Book Trailer Premiere: Hamsters Don't Fight Fires by Andrew Root; illustrated by Jessica Olien

Happy Thursday! I hope you're having a terrific day. Please welcome debut picture book author Andrew Root to Watch. Connect. Read. He dropped by to chat with me about Hugo, Jessica Olien, school libraries, and reading. I wrote the words in purple, and he wrote the words in black. Many thanks, Andrew! 

Hamsters DON’T Fight Fires tells the story of Hugo, a slow eating, fast running, fantastic dancing, hamster. Although this delightful rodent is multi-talented and full of joy, his tiny stature has always kept him from attempting his ultimate goal of becoming a firefighter. However, with the encouragement of a good friend, Hugo gathers all the courage he can muster and decides to see if he can achieve his dream.

Jessica Olien’s illustrations are awesome! As an author with a serious skill deficit when it comes to drawing/art I am constantly amazed at illustrators in general.  Jessica’s ability to create a fantastic and engaging world from the jumble of words that I put down on paper was incredible. She captured Hugo’s spirit perfectly and I love seeing the little extras that she puts into each illustration. She is a magician with a pen! Can’t wait to work with her again.

Illustration Credit: Jessica Olien 

I think Hugo speaks for every one of us who has ever thought we were too small, too big, or not smart enough to achieve one of our goals. In this world of instant communication, social media, and rampant celebrity we sometimes forget to impart upon children the struggles that are frequently precursors to success. For every eminent athlete, musician, physicist, and firefighter there are countless stories of doubt, failure, and perseverance that shaped their success.

School libraries are completely and utterly essential to the proper development of children. School libraries and the wondrous staff within provide an educational and interpersonal service that truly cannot be matched within any other academic setting. I have very fond memories of hours spent reading, researching, and socializing within my own school libraries. It breaks my heart to see any school district or administrator treat their libraries as electives.

Illustration Credit: Jessica Olien
Reading is magical! I am fortunate enough to have been able to take my personal literacy for granted (thanks Mom, Dad, teachers, & librarians!). However, in working with my own children and hundreds of other kids across the developmental spectrum, I know that reading doesn’t always come easy. But nothing is better then seeing the look on a child’s face when they finish their first book on their own. That sense of accomplishment is unparalleled.

Picture books are for everyone! From the serious to the absurd, what other medium can be enjoyed universally by children and adults alike? Picture books educate, entertain, and support in the most accessible way possible. 

Explore Andrew's website.
Mr. Schu, you should have asked me if Scarlett the snake will ever make it to outer space! Everybody wants to know. I was just speaking with her the other day and she sure has a story to tell. I’ll see if I can’t get her to share it with you another time.

Look for Hamsters Don't Fight Fires on September 12, 2017. 


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