Happy Almost Book Birthday Beatrice Zinker! We are so excited that tomorrow you are being showcased into the world. We had the pleasure of meeting Beatrice prior to release from an ARC. Shelley Johannes, author and illustrator has done a great job capturing what it’s like to be an unique individual. Beatrice has heart, is a good friend, but is often misunderstood because, well, she thinks upside down. This early middle grade novel is perfect for a read aloud promoting individuality in all elementary grades. We can see Beatrice having a line of independent readers waiting to read her book, (while sitting upside down). We thank Shelley for spending time thinking about our interview questions. We learned so much about her and the book from the answers. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did!
3 Questions about Beatrice Zinker Upside Down Thinker
What three words would you use to describe your book?
Beatrice is always a bright spot for me. She makes me laugh, reminds me to have fun, and motivates me to look for the good in everything. I hope she does the same for readers—so I’m going to say: funny, fun, and sunny-side-up.
We loved reading about this free-thinking, be-your-own-person-character; who is she modeled after?
Thank you! When Beatrice first showed up in my brain—dressed in a ninja suit, hanging from the ceiling—she was a manifestation of my own guilty conscience. She amused me endlessly, and eventually became her own person, with her own story.
If you were to pick a character from another book to be Beatrice’s friend, who would you say?
There are so many possible answers! Carter Higgins recently joked about writing some Beatrice/Dory fan fiction. Now I really want to arrange a friendship! I think Beatrice and Dory Fantasmagory would get into lots of fabulous, unintended trouble together, and have a ridiculous amount of fun.
3 Questions about You
If you weren’t a writer, what would you want to be and why?
My first career was architecture— but at this point, if I weren’t a writer, I’d want to be a school librarian. Watching kids get excited about books, and helping them find one they love, is a magical experience.
What is one book that has stuck with you since you’ve read it?
The “one book” condition is almost impossible! I’m going to cheat and fit in two. As a child, Anne of Green Gables was that book. As an adult, Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen wrapped itself around my heart. Both Anne and Annabelle represent my favorite type of hero—the girl who refuses to become jaded. Deliberate optimism is a form of bravery I cherish.
What is one item in your fridge that tells us about you?
There are several pizza boxes and lots of Mountain Dew. Read into that at will. =)