Hello, readers, writers, and skiers of all sorts! We have quite the treat in store for you. Viviane Elbee is here with us today sharing her and Danni Gowdy's hilarious book, Teach Your Giraffe to Ski. What do you do when your giraffe wants to ski, but not just down any slope - she wants to ski down the super big scary slope? Will the narrator in the story be able to rein their giraffe in or will their skiing trip be one big disaster? Want to know more about Viviane, her adventurous book, PLUS want a chance to win an incredibly inspirational treat? Read on...
Q: Hi, Vivian! Thanks for joining #SeasonsOfKidLit! We’re thrilled to have you and hear all about your snowy and fun-filled book, Teach Your Giraffe to Ski. It seriously looks like such a humorous read.
Before we dive in, can you share a little bit about yourself and your journey to becoming a children’s author?
A: I’ve always liked reading and writing books, but I only started writing picture books after having my first child. I was reading books to my baby and thought they would be fun to write. I joined a critique group, SCBWI and 12x12 challenge, and honed my kidlit writing skills through webinars and conference classes. I was fortunate to meet an editor who went on to acquire Teach Your Giraffe To Ski at an SCBWI writing conference.
Q: Teach Your Giraffe to Ski is a humorous book that follows a giraffe who wants to learn how to ski. But, the giraffe doesn’t want to learn on a small bunny hill - she wants to learn how to ski on a gigantic scary slope!
This seriously sounds hilarious! Can you share more about your book and its path to publication? How did you come up with such a funny idea?
A: When my kids were preschoolers, we took them to the mountains to ski for the first time. The Winter Olympics were happening at the same time. My kids were fearless on the slopes (unlike me; I was worried they were going to fall). When we came home we would watch the winter Olympics on TV and the kids would throw their stuffed animals in the air and yell “jumping ski champion!” Somehow this led us to make a lot of jokes about a skiing giraffe, and I thought that would make a great idea for a story.
Q: The illustrations in your book are wonderful! Can you share some of your favorite spreads and let us know why they’re your favorite?
A: My favorite spread is when the little boy hugs his giraffe after she falls - it’s just so heartwarming and cute. I also really like the spread where you see the giraffe looking absolutely delighted on skis and the other skiers (including an elephant) looking at her with worried expressions on their faces. That illustration (the elephant’s face!) makes me giggle every time.
Q: So adorable! Thanks for sharing!
What main takeaway do you hope young readers get from Teach Your Giraffe to Ski, and what makes it a wonderful gift this season?
A: The main takeaway I hope young readers come away with is to be open to trying new experiences even if they’re outside of your comfort zone.
This book makes a wonderful gift during the winter season because it’s full of snowy wintery fun. It’s an active book, reminding kids they can still be active and outdoorsy even when it’s cold. A lot of people say they get this book when preparing upcoming ski trips with their kids. It’s also a great book to read before making pizza because I’ve had several kids tell me they feel like eating pizza after reading this book.
Q: What’s one of your favorite ways to celebrate the holidays?
A: The kids request a ski trip every year on their gift lists now, so whenever we can, we try to go skiing around winter break. All of us love being outdoors in the snow and coming “home” to big cups of hot chocolate!
Q: BONUS QUESTION: Do you know how to ski?
A: I learned to ski as an adult at the same time as the kids, and they were immediately better and faster than me (probably because they were and are fearless.) Now I am pretty comfortable on green and blue slopes and last year I somehow made it down a black diamond. (I probably need a few more lessons before feeling truly comfortable on those black diamond trails though.)
Thanks again for joining us, Viviane! We can't wait to check out your fun book!
Q: How would you like to Spread the Joy this holiday season?
A: I wish everyone plenty of joy, luck and good health for the new year, and would be pleased to send happy new year wishes on a Teach Your Giraffe To Ski postcard to 4 lucky winners.
What a super-sweet gift! Thanks so much!
Readers, to enter to win Vivane's giveaway, 1) share this post on social media and 2) leave a comment below letting her know why you can wait to check out her book. Skiing GIFs are welcomed and appreciated. :)
Spread the Joy winners will be chosen on or about December 17th.
*Postcards will be shipped in the US only*
Note: Those who leave a comment on all posts will be eligible to win one (1) of three (3) Rate Your Story Speed Passes,perfect for quick MS feedback, provided by Agent Mentee Lynne Marie & Author Heather Macht.
About Viviane Elbee:
Viviane Elbee is the author of TEACH YOUR GIRAFFE TO SKI, illustrated by Danni Gowdy, and I WANT MY BOOK BACK, illustrated by Nicole Miles. Her work has also appeared in Highlights High Five magazine. When not writing, Viviane has all kinds of adventures with her family, both at home in the Carolinas and abroad.
For more about Viviane, check out the below links:
Instagram & Threads: @vivianeelbee
To purchase Vivane's books on Amazon, or to leave a review for them, click here.