Hello, readers! We have the amazing Tara Lazar with us today sharing one of her most beloved books, Little Red Gliding Hood. Little Red Gliding Hood (illustrated by Troy Cummings) puts a fun twist on a familiar fairytale. When Little Red's skates are worn out, she teams up with the most unlikely character in a skating competition to win a new pair ... The Big Bad Wolf! Want to know more about Tara, which other fairytale characters make a cameo in her book, and want to hear about some of the inspiration behind the story? Read on...
Q: Hi, Tara. Thanks so much for joining #SeasonsOfKidLit! I’m absolutely thrilled to have you and talk all about your wonderful seasonal book, Little Red Gliding Hood. First, you’re the author of 11 popular picture books, featuring titles like Bloop, 7 ATE 9, and Normal Norman. How fascinating! Can you share a little more about yourself with the readers?
A: I'm someone who always wanted to write children's books but waited until later in life to pursue publication. One of my favorite quotes is "It's never too late to be what you might have been."
As a 20-something, I wanted to be financially independent, and I knew writing wouldn't necessarily achieve that goal. I worked in high-tech, got married, had children...then I began writing seriously, about 15 years after graduating college.
Q: Your book, Little Red Gliding Hood, follows Little Red as she sets out to win a new pair of skates in a pair's-only skating competition. Only, she has to pair up with someone unthinkable...The Big Bad Wolf. Yikes! Can you share more about your book with everyone?
You've got the premise down! But what will surprise readers, besides RED's partner, are the cameos by characters not seen in the original LITTLE RED.
Q: Little Red learns to put her differences aside and joins forces with the Wolf. This is such an important message for young readers (and older ones, too). What gave you the idea to write such a fun story?
A: My friend Corey Rosen Schwartz, another fractured fairy tale author (THE THREE NINJA PIGS), thought up the title, knew I had been a figure skater, and thought I could do something with the idea. She was right! Of course, I had to figure out what RED's problem should be and how she should solve it. For that, I actually started writing in the middle, then worked backwards to the beginning, then circled back to the end.
Q: What are some of your favorite spreads from Little Red Gliding Hood?
A: The competition warm-up is my favorite spread because Troy Cummings drew more fairytale and nursery rhyme characters than I could imagine! It's a fun page on which to play hide-and-seek. (Maybe the follow-up title should be LITTLE RED HIDING HOOD?)
I also love the spread where RED meets the WOLF. That's actually where I began writing the story, smack dab in the middle!
The opening spread is fun because it reminds me of Candyland in the winter. We should have made the book into a board game!
Q: What makes Little Red Gliding Hood the perfect addition to any shelf this holiday season?
A: The story winds through a wintry wonderland, but it's not specific to any one holiday. It's not specific to one fairytale, either, so I guarantee you'll find one of your favorite characters between its pages.
A reader once told me she loves the festive look of the cover, so she sets the book on her mantle as part of the December decorations!
Thanks again for joining us, Tara! We can't wait to check out this fun tale!
Q: How would you like to Spread Joy this holiday season?
A: My way of spreading joy is to make readers laugh! Here's to a hilarious holiday!
That's the best way in my book, Tara. Thanks again!
BONUS: For the little readers out there, please enjoy this free coloring sheet of Little Red. Have a wonderful holiday, everyone!
About Tara Lazar
Street magic performer. Hog-calling champion. Award-winning ice sculptor. These are all things Tara Lazar has never been. Instead, she writes humorous picture books where anything is possible! Tara's signature writing style is full of puns, wordplay, and goofy fun that makes both kids and adults giggle non-stop.
To purchase Tara's books, or to leave a review for them, click here.