Just read the first two books in Marcie Colleen's debut chapter book series, SUPER HAPPY PARTY BEARS, just launched this week from Imprint/Macmillan. Omigosh, I am in love with these books. Here are just a few reasons:
- So many laugh-aloud moments, for both kids AND adults. What I especially loved: the humor aimed at adults is NOT the "nudge nudge wink wink, we grown-ups know so much more than the kids" type of humor and is also NOT mean. It's just pure fun.
- Not only are these books excellent for those who already read independently, but they'd also be fantastic read-a-louds
- The illustrations by Steve James are SO fun: bright colors, adorable, full of energy.
- The stories are sweet and positive without being cloying. I just want to hug all the characters. Yes, even the grumpy ones. ESPECIALLY the grumpy ones. :-) Marcie conveys a positive message in an original and totally entertaining way.
Check out the first two pages of the first book in GNAWING AROUND (first book in the series), posted with permission:
I still haven't decided which of the woodland creatures I identify with the most...each one of them has some characteristic that makes me think, "Omigosh, that is SO me sometimes." Young readers are bound to identify as well.
You can find more info about the Super Happy Party Bears! series on Marcie's book page.
Marcie Colleen has been a teacher, an actress, and a nanny, but now she spends her days writing children’s books! She lives with her husband and their mischievous sock monkey in San Diego, California. Occasionally, there are even doughnuts.
I met Marcie through the SCBWI, and she is amazing. So enthusiastic, supportive, fun, plus she makes fantastic classroom guides for teachers. I hired Marcie to do the teacher guides for all my books and am super-happy with her work.
Synopsis of the Super Happy Party Bears books:
"To the Super Happy Party Bears, everything is a good thing. Their entire attitude can be summed up in one word: YAY! They love doughnuts, dancing, and above all else—a good party. Not so for the rest of the animals living in the Grumpy Woods. They find the bears terribly annoying."
Thanks to Marcie for answering THREE QUESTIONS:
Q. Could you please take a photo of something in your office and tell us the story behind it?
When I am stuck and not knowing what to write or simply feel like what I do is not important, I try to focus on why I want to write for children.
One particular reminder has a prominent place by my desk.
It is a mud-caked, red LEGO brick.
When Hurricane Sandy ripped through New York City and the surrounding area in 2012 it changed life for many. I was supposed to run the NYC Marathon on November 4, but it was canceled due to the devastation. However, my entire running team chose to travel to Staten Island anyway, not for the start of the marathon, but to help with clean up.
For hours I worked with one family to empty their basement. Their belongings were muddied beyond recognition. Heaps of destroyed toys, holiday decorations, and photographs. It was heartbreaking. My mind swirled with the stories of each item.
Before taking a wheelbarrow-full to the already overflowing piles on the curb, I pocketed this red LEGO brick.
To me it symbolizes the hardships in life that affect us all, even children. Through my books I hope to bring a smile or a giggle to a child’s day. To provide an escape among life's mud. If I can do that, even slightly, I will have done what I set out to do.
Q. What advice do you have for young writers?
I didn’t get where I am by myself and you don’t have to, either. Countless teachers, mentors, family members, and friends helped me and encouraged me along the way. Never be afraid to seek advice or ask questions. It’s how we learn. It’s how we succeed.
Q. What are you excited about right now?
I am excited about strangers reading my books. To think that people I don’t know will be reading my words is both terrifying and exhilarating.
For more interviews, see my Inkygirl Interview Archive.