About the book:
Badger loves snow and he just can’t wait for it any longer! Patience does not come easily to Badger. He bangs pots and pans and shouts, “Wake up, Sky! It’s time to snow.” His animal friends, Hedgehog, Rabbit, Vole, and Possum, try to help by using other tricks and superstitions, but snow is taking its time. Sensible Hedgehog explains that everything has its season and all that’s required is waiting. But what can they do while they wait? Be a friend?
Waiting and Patience and Dreams - Oh, My!
I’m just going to blurt it out. I love anthropomorphic animals, absolutely love them. Indeed, I like anthropomorphic plants, rocks and dishes (especially that one who ran away with the spoon.) Deep inside me, I believe all things are sentient, just as small children do. So writing about Badger and his friends was an absolute delight. Indeed I followed Waiting for Snow with two more Badger stories, which may someday find their way into book form...with a little bit of patience.
Waiting for Snow is about seasons, a second Badger story involves searching for sunshine, and a third is about seeds. Obviously, my Kansas farm girl roots are showing. There’s no doubt my father’s influence is in Waiting for Snow. As a farmer it was his job to understand the earth and the rhythm of each season. “Everything in its time,” he often said. As a nature-lover, he knew every wild flower in the county. He often consulted the Farmer’s Almanac, which might have been a good idea for Badger too.
But why did I write about patience? Perhaps because I am so lacking in it myself! A friend of mine once traveled the country in two “gypsy” wagons along with about twenty animals: donkeys, goats, and chickens. He parked his wagons in what he called “the margins” along the sides of the road. When he found a new friend willing to share their water, he would carry the water in buckets with a yoke, from source to his twenty-some animals. If anyone required patience, John did. I can hear his words in my mind still: “You have to take your time and do things right. If you hurry, you just mess things up.”
Badger and his friends tried to hurry snow. It didn’t work well. They were rained on by pebbles, got sore feet, and wore uncomfortable pajamas to bed. Though it was hard, it was better to wait – to play together, cook, read, and knit a warm hat for a friend until the snow arrived.
How lucky I am to have my editor Kate O’Sullivan and illustrator Renata Liwska as teammates for this story. Years ago, when I was a California gal, I was in a writing group with Deborah Underwood during the time she was writing The Quiet Book. Deborah waxed poetic about her amazing editor and illustrator. It was then I put a wish in my heart that someday I would work with these two shining stars. But honestly, I didn’t hold out much hope. I would never have expressed my wish outloud. So when it did come true, it was like a wonderful surprise present.
Here I am, some 8 years later, with a book edited by Kate O’Sullivan and illustrated by Renata Liwska! Of course, the dedication had to be: “For Kate O’Sullivan and Renata Liwska, a dream editor and illustrator worth waiting for.”
Renata Liwska’s vision for the art in Waiting for Snow is so brilliant. She added things like the classroom, the telescope, and the disco ball. Although I often have images in my mind for my stories, I can’t recall having a lot for Waiting for Snow. The text came to me almost as a meditation: “The sun comes back every day,” said Hedgehog, “and the stars every night.”
Renata’s characters and images, like the mushrooms on Hedgehog’s back, bring the story to a wonderful kid-friendly level. Indeed, my three-year old granddaughter’s favorite image in the book is the first page with mushrooms sticking on Hedgehog’s back. Look carefully at Hedgehog later in the story. Renata has now whimsically painted him with quills holding yarn for knitting. Hedgehog quills are so useful!
I hope my readers don’t have to wait long to find Badger and his friends in their bookstore or library. But if they have to wait a bit, I hope they find as many fun things to do during that time as Badger and his friends did.
About the author:
Marsha Diane Arnold is an award-winning author with over one million books sold. Waiting for Snow is her 14th book with four more coming soon.
Her popular Writing Character-Driven Picture Books course can be found here: http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/writing-character-driven-stories.html. There’s a special going on in November in honor of Waiting for Snow’s birthday!
Follow the blog tour:
October 31st, Monday - Cynthia Alaniz, Librarian in Cute Shoes
Nov 1st, Tuesday - Alyson Beecher, Kid Lit Frenzy
Nov 2nd, Wednesday - Dylan Teut, Reading with Mr. Teut
Nov 3rd, Thursday - Mia Wengen, Pragmatic Mom
Nov 4th, Friday - Margie Myers-Culver - Librarian’s Quest
Nov 6th, Sunday - Matthew Winner - The Best Book Ever (This Week)
Nov 7th, Monday - Niki Ohs Barnes, Daydream Reader
Nov 8th, Tuesday - Bridget and the Books