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When She Finally Took Flight

Alisa Wagner Author Interview

Gaining Her Strength follows a butterfly who learns that strength is more than just physical abilities, that everyone has different areas of strength to use. How did you come up with this idea and develop it into a story?

The first book in the series is about Laia’s birthmark. Laia, the Butterfly Princess, has a flame-like birth mark on her lavender wing. Her parents, King Papa and Queen Mama, were fearful that Swift Swallow would see her red birthmark and be tempted to gobble her up. So they pleaded with Laia to keep her wings shut tight. So for the first part of her life, Laia crawled along in the shadows, watching as all the other butterflies enjoyed flying in the meadow. Finally, one day, she decided that she did not want to hide in the forest anymore. She opened her wings and discovered that she rather liked her birthmark. When she finally took flight, Swift Swallow did not pursue her, for she was too quick for him. I, Alisa, have a red, flame-like birthmark on my right hand and arm. I used to be embarrassed by it, but I finally decided to see it in a different light. I realized that I, in fact, liked my birthmark because it made me unique. Once I wrote the story, I found out that my illustrator, Albert Morales, also has a dark birthmark on his right hand. It is interesting that the tools we use as creative people (our hands) have both been beautiful marked.

The art in this book is fantastic. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Albert Morales?

Albert Morales normally draws more masculine characters for comic books, like Wolverine, Spiderman, Venom, Fantastic Four, etc. However, we have known each other since we were kids, so I asked him if he could draw butterflies. Albert is an excellent artist who is always challenging his skills. He has illustrated numerous books for me, and he breathes life to my imagination with his art. I honestly think he can draw anything.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The first two books of the Butterfly Princess Series, Spreading Her Wings and Finding Her Friends, tackle topics on body differences, accepting others, and embracing how God designed each of us. In the third book, I wanted to show how being smart, innovative and fearless can be just as or even more powerful than physical strength. My hope is to illustrate to children that they can overcome great obstacles by working with others and thinking outside the box.

Will there be another book with Laia the Butterfly Princess, and if so, when will it be available?

Yes, I am writing the next one, Freeing Her Crown, which is slated for Winter/Spring 2023.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

The tale of Laia, the Butterfly Princess, is a body image parable for children inspiring them to appreciate the uniqueness of their design. Laia has overcome many obstacles, but now she wants to explore the world around her. As she soars into adventure, she runs into trouble when an angry alligator frustrates her plan to cross the river. Although Laia is small and not so strong, she faces her fears to help a new friend, and she gains an inner strength of compassion, smarts and grit.

Gaining Her Strength

Laia the Butterfly Princess returns to readers with another adventure. This time Laia wants to see the other side of the river. The only problem is it is now fall and very windy. Her delicate wings can not compete with the wind blowing her in the wrong direction. After a long trek, she makes it to the river only to find an alligator crying on the river bank. Laia is afraid of the giant alligator, but she is a strong princess who refuses to let fear prevent her from helping someone in need. It turns out Andy, the alligator has a rotten tooth, and it is making him miserable. Can Laia help Andy feel better, and will she ever make it across the river to see what is on the other side?

Gaining Her Strength: Butterfly Princess Book 3 by author Alisa Wagner is a whimsical picture book about a princess butterfly and her courage and compassion. This magical book teaches children that even if you are small, you can still help others and do good in the world. Laia may be small, but she is smart, she through a way to help Andy and his rotten tooth, and even though she was afraid of him at first, she did not let that fear keep her from doing the right thing.

The artwork in this children’s book by Albert Morales is colorful and engaging. The images are vibrant and draw readers in; you can see Andy’s tears and sense the pain his tooth is causing him. Children will see the transformation in Laia from concerned in afraid to confident and determined.

Kindergarten and early elementary students will find this well-written picture book to be motivational and entertaining. I look forward to seeing what other adventures Laia goes on in future books.

Pages: 29 | ASIN : B09TV28RT9

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