Book reviews, an interview, coloring pages, AND a giveaway?! Could this day get any better?!
Thanks so much for stopping by and don’t forget to comment for a chance to win a prize package from Sleeping Bear Press!
Jungle Gym (2018, Sleeping Bear Press, Board Book)
From the publisher:
With a cast of characters including a zebra, toucan, and a hippo, everyday concepts such as up/down and in/out are hilariously demonstrated by animal friends on a playground. A new board book series by artist Jennifer Sattler.
Dirty Birdies (2018, Sleeping Bear Press, Board Book)
From the publisher:
One curious birdie playing in a mud puddle leads to four new friends, all getting into trouble. Toddlers learn to count from 1 to 5 with Dirty Birdies, where birds of all feathers get down and dirty and then all clean again. A new board book series by artist Jennifer Sattler.
Jungle Gym and Dirty Birdies, written and illustrated by Jennifer Sattler, are sure to be hits with emerging readers and toddlers. With bright, colorful illustrations and simple, short blurbs of text, children and adults will enjoy reading these clever books. Both books feature adorable animals in funny situations and lots of new words for the youngest readers. With opposites and counting at the forefront of these books, little ones will learn new concepts and words without even realizing it. Board books are great for introducing children to reading and to new ideas, and these two books will not disappoint. Highly recommended for children ages 2-5.
5 stars for five dirty birdies and all their jungle pals!
Dirty Birdies and Jungle Gym hit shelves February 15, 2018, but they are available for pre-order now! Click on the pictures below to see the books on Amazon.*
Interview with author Jen Sattler
Thank you so much to Jen for taking time to visit with me and share about her books and writing career!
Both Jungle Gym and Dirty Birdies feature funny illustrations that can be appreciated by children and adults, but I think children will especially relate to the dirty birdies as they are often messy and enjoy many of the same things as the birds. What is the process like for creating a board book as compared to a picture book?
So much of the humor in a board book is visual. That’s really why I wanted to do a whole series of them. I absolutely love board books. With a board book there’s no big arc of a story or a lot of character development, it’s just fun! And when you’re having fun, learning new concepts is much easier (color, opposites, counting) When I’m putting together a board book each page can have a more singular impact. So much of the fun for little ones is learning to turn the pages, learning the physical act of reading a book, so each page is a little moment that they can come back to over and over again.
I see your books often feature (adorable!) animal protagonists. Can you tell me more about your creative process and how these animal characters come about? Do you choose animals for any particular reason?
I love drawing animals because their human characteristics come out of their physical forms. Inevitably a character will emerge that just speaks to me. It starts to have a personality. When drawing people it’s too easy for me to reference someone I know. They’re not born out of the page so to speak.
I still enjoy reading children’s books as an adult, but there is something really magical about books when you are a child. Did you enjoy reading as a child, and what book do you remember most fondly from your childhood? What book do you enjoy most as an adult?
I didn’t have many books as a child. We had a few Dr. Seuss books though and I loved them. (I used to call him “Der Seuss”, I thought that was how you pronounced “Dr.”) There also used to be books at the grocery store; Golden Books. If we were good, my mom would get us a book. Like I said, we didn’t have many! I still have all of those and opening them up brings my memory back in a really visceral way. I see through my much younger eyes. You’re right, it really is magical. My favorite book was Horton Hears a Who.
As far as what book I enjoy most as an adult? I’d have to say that I never get tired of Sandra Boynton’s books. Especially Hippos Go Beserk. I think the humor in those books is for everyone. There’s no age limit on finding six hippos showing up to a party with an uninvited “guest” hilarious.
Did you always aspire to be a children’s book author and what was the road to publication like for you?
No, I sure wasted a lot of time trying to “adult”. After getting my MFA in painting I taught college students for a few years. Then I had my children. In no time our house was full of picture books and it was clear that THAT was what I wanted to do! No more paintings to just hang on the wall. I wanted to make kids laugh… I finally released my inner goofball! It took a lot of rejections before my first book Sylvie came out in 2009. Since then I’ve had over 15 books published. It’s the best career in the world. The harder I work, the more fun I have.
Who has had the greatest impact on your writing and your career?
When I first started out it was my daughters Mayzie and Lilia that had the biggest impact on my writing. They would ask me questions. For instance Lili asked me why flamingos were pink and after some fact searching Sylvie was born. As my kids’ personality traits emerged issues like making friends or doing something you’re scared of would happen naturally and stories came to me through the characters I was drawing. Since the girls are pretty big ( one’s in college, the other a junior in high school) now I spend time with toddlers and preschoolers at my daughters’ old preschool/daycare. There’s nothing like spending time with little ones. It’s pure joy.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your new books or your career?
I’ve always wanted to do a series of original board books. Their humor and simplicity is so pure and direct. There’s so much to learn at that age and so many fun ways to show them. Each thick board page is a little funny moment. No one is as in touch with joy as a toddler. It’s the best job in the world to make something fun to put in their hands.
Thank you again Jen!
Check out these great coloring pages for your little ones (or for you!)
Just click on the link for a full size PDF coloring page that you can print.
I’m excited to offer you a fantastic prize package from Sleeping Bear Press! Please comment on this post for your chance to win a set of books and a tote bag!
What is your favorite children’s book? Have you read anything else by Jen Sattler?
Or comment on something else that interests you!
Please comment by February 8, 2018 end of day. I will randomly select a winner from the comments and announce the winner on the blog on February 9, 2018.
A big thank you to all who read and comment on my blog. You guys are the best! 🙂
Thank you to Sleeping Bear Press for copies of these books in exchange for my honest review.
* These are affiliate links which means, at no cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase thanks to Amazon’s Affiliates program 🙂