Monday, February 11, 2008

'Twas the Day Before Zoo Day

Today I am featuring the author, Catherine Ipcizade. She is the author of 'Twas the Day Before Zoo Day - a WONDEFUL children's book about a trip to the zoo. I first read this book when Sylvan Dell sent me a copy, and I immediately fell in love!!! There just aren't too many books written on going to the zoo and this one was such fun! I can see this being such a hit in the classroom before a trip to the zoo OR just before a unit on animals or zoo animals. (And many other units as well - you name it!!!) So, when I was offered the chance to ask Catherine some questions about her book and writing, I jumped at the chance!! Here is our blog interview!!

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

When I was a kid, I borrowed a beautiful copy of Little Women from a friend. I'd lay on my mom's bed for hours reading the pages, feeling the pages, smelling the pages, and devouring the story. That is when I knew I always wanted to be around books.That's also when I knew I wanted to write my own. Then, later that same year, ,I wrote a poem for class. It was a simple poem--terribly, really. But my grandma saw it, and, quick as lightening, she got on the phone with every major newspaper in the city, declaring that my "talent" should be recognized. It wasn't, but I've never forgotten that. That is when I knew I wanted to be a writer, and to create things people wanted to read.

What made you want to write?

I love stories where I can find myself in snippets. Maybe the character is clumsy. Maybe she finds love. Maybe she doesn't. Maybe she has a great best friend or wants one. I love univeral themes. I wanted to write stories people could find themselves in. For young children, I wanted to write stories that could make kids laugh I prefer full-blown belly laughs, but I'll settle for chuckles, too. :)

How long have you been writing?

Like most writers, since I was a kid. I've been seriously pursuing children's writing for about five years.

What inspired you to write ‘Twas the Day Before Zoo Day?

I started volunteering in my son's class and I quickly noticed a trend. The kids (first graders) LOVE animal books. They love science and social studies and learning about the world around them. But here's the catch--they want to be entertained, too. The books they were reading didn't do that. They either entertained without teaching or taught without entertaining. I decided to write a book that did both. I wanted kids to laugh, but I wanted them to learn, too...even if they didn't realize they were learning.

Anything fun you want us to know about you???

Ooh, fun!
Let's see--
1. I have a twin sister.
2. I am ridiculously afraid of bees.
3. I love to cook but can't bake a cake to save my life.
4. As a kid, I talked in my sleep...a lot.
5. For two years, we had a fish...named Froggy.
6. I love pajamas--I'd live in them if I could.
7. My best writing ideas come to me in the's true!

I just can't say enough good about this fun children's book - go get a copy and enjoy it for yourself!!! Oh yes, and the best thing about Sylvan Dell???? Their website is just full of tie-ins for teachers - if you go on this book's webpage, you will see links along the right hand side for teacher and parents to click on for more information on the topic, tie-ins for classroom and units - and SO much more!! Go check it out - this is such a wonderful tool for teachers!


heather (errantdreams) said...

You've reminded me that I really must get back to the zoo sometime soon. :)

Shawna said...

Sounds like a really fun book. I just love children's books. My daughter has lots, plus we go to the library almost every week to check out more. I really liked the interview, too. BTW, thanks for stopping by Teen Lit Review.

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