Today we are very excited to share a special interview with authors Susan Rose and Silvia Lopez (JOSÉ AND EL PERRO)!
Read on to learn more about them, their book, and a giveaway!
Meet the Author: Susan Rose
Susan Rose (she/her) is a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer for The Band’s Visit and co-producer of the upcoming Broadway musical Sing Street. She has also produced Tony-nominated Broadway shows, including the original Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Coat, Hurlyburly, and Blood Knot. She co-produced the Drama Desk-winning musical The Last Five Years. Susan has enjoyed a successful film career as a producer as well. Several of her films have been nominated for and won Emmy Awards, including Cooler Climate and Jack.
Meet the Author: Silvia Lopez
Books turned into a career as a children’s librarian until, later in life, she became a children’s author. López is an eclectic writer whose work reflects her interest in animals, history, folk tales, and people who have overcome obstacles to achieve great things. Her books include Just Right Family: An Adoption Story (Florida Book Award 2018, illustrated by Ziyue Chen), Handimals: Animals in Art and Nature (a collaboration with Italian artist Guido Daniele), Queen of Tejano Music: Selena, which also received the Florida Book Award in 2020 (English and Spanish, illustrated by Paola Escobar), Pacho Nacho (bilingual, illustrated by Pablo Pino), and My Little Golden Book about Frida Kahlo (English and Spanish, illustrated by Elisa Chavarri). My Little Golden Book about Sonia Sotomayor in English and Spanish is scheduled for release in 2022.
About the Book: JOSÉ AND EL PERRO
Join José as he trains his new dog in this fun early reader that uses both Spanish and English!
José loves his family: his Papi, Mami, and little sister, Sofi. But something is missing—he dreams of having a dog, un perro of his own. Finally José gets to pick el perro perfecto, the perfect dog, from a shelter. But when he tries out commands like “¡Siéntate!” (sit) and “¡Échate!” (lie down), his new pet simply tilts his head to the side in confusion. Then he realizes that the dog does understand commands—he just doesn’t understand Spanish! Follow along as José teaches su perro inteligente some new words en español.
This early reader, co-written by notable Broadway producer Susan Rose and children’s book author Silvia López, is the perfect introduction for English-speaking children who have just begun learning Spanish. The inclusion of the Spanish/English translations at the end of the book also makes it an excellent teaching tool. Exciting, easy-to-read books are the stepping stone a young reader needs to bridge the gap between being a beginner and being fluent.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
SUSAN: The scene in the book that I love the most is the last scene, where Jose and Feliz are going to sleep. Jose says to Feliz “Te quiero mucho Feliz. I love you lots”. The loving bond is established between Jose and his newly adopted dog.
SILVIA: José and El Perro has many wonderful scenes showing the interaction of a boy and his dog, but I like the ending best. When José tells his pet that he loves him, Feliz doesn’t need to learn a new language in order to know he’s loved.
YABC: How do you know when a book is finished?
SUSAN: I wrote the book with a coauthor Silvia Lopez. She is an award winning Children’s book writer. We are true collaborators. I am the “story” person, and do the first draft. We go back and forth several times perfecting the manuscript, and we both decide when we think it’s ready to send off to our agents.
SILVIA: A book may be finished in my mind, but it’s really only finished when I see it in print.
YABC: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
SUSAN: I produce Broadway shows and movies for television. I work with writers in those mediums when I am developing a project. It is a collaborative effort, and I give notes on scripts when they are being written. I have an active imagination, and always wanted to write Children’s books. When I had the idea for JOSE AND EL PERRO, I decided to sit down and write it. I am grateful for my collaboration with my coauthor Silvia Lopez.
SILVIA: I had a big imagination as a child, and was a big reader. I was always making up stories. As a children’s librarian, at some point I knew I wanted to see one of my stories on the shelf.
YABC: How do you keep your ‘voice’ true to the age category you are writing within?
SILVIA: I was an English major and would read lots of classical literature, but ended up working with children’s books for over three decades. I learned that there’s a difference between children’s books and children’s literature, just like there is in the adult world. As far as “voice” goes, when I find my writing sounds a little complicated, I analyze each word, then read the story aloud and picture a child reading it. That’s when I make changes to the writing and work on matching the “voice” to the way a child would think or speak.
YABC: What type of scene do you love to write the most?
SILVIA: I like funny scenes that I know will make the readers laugh, but also warm scenes of interaction between the characters, especially between a child and an adult such as a parent or grandparent.
YABC: What word do you have trouble overusing?
SILVIA: “But” and “And”
YABC: What is your favorite writing space?
SUSAN: I like to write at the kitchen table when no one is around.
YABC: What is your favorite writing space?
SILVIA: A very, very quiet one. I don’t work well with music or any noise in the background.
YABC: How do you plan to celebrate the launch of your book?
SUSAN: I have grandchildren, and I am most excited about celebrating the launch of the book with them. The book is dedicated to them and Brady, my four legged baby. Brady, my West Highland Terrier was the inspiration for the book.
SILVIA: Susan Rose and I are very excited about reading it aloud at a local bookstore to our families and friends, including their children, and also doing some book signings in New York.
YABC: What hobbies do you enjoy?
SUSAN: Theatre is my passion. I love seeing as many new plays and musicals as I can. I love reading both fiction and non fiction books. I love to travel, especially to new cities both domestically and internationally.
SILVIA: I like to listen to audiobooks, especially cozy mysteries, and like to watch British mystery/detective series on TV. I also like shows that deal with vets and zoos. I like to garden a little, and am trying out different recipes for cookies. The downside of that is that I eat them.
YABC: What’s your least favorite word or expression and why?
SILVIA: “No worries.” Usually, when someone tells you that, they’re either dismissing you or it’s time to worry. And the other term I don’t like is “kiddie lit.” I find it demeans the incredibly hard work that goes into writing good children’s literature.
YABC: What do you do when you procrastinate?
SILVIA: I feel awful knowing that I have something to do and am not getting to it. I make to-do lists and try to cross a few things off, then sit down to write as soon as I see the list getting shorter.
YABC: What kind of animal would your main character be and why?
SUSAN:I have always loved animals. I’ve always had dogs and cats as pets. I think its great to have a dog as a main character in a story as there is such a great connection to explore between dogs and humans. There are many ways to depict this very special relationship.
YABC: What other age group would you consider writing for?
SUSAN: I like to write for younger children, ages 4-8. I have two grandchildren in that age range, and I am privy to what kinds of stories they are interested in.
SILVIA: I have some ideas for Middle Grade fiction, which is for ages 8 to 12. I don’t like to call them Chapter Books because Frog and Toad has chapters, and so does War and Peace, so it’s a misleading term. I’d say they’re novels for readers who can read longer books but are not yet Young Adults.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
SILVIA: Besides the books cowritten with Susan, I keep working at new ideas and at others that I’ve had for a while and never had time to polish. I have a picture book coming out with the Hatchette group in 2024 and another in 2025.
Title: JOSÉ AND EL PERRO
Author: Susan Rose and Silvia Lopez
Illustrator: Gloria Félix
Release Date: April 25, 2023
Publisher: Penguin Workshop
Genre: Early Reader Chapter Book
Age Range: 5-7
~ Giveaway Details ~
Five (5) winners will receive a copy of Jose and El Perro (Susan Rose and Silvia Lopez) ~US Only!
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*