ABC’S OFF THE TOP OF YOUR HEAD

With Children’s Author, Linda Stanek 

The ABC song is one of the first fun songs we teach our children to sing. Why? Because the alphabet is the backbone for learning to read and write. For some people, reading and writing is not fun at all. 

stanekMy new series, ABC’S OFF THE TOP OF YOUR HEAD offers a new way to have fun with the alphabet. Every week, a children’s author, illustrator, literary agent or editor will share their ‘top of the head’ answers to the ABC category list they were given, A to Z. Following their answers, I ask a few questions to gain a little insight into their world.

Feel free to play along, maybe your answer off the top of your head will match theirs. Enjoy! 

Today, Linda Stanek, children’s author of non-fiction and fiction including picture books, chapter books and middle grade novels is playing the ABC Game. A couple of my favorite titles of hers are:  

Below is a list of categories from A – Z. Off the top of your head, fill in the blank for each category.

ADJECTIVE TO DESCRIBE YOURSELF:   Happy

BEVERAGE:  Tea

CHILDREN…: Two

DANCE:  None (sorry)

ENDANGERED SPECIES:  just one??? Is that possible? Elephant, Cheetah, Texas Ocelot…

FRUIT:  Pear

GOD OR GODDESS (NAME A):  Jesus

HOLIDAY:  Christmas

INSTRUMENT:  Bagpipe

JEWEL:  Sapphire

KNOW HOW TO:  use American Sign Language

LOVABLE CHARACTER:  Crane Man from Linda Sue Park’s A Single Shard

MYTHICAL CREATURE:  Bigfoot

NATIONAL MONUMENT:  Statue of Liberty

ONOMATOPOEIA WORD:  Pop!

PARK:  Assateague National Seashore

‘Q’ WORD:  Queen

ROUND THINGS:  Marbles, Earth, ball.

SYNONYM FOR AWESOME:  Rockin’ 

TREAT:  Lindor’s Dark Chocolate Truffles

UNIQUE COLOR:  Paynes Grey—the blue-gray color of the sky just before it rains.  

VACATION SPOT:  Chincoteague Island

WORDS OF WISDOM:  “When you’re being respectful to them, and to yourself, you’re on the right track.”

X NAME (BEGINS WITH LETTER ‘X’):  Xenia

YODELING…: Okay…go ahead, Traci. I’m listening….

ZOO:  The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium!

ME:  (laughing) Me yodeling would make neighborhood dogs howl. But I certainly do appreciate it when I hear it. Such as when I hear Jewel’s rockin’ [always looking for fun synonyms for great or awesome] yodel or huskies. 😊 I have to ask about Chincoteague Island. What about it sings to you while on vacation there? Could it be the wild horses that live there and are descendants of horses that were shipwrecked there over 200 years ago?

LS: Yes Traci, the wild ponies are enchanting! But even without them, I’d be drawn to the Assateague National Seashore on the island right next door. With no commercial establishments there (other than the National Parks Service) it is beautiful and unspoiled. I could sit and gaze at the waves and listen to them roar all day long and never tire of it! 

ME:  Sounds so tranquil. I give that seashore a  thumbs-up-sign   . Which brings me to you knowing how to sign. How often do you use that talent?

LS: Really never. I learned it in High School, many long moons ago.

ME:  Some animals use sign language. Since you write rockin’ animal books, maybe you can combine your writing and signing talent…

Please tell us more about the Crane Man from Linda Sue Parks’ book, A SINGLE SHARD.A single shard

LS: Crane Man is one of those characters who is more than ink on a page. I felt that I really knew him. He is kind, and thoughtful, and wise. I wanted my friendship with him to go on forever.

ME:  I hope Linda has a sequel book for Crane Man so your friendship can continue on the same for many other readers who feel the same way as you. The Columbus Zoo would be a great place to visit with a friend or family. And, Jack Hanna does his shows there and teaches us so much about the animals and protecting them. What are two of your favorite exhibits at that zoo and why?

LS: As for the exhibits, I would have to say the African Savanna exhibit is a favorite, because you feel that you are really looking out onto one. I also love the polar bear exhibit. There, you can watch the polar bears from above the water line and below. It’s pretty cool to watch them swim! 

ME:  I will definitely check those exhibits out when my husband and I visit it as it is on my bucket list. Weirdly enough, seeing Bigfoot is on it as well. Would you use a bagpipe, Lindor’s Dark Chocolate Truffles, pears or tea to attract Bigfoot to your neck of the woods to get photo proofs that Bigfoot exists?

LS: I would first eat all the Lindor’s to…I don’t know…give me courage! Yes that’s it, courage! Then I would use the music of the bagpipe to try to soothe the savage beast. Although without lessons, I would probably drive them all away!

ME:  Courage is good to have while Bigfoot tracking. What a story that would make! I hope you write it. 😉 Like tracking Bigfoot, tracking animals is fun to do too, but not to harm them in any way, just to study and photograph them in their element to learn about them. We know how much you love animals and advocate for them. What animals on the endangered species register do you feel need the most immediate attention in saving? (They all need saving, this is for sure) Meaning, currently, are there any that come to mind that many people do not know much about? Please tell us more.

LS: I’m really worried about polar bears as the ice at the poles degrades. I usually feel a sense of hope when speaking about endangered animals, but this is one that worries me more and more. I have a book coming out in the fall on cheetahs, and I’m very concerned for those iconic cats too. They are the most-rapidly disappearing cat in Africa, and warrant some serious attention as well. 

Beco's Big yearME:  I’ve seen the photos of the devastation the polar caps melting is causing. We humans need to do our part to stop the global OnceElephant-255x300warming before it’s too late. We also need to advocate harder for saving our world’s animal species. You are a Rockstar on this front and have brought attention to how truly wonderful elephants  are and why they are so important to their ecosystem, what other books do you have in the works right now that you can share with us?

CheetahDreams-2-255x300LS: Cheetah Dreams  is coming out in the fall. The wonderful and talented Shennen Bersani illustrated this one, as well as my two books, Once Upon an Elephant and Night Creepers. (Can I just say…how lucky am I?!) I have another animal book I’m working on at the moment (shhh…can’t say what, yet) and I’m working on a couple graphic novels that involve animals too. 

Thanks for letting me play, Traci! It’s been fun!

 

ME:  I love Shennen’s work!!! You two are a rockin’ team. 😊 And I am stoked to read CHEETAH DREAMS when it comes out. ONCE UPON AN ELEPHANT is one of my favorite animals books ever so I know I will fall in love with CHEETAH DREAMS as well. Animal books always grab my attention at the store and library. Keep them coming!

Thank you Linda, for playing the ABC Game with us this week!

To learn more about Linda and her books you can find out information here:

Linda Stanek

 

And you can connect with Linda on these social media outlets:

 Twitter: @LindaStanek

Thank you readers for stopping by! Have a rockin’ weekend!

Traci

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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