An interview with Bianca Schulze, author of Who Loves the Dragon?
The Children’s Book Review
Bianca Schulze is the author of Don’t Wake the Dragon and Who Loves the Dragon?, as well as the founder and editor of The Children’s Books Review —a resource devoted to children’s literature and literacy. Bianca is also the bestselling author of 101 Books to Read Before You Grow Up. She is a reader, reviewer, mother, and children’s book lover. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, Bianca now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.
In this speed interview, we discuss her latest picture book, Who Loves the Dragon?, and the amazing benefits of reading interactive books with young readers!
The Children’s Book Review: Which five words best describe Who Loves the Dragon?
Bianca Schulze: Loving, Caring, Cheerful, Friendly, and Fun!
Can you share a highlight from the book? Or maybe your thoughts on, or an excerpt of, your favorite sentence, paragraph, or page?
Yes! Pages 16 and 17 are my favorite. Dragon’s heart is feeling heavy and readers get the chance to show compassion and empathy by placing their hand on their heart and sharing kind, powerful words. We learn that even when we’re having a bad day we are still wonderful people. I absolutely adore the sweet and simple illustration that Samara Hardy created for page 17!
What has been the most rewarding reaction from a reader, so far?
At the time of this interview, Who Loves the Dragon? has not released yet, but reading it with my six-year-old (the target age range is two through six) and seeing him engage with the story filled my bucket all the way to the top! And a bunch of super kind book reviewers have had a lot of really lovely things to say about it so far—for this I am very grateful!
Please share your thoughts on why you feel interactive books, like Who Loves the Dragon?, are great additions to a child’s home library.
There are so many reasons to love interactive books! First of all, they are usually super fun and engaging. They take storytime to the next level and make it easy for young readers to connect to the storyline and also their grown-ups who read with them. There is a lot of evidence that shows kids who read for pleasure read more often—kids who read more often succeed at school and out in the world. Interactive books are also a fantastic alternative to screen-time because they offer a high engagement level for kids who like to keep busy. I could keep going, but I’ll stop at this: Interactive books form a positive connection with turning pages and the book itself which can only help foster a love of reading.
For your writing energy: sugar or salt, tea or coffee?
All of the above!
Writing tools: computer, pen and paper, or all of the above?
Ha! All of the above. Note-taking usually starts on my smartphone and then I move to the computer. Once I have the manuscript in a place I’m happy with, I print it out and take to it with a pen. Then it’s back to the computer for final edits.
What’s on your nightstand? Any books?
Yes! Always books, audiobooks on my smartphone, a lavender-scented eye pillow, some lavender balm, and a water bottle. You may be wondering which books are on my nightstand? The stack on my nightstand is typically made up of adult literature that I hope to read someday or finish someday when I’m not busy reading kidlit for The Children’s Book Review. The current stack is Tartine Bread, Dr. Edith Eva Eger’s The Gift, Undo It! by Dr. Dean Ornish and Anne Ornish, and the book I’m currently reading with my nine-year-old is Nevermoor: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend (I’m obsessed with this series!).
Can you tell us something that even your most loyal fans may not know about you?
Hmmm… I’m pretty forthcoming… if anyone has anything they’d like to ask me they can drop a question in the comments below and I’ll answer it.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Here’s something exciting: Be on the watch for a third story starring our dragon later this year! I hope to be able to share more about this upcoming book soon. In the meantime, I hope that young readers will feel as loved as dragon does when they get done reading Who Loves the Dragon?!
Publisher’s Synopsis: In this interactive follow-up to Don’t Wake the Dragon, our beloved Dragon is wide-awake and preparing to celebrate one of the kingdom’s most important events of the year: the annual Friendship Festival! It’s a time for everyone to gather and have fun, all honoring their meaningful friendships. But on the day of the feast, the cooks are called away to cater to the Queen and the knights must report for special duty in the Enchanted Forest. With everyone gone, Dragon is upset and worried that this year’s Friendship Festival is doomed. Could they be planning something special for her? And in the meantime, can you help cheer her up? With colorful and humorous illustrations throughout, this read-aloud picture book encourages kids to interact with the text on every page. Young readers will love waving to characters, blowing kisses, dancing, and more on this fun ride alongside Dragon and her adorable friends in this delightful story that will beg to be read again and again.
Buy the Book
This speed interview with Bianca Schulze, author of Who Loves the Dragon?, was conducted by a TCBR contributor. For similar books and articles, follow along with our content tagged with Bianca Schulze, Dragons, Friendship, Interactive Books, Love, Picture Book, Samara Hardy, and Valentine’s Day Books. Be sure to follow along with our Speed Interview series, too.