Saturday, 6 August 2016

Author Interview + Review for Suzie's Messy Room by Diane N. Quintana & Jonda S. Beattie (Children's, Picture Book, 10/10E, short 'n' sweet review)

November 2015, Page Publishing Inc, 57 pages, Paperback, Review copy 

Book Summary
Suzie is a typical, active five-year-old little girl. She loves playing with all her toys in her room and sometimes creates a real mess. When her mother asks her to pick up her room, Suzie is overwhelmed and doesn't know how to begin. Suzie's mother helps her complete the job by breaking the project into small tasks that Suzie is able to complete easily.

Nayu's thoughts 
As a child who struggled with my room, I'd have loved to have read Suzie's tale when I was younger. It can be so daunting having what seems like a lot to clear up, but, as the authors show, when broken into smaller tasks tidying a room can be fun. The pictures are clear and it's easy to imagine Suzie's room as my own. These days I do use Suzie's new method of sorting which she learns from her mother, and she even enjoys it. 

It is really hard for Suzie to say goodbye to some of her toys, but she needs to as she doesn't have enough room for them all. I loved the cute way that Suzie sent those toys away, and the compromise she made with her mother on the number of toys to donate. Donating any usable item does help encourage charity in the giver's life, which also helps raise awares to count our blessings and help others who are less fortunate. A must read for your bookshelf, regardless of how old you are since it also reminds the reader to break everything in life down into tiny parts. Keep reading for an interview with the authors about the book (On this occasion I didn't write the questions).

Find out more on Diane & Jonda's website, where I discovered they've written a book about a boy's messy room too! 

Find Suzie's Messy Room on the following websites: 

Interview with Diane and Jonda

Do you have a specific writing style? 
No. We are both former teachers and as such tend to be conversational in our approach.

How did you come up with the title? 
We wanted to create an overwhelming organizing situation for a child – a messy room. We decided to write about a little girl who was named after my grandmother.

What books have most influenced your life most? 
The Four Agreements and Daring Greatly

Do you have any advice for other writers? 
Use an accountability partner or a book coach to keep you on track.

What books/authors have influenced your writing? 
Easy to read children’s storybooks with recurring phrasing like Brown Bear, Brown Bear.

What genre do you consider your book(s)? 
Juvenile fiction

Do you ever experience writer's block? 

Have you ever hated something you wrote? 

What is your favourite theme/genre to write about? 
Organizing, routines, habits, life skills, time management/self-help.

Where did your love of writing come from? 
Our love for writing came from wanting to share our philosophies and experiences.

What was the hardest part of writing this book? 
Making the illustrations consistent with the text.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book? 
Collaborating with my co-author.

Do you write every single day? 

Which writers inspire you? 
Julie Morgenstern, Peter Walsh, and Brene Brown

What are you working on at the minute? 
My blog

What’s is your latest book about? 
Our latest book follows a little boy tackling similar issues of disorganization in his room.

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