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Celebrate World Snake Day with Jennifer Buchet!


Hi, parents, librarians, book fanatics, writers, and readers of all sorts! We're ssssssuper excited to have Jennifer Buchet on the blog today, celebrating an extremely cool holiday - World Snake Day. And what better way to celebrate the day than with her and Cassie Chancy's book, Little Medusa's Hair Do-lemma? When Little Medusa receives her very first snake, she discovers having a snake slither and slide through her hair isn't so great. And to make matters more difficult, she begins questioning if she really wants to scare her friends to stone with her new forever friend. Will Little Medusa find a way to keep her new pet happy and her friends from turning to stone? Want to know more about Jennifer and Little Medusa, PLUS want to hear more about a summer-y fun writing contest she's working on? Read on...



Q: Hi, Jennifer. Thanks for joining #SeasonsOfKidLit! We’re thrilled to have you and hear all about you and your latest book, Little Medusa’s Hair Do-Lemma - how exciting. First, can you share a little about yourself and your interest in Mythology?


A: Thankssssss for celebrating World Snake Day with me! It’s a fantastic day to discover all the snakey superpowers and honor their important role in the environment.


By day, I’m a chaos coordinator (otherwise known as a pre-k educator!). By night, I’m a bookworm who loves to write. I’m also very active in the kidlit community, especially sharing my love of writing contests like #SunWriteFun (more on that later!)


Folklore, fairy tales, myths–they’re all so amazing! The earliest recorded tales (oral or written) are myths. Employing the fantastical and sometimes the mundane, myths teach us life-lessons within a complex cast of characters involving adventure, comedy, chills and thrills, light and love–you get the idea! Word style & diction may phase with cultural changes, but myths are evergreen. Another great aspect about myths is that every culture has their own set of stories! I love diving into myths & folklore from around the world.


Q: Little Medusa’s Hair Do-Lemma features a girl who loves snakes! What inspired you to write about Medusa and her snakes?


A: When my daughter was little, she had long Rapunzel-like hair that always ended up in some sort of tangles. One day while attending a reptile show at our local library I thought, “Her hair is so knotty you could hide a snake in it!” That day she earned the nickname “My Little Gorgon Girl!”


I started thinking about the original Gorgon, the fabulous, the bold, the very misunderstood & rather terrifying, Medusa. You have to be confident to walk around with a cobra crown, right?! I didn’t want to remake a classical Greek myth but instead, turn it upside down on its slithering head.


Q: How difficult did you find the process of adapting a myth into a picture book? Of making a disliked character kid-friendly? What tips can you share for readers who may wish to do this?


A: Pairing an iconic villain with slithering, slipping, sliding snakes may not be the best opener for a picture book! I want people to enjoy my bookstore chats, not dash out at the word, “snakes!”

I took a deep dive into reptile research (yes, even fictional stories require research!) and I studied the various styles of writing humor. Eventually I chose a format that worked best with my own writing voice. In the end, my Little Medusa is a descendant of the original mythological meanie, thus allowing me a lot more wriggle—and giggle—room.



Q: The illustrations for this book are so cute. Please share your favorite spread and tell us why, as well as what the art brought to the story.


Cassie Chancy did an fantasssstic job bringing Little Medusa and Addie to life. Every time I visit schools or participate in read-aloud events, the kids LOVE Addie! During the illustration process, Cassie made sure that Addie was more charming than fangy.

This page is definitely one of my favorites because it encapsulates the story of Little Medusa. A serpentine-loving girl who’s wondering why slithering hair is a family tradition!



We all have family traditions that leave us scratching our heads and asking “why?” In this case, Little Medusa is literally left scratching her head and has to come up with a resolution that pleases her family, her besssst friend and herself.


Q: Please share a book from your reading pile that you are enjoying, and tell us why.


I just returned from the library and have a whole pile to work my way through. I was lucky enough to get my hands on Watercress (Andrea Wang, Jason Chin ) The Big Umbrella (Amy June Bates & Juniper) and Ten Beautiful Things (Molly Griffin, Maribel Lechuga). In addition to them being gorgeous, lyrical and evocative, I’m studying them for one of my WIPs.


Q: BONUS - What's a question that you wish we had asked you but didn’t.


A: Remember how I said I love contests? Not only do I enjoy the challenge of various kidlit competitions (think 50 Precious Words or Halloweensie/Valenteensy), but I also love creating them.


#SunWriteFun is celebrating its fourth year this summer! I love getting to know new writers and visiting with old friends as we make connections through the challenge. Plus, I immensely enjoy all the creative stories that folks enter.


If you’re up for the challenge, join in the fun and see if you can craft a 200w non-ficiton/informational picture book with the theme of Dreams. Would love to see what you come up with!



Q: Would you like to share a treat with the readers?


I'd love to leave an inspirational message! This message is one I received long ago & want to ssssshare with those walking the writing journey with me. Like myths, it’s an evergreen nugget of truth and beauty.


Wishing on stars and casting dandelion dreams is fine, as long as you have the work to back you up. Because it’s all about getting the “write” story in front of the right person at the right time.


Hissy Kissies!


~Jennifer



Thanks for such as sssspectacular treat! And thanks for joining in the fun. Everyone, please leave a comment below to thank Jennifer for stopping by.



About Jennifer Buchet:

Jennifer Buchet loves to laugh and scream, often at the same time! She’s an award-winning author, a feature contributor for Faces magazine and a pre-kindergarten educator who delights in making her kiddos laugh. She’s whipping up new picture books and chapter books, several of which include spine-tingling giggles.


An easy way to support an author is to leave Book Reviews and ask your Local Library to carry their books.



You can connect with Jennifer here:


To purchase Jennifer's book, or to leave a review for it, visit the following sites: Bookshop.org, Barnes & Noble: and Amazon.



 


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29 Comments


CJ Penko
CJ Penko
Jul 22, 2023

🐍 My parents used to call me medusa because of my curly, unruly hair. I can't wait to pick this up. ❤️

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anom3
anom3
Jul 21, 2023

Great interview. Thanks for sharing how you came up with such an original story. Also, not many days to enter your contest!

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Lynne Marie
Lynne Marie
Jul 21, 2023
Replying to

Thank you for sssstopping by, dear Mona! We truly appreciate your support!

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donnajmarx
donnajmarx
Jul 17, 2023

Snakes and sweet little girls...what a fun combo! Thanks for sharing.

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Replying to

Cuddles from girls & snakes can be sweet....and "constrictive" too, LOL! Thanks for stopping by!


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Gayle Krause
Gayle Krause
Jul 17, 2023

Jennifer, It’s great how you twisted theMedusa tale and turned it on its head. 😉

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Replying to

Thanks so much, Gayle! I've come to appreciate the serpentine world as a result!

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Amy Houts
Amy Houts
Jul 16, 2023

Thank you for sharing your process, Jennifer! I didn't even know there was a World Snake Day. 😀 I uploaded the cover of my new snake book, Sam the Snake (Reading Gate).


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Replying to

Awww, "Sam" looks adorable! He'd probably get along with Addie very well :)

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