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Interview with Glenys Nellist and Little Mole from Little Mole Goes to School

Hello, Glenys and Little Mole! Molly, my artsy corgi, and I are so glad to welcome you to our blog today. We’d like to get to know you a little bit, Glenys, and then Molly will take over to talk with Little Mole about your newest picture book, Little Mole Goes to School!

Interview with Glenys

Author, Glenys Nellist

Kathy: Glenys, could you tell us a little about yourself and how you began writing.

Glenys: Thanks so much for chatting with me, Kathy. I’m excited to be here. I’ve always loved to write but it wasn’t until I worked as a Children’s Ministry Director in a small church that the door into the publishing world opened for me. Since curriculum was expensive, I decided to write my own. In rewriting the great stories of the Bible, I just found myself falling in love with the creative process, and how there’s always a new way to tell the old, old stories.

Kathy: It’s so wonderful how God gives each one of us creative gifts. What was your favorite thing to do as a child?

Glenys: I was a real tomboy when I was young! I loved to climb trees and bounce around on my pogo stick, but I also loved to read.

Kathy: Climbing trees and bouncing on a pogo stick sound like fun! What were some of your favorite childhood books?

Glenys:  I imagine that most of your American audience might not have heard of these books, but my absolute favorite stories as a child were called The Famous Five, or The Secret Seven, written by the prolific Enid Blyton. They were adventure stories, and the children in the books always had mysteries to solve. A good writer will draw you into the story so that you feel like you’re part of the tale. I vividly remember joining those characters on their adventures and devouring every book in those series (of which there were many!)

Kathy: Those stories sound exciting! What do you like to do for fun?

Glenys: My husband (who is a pastor) built a small wooden houseboat that we enjoy floating around in (and sometimes living on) during the summer. It’s also my favorite place to write. When I’m not on the houseboat though, I love to spend time with my four young grandchildren.

Glenys and her husband on their houseboat

Kathy: That’s so special that you sometimes live and write on a houseboat! What is something not too many people know about you?

Glenys:  Unless you’ve heard me speak, most people don’t know that although I live in Michigan, I was born and raised in a little town in northern England, and even though I’ve lived here for twenty years, I still call England home.

The Inspiration for The Little Mole Books

Kathy: Molly and I understand how important home is! Little Mole Goes to School is the third book in a series. Little Mole is such an adorable character. Where did you get the idea for the stories about him?

Glenys: The inspiration for the first title in the series came from a book of Bible stories I was writing, where I explored the idea that hope is hiding, even in the darkest place. In taking that idea a little further, I was inspired to write my first fiction story about an animal character who lived in the dark, and who was able to find hope. That idea became the premise of Little Mole Finds Hope, where Little Mole and his mama go on a walk together and discover that hope is everywhere, if you know here to look. The second book, Little Mole’s Christmas Gift, is a simple story of kindness and finally, Little Mole Goes to School celebrates our unique gifts and using them for the common good.

I know, Molly. Hang on. It’s almost time for you! One last question for Glenys:

Kathy: Oh, Molly and I like how Little Mole and his mama discover hope everywhere, and we’ll look forward to reading both of those books! That’s so important for children and adults to remember. And that leads me to this question, Glenys. In each of the three books Little Mole has concerns and fears just like children everywhere. I love that in each book you’ve ended with discussion questions and helps for caregivers. What further suggestions do you have for parents or grandparents to help children with their concerns?

Glenys:  The publisher of the Little Mole series, Beaming Books, has a plethora of useful discussion guides on their website. That’s a great place for caregivers to find resources.

Kathy:That will be such a help to caregivers! Okay, Molly. I know you and Little Mole are getting impatient to talk, so it’s your turn!

Molly and Little Mole Talk Together

Molly: I don’t know much about moles. What kind of house do you live in?

Little Mole: A lovely one, under the ground. It has different rooms inside, my favorite of which is the kitchen, where I have a huge stack of worms piled up for my lunch.

Molly: I like the kitchen, too. Lots of treats there! But I prefer cheese to worms! Outside my house is my fenced-in yard.

Molly in her yard

I love to bark at dogs who go by. What’s outside your house, and what do you enjoy doing there?

Little Mole: Outside my house is a lovely wood where I dig lots of tunnels, hunt for worms and play with my friends.

Little Mole in the Woods

Molly: Digging tunnels sounds like so much fun! I once had a golden retriever friend named Amber. Who are your friends?

Little Mole: My friends are Little Hare, Little Squirrel and Little Lark. You can meet them in my new book!

Molly: My friends and I like to chase balls and each other. What do you and your friends like to do?

Little Mole: We like to chase each other too!

Molly: How about that! I think many children like chasing games, too, like tag! When I was younger, I went to puppy kindergarten. I was pretty scared at first. I wondered if I could learn to sit and come. I’m pretty good at those now, but, as you saw, I’m still trying to learn more patience! Was there anything that you worried about learning in your school?

Little Mole: I was worried about everything! But Mrs. Badger is a great teacher, and Little Lark helped me learn my ABCs.

Molly:  My human, Kathy, stayed with me and helped me when I was afraid. What helped you get over your fears about school?

Little Mole: Well, it helped that I had a great first day, because once I got over that hurdle, I knew that I’d be fine. I didn’t think I was good at anything, but on the very first day, I used what I’m good at to help my friends out! (You’ll have to read the book to find out what happened!)  But you can go here for short videos about my books.

Where You Can Learn more about Glenys and all three Little Mole Books AND a Free Activity Pack

Kathy: Glenys, where can readers learn more about you and your upcoming projects?

Glenys: You can learn all about me at my website: www.glenysnellist.com

Kathy: And where can readers find your books?

Glenys: You can visit my Amazon Author page here, or find my titles wherever good books are sold.

Kathy: Glenys, you and Little Mole also have a colorful activity pack to download. Would you tell our readers a little bit about that?

Glenys:  The free download contains colorings, a maze, fun activity sheets, games, and tips for helping a child learn the alphabet.

Kathy: Thank you, Glenys, for telling us a little about yourself and your writing.

Thanks to Molly and Little Mole, too, for talking with us about friendships and school. Those are super important to all our readers and we know they’ll enjoy Little Mole Goes to School!

Before You Go

This was such a great interview about Glenys and Little Mole! And Molly and I hope you’ll come back next week for another fantastic interview and picture book review by Molly the Artsy Corgi and me! Sign up for our blogs above.

You may also be interested in a children’s devotion I wrote for DevoKids this month. DevoKids is part of Christian Devotions Ministries. Here’s link to  “Little Flowers with Super Powers.”

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 and receive a free guide to 5 Ways Art Benefits Children’s Cognitive, Physical, Spiritual, and Social Development, with a Few Fun and Easy Activities for each Benefit. This month we return to our school-year format of lots of resources for all those who love to help children discover how much fun learning can be!

Visit my website where you’ll find free downloadable puzzles, how-to-draw pages, coloring pages for kids, and an updated list of my hands-on workshops, chapels, and presentations for all ages.