I’m back from camping and I’m going to catch up with my 12×12 update and some other things on Monday! Today I wanted to tell you about my August Upper Bucks Free Press column that was published August 2nd. To read the original newspaper column click HERE and my blog version is below!
By Maggie Pajak
Illustrated by Marni Backer
50 pages –ages 4+
Published in 2011 by Pinwheel Publishing LLC
Matthew and Andrew love jellybeans. They want to eat them at breakfast, lunch and dinner! However, their mom says, “You know the rules boys. I DON’T eat jellybeans all day, so neither should YOU!” When their cousin Alyssa comes over for a visit, they hatch a plan to make their mom eat jellybeans – Morning, Noon, & Night. Will they succeed? This is a great book to teach kids that too much of a good thing is NOT a good idea!
This is the first book Ms. Pajak has written and I hope there will be more! She was nice enough to answer a few questions about herself and her book.
Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Could you please tell us a little about yourself?
I am an Army wife and a mother of two boys, Matthew (10) and Andrew (5). I am also a first-time author of the new illustrated children’s book, “Jellybeans Morning, Noon & Night.”
I just left my full time job where I have been working for the past 12 years as a marketing director for a publishing company in Philadelphia, PA. I decided to do this to move my boys and myself to South Carolina to keep our family together to be with my husband who is currently deployed and working at Shaw Air Force base.
In my “free time” (ha, ha, ha), I published and am now marketing this children’s book. It is available as a hard cover for $16.99 on my website (jellybeansmorningnoonandnight.com), and was just converted into an ebook for the iBookstore and will be available there shortly.
Can you tell us how the story you made up came about?
I designed the characters after my own kids, Matthew and Andrew, and my niece Alyssa. I actually had them act out all the scenes in the book and took pictures. Those pictures are what the illustrator used to create the characters in the book. So they do resemble my kids. On my Facebook page, there are a couple of before and after images. The illustrator Marni Backer did an amazing job.
I also tried to capture my kids cleverness through the story and characters. For example, a couple of weeks ago my nephew was visiting (he is 4) and I was trying to reason with my 5 year old to share his toys with our guest (his cousin). I told him that we let are guests do what they want when they visit. As quickly as I had said that, the screws started turning in Andrew’s head. He immediately asked his cousin if he “WANTED” to go to Chuck-e-Cheese. Logan, of course, started chanting, “Chuck-e-cheese! Yea!” Then Andrew turns to me and says, “Mom, since Logan WANTS to go to Chuck-e-Cheese, I think we should take him.” It is that same cleverness that I tried to capture in the book, “Jellybeans Morning, Noon & Night.”
That is a good way to get to go to Chuck-e-Cheese! Do you like jellybeans and if so what is your favorite flavor?
I do like jellybeans! Who doesn’t? My favorite flavors are green apple, cherry and grape.
You dedicated your book to “all the soldiers who are not able to tuck their little ones into bed”. Can you tell us more about that?
I wrote this story while my husband was deployed for 10 months in Iraq back in 2006. This story was the bribe that got my son Matthew to sleep in his own bed at night. As an Army wife and having been through a deployment and now going through another (thankfully this one in the states), I know how hard it is to be away from someone you love while they serve. I know that my husband was (and is) missing us just as much as we were (and are) missing him.
I agree, reading bedtime stories is a great way to get kids to go to sleep and “Jellybeans Morning, Noon and Night” is the perfect bedtime book!
To learn more about Ms. Pajak, please visit her website by clicking HERE.
Check out the book’s trailer!