December is winding down, and what a month it has been! My youngest daughter turned 5, we survived her art and cupcake party (where the kids used acrylic paints and real canvases to make cupcake masterpieces), and we made it through all the holiday planning and have been sitting back and enjoying some good old fashioned family time.
As the month nears its end, my blog's December of Doreen is also nearly over. I hope you've enjoyed learning a little more about the picture books Wiggle, Bounce, and Stretch and that you have some fresh ideas for using them to foster movement and yes--even yoga--among the little ones in your life. To finish off the month, Doreen Cronin kindly answered a few questions I had for her over email about this series of books. Enjoy...and happy holidays, everyone!
Wiggle, Bounce, and Stretch are such fun and simple movement books that all children can relate to. What inspired you to choose these themes for the books?
Wiggle was such a deviation from the normal turn of things. Scott Menchin had already created the dog and some of the art and was working on a book about wiggling, but wasn't completely satisfied with it. My agent (also Scott's agent) sent the art to me and asked me if I would take a crack at it, so I did! It was the first time I had ever started with art and worked backwards! I loved the result, and the feedback was so good that we decided to do two more books.
All three books exude joy, movement, and childish mischief. I can only imagine they were a lot of fun to create. Can you tell us a little bit more about your process for creating them?
Once we had Wiggle, we knew the other two books would be about movement as well. With the dog already created, it really became a matter of "what else can we do with him?" Scott's art is so fun, whimsical, and accessible -- I think it's perfect for young readers.
The dog character is truly adorable. Ever thought of giving the dog a name...for fun?
I sometimes ask children what they would name the dog -- I like that it's open-ended. It's also a recurring theme in my books (by accident!) to have characters with no names! The Wiggle dog, Worm, Spider, Fly, Duck, the Cows. Farmer Brown is the only one who has an actual name!
I know it's like asking you which of your children you prefer, but do you happen to have a favorite of these three books? Or does one of them resonate with you more than the others for some reason?
I really depends on my mood (or actually, my daughter's moods)! I spent five days in Kansas reading (and wiggling) with kids all over the state after Wiggle was chosen for the Kansas Reads to Preschoolers program in 2009. I had so much fun -- and wiggled with so many kids, parents, and educators -- that Wiggle now evokes great memories for me!
Congratulations on your newest picture book, M.O.M. (Mom Operating Manual)...and on your first chapter book, The Trouble with Chickens. Any other books in the works that you want to mention? And any chance you will continue your collaboration with Scott Menchin and create another movement-themed picture book?
Right now there are no plans for another movement book. But Scott and I also did a book called Rescue Bunnies together, and I hope to work with him again and again in the future!