Today I welcome Becky Scharnhorst, another wonderfully funny picture book author. Her debut, MY SCHOOL STINKS, illustrated by Julia Patton caught my attention from its delightful title and I am sure you will find it as funny as I did! Becky has generously offered one lucky winner a copy of MY SCHOOL STINKS and some fun book swag! Comment on the post to enter the giveaway.
What were you like at the age of your target audience?
I was happy, playful, and a little bit reckless. At the age of three, I jumped off the diving board into the deep end of the pool during my swimming lessons. The only problem was my teacher wasn’t watching! I also got a concussion after darting in front of the batter during a family game of baseball, and I still have a scar on my nose from running into a wall. I had a lot of energy and loved playing outside with my sisters. I spent a big chunk of my childhood playing in lakes, catching frogs, and fishing with my dad. I also LOVED sweets! My dad said I would steal cookies and hide under the table eating them. After I finished, I would come out with crumbs all over my face and ask if I could have a cookie. Clearly, I couldn’t risk my parents saying no, so I always ate a few first.
What inspires you?
I’m often inspired by something funny my kids say or do, but I can find inspiration anywhere if I’m paying attention. I think the biggest roadblock to inspiration and creativity is busyness. When I’m rushing through life focusing only on crossing items off my to-do list, I struggle to find inspiration anywhere. But if I take time to read an interesting article, explore nature, or let my mind wander, ideas start to swirl. MY SCHOOL STINKS was inspired by my own anxiety and the wildlife at the camp where we lived. My third book was inspired by a school project my son did on octopuses. I even wrote a manuscript inspired by a math problem written by a 5th grader at the school where I worked. You never know what will lead to your next idea.
What’s one thing you hope readers take away from your book?
Mostly I just want kids to enjoy the story and hopefully laugh! But also, I hope they realize things are not usually as scary as we imagine them to be. I remember that anxious feeling I had before the start of every school year, but by the end of the first day, it was gone. None of the things I worried about ever happened. Fear has a sneaky way of planting doubts and anxious thoughts inside of us. But if we face our fears, good things can come out of almost any situation. You might even make some unexpected friendships along the way.
What’s next for you?
I have two more books coming out in the next couple years. THIS FIELD TRIP STINKS is a sequel to my debut, and it comes out in 2022. HOW TO GET YOUR OCTOPUS TO SCHOOL is another humorous picture book that comes out in 2023. Both are being published by Flamingo Books which is a new imprint of Penguin Random House. I also have another picture book currently out on submission.
Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog today, Laura!
You’re going to want to learn more about Becky’s books: