HomeBooks by AgeAges 0-3My Writing And Reading Life: Jonathan London, Author of Duck and Hippo in the Rainstorm
My Writing And Reading Life- Jonathan London, Author of Duck and Hippo in the Rainstorm

My Writing And Reading Life: Jonathan London, Author of Duck and Hippo in the Rainstorm

The Children’s Book Review | March 6, 2017

Jonathon London

Jonathon London

Jonathan London is the author of more than one hundred children’s books, including the bestselling Froggy series, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz. Many of his books explore nature, among them Flamingo Sunset, illustrated by Kristina Rodanas, and Little Penguin: The Emperor of Antarctica, illustrated by Julie Olson. He is currently writing a middle-grade series, which started with Desolation Canyon, illustrated by his son Sean London. Jonathan lives in Graton, California.

I write because …

I write because I’m a reader: I love to read and I love to write. I started writing poems in college, then short stories for adults, and didn’t think of writing for kids until I had kids of my own—in my late 30’s! It started with me telling them stories when my two sons, Aaron and Sean, were very young. They would laugh and ask me to tell it again. This gave me the idea: I should write kids books!

I read because …

When I have free quiet time I like to curl up with a book. I mostly read kids books and adult novels, (sometimes poetry, too). Good books invite me into new worlds—if even just for a moment. I read every day and every chance I get.

My latest published book is …

I am prolific and have written a lot of children’s books. DUCK AND HIPPO IN THE RAINSTORM just came out! And later this fall, DUCK AND HIPPO LOST AND FOUND will come out. Last year I published FROGGY GOES TO THE LIBRARY, which will be followed by FROGGY GOES TO GRANDMA’S in April. I also write wildlife books and my next one is PUP THE SEA OTTER, illustrated by my son Sean London, due in early April. (He also illustrated my middle grade novel GRIZZLY PEAK, just out.) Like I said, I love to write!

I wrote this book because …

I wrote DUCK AND HIPPO IN THE RAINSTORM—which is the first book in a new series—because I like to make kids laugh. I think humor in a book draws young children into reading. Who doesn’t like to laugh?

I thought of Duck and Hippo because I was drawn to the idea that opposite-type characters can be drawn to each other. Duck is small and Hippo is huge. Duck, however, is the adventurous one, while Hippo is more careful. This is a book—and series—about friendship and cooperation. How are both Duck and Hippo going to fit under one umbrella in the rainstorm?


Illustration copyright © 2017 Andrew Joyner


Best moment …

I think there are several “best moments” in this book. Each time Duck and Hippo figure out how to cooperate on their adventure in the rainstorm, it’s funny—and it also reveals how much they care about each other.

My special place to write is …

When it’s not raining outside, my special place to write is out on my back deck, overlooking our yard—where we play badminton—and our garden. When it’s too cold or wet out, I write at my desk in my writing room—which doubles sometimes as a guest room.

Necessary writing/creativity tool …

All you really need to write with is a pencil or pen. For years I wrote my stories first by hand. Now I like to work with a laptop, which I can move around with me. I usually write down an idea very quickly, then go back and work on a story to make it better. I write and I write until I get it right. In other words, I revise a lot—but not until I first get the story down.

The person who has been my greatest writing teacher or inspiration is …

My greatest inspiration is my wife, Maureen, and my sons Aaron and Sean. Maureen is always telling me, “Hey! Here’s a good idea for a book!” And she’ll often give me a good idea for a title, as well. My sons, when they were young, were inspirations just by their actions. Like Duck and Hippo (and Froggy), they made mistakes, which were often funny, but they didn’t give up until they got it right.

Currently reading …

I’m always reading and right now I’m reading a mystery by Michael Connelly. He knows how to move a story forward quickly. I also read more “literary” books, including the classics, but I always find great pleasure in reading children’s picture books and chapter books and novels. I go almost every day to the local library and bookstore, and head right for the kids book section and browse through the new books as they come in

Favorite bookshop …

My favorite all time bookshop is probably Hicklebee’s in San Jose, California. Valerie and Monica Lewis were the first booksellers ever to invite me to their bookstore to read and sign books—starting back in 1992 with THIRTEEN MOONS ON TURTLE’S BACK (with Joe Bruchac) and FROGGY GETS DRESSED. I’m also fond of my local chain of bookstores, Copperfield’s, which has a branch near where I live in Sonoma County, California.

All-time favorite children’s book I didn’t write…

My favorite picture book of all time is probably WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, by Maurice Sendak. But my favorite writer and illustrator over the last few years is Mo Willems.

A literary character I would like to vacation with …

I wouldn’t mind vacationing with Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie sometime. But if they weren’t free, well, I think I’d like to go on a trip with…Duck and Hippo! How fun is that? (Read and find out!)

When I am not reading or writing I am …

When I’m not writing I’m often swimming. I write and lap-swim daily. I also take long walks with my wife and dog, Toto, at the beach or in the hills almost every day. And every year we go on at least one long trip: next one will be a walking trip along the coast of Cornwall and western Ireland. And when I’m not swimming or walking—I’m usually reading a good book! Yay!


Learn more online at www.jonathan-london.net

Duck and Hippo in the RainstormDuck And Hippo In The Rainstorm

Written by Jonathan London

Illustrated by Andrew Joyner

Publisher’s Synopsis: Get ready for a rainy-day adventure with Duck and Hippo!

Duck and Hippo may be completely different, but they are best friends. When playful Duck invites careful Hippo to go for a walk in the rain, they have trouble sharing Duck’s umbrella. But Duck and Hippo won’t let that stop them. Soon they are puddle-jumping and sailing down the river! Until…WHOOOSH! A terrible wind sends the umbrella flying up, up, up into the air, with one friend holding on. What will Duck and Hippo do now? Jonathan London’s charming text and Andrew Joyner’s delightful art bring to life two lovable friends in this fun new series.

Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Two Lions | March 1, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1503937239

Available Here: 

Discover more books likeDuck and Hippo in the Rainstorm, written by Jonathan London and illustrated by Andrew Joyner, by checking out our reviews and articles tagged with , and ; plus, be sure to follow along with our Writing and Reading Life series.

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