This week we continue our tour of children's books by chatting with Joy Delgado, author of Zooprise Party - a fun book with the text in both English and Spanish.
#1. Children's writers seem to have a knack for thinking like a child. What were you like as a five-year-old?
Thanks for having me here today Donna. As for what I was like as a five-year-old, let’s see, I was afraid of dogs, we had a beagle. Now that seems silly, but at five I was terrified! We also moved from New Jersey to Puerto Rico. I thought we were going on a grand adventure. My dad had told us we’d be moving to a different country every two years. (We stayed in Puerto Rico for almost nine years.) Before we moved dad had us practicing Spanish, learning to rrroll our rrrr’s. I guess that’s what gave me the travel bug because I’ve been traveling ever since.
As I grew up, around ten I think, I made the decision I’d never forget what it was like to be a kid and I haven’t. It helped my own children when they’d get into trouble because I could remember doing the same things. Sometimes it was hard not to laugh instead of discipline them.
#2. What inspired you to create “Zooprise Party / Fiesta Zoorpresa”?
My husband’s daughter from a previous marriage has two girls. They live in Puerto Rico. When they were born, we decided we’d always give them books instead of toys for presents. At first we bought either English or Spanish books. When we decided to give them bilingual books, they were hard to find. When we did, they usually were about a particular culture.
I asked our daughter Rebekha to write stories for the girls that I would then illustrate and her father would translate to Spanish. Within a day she emailed me three stories, all about animals. (She was a college student studying anthropology to become a zookeeper.)
As the ‘project’ developed, it became clear that this wasn’t just a book. This was a book that would help teach a second language as well as inform people about animals that aren’t very common. With that in mind I developed the Activity Book and the Teacher’s Guide to take the book beyond reading.
#3. Share the best feedback from a child you've received for your writing.
When I did my first school visit, I was nervous. I wasn’t sure if the children would pay attention. Boy was I wrong. They were hooked from the start. Afterwards we had a question and answer time and that showed me they really were paying attention. Here’s a slide show from that day.
Trailer for the book!
Zooprise Party / Fiesta Zoorpresa by Rebekha Delgado
Picture book ISBN: 978-0-9755454-1-6
Activity Book ISBN: 978-0-9755454-2-3
Teacher’s guide ISBN: 978-0-9755454-3-0
You can see how these books and website work together go to:
You can also follow Joy’s two blogs:
Zooprise Party / Fiesta Zoorpresa where you’ll find Zebee the laughing zebra and the rest of the gang at the ‘V Zoo’.
Books Go Beyond Reading where you will learn how to take any book beyond reading.
Where can you pick up your copies?
Laughing Zebra – Books for Children
Offers free shipping, discounts and autographed copies
This Old Schoolhouse Store
Offers free shipping and discounts