Special thanks to Christiane Dorion for answering 5 questions about her recently featured book – How Animals Live
I was born in a beautiful part of the world, Quebec City, Canada. From a very young age, I was passionate about the environment and writing books for children has always been my dream. My passion for writing children’s books stems from the thousands of questions I asked as a child, which remained, unanswered. How big is the universe? When did life begin? Why do volcanoes erupt? Why do we build cities around active volcanoes? Why isn’t there water everywhere around the world? Through my books, I aim to inspire and encourage children to explore the complex systems of the world we live in and to take positive actions to protect our planet for future generations. – Adapted from Christiane’s Homepage
Christiane’s Homepage: http://www.christianedorion.com
#1 – What as the impetus of How Animals Live?
The idea came from talking to children in workshops and at different literary festivals. They often ask a lot of questions about animals and the different natural habitats on earth. And when I have asked them what should be the focus of my next book, ‘animals’ is a frequent answer! They have such good ideas!
#2 – Pop-up books continue to be popular with children. What is about pop-up books that allows them to stand the test of time?
I think it is the element of surprise and amazement when they open the book. I love it when I see children discovering the pop-up of the rainforest in my new book. It’s like looking through the forest, as we have hidden birds and animals in the background. It is wonderful to be able to show something in three dimensions and I work with a very talented paper engineer.
#3 – How do you try to fit in the relevant information in this style of book? How do you decide what information to keep in the book?
This is quite challenging! Once we have agreed on the concept for a spread, my designer gives me the maximum word count for each section on the spread. I often have to reduce 20 pages of research into 40 words! I try to think of what would be interesting and inspiring from a child’s point of view. And I always try to explain things in terms of systems and to make links that are
not so obvious. I also like to include fun facts such as where the secretary bird gets its name from or how the porcupine fish inflates itself into a prickly balloon to look fierce.
#4 – Have you received feedback about your book from children? From parents?
Talking to children in workshops and at different events is one of the best things about being a writer. They are very open and honest and are always happy to give you feedback on your work. So far the feedback has been very positive!
#5 – Are you working on any new books/projects you can tell us about?
I am now working on a new series for younger children – watch this space!
[Image Credit: https://royalsociety.org/~/media/Royal_Society_Content/awards/medals-awards-prizes/junior-books-medal/Christiane%20Dorion%20for%20website.jpg ]