Moonlight Prance and Sunrise Dance by Serena Gingold Allen and Teagan White

Hello, Serena Gingold Allen! Welcome to Watch. Connect. Read.! Thank you for stopping by to discuss Moonlight Prance and Sunrise Dance, two adorable novelty board books illustrated by Teagan White! What do you want everyone to know about them?

Serena Gingold Allen: Thank you so much for having me! I’m absolutely thrilled to be here. Moonlight Prance and Sunrise Dance are my debut books. They both imagine the antics of adorable animals, are written in rhyme and feature rich vocabulary (to broaden little ones’ horizons and keep parents entertained). The novelty elements that Teagan White and the art department at Chronicle Books created are amazing and bring the books to life—sliders and pull-out tabs create movement to mirror the energy of the text.

Thank you for creating a For Parents and a For Educators section on your website and for providing helpful resources via your newsletter. 

Serena Gingold Allen: As a former elementary school teacher who used picture books for just about every lesson I ever taught, it seemed natural to me to create a newsletter full of fun resources to go along with my books. Each issue offers interesting facts about the animals in the books, craft projects, songs, snacks, and reading recommendations. Educators and parents alike can make use of these newsletters. And for parents, I included links to articles about early literacy and young children’s learning and development from NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children). You can sign up for my newsletter here or on my website.

Please finish the following sentence starters: 

Teagan White’s illustrations make me smile EVERY time I see them. They’re like the peanut butter to my jelly—a perfect match. I feel so lucky that her vision matched mine completely. I couldn’t be happier with how the art for both books turned out.

Board books are a genre that I didn’t like or write until I had a child of my own. The reason for this is that I never really “got” board books until I had a baby. But once board books made sense to me, I grew to love them and I’ve been writing them ever since. I adore board books that have interesting words, topics, and pictures because they can be enjoyed by a child (and their parents!) for many years and not just when they’re a baby.

John Schu, you should have asked me
why I wrote these books in rhyme! I wrote Moonlight Prance first and it was actually the first story I ever wrote in rhyme. The opening couplet came to me in the middle of the night when I got the idea for the book. I jotted it down and thought how weird it was that it rhymed because up until then I had been writing non-rhyming picture books. But I decided to go with it and see what happened. The rest of it flowed out pretty quickly. Because I had never written in rhyme before, I was really nervous to even share it with my critique partners, but they immediately could see that I was onto something good and they encouraged me to keep at it. Thank goodness for my critique partners!

Thank you, Serena! Congratulations! 

Serena Gingold Allen's inspiration for this book was her son's boundless energy and joy upon waking. Growing up outside of Yosemite, Serena had many close encounters with wildlife. She now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, but she still spends a lot of time hiking and climbing in the great outdoors with her husband and their two children.

Teagan White explores the wonders of the natural world and the friendly creatures who live in it through picture books, stationery, puzzles, fabric, and beyond. Teagan lives in Oregon with their partner and stepdaughter, where they like to ride bikes, adventure in the woods, spy on raccoons in their backyard, and visit seagulls at the beach.

Borrow Moonlight Prance and Sunrise Dance from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops. 


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