This week's author interview is with Marie Hernandez. All Dogs Don't Bite is a fantastic children's book centred around a dog lover's bad experience with an unfriendly dog and the lessons he learns to take back his confidence. Marie shares helpful dog safety tips that are relevant for all children growing up around dogs. Read on to learn more about her first book.
Tell us about your book?
My book, All Dogs Don’t Bite, is loosely based on events that happened in our family. It follows the journey of a young boy who has a connection to every dog he meets. One day, however, he meets a dog, that quite unexpectedly, is not as friendly as the ones he has met in the past. He’s bitten and suddenly becomes fearful of all dogs. The story follows his journey of healing with the help of his family and friends and a loveable puppy named Maggie. In the end, he uses what he has learned and finds the confidence to pay it forward when his friend finds himself in a similar situation.
Why did you want to write this story?
I wanted to write this story for many reasons. Even though I am an avid dog lover now, I grew up in a home where dogs were feared. My family also experienced a negative incident with a dog. I thought it important to educate my children on the statistics about dog bites, who it affects and how to prevent them and others from injury. That’s why I told JT’s story and why I list several helpful safety tips for parents to discuss with their children at the end of my book.
What’s been the best reaction from a reader so far?
Many readers find the title interesting; it seems to pique their interest. But most of the comments I receive from readers are how much they love the dog safety tips at the end of the story.
Where do you find your inspiration?
This being my first book, I found inspiration in the event our family experienced, how we dealt with it and what we learned from it.
What’s the most fun part of being an author?
Being an Indie author for the first time was a huge learning experience. I really enjoyed digging into all the aspects of writing, publishing, editing, illustrations, marketing and more. I liked having full control over how I wanted the story presented, how I wanted the illustrations to look and the audience I wanted to appeal to. When I had the actual book in my hand, well, that was amazing!
What’s your tip for parents to encourage reading or a fun book or reading related activity parents can do with their kids?
I think setting up a regular routine with your child and providing books that suit their interests. We made it a habit to read to our children every night after bath. Even when they couldn’t yet read, we would often have them look at each page and tell us the story that they were seeing through the illustrations.
What’s your favorite children’s book of all time and why?
I absolutely love Judy Blume’s ‘The Pain and The Great One.’ I found this book to be completely relatable since I had two children of similar age and gender as the characters in the book. I would have great fun reading this tale of sibling rivalry to my own pain and great one with each of my children willingly pointing out the faults and annoyances of the other. By the end of the story, we would end up laughing out loud at the silliness and similarities between my children and the characters.
All Dogs Don’t Bite is author Marie Hernandez’s first book. The story is loosely based on events that happened in her own family. Marie is the mother of two grown children and Mimi to her two young grandsons. She spent six rewarding years as a Girl Scout leader, as well as four amazing years as ‘band mom’ to her son’s ska band, lending the family basement for use as a practice space.
Happily retired after working for more than two decades in women’s health, Marie enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, listening to 70’s music, traveling, and of course, walking her Rescue dog Tessa.
Marie is thrilled to be working on her first book with illustrator Stephanie Weinger. Stephanie’s creativity, enthusiasm, and love of animals has helped bring this project to life.
You can buy All Dogs Don't Bite here
Find more about Marie and her book on her website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, SCBWI and IAN
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Nice interview! I just read this book by Marie Hernandez to my ESL students and they loved it. They made great connections to dog experiences of their own, and the book sparked great conversation.