Launch Party for Shanda Trent - Giddy-Up Buckaroos!
Since I was a child, words flowed from my brain to the page. No…they gushed. I was a geyser of words. From creative writing to journalism, I had a lot to say. I am a lot like Lio Lionni’s character Frederick, gathering words and colors and sun rays, for the winter days are long & gray & cold.
I work with young children. I read to them. I listen at storytimes with them. I notice the books they ask to hear over and over. Rhythm and repetition capture a child’s attention. As a writer, I love the structure of rhyme. It suits my perfectionist nature, working to get each syllable right while finding the most imaginative way to tell my story.
Over the years, many authors have inspired me: MaryAnn Hoberman (A House is a House for Me), Susan Varley (The Monster Bed), and Nancy Van Laan (Possom Come A-Knockin’). More contemporary authors, all from Michigan whose rhythm and rhyme inspire me are Shutta Crum, Rhonda Gowler-Greene, Nancy Shaw, Hope Vestergaard, and Lisa Wheeler. That’s not to say I don’t love a great non-poetic picture book. Frog & Toad stories are my all time favorites, especially to read aloud.
My own children have moved from picture books to YA novels. In fact, they keep asking, “When are you going to write a REAL book?” They aren’t alone in underestimating the picture book. Today’s picture books top out at 500 words; most are less than 200. Picture book authors have to make every word count, while novelists can spend words freely.
Two young buckaroos wake up, sneak past the sheriff (Mom), and head outside, using Spanish words as they go. "ndale! Hurry!" they cry. They enjoy chases, lasso games, and lots of dirt--but will the sheriff be able to round them up at the end of the day? It also includes a glossary of Spanish words.