Meet Linda Jones, author of Alphabet Anatomy: Meet the Capital Letters, a newly released illustrated children's book for kids' ages 3 to 6.
1. Is Alphabet Anatomy your first children’s book, and is it the first of a series?
Yes, Alphabet Anatomy: Meet the Capital Letters is my first children’s book, and it’s the first book in the Alphabet Anatomy series. Alphabet Anatomy explores what the letters do behind the scenes when they’re not busy making words. I hope to publish Meet the Lower Case letters later this year. In Alphabet Anatomy, each letter’s shape and sound has evolved as a result of its life, and each letter’s anatomy also defines its activities and interests. For instance, letter H has a history of a half-yard height deficit among her hometown friends. That’s why she habitually hops on four-foot high, hickory-wood handmade stilts. Letter U has an utterly uncanny ability to undertake most of his daily upkeep underwater, which makes his mother understandably uneasy. So, all of the letters have a lot more fascinating things to share, and nothing makes the letters happier than helping kids learn to read and write!
2. DBR Books likes to highlight unusual reads, and this book is not your typical alphabet book!
What made you choose to write your book in the way you did?
Oh, thank you for acknowledging that Alphabet Anatomy is not your typical alphabet book. I really appreciate that. Writing the verses for Alphabet Anatomy was actually an effort to help my youngest son, Branson, perfect his letter writing skills. He’s 17 now so that was over ten years ago. Back then, there was no intention of writing a book and I just filed the verses away in my file cabinet. I started laughing when I read them again and decided to ask Branson if he could make some drawings since he has displayed exceptional artistic ability as he’s gotten older. Branson illustrated the letters so well and I know that rhyming is really beneficial for children, so I made a mock book and brought it to the local library for feedback. The librarian praised it and commented that parents had often asked for a book instructing on letter writing but she had not known of any. That gave me the encouragement I needed to publish, and Alphabet Anatomy was born. So, to sum it all up, Alphabet Anatomy began as a desire to fill a need for my son, which I later realized could help other children as well. I’m very proud that Branson was also able to help fill that need by creating the illustrations.
3. Have you ever thought of this book as a teaching tool?
Absolutely! I did quite a bit of research about how children learn to read during the time that Alphabet Anatomy was being published. Learning to read is a very complex process and I was surprised at the enormous amounts of research and studies that are continuously being conducted. In fact, it became clearer each time I researched how helpful Alphabet Anatomy would be as a teaching tool, and that was exciting. I also became aware of the national focus to improve early childhood education and the stringent changes to the common core state standards that are being implemented nationally in all our schools. So, the timing was also perfect for creating Alphabet Anatomy.
4. What’s your best advice to first time children’s book authors?
I think it’s important for a children’s book to have some educational value, whether it speaks academically, socially, or morally to a child. Stretch the imagination with fun characters and add a touch of silliness and humor. Laughing and learning at the same time is a magical combination.
5. What’s next? Will there be a book for numbers?
Yes, I would love to do numbers sometime in the future. However, I think expanding on the Alphabet Anatomy series will keep me busy for quite a while. In addition to Meet the Lower Case Letters, future books will help build vocabulary and writing skills and examine more advanced reading concepts. We’re also planning audio versions and hope to do other products. The letters want to star in their own individual books as well and they have a multitude of joint adventures to engage in, so they hope to continue sharing their lives for a very long time!
Click to also see the Book Review.