Author Chat with Anna Lazowski (T. Rexes Can't Tie Their Shoes), Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
Today we're excited to chat with Anna Lazowski author of
T. Rexes Can't Tie Their Shoes.
Read on for more about Anna, her book, plus an giveaway!
Meet Anna Lazowski!
ANNA LAZOWSKI is an award-winning senior producer at CBC Radio, based in Winnipeg. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Western Ontario and a BFA (Honors) degree from the University of Manitoba. T. Rexes Can't Tie Their Shoes is her first book. Learn more about Anna's writing at annalazowskibooks.com, and follow her on Facebook at @AuthorAnnaLazowski, on Twitter at @anna_lazowski, and on Instagram at @annalazowski.
Meet T. Rexes Can't Tie Their Shoes!
A funny and encouraging alphabetic book about all the things animals CAN'T do but kids CAN! Every parent teaching their young one new skills will be happy to have this super-positive picture book on hand.
Bees can't ride bicycles, penguins can't pick up pennies, and zebras can't go zip-lining. No one is good at everything, but that shouldn't stop you from trying! Here is a funny and encouraging picture book for any child learning how to tie their shoes, ride a bike, spell their name, or do a variety of new things.
Follow a hilarious alphabet of animals, and see all the things they can't do but kids can--from doing gymnastics to flipping pancakes to playing a xylophone. Along the way, young readers will learn that it's okay if they can't do everything; they can still have a LOT of fun trying.
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
My kids were definitely the inspiration behind T. Rexes Can't Tie Their Shoes. A few years ago, we were hanging out in our living room and one of them was doing an impression of a T. rex. From there it quickly snowballed into all the ridiculous things T. rexes wouldn't be able to do because of their tiny arms. One of my favorites was a T. rex trying to put a fitted sheet on a bed! Then we carried on with other animals and what they'd be useless at, but it always came back to the T. rexes.
By the time I decided to turn this concept into a manuscript, I started thinking about all the things we expect from kids, all the milestones we want them to hit. I thought specifically about how kids are supposed to be able to tie their shoes before they start school. My kids always had shoes with velcro so when school rolled around, we were madly trying to check shoe tying off the list. So that's where the idea started, as a way for kids to feel better about not always being good at something right away, and to encourage them to keep trying with a little humor.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I love the way the colors just pop, Steph Laberis did such an incredible job with the illustrations! Picture books are always a collaborative effort between the author and illustrator, and when I saw the proofs for the first time, I was thrilled by how expertly she leveled up the heart and humor in this book.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
This is really hard because I like so many of them! But something about the bee looking absolutely perplexed when it's sitting on the bicycle makes me smile every time. Coincidentally, the bike Steph drew for that page looks just like mine, right down to the color!
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2020?
For obvious reasons, I found it really difficult to read novels in 2020, I found I just couldn't really focus on them. So I spent a bunch of time revisiting craft books like Story Genius by Lisa Cron, Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird, and recently got a copy of The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. I've also been able to get bags of picture books from my local library, with The Barnabus Project by The Fan Brothers being a particular highlight. I also borrowed their 2016 title, The Night Gardener, which I keep renewing because I can't bear to part with it. Definitely going to add it to my permanent collection next time I hit a bookstore.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I have another (unannounced) picture book coming out in 2023 that I'm really excited about. It's the polar opposite of this book so it will be interesting to see what the response to it is. I've also been working on a range of stories, from fiction to non-fiction, and even surprised myself by writing one in rhyme! I'm also a mentor with the WriteMentor summer mentoring programme and am looking forward to working with a writer on their manuscripts over the next few months.
YABC: Is there anything that you would like to add?
I think a lot of people shy away from writing and querying ABC books because there are so many out there, and it can seem daunting to try to find a new angle. But I had so many alphabet books when my kids were little that I loved reading to them, I really wanted to start my writing career with one. I'm thrilled that my editor, Frances Gilbert at Doubleday, saw something in the pitch that had been passed on by other editors and a few agents. As hard as the first rejections were for this book, everything aligned perfectly for it in the end.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
I often write first drafts very quickly and I love it when the magic just flows. For a recent NF manuscript I wrote, I read a bunch of material, gathered about 30 pages of notes into Google Docs, and when I sat down to write, I didn't even look at them. The story flowed out in about 300 words in a style I had no intention of using. At the moment it's one of my favorite things I've written, and I hope it gets some interest from editors so other people can read it too someday.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
I can write anywhere. I've been working remotely, with two kids doing homeschooling, and I have no door on my office. But I've still managed to write more than I ever have. Sometimes I write standing at my kitchen counter or sketching out an idea when I'm walking the dog. I once mapped out an entire story driving a carload of people to a cabin and had to keep going over it as I drove so I wouldn't forget. So it's a very useful superpower in that I don't need silence, and I don't need long stretches of uninterrupted time to write. Which is good, cause I have neither of those things...
T. Rexes Can't Tie Their Shoes
By: Anna Lazowski
Release Date: June 29th, 2021
Publisher: Doubleday Books for Young Readers
Two winners will each receive a copy of T. Rexes Can't Tie Their Shoes (Anna Lazowski) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*