Today I welcome Joana Pastro whose wonderful, recently released picture book speaks to my heart, LILY BELLE, A DAMSEL NOT IN DISTRESS. I love books with an empowering message, and when even the title made me smile … but wait until you see what’s inside. She has generously offered a copy to one lucky winner. Comment on the post to be entered in the raffle.
What were you like at the age of your target audience?
My nickname as a toddler was bionic baby, because I was always on the go. I was extremely active, and my mom says I talked non-stop! I spent most of my time with my imagination and playing make believe, but I remember also having quieter more introspective moments. I’ve always loved art and crafts, loved going to museums and watching musicals. My mom considered musicals the best sitter for me! When I was 8, I watched a week long Fred Astaire marathon on TV.
What inspires you?
It’s such a cliché to say everything, but it’s true! But now that I’m thinking about this, I can say that most of my stories are inspired by either my childhood, like BISA’S CARNAVAL, or by art/history, like LILLYBELLE, A DAMSEL NOT IN DISTRESS.
What’s the one thing you hope your readers take away from your books?
I want girls to see themselves in LillyBelle, and understand the power they have, and I really hope all children will be inspired to stand up for themselves and for others. The best feedback I got so far was a video from a three-year-old. When asked why she liked LillyBelle, she said, “Because she can do anything!” It was the cutest thing!
What can we look forward to next?
I have a couple of projects out on submission, which is always exciting. I’m working on several projects, including board books, a chapter book, and a novel. I’m keeping myself busy!
My second book, BISA’S CARNAVAL, comes out in November 2nd, 2021 with Orchard Books. It’s set during Carnaval in Brazil, and it follows a little girl and her Bisa (great-grandmother) as they prepare for the parade. It’s all about family, love and celebrating what matters most.
Joana can be reached at: Twitter: @jopastro Instagram: @joanapastro Website: http://www.joanapastro.com