by Linda Pate
Spring has finally arrived and as we look out of our windows, our animal friends are coming back to visit with us. I recently read a children’s book about an adventure between a squirrel and a bird while they shared the fruit of an urban garden. You will be able to identify with Mr. Gardner’s frustrations having to deal with the squirrel as you read The Backyard Plum Tree (Author House, $7.99) by Gwen Fowlkes Harvey. I interviewed Gwen, the author, and she shared with me how the idea came about.
How did you come up with the idea for the book and what was your inspiration?
The idea for The Backyard Plum Tree came from a conversation I had with a first grade neighbor who happened to be a student in my class. I lived in the same neighborhood as the school where I taught. While watching a bird and a squirrel eat plums from my backyard plum tree, we created a conversation about what the animals might say to each other. That imaginary conversation became the inspiration for my story.
What is the age group this book was written for?
Because the story idea came from the imagination of a young child, I felt a need to write for young children. I chose words that I thought would be pleasing to the ears of non readers, if read aloud, and fun for early independent readers to age nine.
Why did you feel this type of book was needed?
I see a need to inspire young readers to become young writers by looking carefully at nature, exploring their own backyards, and writing about their own adventures. I hope my book will be an encouragement to writers.
What did you enjoy most about writing your book?
When writing for children, I enjoy the challenge of trying to find a creative way to share a story.
Linda Pate is the owner of Precious Memories Bookstore located at 3229 Idlewood Ave. On the web, www.preciousmemoriesreading.com Visit Precious Memories every second Friday for Poetry on the Corner with host B’Louis. The blog, www.roomsofconversation.blogspot.com