Welcome all you readers, writers, and krakens out there! We have the coolest treat for you today. Brooke Hartman is here, and she's stopped by with her and Laura Borio's adorable new book, Klyde the Kraken Wants a Friend. Klyde, a friendly Kraken, loves giving hugs but the animals in the ocean swim away at the thought. When Klyde finds a pirate ship, he decides to give it a hug and soon finds his embrace sinks the ship. Can Kylde make amends with the shipwrecked crew? Want to know more about Brooke, her fun new book, PLUS want a super sweet treat? Read on...
Q: Hi, Brooke! Thanks so much for joining #SeasonsOfKidLit. We’re thrilled to have you Trick or Treat with us, and hear all about your adorable book, Klyde the Kraken Wants a Friend. Seriously, does it get any better than friendly Krakens? Can you share a little about how you got started in writing for children?
A: Of course! I’ve been writing (or attempting to write) a book in some form or another since I was in high school. Many of those attempts are shelved in various files on my laptop. I’ve always been enamored with picture books (especially spooky ones–The Mysteries of Harris Burdick is my fav!) and after I had my first kiddo, my life was surrounded by even more picture book masterpieces. Naturally, my writing style started to bend and twist around the stories that, like my infant daughter, I was devouring and regurgitating every day. My first picture book, Dream Flights on Arctic Nights, was released in 2019, and Klyde the Kraken is my sixth!
Q: In your book Klyde the Kraken Wants a Friend, Klyde loves giving hugs but the ocean animals around don’t and all swim away. Klyde finally finds a large ship to hug but learns that hugging ships has some pretty big consequences. This book sounds like so much fun! What inspired you to write about a friendly-loving Kraken?
A: As I mentioned above, my interests already tend toward the weird and wacky. So when literary agent Clelia Gore sent out a Tweet (long before they were just “posts”) that she was looking for a picture book about a kraken, I knew I had to write that story. The concept that krakens just want to hug something, which is the reason why they squeeze ships (and subsequently sink them) felt like a fun twist on stereotypical kraken lore. The SEL aspect took a little while to develop, but when it did, the story flowed like waves over the ocean.
Q: What takeaway do you hope young readers will have after reading about Klyde and his hugging mishaps?
A: It’s interesting, because you’d assume the natural takeaway would be to always get prior permission before attacking someone with your hugs, and not to squeeze too hard. But I’ve had feedback from teachers, especially of young kids just going to school, or perhaps reentering school for the first time since COVID, that Klyde’s story goes beyond that, teaching kids that there are many ways to make friends.
Q: Super serious question: does everyone know what a kraken is?
A: You’d be surprised (or maybe not!) how many editors my agent and I pitched this story to who thought I needed an entire introductory paragraph about what krakens are. You can imagine that me, the kid who grew up feasting on a combo book diet of Greek Myths and RL Stein, thought this was ludicrous. Thankfully, the monster-loving team at Hazy Dell were already just as kraken educated as I was. No introductions required! They loved the story, and Klyde found a perfect match with his forever publishing home.
Q: What is one of your favorite things about Halloween (or fall)?
A: The costumes and the creativity that goes with them! Last year, one of my kids went as Cerberus (some might know him as “Fluffy” from Harry Potter). Piecing the costume together from various outfits, thrift finds, and stuffed toys was a blast.
Q: BONUS QUESTION: What’s your favorite Halloween Candy?
A: Swedish Fish! (You can give them “fin bumps” before you gobble them down!)
Thanks again for joining us, Brooke! We loved learning more about Krakens and your writing journey!
Q: Would you like to leave a Trick or a Treat for the readers?
A: A Treat! I'd love to offer a Kraken Joke Decoder Activity Sheet for anyone who wants a fun challenge (especially for all the young readers out there).
Too COOL! Thanks for such a sweet and FUN treat!
Readers, click here to download a free activity sheet. And please make sure to leave a comment below to thank Brooke for stopping by!
Note: Those who leave a comment on all posts will be eligible to win one (1) of ten (10) Rate Your Story Speed Passes, perfect for quick MS feedback, provided by Agent Mentee Lynne Marie & Author Heather Macht.
About Brooke Hartman:
Brooke Hartman is an Alaskan mom and national award-winning author of silly, sweet, and sometimes strange stories for children and Young Adults. Follow along on her Alaskan writing adventures at www.BrookeAHartman.com, or on social media at @BrookesBooksAK.
For more about Brooke, check out the below links:
For more about Laura Borio, check out the below link:
To purchase Brooke's books on amazon or to leave a review for them, click here.
A special thanks to David Rodriguez Lorenzo for the amazing custom-signatures!