HomeBooks by AgeAges 4-8My Writing And Reading Life: Samantha Berger, Author of Snail Mail
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My Writing And Reading Life: Samantha Berger, Author of Snail Mail

The Children’s Book Review | July 15, 2018

Samantha Berger

Samantha Berger writes and writes and (pant pant pant) writes! She is the award-winning author of over 80 books for young readers. She also writes for Sesame Street International and for various cartoons. When she’s not writing, Sam loves to travel the world and do as much good as she can along the way. She splits her time between New York City and sunny Santa Monica with her dog Polly Pocket.

I write because …

I am compelled to! Some people are compelled to rock climb, some to race cars, some to cut hair. I am compelled to write! Every single day. It does not seem to be a choice. Luckily, I can write about rock climbing, race car driving AND cutting hair!

I read because …

Reading gives me windows and mirrors, doors and escape hatches, ladders and parachutes, time machines and worm holes, roots and wings.

My latest published book is …

SNAIL MAIL with the ah-maaaazing illustrator Julia Patton and the wonderful publisher Running Press. It came out in May.

I wrote SNAIL MAIL for three big reasons: First, because even though technology is reallyreallyreally cool, like texting and emailing  there’s something extra special about old-fashioned mail. And there are some things that just can’t be sent any other way, like a scratch-and-sniff stamp (WHICH THE POST OFFICE IS MAKING!) You can try to scratch and sniff a text message, but it’s just not the same.

Second, because handwriting is very special to me. It’s a part of history. To get to see a postcard from my Grandma, who isn’t here any more, or Jim Henson’s own handwriting on Sesame Street scripts, or Anne Frank’s own writing in her diary is like seeing someone’s voice written down. In many schools, handwriting is no longer being taught and I never want it to become extinct!

Finally, SNAIL MAIL is also a love letter to the United States of America and its incredible diversity. There is no where else on the planet like this country. We greatly vary from state to state. We have different songs, flowers, birds, teams, anthems, foods, and landscapes. But the fact that we are so diverse yet UNITED as one, is what makes us so unique. If you ever have the chance to drive across the United States of America, DO IT.

Best moment …

Before I was ever published, the great Book Team Arnold Adoff and Virginia Hamilton read my picture books and told me – “you have the soul of a child” and believed in me. All it takes is one person to believe in you. Believe in someone.

My special place to write is …

Right next to my dog.

Necessary writing/creativity tool …

A black Micron Pigma Pen .2 point. I always have 12 on me at all times.

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

Studying visual storytelling (comics and graphic novels) with Peter Kuper, Scott McCloud, and Lynda Barry.

Currently reading …

ALONE by Christophe Chabouté

Favorite bookshop …

I truly love ALL independent bookshops and appreciate everything they do for book people. There is nothing like putting the right book in the right hands . But my lifetime, neighborhood special-special indie bookshop has always been Books of Wonder, (18th Street, NYC)

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

BABY by Fran Manushkin and Ronald Himler. It’s the book that made me know I wanted to write picture books when I grew up.

Favorite illustrator …

Well this is an impossible one to answer! I have so many, and it’s always the right person for the right book. But at this moment, I am loving Kerascoet, Mike Curato, Sujean Rim, and Julia Patton (but not because I’m creating books with all of them AT ALL!)

A literary character I would like to vacation with …

Clifford the Big Red Dog

When I am not reading or writing I am …

Doing cartoon voice-overs, singing karaoke, traveling the world, and helping rescue dogs.

To learn more, visit: samanthaberger.com

Snail Mail by Samantha BergerSnail Mail

Written by Samantha Berger

Illustrated by Julia Patton

Publisher’s Synopsis: A long, long time ago, before email and texting, the mail was delivered in a much slower way-it was called Snail Mail (because some thought it was delivered by a snail). Although it took much longer, everyone agreed that letters were a little more special when they were delivered by Snail Mail. They might be handwritten. They might include a drawing. They might even contain a surprise inside! One such letter was sent by a Girl to the Boy she loved, and it was up to four special snails to deliver her card across the country. The snails trek across the country-through desert heat and dangerous blizzards, across mountains and plains, through cities and forests-and along the way, they find that taking time to slow down and look around makes the journey all the more beautiful.

Snail Mail‘s playful and educational story encourages kids to have slow living, and to approach life with determination and wonder. Julia Patton’s rich illustrations showcase America’s diverse terrain and national monuments from coast to coast. Kids and parents alike will delight in this celebration of America’s beauty and the power of a simple handwritten letter.

Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Running Press Kids | May 1, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-0762462513

Available Here: 

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Discover more books like Snail Mail, written by Samantha Berger and illustrated by Julia Patton, by checking out our reviews and articles tagged with , and ; plus, be sure to follow along with our Writing and Reading Life series.

The Children’s Book Review, named one of the ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) Great Web Sites for Kids, is a resource devoted to children’s literacy. We publish reviews and book lists of the best books for kids of all ages. We also produce author and illustrator interviews and share literacy based articles that help parents, grandparents, teachers and librarians to grow readers. This article was written and provided by a guest author.

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