author interview, authors, bass guitar, Carmen Learns English, Cinco de Mouse-O, Don't Be Silly, interview, Judy Cox, Mrs. Millie, pizza, Snow Day for Mouse, Styling Librarian, ukulele, Ukulele Hayley
Styling Librarian Author Interview with Judy Cox
I am so happy to share this interview I had with Judy Cox! I love Judy’s books. Judy was the first author I ever welcomed into my old library and I’ll never forget how she engaged my students with her animal stories, tall tales, and alien stories! I’ve watched Judy’s books sell, sell, sell through the years, and there is no doubt why- her brilliant ideas, writing, and revision make some of the best picture books that you can’t wait to read and reread with children. Her experience as a teacher shows through her themes and topics that she touches on in many of her books! The books sometimes fit perfectly for different times of the year and other books that Judy has written are fantastic to share anytime.
One book I’ve mentioned a few times is Carmen Learns English, such a beautiful lesson connecting with perspective and learning a new language, adjusting to a different culture. I’ve shared this book with many students in the past! I’m also excited to share that Judy’s book Ukulele Hayley will be released on August 15th!
You can find out more information about Judy Cox’s books here: http://www.judycox.net
She is also on:
You can learn about a few of Judy’s books here: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/bookwizard/books-by/judy-cox
New book: Ukulele Hayley
How did you get the idea for your new book?
I was intrigued by the current interest in the ukulele, so I started writing this book. I wanted to see what playing the ukulele felt like, so I borrowed one and taught myself to play and I got hooked. I play bass guitar and sing, and I already played a bit of campfire guitar, so I found the ukulele easy to learn and very rewarding. It’s much easier to make barre chords and altered jazz chords on the uke than on the acoustic guitar, so I’m finally able to sing and play many of the songs from the 1920’s through the 1930’s that I’ve always loved to listen to.
What was your favorite childhood book memory?
Every summer, one of my sisters and I spent a couple of weeks at my grandparents house in California. We were allowed to take Grandma’s library card and walk down the hill to the library and bring back stacks of books, which we read by the swimming pool. I loved books with magic in them—Edward Eager, P.L. Travers, C. S. Lewis.
Are there any authors or books that you liked as a child that you still read now?
I reread my childhood favorites—L. M. Boston’s Green Knowe Series; Elizabeth Enright’s Melendy Family series; Edward Eager, Kenneth Graham, C. S. Lewis. There are too many to list!
What was a favorite genre you read as a child? How have your tastes changed as an adult? I used to read a lot of fantasy—Andre Norton (Steel Magic) and Mary Norton (The Borrowers); C. S. Lewis (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe), and L. M. Boston (Green Knowe). I no longer read much fantasy as it has moved away from a warm and whimsical tone to darker, more distressing themes.
Do you still have any of your books from when you were a child?
I have a HUGE collection of books. Growing up, we didn’t have money for many books, so I used the library extensively. When I became an employed adult, I indulged my passion for books by buying up all my favorites—in original, well-loved editions when possible. My husband says I’m trying to recreate my elementary school library—complete with peanut butter and jelly stains.
Are you in a writers group? If so, has it helped you?
I am in a writers group. The opportunity to hear myself read my work aloud is invaluable, since most of my books, especially the picture books, are intended to be read aloud.
Do you have a key writing tip for kids? Or adults?
Writing takes time and
persistence to develop.
There are two key ways
things a writer must do to
hone their craft:
Write and Read!
Do you have a new book being released in the next year?
My new book, Ukulele Hayley is a chapter book for readers 6-9. It will be released from Holiday House in Fall 2013.
Book Trailers promoting Ukelele Hailey!
How do you feel about the development and growth of the e-Book industry?
Many of my books are available as eBooks and also as Reading Rainbow apps.
—How much I loved finding your books on Reading Rainbow App!! I think I emailed you the next day with a screen shot of one of your books because I was so excited! You have some fantastic books on there by the way…
Did you always plan on a writing career or if not…?
I knew I wanted to be a writer from the age of eleven or so. I just didn’t know how that would happen. It took nearly 30 years, so I’m not an overnight success!
What truly influences you as a writer? I hear stories in my head. Whenever I meet people, I wonder what their story is. I love to listen to people talk and observe, and wonder about things, but I’m much too shy to be a reporter. So I make stuff up.
If you weren’t a writer, what occupation would you be working in?
Well, I’ve had several occupations. I was an elementary teacher and reading specialist for nearly 30 years, writing all the while, and I have performed in many bands.
*Do you have any favorite topping you like on your pizza?
(in honor of my husband who thinks it would be cool if I collect a list of author’s favorite pizza “You can learn a lot about a person from the pizza topping they like.”)
Artichoke hearts and garlic. My husband and son don’t poach any slices when I order this!
—YUM, add those toppings with pesto or cream sauce instead of tomato and it would be my ideal pizza!
The best advice I’ve received for my profession was….never give up!
The habit I never break for my writing practice is…revision, revision, revision. Sometimes it’s hard to stop revising.
—Thank you so much for answering the questions Judy, so happy to see your books and new book treasures coming out year after year!
Another Judy Cox Interview here: http://lindabenson.blogspot.hk/2010/03/meet-judy-cox.html
Yet one more interview here: http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.blogspot.hk/2011/08/interview-with-childrens-author-judy.html
Celebrate 15 Years of Publishing with Judy:
Don’t Be Silly Mrs. Millie – story read aloud:
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