Hello and Happy Monday! Welcome to Kid Lit Love where new release picture books are featured every Monday with an author and/or illustrator interview. Today I’m happy to feature SATURDAYS ARE FOR STELLA by Candy Wellins, illustrated by Charlie Eve Ryan, published by Page Street Kids.
That’s because Saturdays mean time with Grandma Stella. The two of them love going on adventures downtown to visit the dinosaur museum and ride on the carousel! Even when they stay in, George and Stella have fun together, making cinnamon rolls without popping open a tube and sharing the biggest, best hugs.
Then one day Stella is gone, and George is ready to cancel Saturdays. But when a new addition to the family arrives, George finds a way to celebrate the priceless memories he made with his grandma―while making new ones too.
It is a pleasure to welcome Candy to the blog. Congratulations, Candy! Thanks for sharing your new book with us and answering a few questions!
1. Please tell us how you came to write for children.
I have been a writer my entire life. I was the editor of my high school newspaper and went on to earn a degree in journalism from the University of Nevada. But working with children was always where my heart was so I ended up becoming an elementary school teacher for a decade. I loved children’s literature so much I ended up getting a Master’s degree in literacy education. After my own kids were born, I decided to follow my dream of writing a picture book. After years of hard work, I am proud to say it has paid off and I now have two books slated for publication.
2. Please share with us the inspiration for your book.
SATURDAYS ARE FOR STELLA was inspired by my relationship with my grandmothers. I was very close to both of them growing up. When I was pregnant with my oldest child, both of my grandmas died within two months of each other. It was hard for me, especially since that meant my own kids would never get to know them. I’ve been very conscious to share experiences, photos, traditions and memories of them with my own children. This story was my way of celebrating families and the traditions and memories they make. It was also a gentle reminder that those we love are never truly gone from our lives. I hope the story helps other families dealing with loss.
3. Please share a piece of advice for children’s writers.
I would tell writers to look close to their heart for their best stories. I write about a lot of different topics, but the stories that relate to me tend to be my strongest. So dive deep into your own heart and your own experiences when looking for meaningful stories to share. Your connection will radiate through your writing.
You can learn more about Candy here:
Twitter is @candy_wellins
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