HomeBooks by AgeAges 4-8Carolyn Lunn and Ashley Rades Discuss Tomas and the Galapagos Adventure
Carolyn Lunn Discusses Tomas and the Galapagos Adventure

Carolyn Lunn and Ashley Rades Discuss Tomas and the Galapagos Adventure

Author Showcase

Interview sponsored by Amberjack Publishing
The Children’s Book Review | June 7, 2016

Carolyn Lunn Discusses Tomas and the Galapagos Adventure

The Children’s Book Review: Can you say a little bit about your personal connection to Ecuador?

Carolyn Lunn: I have never been to Ecuador, but my son spent a memorable year in South America and told me of his wonderful experiences in Ecuador. My son was amazed that his host family spent hours at the dinner table in the evening, eating together, talking about the happenings of the day- not eating in front of TV! Ecuador also intrigues me because you don’t often hear about this small and beautiful country. It has only been in the news recently because of the earthquakes there. I feel sad for the Ecuadorians and hope people are generous with donations.

The idea of placing Galapagos within a dream surprises the reader and really creates a second story altogether. Have you written other stories that have a similar structure?

The idea of putting a story within a story is a first for me. I had to do this because otherwise Tomas couldn’t get to the Galapagos Islands all in one short story. I also think Tomas’s special relationship with his horse is important, so a fall from Bonito was a good gateway to the dream.

Tomas and the Galapagos Adventure, by Carolyn Lunn

The story is in many ways simple, but also contains an enormous amount of detail and ideas. Is there anything you want to be sure your readers don’t miss?

Children notice details better than adults. The illustrator does a great job with the eyes in the book. Eyes show such expression, and they give the reader an idea about empathy. Bonitos worried eyes as Tomas lies on the ground, eyes closed, is very touching. Tomas and the Galapagos Adventure is an adventure story, but also a nature book. I hope children pick up on the serenity and harmony of these rare animals: the smiling whales, the lizard and birds crowded on one happy page, Tomas’s face is curious as he rides on the Green Sea Turtle past the hammerhead sharks, not frightened. Lastly, I think the young reader will notice the affection between a Mama and her son because of Ashley’s endearing illustrations. Pictures can say more than words!

Tomas and the Galapagos Adventure, by Carolyn Lunn

Tomas and the Galapagos Adventure, by Carolyn Lunn

Can the illustrator talk a little bit about the process of drawing the many animals included in the book?

Ashley Rades: Drawing the animals was one of my favorite parts of illustrating this story. Some of the animals I had never heard of and so a lot of research was involved in the beginning. After that it was to the drawing board sketching and finishing the animals!

Are there plans to publish a Spanish language version of the book?

Carolyn Lunn: I hope so!

The decision to include facts at the end of the book, rather than integrating them into the story, helps the narrative flow really well, but was this a decision that you debated or had trouble making?

If I embedded facts in the story it wouldn’t flow as well. A children’s book needs to READ well. The idea was to put a few facts within the story, but just let the story be a story, not a lesson.

Have either of you visited the Galapagos Island?

I have only been to Ecuador in my mind! But certainly, I plan to visit one day.

Ashley Rades: I have never been to Ecuador but researching the landscapes and people made me want to travel there!

So: was it a dream, or did Tomas ‘really’ go to Galapagos and bring the shells back?

Carolyn Lunn: My favorite question is the one about the shells! This is a big part of the story, and leads to a lot of discussion. Every child is different, so there will be many interpretations. A pragmatic child will explain how the shells got there without Tomas traveling to the Galapagos Islands, another child will simply BELIEVE.

Are there plans to develop the book into a series containing more adventures?

Yes, there are plans for more adventure books. Perhaps the next one with a girl as protagonist. There are so many places in this world for adventure settings. And so many children who need a book to take them there!

What other projects is the illustrator engaged with at the moment?

Ashley Rades: Right now I am working on a number of projects, mostly involving single illustrations for advertisements and publications. I would love to get going on another book soon!


Tomas and the Galapagos AdventureTomas and the Galapagos Adventure

Written by Carolyn Lunn

Illustrated by Ashley Rades

Publisher’s Synopsis: Join Tomas as he rides his beloved horse, Bonito, through his home of Ecuador and see the landscape from the banana plantations to the beautiful wooded hills. Travel with Tomas as he goes on a dream journey to explore the ocean and beach of one of the Galapagos Islands. From riding a green sea turtle and seeing a humpback whale pod and hammerhead sharks, to a lunch of fresh fruits and fish with pirates on the beach and escaping from a volcano eruption, Tomas goes on a grand adventure, and he’s still home in time for dinner with his mama.

Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Little Adventures | 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0692582893

Available Here: 



“A great, intelligent, and artful book – truly an adventure worth taking!”–The Children’s Book Review

Tomas and the Galapagos Adventure - Book Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of Tomas and the Galapagos Adventure, written by Carolyn Lunn and illustrated by Ashley Rodes.

Five (5) winners receive:

  •  A copy of Tomas and the Galapagos Adventure

Age Range: 3-7

Hardcover: 48 pages

Giveaway begins June 7, 2016, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends July 6, 2016, at 11:59 P.M. PST. Enter here >>

About the Author
Carolyn Lunn

Carolyn Lunn

Carolyn Lunn is a Colorado author of seven children’s books, who is inspired to write by her two children and her world travels. She has taught English in Tokyo, was a nanny in Germany, and lived in England for nine years. When Carolyn is not writing, she is gardening, running, watching sports, making homemade pasta, or dog-sitting her children’s pups: Boursin, the puggle, and shelter dog, Osita.

About the Illustrator

Ashley Rades is an illustrator living and working in Minnesota. In 2016, she earned her B.F.A. in Illustration from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She is driven by her desire to tell stories and sees illustration as a powerful way to tackle big ideas. She plans on continuing to bring meaningful stories to life with her artwork.

The Author Showcase is a place for authors and illustrators to gain visibility for their works. This interview with Carolyn Lunn and Ashley Rades about “Tomas and the Galapagos Adventure” was sponsored by Amberjack Publishing. Learn more about marketing books and finding an Author Showcase book marketing plan that is right for you …

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

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