Until ten minutes ago, I had no idea that my most recent Who Pooped in the Park book was being considered for a Moonbeam award. Then I opened my email to find that Who Pooped in the Cascades has won the silver medal in the nonfiction/animals category! According to Independent Publisher, the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards are designed to bring increased recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators, and to support childhood literacy and life-long reading. Isn’t that the goal of everyone involved in creating books for children?
An award like this one means a lot to an author of children’s books. The slogan on the medal says, “celebrating youthful curiosity, discovery, and learning through books and reading.” That is exactly why we write. The Who Pooped series is all about curiosity and discovery — my intent in creating it was to engage reluctant readers and kids with a minimal connection to nature and science. How better to interest them in nature than through a giggle?
When I started writing these books, it was my first foray into mainstream writing. All of my previous books were highly specialized; they weren’t the kind of books you’d find in a general bookstore. I didn’t have very high expectations for that first kids’ book (the Yellowstone edition of Who Pooped in the Park?), and my publisher (Farcountry Press) hadn’t dealt with many children’s books before. Review copies weren’t submitted to publications like Publisher’s Weekly, and it wasn’t promoted to schools or libraries. Who would have thought that this summer we’d sell our 100,000th copy of that first book?
Now, 18 books later, the series is gaining mainstream acceptance. I wrote a few months ago about the Cascades book being a finalist for the High Plains Book Awards, and winning a Moonbeam award makes everything suddenly more tangible.
Thank you to all of you that have read and enjoyed my books. I hope you’ll continue to enjoy them in the future!