I’m thrilled to have Elizabeth Gilbert Bedia on the blog today. I loved her first book, BESS THE BARN STANDS STRONG, illustrated by Katie Hickey. So you can imagine how excited I was to hear about her new book, BALLOONS FOR PAPA, illustrated by Erika Meza. Trust me, you’ll want to order it for yourself if you like a picture book with powerful story, full of emotion, beautifully illustrated.
One lucky winner (US only) will get a signed copy of BALLOONS FOR PAPA and book swag from Elizabeth. Comment on this post to enter the giveaway.
What were you like at the age of your target audience?
I was curious, caring, and creative. Always outdoors with an animal by my side. And…a tad mischievous.☺
What inspires you?
I think inspiration is everywhere, but we must be willing to see it, hear it, and feel it.
It could be in the scene from a good book where two foes fight to save their neighborhood together. It could be in the caring nature of a giant tree providing shade on a hot summer day. It could be in a stranger’s act of genuine kindness. It could be in the rhythmic hum of the cicadas singing their last summer serenade. Or as in my latest picture book, BALLOONS FOR PAPA, it could be in the vivid memories of empathy and hope from the ones you love.
My most inspiring moments come when I quiet my mind and take the time to look, listen, and truly feel the world around me.
What do you hope readers take away from your book?
The simplest answer is hope. I hope both children and parents find hope and feel empathy as they read it. Also, I hope it acts as a conversation starter to talk about those big feelings that both children and adults experience.
Here is a lovely review from a reader on Amazon:
“This beautiful book shares a powerful message of hope, love and determination. Bedia’s lovely prose will melt your heart, while Meza’s gorgeous illustrations carry you away. This story of reliance and empathy is one that everyone will be able to relate to. A beautiful and timely tale.”
What’s next for you?
I have a few projects in the works. They are a bit of a departure from my other picture books. One is a nonfiction manuscript utilizing my audiology background and the other is humorous and fun-loving picture book manuscript. But aside from writing, my immediate family and I are reconnecting with family this summer after not seeing each other for more than a year. It is hands-down the highlight of my year!
Thanks so much for having me on your wonderful blog, Laura! It has been delightful!
To learn more about Elizabeth and her books:
Website: https://elizabethgilbertbedia.com. Twitter: @lizbedia. Instagram: @lizbedia