When Winslow Homer painted The Country School in 1871, children had few books to learn from, but today things are much different.
Our guest today, Annette Whipple, loves to research and write books for children. Molly and I love her Truth About animals series.
The series now has 3 books, Whooo Knew, the Truth About Owls; Woof, the Truth About Dogs; and the newest book, Scurry, the Truth About Spiders. Lots of fascinating facts and colorful, up-close photos will delight children and adults.
Molly is excited to learn more about Annette and her beautiful books, so let’s get started!
Q: Please tell us a little about yourself and how you began writing.
A: I wasn’t always a writer. I began writing as a blogger because I wanted to share my daughter’s speech journey as she overcame verbal apraxia with others. Eventually, I realized I could be an even better writer, so I took some writing courses. Later I had some magazine articles published in magazines for adult readers. In 2014, I had my first idea for a children’s book, so I studied the publishing industry, took lots of courses, read a ton, and attended my first conference a year later. Like most children’s writers, I was an overnight success when that book idea became a book in 2020—The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion: A Chapter-by-Chapter Guide. (That was a joke! Writing for children is much more difficult than most people realize. It’s also a long, rather slow process.)
Q: Writing is a long, slow process, but we’re so glad you’ve written such fun and informative books! When you need a break from writing, what do you like to do for fun?
A: For fun I enjoy going for hikes or baking treats for my family. I enjoy movies, too! Of course I love reading—lots of kids’ nonfiction. 😊
Molly would love to taste some of those treats you make!! And I bet you do some of your research on your hikes and in your reading, too!
Q: What was the inspiration for The Truth About series?
A: The Truth About series began with the idea for a book about owls. I knew so much incredible information, that I knew I could fill a middle grade book. But I quickly realized it wasn’t working. I set it aside for a couple of years (while I finished The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion: A Chapter-by-Chapter Guide). When I returned to it, I completely changed the structure and audience. Now it’s a fraction of the length as a picture book! I was thrilled when Reycraft Books wanted to turn it into a series!
Those owl eyes are mesmerizing! I’m an art teacher and one class does an art project about owls, so I plan to have your book, Whooo Knew there for children to enjoy as they work.
Q: Please tell our readers a little about Scurry, the latest book in the Truth About series.
A: Scurry! The Truth About Spiders is a question-and-answer picture book. It includes tons of beautiful photography as well as humorous art illustrations. It’s packed with facts about our 8-legged spider friends.
Molly and I enjoy the question and answer format of your books. And we love the little creatures in each book that add humor!
Q: Some baby spiders launch into the world on passing breezes. When does Scurry, The Truth about Spiders, the 3rd book in your series, launch into the world?
A: September 30, 2021—but the publishing world is experiencing all sorts of problems with the supply chain. So it may not arrive in bookstores or library shelves until a bit later. (Please be patient!)
Q: We love the up close and colorful photos in Scurry and the other 2 books. Do you have any favorite photos?
A: In Whooo Knew? The Truth About Owls, I love this photo because at first glance, it looks like it could be the owl’s tongue—but it’s not!
Yikes! It’s a mouse! We see its little feet!
This puppy is irresistible in Woof! The Truth About Dogs.
Molly totally agrees with you !
And in Scurry! The Truth About Spiders, I appreciate how we can see all the silk threads from the spinnerets in this spread.
That’s fascinating. I’ve never seen such an up-close photo of a spider making its silk!
Q: Woof, The Truth about Dogs also launched recently–in July. What interesting thing did you learn about dogs that you didn’t know before?
A: So much! But I probably most appreciate how much dogs explore their world through their sense of smell. I knew it was important before, but now I understand the science behind it, too.
Molly loved learning more about her doggy cousins in Woof!
Q: What suggestions would you give parents, grandparents, and teachers to help children enjoy your books?
A: Have fun going deeper to learn about any of the topics I write about. Here’s a guide featuring owl STEM activities, crafts, and books! https://www.annettewhipple.com/2020/10/owl-stem-crafts-and-books.html
Q: What advice would you give young people who might like to become writers?
A: Readers make the best writers! So read! Also…keep writing. Take classes and value others’ opinions! Also, check out this blog post about how kids and teens can get published. https://www.annettewhipple.com/2019/07/how-can-kids-and-teens-get-published.html
That’s such good advice, Annette. Molly and I hope all our readers are listening!
Q: What are some upcoming books in The Truth About series?
A: Ribbit! The Truth About Frogs comes out in spring 2022 followed by Meow! The Truth About Cats. We’re really excited for these titles!
Molly and I are excited, too, and we’ll be watching for these 2 new books in 2022!
Q: Where can readers learn more about you and your work?
A: Readers can learn lots by following me on social media or visiting my website at www.AnnetteWhipple.com.
Q: Where can readers find your books?
A: My books can be requested at any bookstore or library! Of course, they’re also available online, but I prefer to support small businesses.
Thank’s so much, Annette for taking time to visit Molly and me here on our blog. We and our readers have enjoyed getting to know about you and your Truth About series. I know 1 or more of these great books will be on my Christmas list to give as gifts!
Annette, Molly and I hope you’ll visit again when Ribbit and Meow come out! Molly said she might take a walk, though, while we talk about the Meow book!!
For Molly Fans: here are ways you can enjoy great art from a Christian perspective, as well as get related devotions, art activities and interviews with children’s authors!
- If you’d like more activity ideas for art, history, and nature, curriculum connections, and links to more resources, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. Just click the sign-up button above on the right. You’ll receive a free guide to making art museum visits a fun masterpiece for your whole family. Even if your family isn’t into museums, the quarterly issues have lots of fun stuff for kiddos!
- Visit my website where you’ll find free downloadable puzzles, how-to-draw pages, and coloring pages. There’s also an updated list of my hands-on workshops, chapels, and presentations for all ages.