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The Path To A Friend’s Heart

Tuula Pere Author Interview

Colin the Crab Finds a Treasure follows a crab who meets a hurt pearl oyster and while helping her heal realizes the value of friendship. What was the inspiration for your story?

After I had written the first book – The Caring Crab – in this series, I couldn’t just leave the characters. They had grown so strong in my mind that they continued their lives almost independently.

I am happy to pass on my real-life experiences through the life circle of Colin the Crab. The diverse character gallery offers a fruitful ground to explore very human relationships, weaknesses, and strengths.

I have chosen two main themes for this book: different perceptions of essential things in life and trust as a prerequisite for friendship.

I found it essential to show that Colin the Crab lived a rich life, although it was seemingly modest. Children get to compare the choices various characters value in life. I hope they realize the importance of friendship by the end of the story, too!

I also wanted to show that it is better to be genuinely yourself than pretend to be something else. When Colin gets lost on this path, the consequences are harmful. Fortunately, Colin learns from his mistakes. Boasting is pointless, and not everyone needs to build muscle at the gym. The path to a friend’s heart goes along other routes.

If you were to write a spin-off about a side character, which would you pick?

Funny coincidence that you ask this! I recently started to consider writing separate books or series about Colin the Crab’s friends.

There are many delicious characters in the series about whom I could easily write separate books or an entire spin-off series. I could look at the world through the eyes of Eddie the Eel, Stella the Starfish, or Ms. Monkfish, for example. Also, the fast-paced life of Norma the Newt’s family with many lively children would be a perfect setting for new adventures. Each spin-off would indeed become interesting in different ways.

With Eddie, who is a technology freak, we would undoubtedly embark on the wildest adventures. He is so passionate about acquiring the fastest, most comprehensive, and most expensive technology and solving everyday problems with them.

The sophisticated and vain Stella would undoubtedly spend most of her efforts to fulfill her desires. That kind of character simply believes herself to be the center of the world. Successes and failures with this delusion would give rise to many juicy conflicts.

There would undoubtedly be many interesting things to tell about old Ms. Monkfish’s past and memories. Her adaptation to modern life and various friends also offers exciting opportunities for stories. And needless to say, Norma the Newt’s bunch of children – with its hustle and bustle – is certainly enough to fill many books.

Thinking about this answer inspires me to consider these spin-off stories seriously. Thanks for that, and let’s get back to it later.

What are your favorite blogs or websites for writers?

I don’t know if I dare to admit that I hardly follow any authors’ blogs or web pages. I am writing all the time myself and work with my own publishing company, so I don’t have too much time and energy for that.

There are some literary communities to which I belong. e.g., The Association of Finnish Nonfiction Writers and Finnish Youth Writers Association. I follow their communication and activities – and participate occasionally. I used to belong to IBBY Finland as a board member and have been the chairman of the board for the Topelius Society of Finland, which recently organized a national poem competition for young writers.

I know this isn’t exactly an answer to your question, but I rather write and act myself instead of reading how others do that. Besides, I have this hybrid role of being a publisher as well. In that respect, as a writer, I am perhaps in a different situation than the others.

I personally have direct contacts with all my target groups – including international publishers, illustrators, and translators. Hopefully, I’ll find more new ways to be in contact with as many readers internationally as possible. Enough goals for a small author/publisher and enough reasons to develop my blogs and websites!

What books did you grow up reading?

I grew up with a library of books, not my own, but the village library across the road. I moved between the shelves there from one age group and theme to another.

I went to the library every evening it was open and borrowed loads of books. I quickly moved from fairy tales and picture books to international favorites in children’s literature. My favorites were all the adventures like The Famous Five and Five Find-Outers by Enid Blyton and many more. Naturally, the romantic books about Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery had to be read later. I also read all the possible Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan books to keep the balance.

The most important books of my childhood and youth also included various non-fiction books. I was a big consumer of them. As schoolbooks sparked my interest in some topics, I got excited to learn more details from the library’s book collections.

In my childhood in the 1960s and 1970s, it was impossible to use the Internet to search for information, but a library was a good source. Of course, the amount of information available has multiplied, but it is essential that the data is structured and there is peace in absorbing it. Books are a great tool in that sense. That’s the reason why I would love to retain something of that explorer vibe that I enjoyed in my childhood library.

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Colin the Crab has many special friends at his home in the river bay. It’s hard to imagine anyone more beautiful than Sally the Starfish or more successful than Eddie the Eel. Ms. Catfish’s antiques are very impressive, and the big newt family is always busy and full of energy.
Just as Colin starts to wonder if his own life is a bit too ordinary, a tidal wave tosses Priscilla the Pearl Oyster into his backyard. Colin’s new friend has something very valuable—something that many others want, including the deceitful Larry the Lobster.

Colin the Crab Finds a Treasure

Colin, the crab, feels like he is an ordinary crab living alone. He has many friends who have many things going on in their lives, such as a family, success, and impressive antique collections. One day something unexpected happens to Colin. A tidal wave tosses Priscilla the pearl oyster into his backyard. Colin takes Priscilla in and helps her recover from the tidal wave, and before long, they become good friends. After Priscilla loses something valuable to her, Colin helps her find it and shows Priscilla that, more than anything, their friendship is the most valuable to him.

Colin the Crab Finds a Treasure by Tuula Pere follows Colin the crab as he lives his life content to be alone while his friends have many things going for them. When Colin starts to wonder if he is content being alone, Priscilla the pearl oyster appears in his backyard. Colin soon learns that friendship means more to him than fancy gadgets. Pere teaches kids to give everyone a chance no matter their status.

Children will be captivated by the colorful images done by illustrator Roksolana Panchyshyn as the pages are filled with detailed underwater scenes. This book is written for readers who are a bit older, kindergarten through fourth grade, as the chapters are longer and the lesson is more complex. Learning what is important in life and what to value is a challenging life lesson. Pere manages to convey this lesson in a manner that children can comprehend and relate to. In addition, this fantastic children’s book shows readers it is ok to express your feelings and be open and kind to others. I can see this book in libraries and classrooms.

Colin the Crab Finds a Treasure is a charming and entertaining book that will teach children the value of friendship and seeing the important things in life.

Pages: 24 | ASIN : B07HY341W6

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