Enjoy some light relief with this wonderful interview with the multi-talented author-educator, Sharon Giltrow! Let’s discover how Sharon was inspired to write the motivational, hilarious how-to guide in navigating the morning mayhem – Get Ready, Mama! Thanks, Sharon! 🙂
Sharon, congratulations on the release of your adorably hilarious picture book, Get Ready, Mama!
Can you briefly tell us how this story came about?
After signing my first picture book contract BEDTIME, DADDY! I wanted to write another ‘how to’ book. I wanted the next one to be about a mum. I thought what is the opposite of going to bed… waking up and getting ready for the day. Also, BEDTIME, DADDY! was inspired by my son going to bed and GET READY, MAMA! is inspired by my daughter getting ready for the day.
The book is perfectly aimed at reluctant risers, with a highly amusing twist on the morning routine and a sweet inclusion of a mother-daughter bond. What other ideas did you aim to elicit to readers through your story?
Empathy! How it feels to be in someone else’s shoes. GET READY, MAMA! is a story that children and parents can relate to, they can put themselves and their parents into the story. It is a great story to discuss how each of the characters are feeling as they are getting ready for the day. Humour! I also wanted the story to be funny and give parents a bit of light relief to what can sometimes be a stressful part of their day.
Have you ever been the mum in Get Ready, Mama!? Do you have a funny ‘morning routine’ moment to share?
I am actually an earlyish bird. So, I don’t have any trouble waking up in the morning. My difficulty is usually staying awake at night. I fall asleep on the couch really easily. My family jokes that as soon as get horizontal I fall asleep. I can even sleep sitting up. I think sleeping is actually one of my super powers.
Arielle Li’s illustrations are gloriously energetic yet beautifully soothing with the use of warm tones in her colour palette. I love that she considers both the urgency of the girl and the opposite from her mum! What do you like about the way she has portrayed your story? Did you collaborate throughout the process?
Arielle has done an amazing job of illustrating GET READY, MAMA! and every time I read it, I appreciate her illustrative style and abilities more and more. I especially love the characters facial expressions; the story can be told by just looking at them. Arielle has also nailed the humorous beats of the story in what she chose to illustrate.
EK Books encouraged Arielle and I to collaborate right from the beginning of the publishing process, which was amazing. From choosing who the characters would be, human or guinea pigs, to the storyboard and the front cover. Arielle and EK were very accepting of any changes I wanted to make to the illustrations. It was definitely a team effort.
Get Ready, Mama! is the second picture book in this fun series, following the success of Bedtime, Daddy! Tell us a bit about your publication journey, and what’s still to come.
I wrote BEDTIME, DADDY! in 2017, signed the contract with EK Books in 2018, and it released May 2020. I wrote GET READY, MAMA! in 2018, signed the contract with EK Books in 2020 and it will be released April 2022. Almost two years after BEDTIME, DADDY! In the meantime, I worked on many other picture books and branched out into writing middle grade.
What has been the most rewarding part of writing and/or publishing this story?
Sharing GET READY, MAMA! publication journey with my students. I was able to share the words, then the storyboard and the cover with them and just recently I read the completed book to them. They have also enjoyed the activities that we made to go with GET READY, MAMA! especially the colouring in pages and the fold up book. All of which can be found in the detailed teaching notes on EK Books website.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Daily life. Many of my ideas come from being a parent and a teacher and interacting with children.
What’s next for you? Any projects you’re currently working on?
I currently have two more picture books that are in different stages of their publishing journey. They are both ‘how to’ books, one about a grandma and the other about a grandpa. But I don’t want to give too much away. I am also working on my early middle grade series about a mysterious gift that a group of eleven-year-olds are given. Book one SAMARA RUBIN AND THE UTILITY BELT will be released this year, book two hopefully next year and I am currently writing book three.
Thanks so much for answering our questions, Sharon! 😊
Visit Sharon at her website Author | Sharon Giltrow (sharongiltrowauthor.com)
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GET READY, MAMA! is available for purchase through: EK Books
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