Author Tameka Fryer Brown
has created another wonderful rhythmic story kids will love!
Join me for a Q&A with Tameka Fryer Brown
KBN: You've been through a lot of transitions in your career. You were a medical supply sales rep, a stay-at-home mom and a church volunteer. Now you are a published children's book author. Why writing and why children's books?
TFB: I love writing because I can fit it in around my “mom” responsibilities, and also because it’s a cerebral activity that leverages a natural skill that I have. Children’s books because that’s seems to be the audience for which I have the most meaningful things to say.
KBN: You now have two books out, Around Our Way On Neighbors' Day and your latest book, My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood, is due out on March 7th. What inspired you to write these two stories?
TFB: The idea for Around Our Way on Neighbors’ Day came to me one morning in that twilight phase between sleep and wakefulness. The original story emerged in the form of an ABC book, but like the final version, it was about a girl who led the reader on a tour of her close-knit, multicultural community.
My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood was inspired by a simple, self-reflective thought: “Boy, am I in a mood.” The “in a mood” part sounded good to my writer’s ear, and I thought it would make a perfect title or first line of a picture book. Many of my stories begin with first line or title ideas.
KBN: What will kids love most about your books?
TFB: Children, like adults, love books for all sorts of reasons. I hope one of the things they will appreciate about my new book in particular, is the unique way I use language to express feelings and situations they are familiar with. I also hope to encourage readers to own ALL of their feelings, the good and the not-so-good; to recognize that they have a right to all types of feelings, and to express them verbally (or in writing) in a constructive way. At the very least, they should identify and acknowledge their feelings to themselves. That’s a necessary skill for problem-solving.
KBN: What advice do you have for parents that will help them get and keep their kids reading?
The best advice I can give is to start early. I don’t remember a time I didn’t read to my kids. When they’re babies, they’re a captive audience—and they love to hear the sound of voices talking to them. They are also getting used to the cadence involved in reading aloud. I can remember when my oldest daughter was a toddler; she would go to the bookshelf and bring me a picture book to read to her. I would begin to read it, and if she decided she didn’t want to hear that one, she’d close it shut, take it from me, and bring me another one. Sometimes she’d do this 3 or 4 times before she decided she’d picked the right one. Then she’d climb up in my lap and we’d share that very productive snuggle time. Not coincidentally, she is a voracious reader to this day. My best advice is to start early!
If, however, a parent has missed that early window, I suggest providing reading material to their children on subjects that they are interested in—even if the books are silly or gross or lack the literary quality you would like them to contain. Expanding their selections will come later. First, just get them reading! Comic books and graphic novels are totally acceptable.
KBN: What's your next project?
TFB: I’m working on another picture book, and I’m mulling a novel idea or two.
Author: Tameka Fryer Brown
Illustrations: Shane W. Evans
Publisher: Penguin GroupISBN: 9780670012855
What if you could turn the way you are feeling into colors? What colors would you choose? How about purple for when you're happy, orange for when you feel sporty and brown for when you are ready to stand your ground.
Jamie loves to color, listen to music and hang out with his friends. But, he also has to deal with teasing brothers. When Jamie listens to music he bobs to the beat. This puts him in a purple kind of mood. When his younger sister asks him to draw her a dragon, this puts him in an easy green mood. When Jamie runs late because he was out with his friends, this puts him in a red mood.
Red! Run! Gotta get home! Fire-engine-roaring-down-the-street-hot-flames-shooting-from-my-feet-don't-stop-to-take-a-breath-till-I-make-it-through-the-door-RED! Whew!
When Jamie battles his brothers his moody colors change from gray, to black and then brown because he won't back down. Jamie has lots of colors for all of his moods, but the best one of all comes at the end of the story.
Brown has created a rhythmic bounce of colorful words. Vivid and fun illustrations bring young readers into the world of the character and how color affects his moods. The beat of the rhyme invites readers to feel the colorful moods shared by the main character. Parents and teachers can use this story to teach young readers about their feelings in a way they can relate to. This is a great book to get boys jumping into books.
Thanks so much for sharing with us today Tameka. You can learn more about Tameka Fryer Brown at her website http://www.tamekafryerbrown.com/. Follow the tour and visit other wonderful blogs that are participating!
MY COLD PLUM LEMON PIE BLUESY MOOD
Online Book Tour Schedule:
1. Monday, March 4 – Laurie Edwards
2. Tuesday March 5 – Peter Salomon
3. Wednesday March 6 – Ann Eisenstein
4. Thursday March 7 -- CYNSATIONS
5. Friday March 8 – Kristi’s Book Nook
6. Monday March 11 – The Brown Bookshelf
7. Tuesday March 12 – Carol Baldwin
8. Wednesday March 13 -- The Neophyte Writer
9. Thursday, March 14 – Of Thoughts & Words/Family Ship Stories