Saturday, October 31, 2015

An Interview with Rose Mannering, Author of Boo's Beard

Hi, Everyone! A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed a book called Boo’s Beard by Rose Mannering. Today Rose is with us for an interview about her book. If you want to check out my review again, you can find it here. Otherwise, grab a cup of coffee or tea and let's have a chat with Rose.

Welcome, Rose!

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I think I loved books from the get-go. I can remember all the picture books and children’s books that my parents used to read to me. I’m dyslexic and it took me a while to learn to read by myself, but that didn’t prevent my love of books. They were like another world I was desperate to access. Sometimes when I couldn’t read a particular book because it was too difficult, I would write my own. That’s really how I began writing (with terrible spelling mistakes).

Where do your ideas come from?
The idea for Boo’s Beard came from my two Miniature Schnauzers, Boo and Delilah, who have big funny beards that often twist into different expressions. I wanted to create a story out of that, using their beards as the focus.

So, what have you written?
I’ve written two picture books with illustrator, Bethany Straker: Boo’s Beard and The Spotty Dotty Daffodil. I’m also writing a YA fantasy series called The Tale Trilogy which started with Roses (currently out) and the next installment, Feathers, will be released summer 2016.

Please tell us a little bit about your book.
Boo’s Beard is a little book about social acceptance. Tom can’t read the facial expression of the other children at the park and he often feels excluded. Children learn the meaning of facial expressions, though the illustrations, and they are introduced to the possibility that some may have difficulty interacting with them.

How did your book come to life?
I think it’s really all down to Bethany Straker’s amazing illustrations! They are just gorgeous!

Is Tom’s Boo based on your Boo? If so, how are they similar? Would you like to share a picture of your Boo?
Yes, I nabbed my Boo’s name for the picture book (her sister, Delilah, is a bit jealous). Although my Boo isn’t nearly so lively as the Boo in the book. She’s actually quite dopey and slow, but she is just as sweet!

Where did you get the idea to write a book on the topic addressed in Boo’s Beard?
I think that there are times in our lives when we all feel social excluded. I wanted to address this in a form that children could understand. I hope that young readers will be prompted to think about social disabilities in an indirect fashion – I wanted to introduce the idea that there may be some children who find it difficult to communicate, but that isn’t a reason to exclude them.

Do you have, or are you planning on writing any other books about children with disabilities?
I would love to – I think it is so important to teach children about disabilities.

Was there any research required to write Boo’s Beard?
Actually no – I just tried to think myself back into what it was like to be a child and how we all often feel left out.

Boo’s Beard
By Rose Mannering
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Published: Oct. 6, 2015
ISBN: 978-1634502078

Amazon Synopsis:

Tom can’t read facial expressions, so he doesn’t understand the other children and they don’t understand him. Playing at the park can be lonely sometimes, but luckily Tom has his dog, Boo, and Boo is easy to understand. She wags her tail when she is happy and whines when she is sad.

One day, Boo gets her beard all knotted up in the bushes. A little girl named Lydia sees Boo and stops to talk to Tom. Boo’s beard has been tangled into a big smile, and Lydia explains to Tom that it’s the expression that someone makes when she is happy. She twists Boo’s beard into more expressions, explaining each one as she goes. When Lydia invites Tom and Boo to play on the swings with the kids, Tom and Boo join her. And at the end of the book, Tom understands the meaning of his own smile.

This sweet book familiarizes children with social disabilities, such as autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Children learn the meaning of facial expressions and are introduced to the possibility that some children may have difficulty interacting with them.

Book Links

About the Author:

Rose Mannering is an English writer and international author. She writes both YA and children’s fiction. Her first picture book with illustrator Bethany Straker, The Spotty Dotty Daffodil, was published in 2014. She lives in Kent, England, with naughty twin doggies named Boo and Delilah who don’t like having their beards brushed!

Author Links
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