Paper Bag Puppet – Penguin

Paper Bag Puppet – Penguin

Please enjoy a free craft from Moose Egg Productions.  Now you can make your very own paper bag puppet of a penguin.  Please send us a picture of your kiddos finished puppets  so we can post them on our gallery!

Enjoy!!!

Interview – Puppeteer Matt Turner

I am very excited about this week’s guest on Questions To Inspire.    It is time for another puppeteer interview, this time with Matt Turner!

Matt Turner 05

Hey Matt, good afternoon!  Go ahead and tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?

I started puppeteering when I was three years old when I got Bert and Ernie puppets for Christmas. I did my first puppet show when I was nine for my sister’s third birthday. I then did shows for my church, middle and high school and more birthday parties. I then went to the University of Connecticut and majored in Puppetry. Now I work at Walt Disney World as a puppeteer.

What is your favorite part of doing puppet work?

I enjoy performing as different characters that I wouldn’t be able to do as a human. Also I enjoy the challenge of bringing an inanimate object to life.

Matt Turner 06

 

You have worked on the Disney Junior puppet show (before it closed) for how long?  What was your favorite part about that?

I performed in the show for six years. Some of my favorite things was being able to bring to life some iconic characters and meeting and performing with some great puppeteers.

Matt Turner 03

What advice would you give someone who wants to learn how to be a puppeteer?

I would say study puppeteers, try to take puppeteering workshops, talk to other puppeteers, and learn the basics of puppet building . Always be open to learning and growing as a performer.

And if you want to learn how to make puppets and learn how to puppeteer on camera you can always come to Beyond the Sock workshop http://www.beyondthesock.com.

What are you currently doing as a puppeteer?

Right now I’m performing in three different shows at Walt Disney World. I perform in The Muppets Present Great Moments in American History, The Voyage of the Little Mermaid, and The Festival of the Lion King. I also do some outside of Disney puppeteering when I have time.

Matt Turner 01

What Muppet/Sesame Street character best describes you and why?

I think I am a mix of Kermit the Frog and Ernie. I think I am mild mannered and reserved like Kermit but when I feel like it I can be mischievous like Ernie.

Thanks Matt for taking the time to answer a few Questions To Inspire others and thanks everyone for reading Questions To Inspire and check out some of our other interviews!  See you next time!

Matt Turner 04

Artwork

This is it, we are finally in countdown mode. We are just a few short months away from the release of I Want A Pet Turkey! Our illustrator, J, is working hard on finalizing the illustrations. I am preparing on the kickstarter rewards and working on the publishing and marketing pieces. We are in the thick of it. I wanted to share some awesome behind the scene artwork for you though so you can keep up with what is going on.

Check it out and let us know what you think!

Paper Bag Puppet – Snake

Paper Bag Puppet – Snake

Please enjoy a free craft from Moose Egg Productions.  Now you can make your very own paper bag puppet of a snake.  Please send us a picture of your kiddos finished puppets  so we can post them on our gallery!

Enjoy!!!

Interview – Children’s Author Tara Lazar

Today we are talking to children’s book author – Tara Lazar.  Tara has written some really amazing children’s books.  One of her books, 7 Ate 9 (The Untold Story), has already been released and she has another book coming out June next year, Your First Day of Circus School.

Tara Lazar 3

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and what made you want to become a children’s author?

Yesterday I was listening to a podcast about the human genome, and how many of our personality traits are embedded in our DNA, so the person you are as a child is essentially the person you are as an adult, shaped with wisdom from experience, of course.

When I was a child, I loved to write. I cannot explain it. It was coded into my DNA, I imagine. When my teacher announced it was “creative writing” time, I jumped out of my seat and yelled “hooray”! If she told us to write a hundred words, the class groaned, but I asked for more. That feeling of being excited to create never left me.

Tara Lazar 2

Being a children’s book author is what I always wanted to do, but I am also a pragmatic person. I wanted to be independent as a young adult, and I knew being an author would not necessarily pay the bills, so I got a good-paying job after college graduation. Then I got married, had kids, and because I had saved money, I was able to stay home to take care of them. That’s when I finally had the time and opportunity to pursue my goal of publication—about eleven years ago.

That is very wise of you to do something practical, but still hold onto your passions!  So what was your favorite book growing up?

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. I still get this fluttering in my tummy when I see the cover and recall how excited I was to read that book as a child.

Please tell us about the importance of children’s literature and what it has meant to be a part of this industry?

Children’s literature fosters creativity, imagination and problem-solving skills. Plus, reading well is a solid predictor of a child’s future success. Encouraging a love of reading in young children starts them off on a successful path in life. I love being a part of that.

I was at a book festival this weekend, and a young girl saw LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD and began jumping up and down in excitement. Her mother wanted to see all the books at the festival before buying anything, so they left. Later, that same girl came running back to my table and grabbed the book with the biggest grin on her face, eyes shining. That moment is what we authors live for.

Tara Lazar 4

So, if someone asked you for same wisdom about being a children’s author, what would you say to them?

Keep writing new stories.

Sometimes aspiring authors revise the same story over and over without moving onto something else. Unfortunately, some stories will never sell, no matter how much you rewrite them. Getting published in picture books isn’t just about the writing—it is about your story concept, your illustrative potential, a publisher’s existing list of books, many other factors.

You will probably never sell that first story—I don’t think anyone ever has—so thank it for the things it taught you and tuck it away. I truly believe you grow and improve with each new manuscript you write. It took me dozens of attempts to finally produce something worthy of publication. Writing new work is key.

I want to talk about your latest book, 7 Ate 9 (The Untold Story), what was the inspiration behind the book?  Tell us about it and where we can pick it up at?

Tara Lazar 1

I read a friend’s middle-grade novel, called SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE, and marveled at how the title was a joke punch line. I tried to think of an elementary school joke whose punch line I could use for a title. Then the riddle “Why is six afraid of seven?” hit me. Because 7 ATE 9!

I imagined a frightened 6 visiting a Private “I” because he feared his days were numbered. When I sat down to write the story, the puns leapt out of me, one after another. I couldn’t stop them! My kids kept groaning, so I knew it was a winner!

Finally, our last question, and it is a very serious question – would you rather be able to fly or walk through walls?

Fly…because I’d save a lot on airfare.

Ha, still very pratical!  Thank you so much, Tara for talking with us today.  Be sure to check out Tara’s website and blog at https://taralazar.com/.   

Thanks everyone and remember to like this site to see more interesting interviews as we continue to ask Questions to Inspire!

Paper Bag Puppet – Squirrel

Squirrel

Paper Bag Puppet – Squirrel

Please enjoy a free craft from Moose Egg Productions.  Now you can make your very own paper bag puppet of a squirrel.  Please send us a picture of your kiddos finished puppets  so we can post them on our gallery!

Enjoy!!!

Interview – Children’s Author Cori Doerrfeld

Today we are talking to children’s book author – Cori Doerrfeld.  Cori has written some really amazing children’s books.  One of her books, Good Dog, has already been released on August 7th, 2018 and she has two other books coming out next year, Wild Baby – March 2019 and Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend! – July 2019.

Cori Doerrfeld

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and what made you want to become a children’s author?

I have always loved to draw, even when I was very little. For most of my childhood, I wanted to grow up to be an animator. When it was time for me to go to college, however, traditional hand drawn animation studios were being shut down and computer animation was taking over. I really wasn’t interested in learning to animate on the computer at the time, so for a while I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I taught preschool and worked as a childcare provider for many years. I started writing and illustrating books for fun on the side.  By chance, one of these books got picked up by an editor at HarperCollins. That is how I got my first book illustrating for a major publisher. This lead to editors wanting to work with me as an illustrator and an author. It has always been a learning process for me. I still learn something new with every book I create!

Maggie and Wendel

It is really cool to see how your hard work has paid off!  So what was your favorite book growing up?

When I was very little, my favorite book was the original Barbapapa picture book. It is about a strange creature that grows in a boy’s garden. Barbapapa can change shape and is put into a zoo. Eventually, Barbapapa saves people from a fire and earns a place in everyone’s hearts.  When I was older, I really liked Blubber by Judy Blume and the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary.

Please tell us about the importance of children’s literature and what it has meant to be a part of this industry?

Children’s books are important for many reasons. They serve as a bridge between adults and children to connect about common interests, life experiences, and difficult emotions. This is especially true when books are read aloud. It forces both the reader and the listener to focus on the same story and topic. And even if you simply read the same book as someone else, it still creates a shared experience that you both can benefit from.  I think everyone can  remember a book they read as a child that meant something to them. For me personally, every time I hear that a child is excited to read one of my books…or that one of my books spoke to someone’s soul I am so unbelievably grateful for what I do.

So, if someone asked you for same wisdom about being a children’s author, what would you say to them?

The best advice I can give for being a children’s book author is to just keep going. A big part of this job is being told no, feeling excluded, or wondering if you’re good enough. But, if you can get over your insecurities and just keep creating, eventually you’ll see your work go and be exactly where it needs to be.

So back to Good Dog, your newest book with HarperCollins, what was the inspiration behind the book?  Tell us about it and where we can pick it up at?

Good Dog

I was inspired to write it after we adopted a funny little dog named Rufus from one of our local shelters.  Having Rufus to walk, really made me see everyday all the good people and dogs in my neighborhood. Good Dog is about the honest goodness that is such a part of the dog/human relationship as well as  what it simply means to be “good”. It can be purchased online, at local bookstores, and all the typical book retail outlets.

Finally, our last question, and it is a very serious question – would you rather be able to fly or walk through walls?

No contest. I would choose to fly! I still have dreams that I can fly. I’m sure it would be a lot colder and windier than I imagine, but I’m sure it would get me around a lot faster!

Awesome choice!  Thank you so much, Cori for talking with us today.  Be sure to check out Cori’s website – https://www.coridoerrfeld.com/.  Readers can find Cori’s books at — https://www.harpercollins.com/search-results/?keyword=cori+doerrfeld.  Thanks everyone and remember to like this site to see more interesting interviews as we continue to ask Questions to Inspire!