Brain Burps About Books Podcast #247
Snappsy the Alligator Did Not Ask for Brain Burps to End
An Interview with Debut Author Julie Falatko
- This is the last Brain Burps About Books Podcast episode! But I’ll be back! The Write a Kid’s Book podcast will focus solely on the craft of writing, with timely tips and resources to help you in your publishing efforts. Sign up to find out when it launches: writeakidsbook.com/podcast
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This week my guest is Julie Falatko
Julie and I talk about
- Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in this Book).
- when Julie started doing reviews for the podcast.
- Illustrator Tim Miller
- how cool––your own book poster
- Julie’s editor at Viking, Joanna Cardenas
- secret book covers
- illustrator notes.
- fun surprises when you see the illustrations for your manuscript for the first time.
- why it’s important to make a picture book dummy as a writer
- keeping all your writing notes
- Milk, Eggs, Vodka.
- how I wish I had written Snappsy!
- where the idea for Snappsy came from
- where the idea for Who Hops? came from
- how Julie’s moxie got her the job as picture book reviewer on Brain Burps
UPDATE: Snappsy is a huge hit! A giant second printing right after the first printing ran out FAST, a New York Times appearance, and great reviews all around. I’m so proud of our Julie!
Picture Rita Skeeter as a chicken for a general sense of this book’s goofy take on intrusive narration and one-sided reporting.
The tale of Snappsy the alligator hits a snag from the start when his trip to the grocery store is interpreted with inaccurate (according to Snappsy) and increasingly nasty commentary. While the authoritative narrator presents Snappsy as a vicious predator, readers who look at the pictures and hear Snappsy’s objections to this misrepresentation will see another side to the story. “Snappsy looked hungrily at the other shoppers,” intones the narrator, while the illustration reveals the alligator mildly smiling and waving as he studies a jar of peanut butter. Eventually Snappsy decides to throw a house party, more to please the narrator by making the tale sound interesting than anything else. And who just happens to come knocking at the door in a party hat? None other than the narrator, ready for the chicken dance. What sets this apart from standard-issue picture-book metafiction is its commentary on selective reporting. Unreliable narration is normally the purview of the novel, but this picture book asks elementary-age readers to question the truth of what they’re being told. Illustrator Miller’s style is cartoonish, showing how background characters are initially swayed by the narrator’s erroneous charges and then won over by Snappsy’s charisma.
More than merely meta, Snappsy is clearly a book, if not a protagonist, with bite. (Picture book. 4-7)