Interview With New York Times Best Selling Children’s Book Author, Andrea Beaty
Andrea Beaty is author of more than a dozen novels and picture books for children including ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER which spent 64 weeks on the New York Times Bestsellers List and which is now circling Earth in the International Space Station as part of the Story Time From Space program. Her next book, ADA TWIST, SCIENTIST comes out in September 2016.
Andrea is a frequent speaker at schools and conferences and an advocate for girls in STEM.
hello and welcome to the video podcast series lifestyle by design I'm your host Margaret wilshire and today I am whoa I'm so gonna super super exciting I'm unleashing my inner six-year-old because I have one of my absolute favorite children's book authors on today Andrea baby whoo oh I'll do the wave it's less impressive with just one person but you get just good yes it's amazing wave i'm catching it over here so welcome welcome welcome it's an honor to have you as you know we've been trying for a why I don't oppose to had an interview so finally finally it's hair and it's happening and we're gonna have ah yes well I'm pleased as punch bigger very very glad thank you thank you for being here I appreciate your time thank you you're welcome i can't so Andrea I actually wanted to start this is one of the your books are actually some of my favorite I actually feel like some of them are personal development for a does so Rosie or their engineer right is one of my absolute favorite book and I'll start with part I actually love the most which is her favorite uncle zookeeper zookeeper Fred hmm ha and I'm getting nervous I'm forgetting his knee super Fred he actually there's a park Oh Fred who did Oh truly I do but Rosie revered knew that couldn't be true this part I thought was like just brutally honest you know and it's something that you actually don't see in kids books and it's something that as a mom I know that we do um you your kid may do something you may not particularly love it but you say you do just to encourage and I knew growing up that my family my grandfather especially would do things like he would laugh and it was this laughs where I just I knew okay this wasn't great but he encouraged me oh tell me about that tell this out how you know how you you decided to be so brutally honest about that okay see actually I have a different take on that because I don't think that he's laughing at her I think that that to me uncle fred is probably and I don't know for sure but I think he's great at Rose's brother so I think they have the same trades in the same laughs and there are people who are so exuberant that whatever happens they are just filled with laughter and it just spills out but that rosy as a kid isn't got the you know she doesn't have the maturity to be able to interpret that and kids often don't everything is very personal for kids and whether intended or not it's interpreted as you know something against them so she took it as him laughing at her but I did not intend it to be him laughing at her but at the end of the day you know the reader gets to decide how to interpret what happens in the story so I'm always I'm most interested in seeing how people react to the Uncle Fred because some people have that reaction that you had and that's a week that's a real thing that happens to kids to you know it does and it's really hard for them but it also happens the kids will will think they're being laughed at and they're not but that doesn't doesn't matter it still has that sort of crushing feeling on them so they don't know how to react to that and they just have to kind of deal with us and and in her case she kind of shuts down and decides that she's not going to show buddy her inventions anymore and so then it's doubly bad than one crazy Aunt Rose laughs but again she's I think laughing out of just utter amazement I mean she made a helicopter out of cheese was that's awesome and I do have to say that I cheese was is when the crate unused energy sources it should be up there with wind and Sun she was so that's the super interesting um and I don't know if I would change how I worded that to make it more to make that clearer to people but I think I don't know I think it's good when people interpret the book their own ways because everybody brings to their own their own history and their own things that have happened in their own view of the world but also that's a great conversation starter no matter which way you interpret that situation if there's room for a conversation with kids about what are you doing some laughs at you what do you do you know when you feel frustrated or you feel disappointed and um so yeah I that's fascinating very interesting look I love does enjoy seeing that go ahead mostly what I love about fred is that he's got a snake on his head and that's hilarious that's just funny so I love that the way David drew him and all of all of the people in his family in Rosie's family if you'll notice in the illustrations you never see both of their eyes so in his case a snake covers his I the ants all have some sort of crazy hairdo that's covering their eye or and one of the uncles with the helium pants so one of the things in these in these books that i adore is the art by david roberts who never leaves any detail to chance everything in his stories are by design so you know he did this the snake pit with or the snake cage with them with Uncle Fred but again because Rosie's here is like that all of the people have something covering their eyes and there's lots and lots of Easter eggs in these books where he tucks in details that connect Rosie with Iggy and even Madame Shippo has details that connect back to Iggy and Rosie so if you want okay if you want to congratulate not observe that yes and and well this is the beautiful thing though I mean biggie pet came out over seven years ago and I have read that book I don't know probably a thousand times i mean i have read it hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of times and I still find details that were hidden to me because David puts so much detail into each one of those illustrations if it's just it's amazing absolutely amazing and so I love whenever he did the illustrations just blew me away first off when I saw his sketches from Iggy pack and then when I saw the full art which was very similar to the sketches but you know just went vibrant I was completely amazed and then when Rosie when when that spread where she has all of her treasure spread out across the floor I realized that's going to be just years and years of fun fun hunting treasure hunting there if you'll notice in in Rosie Revere there's a scene where she's dragging the cheese copter out onto the lawn and if you look back across the way there's iggy's sphinx that he's created so that's a cool thing also in so it came first and then Rosie came along we editor wanted to have another book and the the people the publisher said can you write another book about eggy peck and I tried and I tried and I just could not do it I hold that second I think I've watched you and finally we both came to the same spot where we thought well what about some of those other kids in the school and so I looked at those kids and tried to decide which one to write about and I went through each picture where they were where the kids showed up Rosie shows up four times and she I noticed they all show up four times and I looked each one trying to figure out what their personality might be based on these small pictures and I realized that Rosie always had her hair covered over her eye and when I looked at that I thought well what's her story she sits there and she tries to be so small she tries to be invisible and I realized that she was shy and so up there you're call me hello hi he totally lost you oh yeah and I talked a lot ok I see it's trying to come back I don't know what happened there I've got good internet so I'm not sure what the although we have had we have had really large wind storms here today so i don't know if that's monkeying with things um I do not see you it says live but you're not showing up ok how far did I get that one Brandon story I bet the funniest a little bit of sunlight coming through my window that's just hit me right in the nose it's a ridiculous like what's going on ok that's for that I seriously it's like a dub crazy crazy very big haha I feel like pee-wee Herman here ok you're still not showing up I'm not hearing you either well there you are nice glasses although ok hang ok and we are still on hello hello we're back to that hottie look I'm being tracked by a sunshine beam I literally if one beam of light outside dalarna me that's something special it is oh I'm just something ok so well technical difficulties we are back on track and hopes are here to stay yes ok so you were talking when I last la lost you there or you lost me rather when we're talking about the daughter here oh yes yeah we were talking a out the detail in the artwork and how some of the details and their easter eggs in here that are actually a common thread throughout the book it's like clues yes sir oh there are so in Rosie Revere so it should just give the background a little bit about what happened I wrote a key peck because my son when he was a little kid you know three and four love to build things and I thought what if there was a kid who loved to go things and what if that kid wanted to be an architect and I got this idea and wrote this rhyming book and sends it out into the world and it found a home at abrahams books for young readers which was published or absolutely adore and the editor found decided what about David Roberts this English artist to do the illustrations and I hadn't really been familiar with his work but I said yes absolutely sounds like a great idea trusting her judgment and that is truly the gift that that publishers the editors have as one of the towels they bring to bear in a picture book is that they they have a sense of what kind of art and what kind of your writing will team up and match well and complement each other and make more than the sum of those two parts because in a really great picture that's what happens it's so much more than the words and is so much more than the art so she picked David Roberts and he did this amazing job on Iggy pack and after seven years even I still find things in that metart well we wanted to do another book thanks they said well how about another story for Iggy but I already written that book and I didn't want to say you know okay so this time he goes he builds what uh you know boat he builds a lot ever I didn't see that as a story I wanted to do so we decided what about when the other kids and I looked at all the kids and decided to write about Rosie because she sits there with her her hair over her eyes and she's very very shy and I thought what's her story why is she shy did I lose you again you're very very still Margaret there did I lose you I don't know let's hangout time hmm I don't know hello okay I'm good to say you're not there but maybe you are there anywhere i'm here okay could you gerald up me hear me I can't hear sometimes the video can freeze up but I did I can hear you okay cool um so anyway after so when'd when David did the art for Rosie Revere then he included all these details they go back to the ciggy so for instance in a deep x in the scene where she drags the cheese copter out onto the into the fields if you look behind her there's the Sphinx that Nikki's yard um I think what else there is so that's one thing and I have a rosy here if you've ever Rose I have my tea actually which one is this it's my creek ranch well and I saw my international translations there's all kinds of things in this scene to which all that you know the viewers dig into but there's all kinds of details there's some pictures of where the wild things are so David was tipping his hat to Maurice Sendak some of the little monsters are in there there's all kinds of science things I personally love the baby doll the way it finds its way into into the world but so that's what happened with there's there's lots and lots of details back and forth and then even in Madam's appalled okay if you look at happy birthday Madame Shippo on the if you take off the dust jacket the back of the book is different than the jacket which is really cool and one of the couples of people walking along is Iggy pecks mom and dad and you can tell them by the really cool fashionable clothes they wear anymore so they're on there okay and if you go to the city where they're at the cafe again I think Diggy pecks mom and dad are there David Roberts parents are there David and I are in there if you find the lady okay with the Rosie revered cheese hats the one that okay she builds for Uncle Fred that's me and I'm sitting David I'm eating a doughnut he's eating some cake we are very happy people and and you can tell I have a pencil and he has a paintbrush so David tucks into all has aren't these really fantastic small details and I think it's the ultimate act of respect for the reader and for kids because he knows he knows intuitively with every grain of his body that that kids are smart they are so smart and when you give them a story that's rich and you give them vocabulary that's rich and images that are just full of detail and Wonder they'll always rise up to that and they will engage with it in a way that's innately I think that they understand and they feel honored by and I think is the right of kids that's the most essential thing because kids are not many I don't know if sometimes people have this this very diminutive view of kids and it's not the most respectful view I think you think the kids are sort of like less than adults that's not that's not true kids are different they are kids but that is an amazing astounding thing and it's the greatest of things and I think of all the audience's that you can possibly write for writing for kids is probably the toughest because kids know what they like they know what they don't like or what they're willing to investigate and they don't have a lot of time to be you know to be sitting around reading something they may not like and and they know when you're trying to ease them a bill of goods they were they know when you're trying to be preachy to them and even though rosie has this message and icky does too i never ever set out to write a book the message it just kind of happens it kind of creeps in there and then shocks me when it does and when that happens i know it's okay but if i sat down to say i'm gonna write a book says you should persevere the this tedious and boring and it's like taking cough syrup and who needs it nobody wants to read that book I don't want to write that book so it's all done caninum use five not amuse ain't nobody it is well I think it's amazing you know and the messages are brilliant they're absolutely brilliant and going back a little bit to the interpretation and of how I interpreted it you know um d the part about Uncle Fred could just be you know a story that I put in my head that really wasn't true maybe my grandfather cuz I know that like with my six-year-old I am all the time just amazed at the stuff that she does and what she thinks about and how do you know how she doesn't wait for the right time or the right moment and to have all the right ducks lined up she just kind of does it yeah maybe in his head that was you know the place that he was coming from but I interpreted you know it's just story that lived in my head you know I thought that's the beautiful thing about fiction is that it can connect you and it connects to the stories that you have lived and the things that you have seen from other people and the lessons you have learned through reading or other other ways and it lets you reassess those things unless you reassess your own history and then and your own experience and maybe have a better rounded view of it or it teaches empathy that's the best the greatest thing of all that is that is the most powerful reason that fiction is absolutely essential to every human being I think because it teaches us empathy it lets us walk a mile in someone else's shoes without having to actually go out and get some exercise I mean it's really a great things up if it's the most wonderful thing and that's why it's powerful and kids connect to that every everybody connects to that I think you do yeah they do we connect to the emotions it's true so tell me Andrew why in the world is there a copy of Rosie Revere circling the globe well this is amazing and wonderful so there is a program called story time from space and you can learn about it at story time for space org and this is a program which takes picture books and sends copies of them up to the International Space Station where the astronauts will read the books and make videotapes of the readings and we'll make those available to teachers students families Earthlings margins anybody it's fantastic they also will do coming i think in i want to say they're shooting in march they were sending up a rocket with experiments that will complement the books and then they will be astronauts will do those experiments and make materials of those videos and also materials available that that classrooms can do here all anywhere anywhere in the country around the world they can do the same experiments or complementary experiments to the ones the astronauts have done and it's a program that helps do helps show that that literacy and science literacy and space literacy they're all connected and they're all amazing and fun and I was really honored that they chose Rosie as a book to send up and so in December they they shot the the had a rocket go up and and took a copy of the book to the space station and now she goes by and you can actually go online and there's information on my website but you can track where the International Space Station goes so location legolas I'm way short zooms past but it's story time for a story time from space org and it's there's more information on my website which is Andrea Veda calm so it's a fantastic program it's just getting really getting rolling and in the coming months and years they're going to have lots of books that they're going to read and it's going to be an amazing resource for educators and for families and for anybody who's just astounded with books in space so cool that's pretty awesome what an odd it is and you know I got be really amazing you know it I went to Florida with my son to to wash the launch and it was really interesting because we went there for four days there for four days and the first day it was going to launch and then it was the clouds are too thick so they couldn't go because if clouds are too thick there's too much potential for lightning so that doesn't work and then the next day it was going to go up and the winds were too strong and then the next day it was good to go again and the winds were too strong and so finally it was until the fourth day that it launched and by then we were on an airplane coming home but as we looked out the window we then came above the clouds we saw the spot where the where the jet trail had gone so we we were close mr. by that much but it was very I thought that's actually kind of cool that we didn't see it will actually launch because that was very rosy Revere to learn through failure and to know that that science and everything you do just takes a lot of tries and it was very exciting but it but you know it's it's about trying over and over and over again and the experience going to NASA and meeting a lot of people and a lot of scientists and engineers who are involved with these kind of amazing amazing endeavors really showed me just it's just part of the process they take failure in stride it is just a given it's the next step okay good we that messed up how do we fix that okay let's move on to this what could be the next problems okay fix that and they learn through it it's not a bad thing to fail it is just simply part of the process and I think that's one of the reasons that rosie has connected so well to particularly scientists and engineers and people who who love innovation because they recognize that that's just that's the process and it's an unfortunate side effect I think of a lot of the testing we do and there's you know there's reasons to have testing education and all of that I not a debate that I'm qualified or you know really want to go into because it has its purposes but I think there is a side effect and I think it's that kids when they're always drilled and having to get the answers right it means that there are right answers and they're wrong answers all the time to them and that's not the case because that's process of learning and failing and you learn more through failing than you do from getting things right so that's my that's my thought anyway I think Rosie connects to people in that okay and one of the things that I especially love is that Rosie is a girl who's into engineering you know and that is pretty impressive too because I feel you know in our culture especially girls aren't really encouraged you know in stem technology engineering and mathematics it's not kind of like the thing to do but there is a movement now to get more girls involved so can you tell me how Rosie and Iggy and AE are able to engage kids in this movement um you know what kids really do respond and i have to say there are many many things that surprised me about both of the books and please me to no end and it is that kids of both genders connect to both books so you know boys will pick up Rosie Revere and a lot of times I its parents I see going oh that's the girl book don't you know can they give their boy Iggy and if he's a great book but but Rosie is also equally applicable I think two boys and girls having said that it is a real need to have girls be better engaged and more excited and more involved with stem and there is just an amazing amazing movement out there and I think that's really it's been coming for a long time but I think in the last four or five years it's really starting to pick up steam oh my gosh that's a pun I just did a pun I did not intend to do that that's funny yeah science science science nerd joke there um and rosie has has plugged into that it but but to me aspect of it is is that she's an engineer and frankly she's an engineer because I wanted to see what they didn't do with the illustrations I knew that if he could make a tower out of diapers that was so cool on the bridge that he makes over the river that for Iggy peck I knew that whatever he did with Rosie Revere would simply be amazing if she was an engineer but having said that we do need to have girls better engaged and more involved in science but I think we have to do that from a really really early age if you know we know that women are maybe I think about somewhere between 13 and fifty percent of the engineering workforce or you know women go into that that number go into stem pretty consistently and that's just not enough because we have so many so many problems that we need to fix we need all the engineers all the scientists all the artists all the people we can have of any gender both genders also to get in there and really get involved but I think that what happens we know the girls disengaged somewhere between 4th grade and 7th grade that starts we start waning off that before there they don't they don't see themselves as not liking stem it's just whatever but I think we really have missed the boat if we have kids come into grade school and not have science as just part of their world I think kids need you from birth just be engrained in science and and that's I think a large large thing that the parents have to work towards parents and early educators and it's not something it's something that scares people like oh no I'm not a scientist I can't teach my kids science but that's not true because it's not the parents aren't our non-scientists is that their new scientists so are their kids so their kids can are all about discovering they're all about asking questions and just looking for answers that's what science is science is just asking questions and looking for answers and anybody can do that and if you have a kid who's asking what's that when they look at a rock and the parent says well it's a rock but I don't know much more about it let's find out that's all you have to do and let the kids questions lead you through discovery there are so many fantastic books out there nonfiction and fiction books that can really help kids and appearance just grow in their love of science and I think the more that we engage kids at a very very young age the more the more this problem will sort of melt away because there's also a lot of support that's coming along at older ages but I think it will become a non-problem and I think kids then girls when they get to the fifth sixth grades and those pressures that go oh you're in science whatever I think they'll just look at that ago that you're not doing science is like asking me not to know how to run what is wrong with you you know it will be not an issue anymore and that's that's the day i'm hoping for anyway i think that would come it will come well it's probably there already it'll be awesome so tell me a couple of questions here um one is how can we encourage girls more to get involved in stem how can parents encourage girls and you mentioned books you said that there's some great actually the three questions right wrapped up in one I mentioned some book looks like great books if you can also at the end of that um after you answer those questions just recommend a few like three okay besides worlds over there well there's only the one that I have and two in the fall with Ada to it how do we give girls particularly more engaged as Tim I think I think one of the things about girls is that they connect a story that it's it's so integral to how they learn they learn through stories so finding ways to include science and story together and that's really the basis of the goldieblox toys is that they have a books that go with the toys but they're i think it's it's easy to make games when you're playing with your kid and includes in science it doesn't have to be a really formal process and i think the less formal is the better so by reading lots of great books and i wobble to say for me to my favorite resource for getting girls engaged in just about any any kind of area want to go to and particularly stem is a website called a mighty girl calm and it's all together a mighty girl calm it is a fantastic website they have resources they have all the books you could possibly imagine and they have on any any kind of topic but we had a terrific terrific library of a picture books and and categorized by age and interests that are very very great for getting kids into science um you know my favorite books I will say for getting kids excited about stem are not necessarily stem books and people consider roseus stem book but it's it's also a fiction picture book so to me it's more about the character and about the story but it happens to also work in a stem world but there are a couple of others like that and that the one is called the most magnificent thing by Ashley spear and it might be spire I don't know how to pronounce tank sorry Ashley and out there and also the Peter Reynolds books so Peter Reynolds is an author illustrator who's an amazing amazing artist and he's written books like ish and the dot and they're all about creativity and Wonder and exploration so to me if you start with helping kids open up to exploration and they're in kiryat their own curiosity and exploring that then I think they will end up and then you also start feeding them books on science and they can be you know actually technical science folks but there's all kinds of biographies oh one of my very favorite biographies is on a beam of light and I forget the author I'm sorry to say but it's about Albert Einstein it's absolutely wonderful there's a great book called infinity and me about infinity the boy who loved math ok now I can just go on and on and on if you go to MIT girl calm you'll find a great selection of all the books and the other thing is go to a local independent booksellers bookstores independent bookstores the people there love love good folks and they will know all of the new books that are stem oriented or help your kid with exploration or whatever the issues they are the best resources and also great school librarians those three places okay cannot fail you'll find the books you need I have no debt and was there was another part to that question from was it um I think the last part you did you kind of Island it in you but and you threw in a website yeah there was a fantastic website you should absolutely go check it out it's a great resource ok now I have to give a little shout out here too happy birthday Madame chapeau yes look look awesome this book was very fancy to me you know um I love the artwork I think you know is it can you talk a little bit about the inspiration behind this book this is a great book um thank you so much I absolutely love this book this book happened because David Roberts came to New York he lives in London and he doesn't travel overseas very much but he came to New York and when he did that I flew from Chicago and spent some time with him and we spent the day in an old art deco restaurant just sitting and talking when we said together for five hours just swapping you know our life stories are stories of our lives and things we've done and and I learned a lot about him and I learned that the reason that his books are so elegant and that he is so the characters are so beautifully beautifully drawn is that he went to college to study fashion design so a fashion illustration was his was his thing and so you can tell and every piece of clothing it go there's nothing again left to chance in these books all of the gowns that iggy's mom where's or the ants or whoever those are based on actual designs of real in oak couture I'm not an 02 / kind of person but they are the actual designs by great designers but after he graduated from college he went to Hong Kong and he became a milliner and when he did that when he told me that I said oh Davis I'm writing you a half book I gotta write you a book and so I did and that's happy birthday madam Shippo and I when I wrote it I sent it to our editor I put it in a hat box and I sent it to her and she she loved the story and she says it in that hat box to England and David was like yes so so that's where it came from and I I truly loved this book but on my website again you can go to the pages of that happy birthday adam ship oh and david has a lot of information there about his inspiration for the art and again as I said with David's aren't nothing is left a chance and in happy birthday madam shim hope every hat in that book is based on an existing hat so some of the hats are his own designs there's one that he made for his mother for his sister's wedding that's in there but the other hats are ones from famous loners such as Philip Treacy's eating Jones Elsa chakra le so that that shoe shaped hat that's a very very famous hat from nineteen thirty-five or okay I'm going to mess up my dates on that and so he took again his love for for millinery and ate and art and the art of clothing and design and he put it in there and the main character then is and I'm autumn a kebab drawn a blank um oh my goodness i forgot her net anyway she's yes do you remember she's a very famous fashion maven who has long since died and I cream pulling a blank on her name so I'm very bad but even she is the main the main character he bakes madam Shippo on her that way she looks and the name will come to me as soon as we hang out okay so I mean yes and he is british so we know how the British are about their hats oh they aren't too late I love you some hats to fact if you hold on one second I'm going to be right back uh-huh okay okay okay I didn't know I might need this but Adam I have my own battleship bohat you gonna go my earphones to my sister made that yeah about that those are awesome I wear it too I wear it when I write like a like that and it tells me think it's very cool so that's my sister Paula thanks ball now how perfect was that because that was perfect introduction to my next question oh really why the next question creativity yeah what is your rich will like if you care about sharing how do you would you do to get inspired to sit down to write these amazing amazing life-changing impactful it is very what do i do I took a lot of coffee that helps me for sure um what do we do i find it books creep up on me when I'm not looking so I do best if I'm first like you have to kind of make the time to write and that's where I fall down miserably because I let other things or nickel nickel and dime I time or just sort of distract me and so keeping myself focused and setting aside a long time is really really hard but but that's that's the big thing you have to just sit down and do it but having said that going for walks is really helpful so I'd like to get out in forest and garden or did I used to take naps I had to apple trees and a hammock in like apple trees died and now I'm very sad I know this is gonna be a bad summer okay something new a new thing to sleep in um so reading of course also is very it's very helpful and inspirational anything that takes my mind away from the everyday things I've got to deal with uma paying the bills and whatever the demands of the now here and lets me just kind of explore I always find that that when I'm not looking a story will sneak up on me and if one sneaks up on me while I'm working at that then another one will come along so it's just a lot of us getting in the groove I think and letting your brain get clear and sometimes traveling like going if I'm traveling and just being a hotel by myself for a day or two will be enough to sort of shake things loosen and set a new story out of the road now do you about the way you work do you when you say a story sneaks up on you if it that you know it's like um divine inspiration you know someone the muse's whispering to you or is it correct sometimes or is it perhaps like maybe there is something you a theme or something that you want to write about and you sit down and you say well how am I going to put this together it is almost never a theme that doesn't that tends to come later that seems to be something that I discovered through the process of writing and I'm unaware that I'm writing about something really until I'm done and then I go oh that's what that is ha and I have people point out to me I love the way your book is about a wawa and I'm like really I don't know that actually just wanted to say I know it's really cool the way I did that so so for me a write a story will happen most often because i'll get a phrase stuck in my head or a character and there's some starting place that's sort of tangible it's either you know set of words that for instance a rhyming song a rhyming book will be like music that i hear through the wall i can't quite make it out but I'll here is the sort of rhythm of it and have more and let it drip around in my mind and over time I would be as if I get closer and closer and finally open the door and can hear it and then be able to write it down so that's very it's very much about music and picture books in general or about poetry so but they come to me based on a phrase or maybe a character or one very tiny snapshot and I'll say what's going on in that picture like an image will just pop in my head I'll see what's going on there and then I'll start exploring it but I never sit down to say I'm gonna write a book about you know friendship or whatever it doesn't interest me what interests me is this connection between two specific characters and what they are like and how their dynamic works in the same way I don't find the ocean particularly interesting I mean it's fascinating obviously it's big lots of things in there to eat you I love the ocean is great loz its shore but to me the interesting places where the land meets the shore like going out on a cruise I find really dull because it's like yay more waves yesterday too that's all what it is if it's a beautiful landscape where the land meets the what you know the landing some water that's fascinating to me so where things meat is the intersection that the place I like to to explore I think yeah have you always wanted to be an author oh no heavens no um when I was a kid I wanted to be a spy and I wanted to be a detective farmer a racecar driver my nickname was Mario Andretti seventh grade did I have a car but that's her a bike is over that um I went to be a million things and really didn't uh I really wasn't asserting I'm look yeah I'll be that that sounds good yay and I read a lot of books so whatever I was pretty good book about pretty much you know sent me down that road but when I got in high school I started studying science and I really loved biology and I loved chemistry and loved physics didn't do so well I mean it did well him but it was it's amazing physics is amazing because explains everything just absolutely everything um but I don't have a great memory for numbers is what I've discovered so as soon as I would learn it be like that astounding I've just forgotten it that is so if I actually went to in college I studied biology and I stand as that degree I studied you know physics and chemistry and microbiology which I really loved and I also study computer science so when I got out of college I I had a degree in computer science and I got a job being a computer person for a software company and did that for a number of years and then had kids and at that point I was starting to read picture books with my kids and really enjoyed it and the difference the difference between the quality and just the volume of amazing books and there were great books when I was a kid i'm sure that one's little and i don't remember them except go go I remember that one but the amount of amazing literature available to kids now is unbelievable and people do people who say there are not great books for kids are just staying at home on their couch because all you have to do is go to the library and start digging and if you're not finding something you're bringing the problem with you I'm just saying that laughter but um what were they going on with that oh so eventually I decided I got started getting ideas and they would just get in my head and I eventually started writing them down and I really enjoyed it and I got the bug and after that it's like okay right into books and now I'm here I don't even know it's a crazy journey I did not expect it I bijoy knit journey it's a beautiful because you're embracing it you know as it comes your way you're embracing it you know and that's beautiful what's not to love you know I mean I meet amazing people there's all concluded I mean just uh I just meet amazing people everywhere I go and the kids literature world I have yet to meet anybody I have not liked really truly liked in that in that field because everyone is so passionate about literature and art and they're funny people because they all look at the world is heart of this weird little cookie way like I do you know it's like they're always looking at things in a different way and they're great and fun so and I get to see a lot of kids and and when you see a kid pick up your book and read it and the very best thing is when like you'll be in an event and you'll see a kid take their their sibling and sit in the corner and read the book to each other oh you know it doesn't get better than that what can you better not gonna be better than that so it's cool i'm really honored to be and lucky and so I'd count that blessing every day because I didn't plan it yeah that's really awesome as you i had mentioned to you i self-published a children yes thank you thank you and one of the first places i tested it was in my daughter's pre-k class aha and i remembered one day walking in and a group of little boys were reading the book and one like another kid walked in another boy and he held one of the boys in the group held up the book and he was like look and the boy walking and was like yes my favorite book and i SAT there like you know like oh my god this is so surreal and then I don't I should plant my father there is it was was really weird weird feeling you know because I think for me I realized that you're like this instrument you know like something flows through you and you birth it into the world a minute like takes on in the life of its own those corners you didn't oh yeah no it is that and it is it does take on the surreal feeling because it does have this life of its own and these books find their way into just a distant places and I get emails now with with kids dressed up like Rosie or Iggy and I hope when a device I up that will be kids dressin up like her as well and it's it's like wow your words something that that amused you has had some connection you know sometimes it really power connection i get i get emails for parents who tell me you know their their kid now reads because they fell in love with a book i wrote it and that's something that you just you just what do you even do with that it's so overwhelming the power of that and and you know you just can just say you'd be humbled by it and say i am amazed and thank you for telling me and you know just go ahead and try to write into the book because it's not so much a freak you out yeah yeah you know and right there is where you touched on one of the reasons why i actually have this podcast as the words were coming out of your mouth I was like that's it right there the purpose of this podcast really is to reach people who are who want to live their dreams and they want to do things but they feel stuck they might be a bit unclear maybe you know playing the survival game or they've got responsibilities or they think it's too late in life and they can't do certain things um to put them in touch with people like yourself you know who are embracing you've embraced you know the muse is talking to you you've embraced the connections that you want to take you've embraced that and because you've done that and you have used your personal power and you said I'm gonna do this you didn't know what it was gonna take you look at the impact that it just has I mean Rosie's up in space back know she's gonna live she's gonna outlive us all you know that that's astounding thought because actually one of the things about picture books is that they're very ephemeral you don't think it but kids books come and they go very quickly so the very thought of one that might actually still be remembered when I've gone is amazing but I have to say something particularly about people who think it's too late in their lives to do anything oh no no no no not sure I could never have been an author in my 20s or my 30s I I knew how to write and I've always been you know good at writing papers whatever but I never have been an author until the time when I became one it's because I had to collect all the skills and the tools from each phase of my life and those informed they informed who I was and what I had to write about and the skills I had to do it and that that could not have happened earlier and I take from that lesson also just the example of my mom who went back to college excuse me whenever I was in high school so with the time I got to my bachelor's degree she was working in her master's degree at the same school at same university and and she was you know that age where people now they go I would not be brave enough to do it but I'm saying kojou it because to see the transformation that came through her just in a chance to live her dreams and to explore the world and to find the resources that she had because of her age and because she had lived the life she had at you live the life you have and by the time you get to a spot you are the only person who has that life and I when I see kids I tell them whatever you're interested in exploring if you're interested in anything it doesn't matter what it is you go and you explore it and every time you do that you take a tool and you put it in your tool bag and then you go and you learn about something else and you can be totally unrelated doesn't matter you if it's interesting to you go find out about it and there will come a time in your life where you are the only person who has exactly the right tool set to tackle this one problem and that's when you'll go oh I'm ready I'm done I'm ready I got I got it I got this and and that's what happens and that's that's kind of where I might my trajectory and I think I think most people if they're curious at all but will kind of eventually come to that it's easy to waste time along the way sometimes that's actually what you need to do need to take those naps in your hammock but people should just be a little braver I think that's my own advice if I could go back and give advice to my own you have 17 year old self or 20 year old self or 40 year old self or oh my goodness I have too many selves on that end of this Valona is to be a little braver just be a little braver and go out and try it because if you assess what's the worst thing that could happen chances are it's usually not too bad you probably won't die from it you might much probably whatever this that's my bears would pick yourself up dust yourself off and off you like Rosie arrogantly back to room air and you know what Rosie goes through like adults go through you know and probably why I connect with her a bitch you know you you and it's okay and it's this idea now that well it's not really an idea now it's always been there we just looked at it the other way but it's okay to fail failure is necessary in fact go out there didn't write and fail do some things and say hey you know because they teach you they teach you what to do and what else to do absolutely I think I think the person right now who's in the news a lot really personifies that is Elon Musk and you know he's the the founder of Tesla and SpaceX so they've this amazing rocket that now could go up and come back down and land and that is going to change space travel in ways we can't even fathom yet but the most wonderful process it's been a fun process to watch unfold because every time he's had these these Rockets you these things for Brazilians of simoleons they are really expensive and they come and they crash and fall into the ocean of the like oh and he's not like Oh curses rats he's like uh we came in as close did you see we came that house now how do we go from here okay al da now let's do the next one and and that's exactly what what you have to do in life and that's an awesome experience and a great process yeah and that's that's the book that I'm actually reading now first oh look that's I'm looking for it because it's like somewhere but I think it's in my bedroom but it's written by Ashley and she's a like a journalist um he allowed her to write this book about him Oh fantastic I'll read that it's pretty amazing book and he visionary he you know is your rosy ver ver he's been doing it and since he was very young and he you know the things that he's doing now he envisioned as a child yeah oh and in college so it's pretty amazing to see his it really is yeah I'd like he's an interesting guy like to to have conversations with him because I think he'd be fascinating to talk to ya many people like that though many people I one doctor they say in a book that um he was very good in physics and he you know he talks that language son so he kind of speaks that way all the time so you have till I guess understand that world in that language to really get along very well with him you know you studied a bit of science and you said you weren't that great away in physics because it really explains everything I mean and oh my goodness just I'm so excited watching like all of the NASA reports and all of the the news that it's you know that comes out all the time people don't think there's much going on in physics and science and space exploration it's astounding what's going on in the news this last week about the gravitational waves actually being able to record those that's going to change the universe and I'm always fascinated by things that change the way we look at the things the way we look at the universe and that's what I think the role of art is art changes the way we see the world just it in the simplest ways in the most profound ways so that to me is where science and art are really one of the same I don't I don't see this need to separate them apart and make some sense to me because they both explain and gives questions and they make the universe rich and wonderful I agree with you there I definitely didn't be with you Dan so tell me Andrew yeah what was it like you know really briefly because what I don't want to take up too much of your time or them close to 60 minutes here me know if I'm doing good but when you hit the New York Times bestseller what was that feeling like for you you know that was that was really shocking and cool it just um wow how do i I don't even know it was it was a kind of a surprise it is confirmed some that I had hoped that when I wrote the book I thought I think this is a good book i think this manuscript is really solid and it's a good story and then when I edited it more and it it really clicked I went I think this might be pretty good and then when I saw the arch that David had done i said this book is really really really a good book and then to spend but for all of that you can love it it's like your own kids you know you can love it and you do and that has wonder beauty and and you know goodness in itself but when it goes out into the world and other people begin to see that and and it really confirms what you hoped that it's a book that connects to people and it connects in a really big way in Rosie's on the times for sixty four weeks so that's a long long time and so it's a lot of people she's connected to and and I see that still going I mean I see constantly people just just spreading the word and two friends you know giving the book to others as presents you know when their kids go to birthday parties or whatever and that just really amazes me and delights me because it just means that that somehow and I don't know like you said you know you just sort of get to do this book and then it had its own life but I had some small part in that and that's or maybe a bit Brad and I had a part and that's anyway um and that's it's astounding I hear someone young you hear her vacuum yes Oh prism and Bob and I'm it's my hope that then the next book which comes out in September it's going to be a to twist scientist and this is the little girl who has the red and white polka dot dress and she's just beautiful and so Aida is do you have a picture well I do have picture on there but I was wondering since you said everything was connected yes that's her yes sir that is a to twist scientist and talking in a moment I don't know how to do this but I bet we could actually bring up a screen of the screen share perhaps yes so the way you could so the way that it would be done make sure make sure that you have the picture by itself okay and on the side the green button with a little arrow screen share when you press that it'll ask you which window you want to open so and you directly on that okay we'll see if that works okay boom if not I can I can do it um do you have a copy of the cover I do oh you know what you're probably better at doing this since I haven't done this before and I don't wanna know what else is out there um so Ava twist is a girl who I decided to write about her next because in Iggy pack you know i said when i wrote about Rosie it was because I was curious how she SAT there and tried to be so small and hid behind her bangs so I really took the cues from the pictures to decide you know to explore her character instead of just making up what I wanted her to be I wanted to know who she was and so I tried to follow that same direction with this book and I looked through every time each of the kids shows up in Rosie and Iggy so that's about seven or eight times now that each kid shows up and I decided to write about her because in a pack whenever iggy is making his bridge everybody's sitting there at eight he's drawing out the plans in the sand and everybody's doing something but she's standing there and she's just going like this hmm and I could tell that kid is just thinking and she is just figuring stuff out and her brain is going a million miles a minute so the story of a twist is that she's a little girl who is just pure chaos but she's pure chaos driven by absolutely consuming curiosity she wants to know everything and it gets her into all kinds of trouble but she wants to know everything you know why what when where how and she just tears through the house trying to discover things and to learn what she can about the universe so it's so she's a scientist because again Sciences asking questions and then trying to figure out some answers about them and so she's just innately is is that so in the sense that rose the he was about passion that's just a book all about passion and roseus perseverance and then ADA is about curiosity okay yeah all right so I'm pulling it up that's pretty awesome it's just gonna be fun and as the sketches I've seen and David is is even now he's got his nose to the grindstone making those final arts so we can get the book out and fall and and what I'm seeing so far it's just it makes my heart sing okay I'm sure it's gonna be absolutely beautiful in it then I wouldn't get my copy yes he is here let's see oh there she is there she is yes and so you can see on this this is the cover and this is ADA me to twist ada Marie twist so her namesake SAR Ada Lovelace who is the mother of computer programming and Marie Curie hey so who is of course the first woman to win the first person ever to win Nobel prizes in two different sciences she has one in tad one and in chemistry and also physics and you know taught us all so much of what we know about radiation it was really really part of the story trying to figure out how to name this kid was hard because there's so many amazing women scientists through history but ultimately I I really wanted to connect those two partly because my computer background so I wanted to gain a lot less or her do and Marie Curie's always been kind of a hero and the names worked for the rhyming scheme because that's the most tricky to the rhyming book and you can see on the back the background here she's figuring stuff out so she's trying to figure out what this terrible stink comes into her world she's out there not they're doing an experiment one day and suddenly to smell this knocks her whoa for a loop and she has to figure out what it is and so the quest begins and here she is making her trying to figure out what could it possibly be and that's that's her so I've ever really hoping that that will have kids dress up like her you know come halloweiner or book days or whatever is that abuse that's pretty awesome that a pretty pretty good awesome and what I do love is that it does offer some diversity yes so that's brilliant oh also you know this and i have to say that was the thing whenever I i wrote a peck and the way it works when you write a picture book typically unless you are also the artist you write the book and you send the words and that's all he sent to the editor in the editor then finds the illustrator so I did not put in into the text of the manuscript you know I want a classroom that's wonderful in diverse and all kinds of kids you know whatever none of that it literally from the words that are in eggy pack David came up with this whole different world so he envisioned it just the whole thing and when when he sent back the art and it had this classroom of kids of every kind I just fell in love because the potential for story is so great there and it's really important for kids to see themselves in books I think kids of every every time to need to see themselves and they need to see examples of people like enjoying amazing wonderful things and I think fiction connects to you can be a person and connect to someone of different ethnicity race gender whatever but it also and that has been a strength and that builds empathy and that's incredibly valuable but it's also valuable to see someone like you doing something you may have never considered doing and so I'm super excited about that as well and she's so cute and I love coconut but I like just good a fancy one lb brilliant brilliant thank you thank you I'm very very excited about it and we're all just enjoying and again lots of Easter eggs in there so you get it you'll have to look in there and there's lots of puzzles and different things that eight is figuring out and lots of connections to the other kids unless you do I will definitely be on the lookout for that thank you it without September six it's just going to ask you when I come and I have I have lots of information will be you know on my website which is Andrea Veda calm and also for educators out there I have an enormous number of pins and things out on my pinterest account um trying to put all of my books so you know science experiments engineering experiments frightening fun things hats goofy things uh you know alien rabbit things whatever it is and and I met Andrea Beatty so it's a and dr EA ve a TI p int on pinterest and i'm also a twitter at Andrea Beatty on Twitter so oh yeah i'm not there can needs of cheese ways experiment yes yes yeah you know people i had some people get a little annoyed about choosers I'm like what you just don't know power you just have just you don't know the power actually it's a wonderful on my website there's a and experiment some of the folks at Northern Illinois University have a great program for STEM education and they built working Rosie the Riveter Rosie Revere cheese spray yet and it keeps away pythons yeah we're fish enough you will rarely find cheese spray and pythons in the same place and everyone that is not science work but it said it's a repellent I remember to take that with me when I go to Florida and I could I found it too and I'm hungry yeah double benefit there but what I'm relegate actually because they do like it's okay okay yeah and they've got tons of alligators down there yeah pythons though that get me and I like snakes a lot but the pythons I do not want the pythons nope okay so yeah okay Andrea you look like you are a ton of fun I'm put on it I couldn't hold it up I can never resist the chief joke it's just who I am okay tell me thank you it's really things to do oh boy Wow go to the movies I love to go to the movies and read but I Debose go together so entertain myself I'm gonna cheat I'm going to tell you so many more things go for walks in Forest that's a big thing um and just sort of hang out with my family probably okay yeah depending on the day not getting their great okay okay look good what's your favorite app Oh sky guide and its sky GUI GUI de and it's fantastic app that lets you point it's great on an iPad I think you might be on the phone as well but on the iPad it lets you point your iPad at some place and look and see all the stars it gives you both the celestial pictures of it but also you can zoom into specific stars you can hear the radio signals you can get information from NASA about them you can track the International Space Station in most evil fear as she passes by it's brilliant it is my favorite app I like to just go outside and just watch look at the sky and for the first time I can actually look and say oh that's where you know Canis Major that's that's the Pleiades I understand now people is talk about this and now I can see what that is so it's great for anybody who's interested at all in strong me it's wonderful that's pretty home that's a good question I've got to check that up out yeah yeah um what's your favorite food Oh anything that involves tomatoes and pasta it's like literally tomatoes I have to have tomatoes every day is anything that involves tomato and pasta okay in any form yeah one of my favorite too okay and final question well it's not so much of a question but recommendation I always ask my guests to give three action steps and you kind of did some of that well you know here's the question yeah before the recommendation i'm asking for three action steps that people can take to start living the life they want to to start living on purpose with purpose to start doing the things they want to do what three action steps would you offer read more and read poetry because that's what should look at the world a different way and just in general experience art as much as you can get bored go out unplug get out and go and sit in a field until you don't think you can possibly be there any longer and then really look around and take notice of small things and laugh go out and laugh if something's funny laugh at it because what the heck you'll get one day and then okay then who will laugh so yeah those things that I mean because on is there life is life it's really short it's all relation enjoy it you know see the beauty in it and and I think one thing I tried to do and you know in terms of being mindful and I'm not a not very big on reading books to make myself better cuz im to lazy basically so i could probably read a book about that that'd be helpful but um just being grateful for things and i try in the mornings i usually fail but i try to wake up and think what are some things i'm going to be looking forward to today three things you know and at the end of the day one of three things that made me happy today or that had beauty or but i'm glad i saw and it takes no time but it just helps you even in the worst of days say oh okay personal good out there and it helps you weather the storm of it so those things that's good question too thanks okay yeah any cheese was thank you buy the stock and cheese with okay okay okay I like that that's the onion yeah thank you so much for having me on akantha I can't wait to tell everybody and all so that links I mean hey everybody come and watch this any issues this is awesome thank you i know right get the Cheez Whiz oh yeah whatever absent I'd snack mmm that it'll definitely keep the Pythons away yeah well a little indeed thank you so much thank you Andrew I am so so grateful and honored for your time um it was a pleasure to have you here as I said you are absolutely one of my most favorite children book authors um I treasure your books I'm telling you I but I bought them for my daughter but literally like I have to pick him up because she'll draw on it as I was explaining to your life good morning she'll try to draw the characters and like you know this can happen it actually that's kind of I'm terrible to say this but that's cool let her write in the books because I know but when my mom passed away we went through the house and found books they were booked so we found we had rhythm because we were bad kiss and I kind of liked looking at those pictures and thinking of myself you know this for your own self boy was I thinking about them so it's four things that happened it's okay oh yeah she'll definitely draw in them i excite like treasure them that's awesome awesome well thank you very much I appreciate it thank you thank you and thank and well anyone who anyone and everyone who views this um enjoy and like andrea has said you know it's never too late to step into your passion to do to explore what it is that you want to explore do you see the role of that tongue there I did that was interesting I was a failure and be curious remain curious remember I actually have a tag on a tagline of one of my many emails curiosity only killed cats so sorry sir but I had a doubt nine times because they kept coming back for more yes so again it was a pleasure I learned so much I'm so grateful I dread thank you and farewell so well I losing some I'd have to do the dancing thing now off the stage so long farewell as it was or traffic thank you good thank you goodbye