Kakie Fitzsimmons and JoAnne Pastel, along with their illustrators, Lindsay VanDeWeghe and Christopher Bohnet, have written a delightful, and much needed collection of children’s books. Here’s a recent interview I had with the team from Farmer’s Hat Productions™
A.B. While I receive many books from publishers, your packaging really caught my attention. Whose idea was it to include the hay? We knew we wanted to present these books in a way that would grab the recipient’s attention. We chose to use a black box to stand out from the white and cardboard color boxes [another cool idea] that most people send out. We also chose the “hay” because it seemed to perfectly fill our box and add a fun, kid like feel to the presentation. We have had many positive comments about the presentation of the media kits!
Just so you know, my kids had a ball throwing it around.
A.B. Once the hay show ended, my daughter immediately grabbed your Bur Bur and Friends books, and would not put them down. My daughter is not an avid reader, so as a parent, it was great to see her enthralled in your books. Do you hear testimonies like this often?
Yes, kids are drawn to the books. Not only do the colorful, vivid illustrations capture the eyes of young children…our stories capture their attention because they allow the reader to feel like they are part of the adventure that Bur Bur is experiencing. One of our neighbors has the books and their son likes to pretend he is Bur Bur by striking some of the poses seen in the books. There is also another story of a little boy who is seven, who every night for the past few months, before bed, says to his three younger siblings, “It’s Bur Bur time!” As a family, they read a Bur Bur book before sleep.
A.B. As a mother of biracial children, I often wonder if my kids will see themselves differently. Occasionally they will ask why their skin color differs from mine, so how do your books address concerns like this?
As our world continues to mesh together, people are starting to demand products that look like them and their children. Within our books, it is not stated that Bur Bur is bi-racial. We allow people to decide what nationality or race they want him to be. Our characters intentionally reflect many different skin tones. That is part of what makes our books unique. We hope when parents and children pick up current and future books we publish, they see pieces of themselves. We have put extensive thought behind the selection of each of our characters. Currently there are seven characters in our Bur Bur and Friends series, and all of them will be incorporated in our fifth book. We also plan to add more unique characters into the series in the future.