Later this month, we are launching “Hold This!”— a charming, new picture book illustrated by Boston-area artist Priscilla Alpaugh and written by Montpelier, Vermont, author Carolyn Cory Scoppettone. The story takes readers on a sensory journey through the woods with a young girl and her father. There are many treasures to be found along the way, but the greatest discovery is the joy they find in simply spending time together.
We recently chatted with Carolyn about the making of her debut picture book and her life as a working writer.
P: Where did you get your inspiration for the book?
CS: When my daughters were little we would take long walks in the woods. The girls would rush ahead and return, beaming, with one woodland treasure after another. And, of course, they wanted me to hold them all.
IP: Can you speak a little bit about the evolution of this story idea?
CS: Actually, “Hold This!” started out as a longish picture book about a mother and seven children taking a walk at the seashore. The children collected treasures . . . a grain of sand, a stalk of grass, etc. Gradually their treasures grew bigger and bigger. Their mother held everything, but the weight of a baby elephant seal eventually caused the pile of treasures to come tumbling down. The story was absurd and funny and received some nice rejections from editors, but it was missing something – heart, I think. I put the story aside for a while, but I kept thinking about it. How could I capture that childish delight in the natural world? How could I express the parent’s poignant experience? Finally, I hit on the right approach. I love the way “Hold This!” turned out.
Read whole article here. Originally posted on September 2, 2015.