I want my kids to love reading – don’t we all? Sometimes though, it is hard to pinpoint the right genre of books to get a child “hooked” on reading, especially when it comes to a reluctant reader. One thing I have learned is that classic fairy tales have universal appeal to children. Sterling Publishing has released a new line of children’s books based on well known fairy tales. These beautifully illustrated books are a part of Sterling’s Silver Penny Stories series. These stout books, perfect for little hands, have become a favorite of my 5 year old who is learning to read.
Our Experience with Silver Penny Stories from Sterling Publishing
As I said, my daughter, Lila, LOVES these books! And although I’ve heard these stories a million times before, I really enjoy reading these books with her too. Each of the classic fairy tales is told by a contemporary author and based on the original fairy tale. The titles in the set include: The Ugly Duckling, The Three Little Pigs, Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Rapunzel, The Elves and the Shoemaker, Hansel and Gretel, and Puss in Boots. The artwork in these little gems is fantastic! The illustrators have done a wonderful job bringing the stories to life. Lila enjoys looking at the pictures as much as reading the stories.
Another great thing about this series is the price! Each hardback book retails at $3.95, which means the whole 8 book set is less than $32.00. Can you say great gift idea?!?!
My Interview with The Ugly Duckling Illustrator, Sarah Brannen
I had the honor of asking Sarah Brannen about her work in the Ugly Duckling Silver Penny Stories book. Here’s what she shared with me:
Q: What is your favorite thing about illustrating children’s books?
A: That’s a tough question. I think I love creating a whole, tiny world out of my imagination. When I finish the art for a spread, it has to exist both as part of that world and on its own; it’s very complete. It’s a satisfying feeling.
Q: What do you see as your greatest challenge in illustrating children’s books?
A: The greatest challenge is illustrating the work of other people. I have to take their words and make them completely my own. Sometimes the editor, art director and author are all pulling in different directions, but in the end I have to forget about them and do the art from my own heart.
Q: What do you hope kids take away from the Ugly Duckling book?
The original Hans Christian Andersen story has kind of an odd message, doesn’t it… that the goal of life is to be beautiful? I hope that kids will relate to the main character and see that he survived being bullied; he endured. He wasn’t really ugly, anyway. I think he’s cute.
Q: How long does it take you to create each of the pictures in the book?
Because the finished book is quite small, and the illustrations were only on one side of the spread, it didn’t take as long as most of the books I illustrate. I’d say about a two days for each illustration. That’s not counting all the preparatory sketches, though, which take a lot of time because you have to re-draw a lot before you find the right composition and characters.
Q: What were a few of your favorite books as a child and/or what were some of your favorite books to read to your children?
Off the top of my head, I loved Robert McCloskey’s Burt Dow, Deep Water Man; Maurice Sendak’s the Nutshell Library; and Beatrix Potter’s Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle. I don’t have children, but I would love to read David Small’s George Washington’s Cows and Brian Lies’ Bats at the Beach aloud.
Q: Why do you think the classic fairy tales have stood the test of time, and are still loved by today’s kids?
Most of these stories go right to the deepest fears and hopes children have. Do my parents love me? Who will save me from danger? Who am I? They’re about life-and-death issues.
Buy The Ugly Duckling and other Silver Penny Series Books From Sterling Publishing
These fun books can be purchased directly from Sterling Publishing on their website, or at other on-line retailers like Amazon.com.
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Win The Ugly Duckling and 7 Other Silver Penny Series Books From Sterling Publishing
Sterling Publishing is offering one lucky AOM reader a complete set of 8 Silver Penny Series Books, total value: $32.00. The titles in the set include: The Ugly Duckling, The Three Little Pigs, Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Rapunzel, The Elves and the Shoemaker, Hansel and Gretel, and Puss in Boots.
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Contest ends at 11:59pm EST on October 29, 2012 when a winner will be drawn at random. I will notify the winners and they will have 36 hours to respond or another winner will be selected!
This was not a paid post. My own opinions were used based on my perceptions and experience. Thank you to Sterling Publishing who provided the products for review and giveaway.