote SNOW GLOBE WISHES in 2017, at a time when it was beginning to feel like the whole world needed a hug. I know I did.
Q. 5 —from Annika: What would have been your snow globe wish?
Erin Dealey: They say most stories are a tiny bit autobiographical and I agree. For SNOW GLOBE WISHES, I think my wish would be the same as the girl in the story.
Room 313 Reviews:
I enjoyed that Erin Dealey used things that we sometimes do on power outages and snowstorms. —Benjy
I liked when she made a fort. —Annika
I loved how at the end it showed them in the snow globe. —Sean
I enjoyed how her snow globe wish was peace to the world. —Sam
Q. 6 —from Sean: Have you ever met or become friends with an illustrator?
Erin Dealey: If you mean the illustrators of my books, I’d say the one I know the best is Luciana Navarro Powell (GRANDMA’S FAVORITE, GRANDPA’S FAVORITE, and BABIES COME FROM AIRPORTS–Kane Miller.)
We have the same agent and although she lives closer to you–in Bellingham–we have met in person and I am lucky to call her friend. I am also very lucky to be friends with many other illustrators on social media.
Q. 7 —from Naomi: What do you like to do to save the earth?
Erin Dealey: I actually follow all of the earth-friendly habits that the kids in Room 5 do in DEAR EARTH… Everything from turning out the lights and using less plastic, to my reusable water bottle, our compost bin and garden, and recycled gift wrap and ribbon. I pick up trash along our road way too often (WHY do people throw things out car windows?) but I can’t stand to see it just lying there. EARTH deserves better and needs helpers! I am so happy to have written a book that might help encourage others to join in.
DEAR EARTH…From Your Friends in Room 5
Room 313 Reviews:
I loved the illustrations (by Luisa Uribe), they had so many colors and were beautiful. —Luisa (*No relation but how cool is it that you have the same name?)
I enjoyed that Erin Dealey made the earth write back. —Cristina
This book made me think how everyone can help out taking care of earth and make earth healthy again. —Stella
The book is a great example of what people should be doing to help make the earth a better place. —Naomi
I loved this book because it was a good lesson. —Liam
The book gave you really good ideas to help make the world a better place. —Hannah
Q. 8 —from Stella: Have you ever tried to illustrate one of your books?
Erin Dealey: Fun Fact–I minored in Art at U. C. Davis, but I have not illustrated any of my books. I did create illustrations for a manuscript I wrote a long time ago. Hmmmm…. Maybe I should take a look at that again?
Q. 9 —from Benjy & Sean: Have you ever written a chapter book?
Erin Dealey: I’ve written several chapter book manuscripts but none of them have been made into books–yet. That is definitely something I would love to do I have also written a middle grade novel that my agent is going to start submitting SOON, so think positive thoughts about these, please!
Q. 10 —from Sam: Did you write any books when you were a kid, for fun?
Erin Dealey: I liked to draw so when I was a kid, I made birthday cards and anniversary cards for my family, and when I got older I liked to rewrite the words to songs, but I don’t think I ever considered writing a book. First off, we didn’t have author visits or zooms when I was in school. I guess I thought all the books were written by really smart old people from long ago. I never ever considered the fact that I could write one. (Remember my 6th grade journal? haha That’s proof!) Now I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. To me writing is like recess: SO Much Fun!
Speaking of writing…
We wrote a group poem:
We wrote our own poems too. Erin Dealey says we can have another blog takeover to post what we wrote. See you on Feb. 9th!
Happy Book Birthday to PETER EASTER FROG!
From Room 313