Posted by shelburns on November 6, 2008
I am so excited to have my very FIRST author interview at Write for a Reader! Caroline at Chronicle Books emailed me out of the blue and told me she had this great children’s book that she would like me to review or interview the author on my blog. Of course I said YES!, I’ll do both. So, long story short the book arrived and today I have the interview and review for you.
Let me start off by saying thank you to Chronicle Books and Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt for allowing me the opportunity to do this. Sheri was so sweet to answer all of my questions. Here is what she had to say about being a writer and her book, You Think It’s Easy Being the Tooth Fairy?
WFAR: When did you know that you wanted to be an author?
SBR: After I’d been writing magazine and newspaper copy for several years. It suddenly dawned on me one day that books stay around a lot longer than newspaper or magazine content! That’s what I want, I decided: staying power! Too, I wanted to be able to walk into a Barnes & Noble and find my book there. Trust me: that’s a mind-blowing thrill.
WFAR: What else have you written besides this picture book?
Art: Careers for the Twenty-First Century, ISBN 978-1590183946, Lucent Books (11/04) — teen career guide
Law: Careers for the Twenty-First Century, ISBN 978-1590184011, Lucent Books (1/05) — teen career guide
Military: Careers for the Twenty-First Century, ISBN 978-1590183984, Lucent Books (7/05) — teen career guide
Great World War II Projects You Can Build Yourself, ISBN 978-0977129416, Nomad Press (7/06) — children’s activity book (ages 9 and up)
Amazing Maya Inventions You Can Build Yourself, ISBN 978-0977129461, Nomad Press (1/07) — children’s activity book (ages 9 and up)
The Kids’ Guide to Building Cool Stuff, ISBN 978-1429622769, Capstone Press (4/09)
The Kids’ Guide to Classic Games, ISBN 978-1429622738, Capstone Press (4/09)
The Kid’s Guide to Pranks, Tricks and Practical Jokes, ISBN 978-1429622752, Capstone Press (4/09)
Nichelangelo of the Junk Lot (unpublished middle-grade novel)
2005 NASCAR Travel Planner, ISBN 978-0762738380, Mobil Travel Guide (12/04) — NASCAR track guide
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Planet Eccentric!, ISBN 978-1893951105, Miles Kelly Publishing (10/05) — zany facts!
Sixty Things To Do When You Turn Sixty, ISBN 978-1569069677, Ronnie Sellers Productions, Inc. (10/06) — compilation of sage essays
WFAR: What was the inspiration for You Think It’s Easy Being the Tooth Fairy?
always showed up. Not bad for a harried household with four kids!
WFAR: The illustrations in the book are so good! Did you get to choose your illustrator? If not, how was he chosen to illustrate this book?
WFAR: You have written a lot for magazines. How did you transition into book writing?
SBR: By seeking out educational publishers. There are a number of educational publishers that churn out lots of titles (especially as part of a series) each year, which are directly marketed to school and
public libraries. There’s a lot of work available in this area, though the pay can be low. And most of the contracts are straight work-for-hire. Work-for-hire arrangements aren’t ideal, as you don’t keep the copyright and receive no royalties. But there is a large stable of writers who happily write exclusively in this arena. Because they write fast and have mastered whatever style requirement the publisher demands, they’re able to make a decent income. I still do work-for-hire book gigs. One reason is because I’ve learned that a royalty-based contract doesn’t guarantee more money on the back end. A book has to sell really well for a writer to earn more than his/her advance. I’m sad to say I’ve not earned royalties yet off my Maya and World War II activity books. But I’ve gotten a number of checks for Tooth so far. Hopefully my big-attitude fairy will continue to generate sales for years to come!
WFAR: What is your favorite piece or book that you have written?
SBR: I’m really proud of everything I’ve written — because I put my heart and soul (and research) into anything I write. But I am most proud of Tooth, because she sprang from my imagination.
WFAR: What do you like to do when you are not writing?
SBR: I am currently enrolled full-time in a culinary arts program this semester, learning the ins and outs of baking. So maybe I’ll write some baking/food-related books in the future. Or maybe a diet book, if my derriere continues to mushroom!
WFAR: Do you have a favorite author?
SBR: I like Jerry Spinelli a lot. His writing is wonderful, and he’s also a very nice guy. His wife, Eileen, is also an inspiration.
WFAR: What do you think about having your book reviewed by book bloggers?
SBR: Thank the Lord for the Internet!!! I love bloggers. Real people with real opinions. Bloggers are a great asset to writers.
WFAR: Anything else that you want readers to know?
Review copy provided by: publisher, Chronicle Books
Author: Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt
This is one of the neatest children’s books that I have read in a long time!
From Book Jacket: You think it’s easy being the tooth fairy? Think again – of stormy nights, dangerous pets, pearly whites hidden in pajama pockets or wrapped in dirty tissues, to say nothing of all those thousands of teeth falling out all over the world every single day. The tooth fairy’s nights are long and hard. But she’s up for it. She never misses a tooth. How does she do it? For the first time ever, she reveals everything, right here!
My Review: Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt has written an exceptional book for children! Being a teacher, I am always looking for great children’s books to share with my students, and I have found one that I’m sure will be read over and over again. What kid doesn’t love the tooth fairy? What kid doesn’t wish they knew how the tooth fairy worked her magic? In You Think It’s Easy Being the Tooth Fairy, the story is told from the Tooth Fairy’s perspective, and she compares herself to Cinderella and Santa Claus, two other characters that children relate to. However, she is not like either one of those, she is tough, daring and smart! She doesn’t need help from reindeer or fairy god-mothers, she does her job alone. She has even invented items to help her with her job: a Tooth-o-Finder and Spy-o-Binoculars; what a gal! I love the way Rehwoldt has created this character to be so over the top that kids will just love her! I think that girls especially will love this character because it helps them to see that girls can be strong and athletic just like boys. The Tooth Fairy even teaches the kids about the right and wrong ways to handle their teeth and leave them for her. I think kids will latch on to that concept and do what she says. The illustrations add so much to this story. It is wonderful that David Slonim was paired with Rehwoldt for this because he did an amazing job bringing this story to life! Thinking from a teacher’s point of view, I can already see this book being used during Dental Health Month, but also to teach character traits. This is a must see book for adults so that they can share it with the children in their lives. I think children will want to read this over and over again, especially when they lose a tooth! Thank you Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt for a great story!