Bookmark, The First Book Blog, is the last stop of the blog tour for my new book, Dotty. Dotty is the story of a girl named Ida, her extremely persistent imaginary friend, Dotty, and her perceptive and kind teacher, Ms. Raymond. When Ida starts school with Dotty in tow, she is pleased to discover that her classmates also have imaginary friends. But as the year continues, all the other imaginary friends disappear, while Dotty remains… and playground conflict ensues. Ms. Raymond steps in — not to rescue Ida, but to show her that she is not alone and that imagination is very much welcomed and encouraged in her classroom.
This blog tour has been a blast and as a special treat for the First Book blog, I’ve invited Julia Denos, Dotty’s wonderful illustrator, to join me today! I’ve asked her three questions that I often get asked, and that – coincidentally – make great jumping off points if you read Dotty with kids and want to discuss it and do extension activities:
- Hi Julia! Thanks for joining us. First question: what is your “Dotty” (that is, what is the secret side of you that not everyone gets to see… and that won’t go away)?
My inner child is my “Dotty”! She’s always hanging around. I don’t think I will ever really totally grow up, I will always sort of have one foot in the imaginary realm and the other in reality, a little like Ida I guess… this makes me forgetful about practical things/open/dreamy half of the time, but worried I’ve forgotten my keys/grown-up acting/super-organized (to try to make up for it) the other half of the time. Most of the time people see grown-up me, but the inner child is the real deal, behind me on a very long blue leash.
- Can you tell us about a really good friend… real or imaginary?
My best friend is named Matt. He’s a talented artist. He creates character designs and outfit concepts for video games now, but we used to draw in high school art class together. He used to skate board and I used to try to balance on his board, not very well. He is very good at being practical and patient when I am dreaming off on a little cloud and forgetful (Matt’s a secret dreamer too). He’s the best listener I know. His favorite snack are peanuts-in-the-shell. We make each other laugh. We just got married this year!
- Okay, last question: What would you like to see Ida and Dotty do next, if they had another adventure?
Ida learns to ride on Dotty’s back and Dotty learns to fly. Recess is spent at Dotty’s house (they fly there) having tea, instead of on the black top. Katya is invited if she’s nice.
Hmm, a flying adventure. I like that. Guess I better do some more writing!
Thanks for joining the blog tour, Julia! It has been such fun visiting blogs and meeting new friends along the way. But never fear, I have some live-in-person events coming up, including the Princeton Children’s Book Festival tomorrow (9/11/10) from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. in Princeton, NJ and many more, so please check the events page at my website – ericaperl.com – or follow my tweets – @ericaperl – and if I’m in your neck of the woods, come say hi! I’ll have Dotty stickers and bookmarks (and books, of course!) and you can see me model my brand new Dotty hat.
If you’d like to win a signed copy of Dotty, please submit a comment here by September 30th. Entries must be from people in the continental United States. One lucky winner will be selected at random.