I was doing some work tonight right before it was time to put my oldest kiddo down for bed. We were talking about books and I realized just how important it is to build a love of reading and writing in little ones—even my youngest loves to “read” her coloring books in the car, and she’s two!
My six-year-old is not only a lover of reading, but she’s an author too! Her school has their own publishing company and students can submit a story and have it transformed into a beautiful, hardcover book. Our plan is to have her write and illustrate a book every year. She considers herself a second-generation author, just like Mommy!
So, I thought I’d interview my favorite little author and share her thoughts here—there are some universal truths about what makes a good book and why reading and writing are fun. And there’s also a love of princes and princesses and happily ever afters, which I guess means we have another future romance reader/writer in the Ethridge house!
What are your favorite kinds of books?
My favorites are my Disney Princess cookbook and my Disney Princess bedtime stories books because they have all sorts of different stories with different things happening to the princesses. They also have good Princess Ariel stories that I really like.
What makes a good story?
I like stories that have happily ever after endings. Sometimes parts of a book might be scary, but I know that it will always have a happy ending.
What made you decide to write your first book?
Last year, a friend in my class, Cadie, wrote a book for Paw Publishing and so I wanted to make a book too. So I got out some paper and started to draw. I told the story to my Mimi and she wrote it down for me since I was in Kindergarten and couldn’t spell all the words yet. Now that I’m in first grade, I can spell better so I hope that I can write my book all by myself this year.
When my book came out, all of my family got copies of their own and Mommy set up a book signing for me in the kitchen, just like a real author. I love reading my book, The Princess Finds a Charming Prince, to my family. They really like the art that I did in it too. I’m proud of myself because it was a lot of work.
Tell me about The Princess Finds a Charming Prince.
There were a lot of animal friends in it, and a prince, and a mean old witch who locked up a princess in the tower and the prince and a unicorn named Punalpey came to save her at her birthday party. And of course, there were fireworks and glitter. (Mom’s note: “Punalpey” is how a Kindergartener spells “Penelope.”)
So does it have a happy ending?
What do you think about having a mom who writes books?
When I was little, I knew my mom was an author but I didn’t know what kind of books she wrote. But when I turned six, I realized she wrote chapter books for adults. I’m really impressed because I didn’t know there were chapter books for grown-ups, so that’s cool. Sometimes when I go to bed, my mom reads me chapter books like Charlotte’s Web and Ramona the Pest and they’re really funny. I’m sure my mom’s books are as good as the ones she reads to me.
Do you think it’s easy or hard to write books?
I think it’s fun to do books, but it was a little hard for me to do it. But I kept at it and now I write other books for my family sometimes when I’m in my playroom by folding paper and putting it all together. I’ll write another story for Paw Publishing at school now that I’m in first grade.
I bet writing is hard for my mom because she has to write chapter books and be on the computer for a long time. But when I get my early release from school before Christmas, we’re going to Dave and Buster’s so she can have a break and have some fun.
When my mom’s book, New Year’s Eve, came out, I got her a card that said congratulations and a balloon. I thought my mom had worked hard. I’m really impressed that my mom can write adult chapter books.
Do you want to write more books?
I like to write my own books on folded up paper. My book the Princess Finds a Charming Prince had a real cover, so some people had to help me. I didn’t do the whole thing myself, they helped me make it after I wrote it. I think I might be an artist when I grow up, but I think sometimes I might write books too, because I want to help kids learn to read and love art.
Do you like learning how to read?
Yes. Sometimes, I read to myself. Yesterday I read a book called Prancine the Unicorn to my mom and my little sister. It was about a redheaded ballerina just like me. Unicorns are my favorite animal, so I could imagine it was just like me.
Once I read my Disney Princess bedtime book and we read a Belle story. I read it to my mom because Belle is her favorite princess. My mom loves it when I read to her and work on my spelling. I think it’s important to be a good speller—just like when my mom won the spelling bee—so you can get good grades on your spelling tests.
So there you have it…unicorns, glitter, and spelling tests. When did you first discover YOU loved reading?
And PS… if you’re looking for something new to read and haven’t picked up either of my novellas (aka “chapter books for grown-ups”) New Year’s Eve or The Cupid Caper, they’re on sale through the end of the week for 99 cents because of Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Santa loves it when you give eBooks because they don’t take up any room in the sleigh!