My 11-year-old daughter recently returned from our local library raving about an author visit. Plainfield resident and first-time author Yael Werber just published Spring for Sophie, a picture book that captures a little girl's wonder as she observes the natural world reawakening from winter. "It's a beautiful book!" Gabriela enthused. Published by Simon & Schuster, it hit the shelves in late February, right when Vermonters start to long for warmer weather. Below, Werber explains what inspired her book, and lends advice to aspiring writers.
KIDS VT: This book is so beautifully imagined that I'm curious about its inspiration.
YAEL WERBER: I worked one March and April on a farm in northwestern Connecticut, and I used to take long walks every day through the woods with my dog. As the season merged from winter into spring, I imagined a child experiencing that change and what that might mean to her.
KVT: The illustrator, Jen Hill, captures main character Sophie's sense of wonder. How were you paired up with Jen?
YW: I am really pleased with the illustrations. Simon & Schuster gave me great options for illustrators, and, although Jen and I have connected only briefly through social media, she's been terrific.
KVT: I noticed in your author's bio that you've taught preschool. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
YW: Well actually I've worked a number of different jobs. I was a preschool teacher for three years. I also spent time on a tree farm, which I loved, and right now I'm working at a restaurant in Montpelier, Down Home Kitchen.
KVT: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers, particularly children?
YW: My advice is: just keep writing. Everyone says that because it's true. I've been writing since I was a child, and I've always made up stories, even if they were just for myself. If I can write and publish a book, anyone can do it. I didn't have any unique connections, but I really wanted to do this. I was also persistent and confident about my book.
KVT: You're originally from Sharon, Mass. How do you like living in Vermont?
YW: I love living here. I chose to live here. I'm not a particularly settled kind of person, but as of right now, this is where I want to be.
More Books to Welcome Spring
Robins!: How They Grow Up by Eileen Christelow
Author signing on April 8, 10 a.m., followed by a reading at 11 a.m., at Phoenix Books in Essex. Story time and signing on April 8, 3 p.m., at Phoenix Books in Rutland.
Brave Little Finn by Jennifer and John Churchman
John Churchman hosts a special story time on April 15, 11 a.m., at Phoenix Books in Essex.
Fresh-Picked Poetry: A Day at the Farmers' Market by Michelle Schaub, illustrated by Amy Huntington
Meet the illustrator on April 22, 11 a.m., at Phoenix Books in Burlington, and April 29, 11 a.m., at Phoenix Books in Rutland.