Happy Valentine's Day, readers, writers, and snail admirers alike! We are thrilled to have New York Times Bestselling Author Dashka Slater with us today. Dashka, author of the popular Escargot series, is here sharing her newest addition to the series: Love, Escargot. Love, Escargot follows the happy little snail on his way to a Snailentine's Day party. But he soon realizes the party is not what it seems. What's a snail to do? Want to know more about Dashka, her new book, plus want a peek at some of her favorite books? Read on...
Q: Hi, Dashka! Thanks for joining #SeasonsOfKidLit. We are huge critter fans here and absolutely adore Escargot.
For those who have not had the pleasure of meeting Dashka yet, Dashka is a New York Times Bestselling Author, and is the author behind the beloved Escargot series.
What inspired you to add Love, Escargot to your Escargot series?
A: Escargot is always looking for the reader’s love and affection, so a Valentine’s Day book made perfect sense. For this book, I drew on some of the things I do in my in-person appearances, where I often teach kids how to be snails as a way of introducing them to fun snail facts. The Escargot books are meant to be interactive, silly readalouds and having the reader learn to be a snail definitely lends itself to silliness!
Q: In Love, Escargot, Escargot is on his way to a Snailentine's Day party. Will his Snailentine be there? Maybe he will find another snail who also likes to read books and eat salad with a light vinaigrette.
But when Escargot arrives at the party, he is greeted not by a snail, but by a vole. Mon dieu! This is not a Snailentine's Day party at all. It is a Volentine's Day party! At first, Escargot wants to hide in his shell, but in the end, he finds a surprising new friend.
This new Escargot adventure sounds like such fun! What was your favorite part about writing Love, Escargot?
A: Escargot is my alter ego, so any time I get to inhabit his persona I am enjoying myself. But the most fun was when I got to see what Sydney Hanson did with the illustrations. She is so amazing at taking cues from the text and turning them into something truly original and hilarious. I particularly love the Valentine’s cards she made and the different outfits she has Escargot try on at the beginning. And the character of Volerie!
Q: Readers, want more Escargot in your life? Check out this Escargot Story Hour kit, packed with fun for those who love Escargot. It even includes fun facts about snails!
Q: Thanks again for sharing Escargot's new adventure with us, Dashka! Since Valentine's Day is approaching, we must know: what is your favorite part of celebrating Valentine’s Day?
A: Aside from the chocolate, you mean? I always make my husband an elaborate handmade card filled with in-jokes and if I make him laugh out loud, I feel immensely pleased with myself.
Q: That is fun and sweet! What is your favorite Valentine’s Day Memory as a child?
A: I loved holidays as a kid and always dressed head to toe in red and white on Valentine’s Day because I was a total dork.
Q: What kid’s book character or author would you like to be your Valentine?
A: I’ve always been a little in love with Ferdinand the Bull, who chooses flowers over violence. Who doesn’t love a gentle self-actualized King?
Well said! Thanks again for joining us, Dashka. It was as pleasure having you!
Q: What sweet seasonal treat would you like to leave for the readers?
A: I'd love to share my favorite books with the readers:
My favorite book about love for adults: All About Love by bell hooks.
My favorite book about love for kids: My Heart by Corinna Luyken.
Thanks for the book recommendations, Dashka. We can't wait to check them out. Everyone, please leave a comment below to thank Dashka for stopping by.
Bonus: Those who leave a comment on all Valentine's Day Bash posts will be eligible to win one (1) of five (5) Rate Your Story Speed Passes, that are doubly sweet. They'll contain feedback from your hosts Heather Macht and Lynne Marie!
About Dashka Slater:
New York Times-bestselling author Dashka Slater has been telling stories since she could talk. An award-winning journalist who writes for such publications as The New York Times Magazine and Mother Jones, she is also the author of fifteen books of fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. Her work has been translated into more than a dozen languages and has won many awards, including the Wanda Gág Read Aloud Award.
Dashka’s true crime narrative, The 57 Bus, has received numerous accolades, including the 2018 Stonewall Book Award from the American Library Association, the 2018 Beatty Award from the California Library Association, the California Book Award Gold Award for Young Adult Literature, and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor. It was a YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award Finalist and an LA Times Book Award Finalist, in addition to receiving four starred reviews and being named to more than 20 separate lists of the year’s best books, including ones compiled by the Washington Post, the New York Public Library, and School Library Journal. In 2021, The 57 Bus was named to Time magazine’s list of the 100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time.
The recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Dashka teaches at Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program. She has spent most of her adult life in Oakland, California, where she is always working on far too many writing projects.
Learn more at www.dashkaslater.com.
For more about Dashka, check out the below links:
Instagram: Dashka Slater (@princessamanita)
To purchase Dashka's books on Amazon, or to leave a review, click here.