The Children’s Book Review
Carmen Gloria has such an awesome and interesting background. She was a Sergeant in the U.S. Army, now a veteran, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Government and International Politics from George Mason University. She was born in The Bronx, New York, and moved to Puerto Rico at the age of ten. She is a member of SCBWI and is a writer, artist, award-winning actress, (experimental) short film writer/director, and even co-wrote two songs in the Billboard Dance and U.K. Pop charts (Emergency & Overload, as Carmen Perez). After moving to Norway in 2017, she decided to focus on creating art and writing/illustrating children’s books. She started with the Kid Astronomy Series, inspired by her love of space, and her mission to motivate kids to learn and empower them. The first book, “Thank You, Mercury,” made the Best New Space Books 2019 list by Book Authority. Here we discuss her latest book, The Moon Show.
The Moon Show is the latest addition to your Kid Astronomy series. It’s an entertaining picture book that introduces the moons from our solar system to young readers ages four and up. Will you share with us what inspired you to write it?
Thank you! I had different topic ideas for the third book in the Kid Astronomy series, and when I searched for the moons in our solar system to see how many books were out there about the moons, I discovered there weren’t any! So this is the first children’s book that introduces moons from our solar system besides our Moon. I was pretty excited about that.
Which five words do you feel best describe The Moon Show?
Discover moons in our solar system.
Your writing is inviting, thanks to your engaging and conversational style. What prompted you to take this conversational approach?
I wanted science and learning about astronomy to feel fun and engaging to kids, and not boring. I believe space and astronomy have their own little area in science that is magical and filled with wonder, that if taught a certain way, might get kids interested.
What has been the best reaction from a reader so far?
The best reaction has been that many people didn’t realize there were that many moons in our solar system (around 170). How much fun they had learning with this book is a bonus.
You have also managed to fill the pages with an impactful positive message using uplifting lines. What do you hope young readers and their parents will take away from reading your book?
I hope that both young readers and parents become interested in learning science, in particular space and astronomy, to inspire them to pursue their dreams and happiness, and empower them to believe in themselves into realizing their potential for the future. After my parents divorced at the age of 10, we moved to Puerto Rico; we were poor and on government assistance. There weren’t many opportunities, inspiration, or access to be motivated. My wish is that my books can inspire and motivate kids to think outside the box and maybe create their own dream jobs, no matter what their circumstances are. According to the World Economic Forum, 65% of children will end up working in positions that don’t even exist yet. Additionally, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) jobs are growing at a faster pace than non-STEM jobs. So I try blending learning astronomy with these positive messages into my stories in various ways, to make an impact.
Why do you think there can never be enough kids’ books about space and astronomy?
There is always new data being discovered in science, more moons and planets, and at some point, we’ll be traveling to the Moon, to other planets, and even outside our solar system. I think the more books are out there about space and astronomy, the better! Again, starting kids wondering about what’s beyond our planet can lead to amazing new ideas.
Since you created all of the artwork for the book, what is your artistic process?
I start off retrieving references since the planets and moons have to look like the images that NASA or other space agencies have captured. I research their facts and begin to draw rough illustrations with pencil and paper. I keep drawing until they ‘feel’ right. The final pencil illustration is then uploaded and finished digitally with Photoshop—I’m currently learning to use the Wacom tablet.
Which illustration do you consider to be your favorite piece of artwork from the book? Why?
I think the “moons waiting room” is super fun with their different personalities while waiting to be officially named as moons by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).
If you could share one piece of advice on writing books, what would it be?
Read a lot, re-write, and keep brainstorming on what could be the best ideas. For astronomy, research is essential as I have to make sure the facts are correct.
Can you tell us one more thing we may not know about The Moon Show, your writing style, or yourself?
The Moon Show was originally going to be about only the Moon. While doing my research, I found there were many books written about the Moon and none about the other moons in our solar system. I found this gap in the kid astronomy book market and I decided to explore that. I brainstormed for months and months with different ideas on how to introduce the moons in a fun way for kids. Eventually, I thought a “live show” format could work, and that’s how The Moon Show was born. Who better than The Moon to introduce the other moons! I was extremely nervous as a new children’s book author and illustrator tapping into a subject no one had before, but I got through it.
Written and Illustrated by Carmen Gloria
Publisher’s Synopsis: This is the very first children’s book that teaches kids about the moons to other planets in our solar system! Take a tour of our solar system with The Moon and meet his other moon friends on THE MOON SHOW. It also includes fun and positive messages for kids! Did you know that there are many other moons in our solar system besides our Moon? Perfect book for budding astronomy and space lovers! The first book in this Kid Astronomy series, Thank You Mercury!, is in the Best New Space Books 2019 list by Books Authority!
Ages 4+ | Uncommon Grammar | November 26, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1950767076
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This interview is a sponsored* interview Carmen Gloria Discusses The Moon Show is a sponsored* article.