Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Q&A with Quinn Cole

Quinn Cole, the author of Alphabet Puke, answered some questions for me. See below...

How did the name, Alphabet Puke come about?

The working title for the book was G is for Germs and when it was completed I wanted something more memorable. I thought G is for Germs was dull and didn’t portray the monsters’ silliness and their medical adventures. I texted my daughter with a couple of title alternates and asked for ideas. She sent back Alphabet Puke. She said it made her think of alphabet soup with a twist. The publisher loved it and we added the Monsters’ Medicine A-Z subtitle for added description. It was an instant hit with children.


What are your hopes for Alphabet Puke?

I imagined creating a story that lessened the stress of illness and medical treatment for children. At first, I pictured robots as the main characters. I love robots. Then I realized that monsters would serve the story better. Monsters are often seen as big and scary by children. I wondered what would scare a monster.

Would they be scared of shots or getting a nosebleed? What would a monster do if he got laryngitis and lost his voice? Did monsters get hiccups or diabetes?


Is there some reason why you went with an A-Z format for the book?

When I first started listing the various medical problems children have, I soon realized that I would either have to write a lot about one topic, say allergies, or write a little about a variety of topics. I tried to imagine what one of my four children might want to read if ill with a cold or during a hospital stay. Short and distinct rhyming text, as well as, a format that lent itself to being picked up and put down many times seemed like it would probably hold the attention of a sick child much better than an in-depth story. I know when I’m ill I want something fun and light. I chose the A-Z format to allow for the greatest number of medical descriptions in the text and allow for more illustration opportunities.

Alphabet Puke was created to entertain children during scary or confusing health problems and treatments. 

Thank you, Ms. Cole for sharing with us about your picture book!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Alphabet Puke--Monsters' Medicine A-Z by Quinn Cole

I usually recommend books for older readers, but I'm recommending a picture book this month. This is a link to the book trailer. It's a treat and it says it all...


A quote from the press release: "Even those who quake at the mention of 'medicine' will eagerly follow these friends' adventures as they discover how hiccups happen, fevers flare, warts grow, and more! Alphabet Puke is Monsters Inc meets Dougie Houser, M.D."
This book is unique, fun, and for sale Monday! I recommend it to all kids, both young and old.

List of Recommended Books:
Picture books
Alphabet Puke—Monsters’ Medicine A-Z by Quinn Cole
2nd grade –
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Miss Holly Is Too Jolly by Dan Gutman
Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
Time Warp Trio #1: Knights of the Kitchen Table by Jon Scieszka
Time Warp Trio #2: The Not-So-Jolly Roger by Jon Scieszka
3rd grade –
The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Among the Impostors by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater

4th grade –
Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry
Louisiana's Song by Kerry Madden
The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan
The Golly Whopper Games by Jody Feldman
5th grade –
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
Benjamin Pratt & The Keeper of the School by Andrew Clements
Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park

6th grade –
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
The Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman
Dewey, by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter
The Wanderer by Sharon Creech
The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg
The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare
7th grade and up –
Holes by Louis Sachar
The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byers
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
Pendragon Book One: The Merchant of Death by D.J. MacHale
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
The Seventeen Second Miracle, by Jason F. Wright