5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, June 23, 2017!
Bear takes a walk in a wintry wood in his red scarf. A strong wind carries the scarf away. It’s discovered by two raccoons who have a tug-of-war with it. When they leave it, the scarf is discovered by one animal after another and used as a cozy hat, a trampoline, a swing, and more. When all the animals find the scarf at once, chaos ensues and all that is left are piles of yarn. Bear reappears, saddened, and gathers the yarn in his arms, with all the animals following behind. Around a cozy campfire, Bear begins to knit. The other animals lend a hand, in one way or another, until the scarf is whole again.
One blogger called LOST. FOUND. ” a small miracle of a book in which two words lead readers on an epic, heroic journey.”
It’s a humorous tale of creativity, cooperation, and community, leaving the reader with an understanding that nothing is ever truly lost.
Exclusive interview with the author:
1) When you set out to write a book, are you usually sparked by a story idea or a character?
I’ve been told my stories have strong characters. Indeed, I have a course at Children’s Book Academy about how to write character-driven stories. (www.childrensbookacademy.com/writing-character-driven-stories.html)
I used to think it was my characters who sparked my story, but I realize now that it’s really a character in a certain situation or a certain setting. The situation is often hazy, but it’s there and from that beginning, I begin. My first book, Heart of a Tiger, for example, was sparked by the kitten, Little Four, but I knew that Little Four wanted to give himself a name like that of the Beautiful Bengal Tiger on Naming Day. With Lost. Found., the character Bear came to me very clearly, but I also knew he had a precious red scarf and that he was going to lose it in a snowy wood.
2) We’d love to hear all about the specific moment you got the idea for your book.
I’d like to hear all about it too!
Actually, I do recall that Lost. Found. came to me in the early morning hours, while in a dreamlike state. I saw the story’s beginning unfolding in my mind – a bear wearing a red scarf walking through a wintry wood. The red of the scarf was vivid against the snow. I knew the scarf would be lost and that various animals would find it. As I recall, the title came to me at the same time.
Usually, a story comes to me when a phrase strikes me or when I see an interesting article or when something from my childhood returns to me and asks to have its own story. I don’t recall ever dreaming my story idea before, but that’s what happened with Lost. Found. I should probably try to have more early morning story ideas as Lost. Found. went on to be a Junior Library Guild selection and receive three starred reviews!
3) What was your favorite book growing up and why?
My family was quite poor, but I remember that my grandmother always had money to buy me Little Golden Books. I loved those books because they were from her and because she read them to me.
I have a strong affinity for animals, so as I grew, many of the books I loved were about animals. I read all of Walter Farley’s Black Stallion books and loved Lassie Come Home, Black Beauty, and Marguerite Henry’s Black Gold about a little horse that eventually won the most important race in America.
4) If you weren’t a writer, what job would you love to try out?
I would love to be a wildlife photographer or care for animals in some capacity. When I was younger, I volunteered for the Marine Mammal Center in California and an animal rescue center. I loved being around and helping the sea lions, birds, raccoons, and even once, a bear cub.
Jane Goodall is my heroine. Wouldn’t it have been wonderful to work alongside her as she studied chimpanzees in Africa?
5) What’s up next for you?
I have several picture book projects I’m working on. Besides the picture books, I want to make time to revise a chapter book I’ve completed. I’d love to have a book for older readers. Writing is all about revision and rewriting!
I’m excited to have three books coming out in 2018: Mine. Yours. from Kids Can Press, May I Come In? from Sleeping Bear Press and Galapagos Girl from Lee & Low Books. Mine. Yours. is in a similar style to Lost. Found., with few words. Each of these publishers is new for me, so it’s a completely new experience with new editors. Some interesting things are happening with at least one of these books, but my lips are sealed for now.
About the author:
Called a “born storyteller” by the media, Marsha Diane Arnold is a multi-award winning picture book author, with over one million books sold. When not creating imaginative worlds and wacky characters at her home in Southwest Florida, Marsha enjoys traveling the world and, like her characters, always trying new things. You can learn more at marshadianearnold.com or try her online course at www.childrensbookacademy.com/writing-character-driven-stories.html.
5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, June 23, 2017.
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