Blog Archives

Read and Read and Read Some More

Susannah Nilsen Author Interview

A Splash of Colour is a wonderful picture book introducing colours to children. What made you write a story about this topic? Did you pull anything from your life experiences?

For many years, I was a classroom teacher. I started writing in December of 2021.

My motivation in writing A Splash of Colour was the same as for all of my books.

Thus far, I’ve published two children’s picture books using a conventional format.

So, with a narrative structure and characters and with illustrations that reinforce and complement the written text.

I will write many more of these however thus far most of my picture books have had less a conventional narrative structure. They are much more an educational aid explicitly teaching maths and language concepts. These are aimed at early childhood albeit with the written text and the illustrations complementing and reinforcing each other and aimed to be read by children or to children.

There are many educational workbooks for younger children but these serve a completely different function to children’s picture books.

I feel passionately about the importance of having children arrive in a classroom setting for the first time, feeling confident and comfortable around words and numbers. Word and number intelligence are the bedrock of our educational system and its curriculum. Without feeling at ease in this environment, children start their formal schooling on the back foot.

And it’s so easy to make a difference in the life of a child. If as an adult you feel comfortable with words, then read and read and read some more to the children in your life. Some children will find the journey of learning to read harder than others. With support and strategies they will learn to read. For them to live in a

home environment where words and reading are a comfortable part of the atmosphere will be powerful. And I have never met a child who didn’t adore being read to.

What scene in the book did you have the most fun writing or illustrating?

I was gardening and the rhyming verses flew through my mind and the illustrations of colourful birds began to form. I enjoyed creating every page. I love the effect of water colour as a medium and I loved being able to have an entire book using watercolour elements to build up the illustrations. And I also so enjoyed writing in rhyme. If you can get the tempo right, then this style just flows from the mouth of the reader. It’s born to be read out loud and for young children, this is a very effective tool for learning.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I next published Numbers Come In Pairs and that’s up on my Amazon bookshelf. The explicit teaching focus of this book is that numbers can be written as words or as digits. Again, its written in a picture book style but without an explicit story narrative. There are characters however. Meet the ones, meet the twos, meet the threes and so on and we discover something that each of the pairs loves to do.

I’m almost ready to publish an educational workbook that fits hand in glove with the picture book. It’s tentative title is Numbers are Never Alone.

What were some goals you set for yourself as a writer in this book?

I next published Numbers Come In Pairs and that’s up on my Amazon bookshelf. The explicit teaching focus of this book is that numbers can be written as words or as digits. Again, its written in a picture book style but without an explicit story narrative. There are characters however. Meet the ones, meet the twos, meet the threes and so on and we discover something that each of the pairs loves to do. I’m almost ready to publish an educational workbook that fits hand in glove with the picture book. It’s tentative title is Numbers are Never Alone.

I have just begun a book for primary aged children. The focus is on feelings, naming them up, describing their physicality and their impact. Having a language to speak about feelings is a powerful means of building emotional literacy and a strong sense of self. Books aimed for earlier school aged children and very young children will follow

What were some goals you set for yourself as a writer in this book? First of all, for it to effectively help colour recognition in young children. And for it to be enjoyed a book that children will want to revisit again and again. And then for the book to be the best that it could be. I felt very positive building up the book in my mind before putting ideas on paper. I wanted it to be as good as I my imagination had it. And I was really proud of A Splash of Colour. While I feel comfortable with words and can create stories on the fly, I’m new to creating and publishing books and I feel they are getting better each time. It’s so important for us humans to feel proud of what we do and if we can enjoy what we do to earn a crust, how blessed is that!

A goal that I have and I’ve had some limited success with, is using tools to get my books under people’s radars. I struggle with this, I’d happily not have to do it. I have a Shopify store, an Amazon author page and a Facebook page and they will mature with age. I’m excited about blogging because I can add so much more of interest and that’s useful for others and to learn from them.
The issue is that all of it is a tiger in the bushes. In the last two years, I’ve discovered that I’m autistic. This has been a profound and very positive paradigm shift. The downside of such a late diagnosis (Ive just turned 54) is that, as for so many others with late diagnosis is that anxiety and depression are my housemates. This interview took three weeks to sit down and write to as the thought of it brings on anxiety. So, blogging and promotion are tigers in the bushes. But they are tigers that need to be tamed somewhat if my books are ever going to be found by readers and listeners.

Author Links: Website | Amazon

Best friends, not so much or somewhere in the middle. Follow the adventures of some very colourful birds.
With its rhyming text and engaging illustrations, ‘A Splash of Colour’ is a must for young children learning to recognise colour.

A Splash of Colour

Great educational tools are immensely fundamental to child development, but I have found they are scarce in young readers’ libraries. A Splash of Colour, written and illustrated by Susannah Nilsen, has given us a supreme perfect example of an educational book aid.

The beginning starts us off with common sight words that help us while we read, and the writing is simple enough to follow, so young readers can pick up these sight words quickly. Although this story does not follow a specific storyline or have an overall theme, it does, in fact, allow for an entertaining way to learn. The rhythmic verses leaped from the page with a steady pulse that kept the reader hanging from every word.

I recommend this book to any family or young reader who is learning to read or needs help gaining more powerful reading skills. This book will allow for quick and entertaining learning. The illustrations and the sight words were effortlessly cohesive and echo a seamless connection to the sight words allowing for an even better teaching aid.

I believe that the gift of reading is magical and can help us do amazing things. The author explains at the end of the book, “Her classroom experience affords a deep understanding of the value of picture books in the classroom, both as a vehicle to teach across the curriculum and to explore all manner of concepts.” this is something I clearly saw through her writing and the illustrations themselves.

A Splash of Colour is a whimsical picture book that will engage preschool and toddler-age children with its vivid images and entertaining text. Parents and teachers will find this to be a valuable children’s book to have for teaching about colours and introducing sight words. This is a wonderful addition to a home or classroom library.

Pages: 32 | ASIN : B0BJ6JZJB9

Buy Now From Amazon
%d bloggers like this: