Hello Readers, and Welcome to Kid Lit Village! Today we have an interview with Janet Halfmann, who has not one, not two, but three new books releasing in 2021! Her books WHO IS SINGING? (summer 2021), YAY FOR BIG BROTHERS! (Nov. 2021), and CATERPILLAR’S SURPRISE (Dec. 2021) are a perfect fit for the blog, where I often feature nature themed picture books. I hope you’ll enjoy learning about Janet and her latest books.
Who Is Singing? came out this summer from Pen It! Publications, with pictures by Chrissy Chabot.
Have you ever heard a bird whistle wheet, wheet, wheet, birdie, birdie, birdie? That’s the song of a cardinal. Every bird’s song is different. Bird songs often sound like familiar words. That makes it easier for us to tell Who Is Singing?
This book is a celebration of birds and their songs. Young children love hearing and repeating the sounds that animals make. While enjoying the musical sounds of birds, children will learn that the song of each bird is different. Children may even learn to recognize some of the songs.
Yay for Big Brothers! released Nov 2 from Arbordale Publishing, with pictures by Shennen Bersani.
Big Brothers are amazing! Did you know that big brothers are important in animal families, too? Animal big brothers do many of the same things as kid big brothers. They play with their younger siblings, teach them new things, and help with their care. Sometimes animal big brothers even babysit when their parents leave to hunt for food. Are you a big brother or do you have a big brother?
Caterpillar’s Surprise comes out December 2 from Black Rose Writing, with pictures by Emily Krueger.
A masquerade ball with a blue ribbon! Caterpillar dreams of winning, but wonders how she can since she is just a baby. Tadpole convinces her that her natural baby disguise as bird poo is perfect.
As Caterpillar grows, her look changes, and she worries again. Tadpole tells her she now looks like a scary snake, and is sure to win! Then . . . just weeks before the ball, Caterpillar spins a chrysalis and hangs unmoving from her tree. Now, even Tadpole (who is changing into a frog) is worried.
Will Caterpillar break out of her chrysalis in time? And if she makes it to the ball, will she still think winning is the most important thing of all?
Please welcome Janet Halfman to the Kid Lit Village blog!
Janet Halfmann is an award-winning children’s author who strives to make her books come alive for young readers and listeners. Many of her picture books are about animals and nature. She also writes picture book biographies about little-known people of achievement. Janet has written more than forty fiction and nonfiction books for children.
Before becoming a children’s author, Janet was a daily newspaper reporter, children’s magazine editor, and a creator of coloring and activity books for Golden Books. She is the mother of four and the grandmother of seven. When Janet isn’t writing, she enjoys gardening, exploring nature, visiting living-history museums, and spending time with her family. She grew up on a farm in Michigan and now lives in South Milwaukee, WI.
Congratulations on these three lovely books, Janet!
Tell us why you write books for children.
I write books for children because I like telling stories. I also enjoy sharing amazing things I learn in a fun or creative way.
I also love working with words. I enjoy looking for just the right word to make a sentence have a rhythm or be fun to say or hear.
A love for words and stories is so important for a picture book writer when every word counts!
Tell us about the inspiration for your books.
I got the inspiration for WHO IS SINGING? by listening to the cardinals in the trees near our home. Now, everyone in my family knows that a walk with me means stopping to find and listen to every bird we hear!
I was inspired to write YAY FOR BIG BROTHERS! when our toddler grandson became a big brother. Becoming a big brother is not always easy, and I thought all big brothers needed a book to celebrate them. I focused on animal big brothers because I think it is comforting to children to know that animals go though many of the same experiences as they do.
CATERPILLAR’S SURPRISE: I was inspired to write this story about caterpillars and butterflies and metamorphosis after watching monarchs and tiger swallowtails and more flutter around our backyard. The more I learned about butterflies and their amazing lives the more enamored I became. Then after an editor read my butterfly story, she suggested that I add a frog and have the two grow up together. And so was born this story of a caterpillar and a tadpole who become friends and share adventures as they face big changes together.
Janet, I love how your inspiration comes from both children, and the nature around you.
Tell us how you build yourself up in the face of rejection.
Like most people, I’m disappointed when I get a rejection, but I always have enough projects in the works that I don’t have much time to dwell on a rejection. If something gets rejected a few times, I take a close look at it to see if I can somehow make it better.
Having multiple projects is particularly important for picture book authors, I would agree!
What do you hope children will gain from your books?
Most of all, I hope kids enjoy my books. I also hope that my stories help children lead richer, fuller lives, make them more understanding of others, and help them appreciate all of nature.
Janet, I love it that your first focus is for children to enjoy your books. This will hopefully result in a lifelong love for reading.
Did you know, I’ve written a couple of books too?
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