Interview sponsored by Lauren Palermo
The Children’s Book Review | August 26, 20
The Children’s Book Review: Clicky Jules: Love is All Around is a picture book about a creative and imaginative girl and her adventures with a shiny new camera. Please tell us more about the book and what you feel makes it unique.
Lauren Palermo: Clicky Jules is a story about a girl named Jules who is gifted a camera for her birthday and has to figure out what to take pictures of. Throughout her “picture-taking adventure,” Jules starts to see hearts everywhere – in rocks, leaves, food, even trash! She decides to take photographs of all the hearts she comes across. Jules’s journey is meant to show children the possibility of what they can do with a camera, and to also notice the beauty in everyday things.
If you were to define the ultimate reader for Clicky Jules: Love is All Around, who would it be?
Really – anyone! Seeing the world through the eyes of a child: the wonderment, openness and magical perspective that only a child has, is truly a gift that I have been blessed to experience through my own children. It is something I cherish that I strive to do every day.
Anyone and everyone can glean something from this book. It is a reminder to stop and seeing the beauty all around you. Once you begin to notice the love and beauty that is everywhere, the more it will find you!
What was the original inspiration for this book? Did the idea stem from your belief that all children are artists and should be given every opportunity to cultivate their gifts?
The inspiration for the story came to me three years ago when my daughter was born. I would see hearts everywhere, in shadows, swirled in paint, in clouds across the sky, you name it. I would point them out to my kids each time and we would photograph them. Before long they were the ones finding the hearts and it became a part of their daily routine. It became their mindset. Watching them observe the love in everything they see has been such a heart-warming experience, especially as a mother. Before long we had collected hundreds of photos of heart-shaped objects.
I always knew that I wanted to write a children’s book and one day I was scrolling through all the photos and the idea for the book just hit me.
All of the hearts featured in the book really happened and are actual photographs that I took.
The illustrations add a lot of personality and charm. Can you talk a little bit about the process of collaborating with the illustrator?
I had the honor of working with the extremely talented and kind artist Adam Walker-Parker. His stunning illustrations brought my words to life and I could not be more grateful!
I have to say the entire experience was truly amazing and so rewarding. I had very definite ideas going in of what I wanted the illustrations to look like. Probably because the story was so personal and included my husband and kids, I had a very clear vision.
I was looking for a very specific feel, although I wasn’t exactly sure what that was! I have to say that as particular as I was, I was really looking for someone to guide me with their creativity. It was really important for me to express my thoughts, but I wanted a true collaboration with someone who had a very clear creative vision and understanding of what I was trying to convey to the reader.
I reviewed portfolios of about a dozen very talented and accomplished illustrators in the field. I selected 5 of them to compile a test sketch of Jules, the main character. While they were all great in their own unique way, they just didn’t feel like the right fit. My editor sent me one more illustrator, Adam. When I received his sketch of Jules I was completely flooded with emotion. I instantly began to cry and said to my husband, this is it, he’s the one! Upon my first correspondence with Adam I just knew that he understood my story and completely believed in it. After that, it was pure magic. He took my words and created the most vivid, beautiful depictions I had ever seen. He somehow managed to capture the essence, the pureness and the emotion of my children and my story. I was blown away. We worked really well together and I really valued his opinion and enjoyed seeing his take on the story. I hope we can work on another Clicky Jules adventure in the future.
What has been the best response you have received from a reader of Clicky Jules: Love is All Around, so far?
I have been blessed with so much beautiful feedback from my readers. What started as a fun activity with my kids has grown into something bigger than I ever could have imagined! My favorites are the photos of hearts that are sent to me (I started an Instagram page, Clicky Jules). It feels so good to know that kids are looking for the love all around them, that it is on their mind. That is my goal plain and simple – to spread the love and to tell kids that if you look for hearts, the hearts will surely find you.
We know that you are a lover of photography, books, and all things art; and you are a former teacher and you hold a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. At what point in your career did you decide it was time to write a book for children?
As a child, I was always creative, drawing and writing whenever I could. I loved to read. I always had my nose in a book and would read anything I could get my hands on. It was really important for me to convey my love of reading to my children. My house is covered in books and they play such a major role in how my family interacts and how my children learn.
I always knew that I wanted to write a book, but I didn’t know how to make it happen. To be honest, I wasn’t sure publishing a book was a possibility for me.
My kids were my motivation. I wanted to show them it was possible. I wanted to show them that they could do anything they put their mind to. I wanted to create something that they could be proud of. Being able to write a book and share it with my children and the world is a dream come true and such an incredible honor. I am truly grateful for this opportunity.
Do you have plans to write more books about Jules and her camera?
I set “Clicky Jules” up for the possibility of future adventures. Maybe I will send her on vacation to learn all about a new place, or potentially a board book for younger readers featuring the alphabet or colors.
There is nothing quite like “Clicky Jules” on the market. It is a fiction story that not only takes readers on the main characters’ journey, but it is also an educational book that teaches children how to use a camera and explore their creativity.
Clicky Jules: Love is All Around
Written by Lauren Palermo
Illustrated by Adam Walker-Parker
Publisher’s Synopsis: Jules is a creative and imaginative girl with a shiny, new camera! Follow Jules on her picture-taking adventure and discover what surprises she finds along the way!
Ages 4-9 | Publisher: Mascot Books | 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-1631774287
Add this book to your collection: Clicky Jules: Love is All Around
About the Author
Lauren Palermo is a lover of photography, books, and all things art. She is a former teacher and holds a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. She loves to create—crafts, paintings, images, anything! Her greatest creation is her two children, Aiden and Juliet. Lauren is a believer that all children are artists and should be given every opportunity to cultivate their gifts. She is happiest while watching her kids explore the world, camera in hand.
Lauren and her family reside in Long Valley, New Jersey. To learn more about Lauren please visit her website at www.laurenpalermo.com.
For more information about Clicky Jules: Love is All Around, please email lauren [at] laurenpalermo [dot] com.
The Author Showcase is a place for authors and illustrators to gain visibility for their works. This interview with Lauren Palermo about Clicky Jules: Love is All Around was sponsored by Lauren Palermo. Discover more great writing and illustrating artists in our Showcase. You can also learn more about marketing books and finding an Author Showcase book marketing plan that is right for you here …
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