Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
No rest for the weary rhymers!!!
TOP 10 List
by Corey Rosen Schwartz
Illustrated by Deborah Marcero
Many thanks to 2017 Best in Rhyme Committee Member
Gayle C. Krause for interviewing Corey Rosen Schwartz
about her fabulous new book TWINDERELLA.
DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE!
DOUBLE THE PUN!
TWO CINDERELLAS ARE TWICE AS MUCH FUN!
If you are a pre-school teacher or director of an early childhood education program, like I was in my previous career, you’ll love Corey Rosen Scwartz’s Twinderella, as much as I do. In fact, even high school math teachers can use Twinderella as a quirky, unique teaching tool. But I’m not speaking solely as a teacher, though I always read a picture book with an eye for the ‘teaching moment.’ Parents can invest themselves in the two-for-one story too—a bedtime tale about a well-loved character and a lesson in pre-math skills.
WIN! WIN! TWIN! TWIN-DERELLA!
Now, let’s discover a bit about Corey’s writing process.
GAYLE: How long have you been writing?
COREY: I’ve been writing picture books since 2001. I had heard that it takes seven years on average to make your first sale. I was lucky to get plucked from the slush in less than two. Needless to say, I was very pleased with myself. Then… it took six and half years before I sold another manuscript! Serves me right for being cocky. Ha!
GAYLE: How long does it take you to write a rhyming picture book? How many revisions?
COREY: As all rhymers know, it can takes a LOT of work to get the rhyme and meter just right. Once I have an idea I love, I usually get a first draft down in a couple of weeks. It is really important to get the story right first. So I revise with an eye toward plot structure. Does it have enough tension? A satisfactory ending, etc. Once, I feel confident that the story arc is totally working, that is when I focus on tweaking the rhyme and meter. All in all, it generally takes about four or five months and roughly 25-30 drafts.
GAYLE: Where do you get your ideas?
COREY: I get nearly all of my ideas from my kids! They were constantly providing me with material when they were little. Now that they are both in middle school, I am having a tough time. I can no longer rely on them to say things like “Mommy, come quick. Josh is in the oven!”
Grandkids cannot come soon enough!
GAYLE: How many rhyming picture books have you written?
COREY: Maybe a better question is how many non-rhyming pictures have I written? Uh, none. Ha! That is not totally true. I have three or four manuscripts that I have attempted to write in prose, but I’m embarrassed to even show them to my agent. Rhyme is what I do best. My stories are not character-driven or plot-driven. They are language-driven. I’ve sold eight rhyming picture books and I have about a dozen others that are polished, but have not yet found a publisher.
GAYLE: How did you find the inspiration for Twinderella?
COREY: Every year, I participate in what is now called Storystorm. It is Tara Lazar’s challenge to come up with 30 PB ideas in 30 days. In 2009, I came up with dozens of Goldilocks variations. Two of the ideas were as follows:
- Goldilocks has a surprise twin sister? (Brownilocks? Tawnylocks?)
- Goldilocks and the Three and a Half Bears- use fairy tales to teach fractions
Neither idea went anywhere, but they both kept nagging at me. Then during Storystorm 2010, it suddenly hit me. There was a perfect way to combine the two.
TWINDERELLA: A FRACTIONED FAIRY TALE
GAYLE: Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
COREY: Yes. I actually see myself in Twinderella. Math was always my favorite subject in school. Like Tinderella, I see math as a fun, challenging puzzle to be solved. I love how logical it is. I was even a math teacher for a while and in my first draft of Twinderella, Tin wound up teaching math too!
From Kirkus Reviews:
Touting itself as a “fractioned fairy tale,” (LOVE THIS PITCH!) however, this take on “Cinderella” proclaims that readers familiar only with the original story “don’t know the half of it!” Breezy, pun-filled rhymes introduce Cinderella’s twin, Twinderella, who uses math to divide their wicked stepmother’s chore list in half.
Congratulations Corey on TWINDERELLA
and making the 2017 Best in Rhyme Top 10 List!
Buy it HERE
Watch for the live, streaming
2017 Best in Rhyme Award Announcement
on February 4th at 7:00 pm ET
from the KidLitTV Studio in New York City.