Speed Interview with Derek Taylor Kent, Author of El Perro con Sombrero meets Los Gatos con Gelatos
The Children’s Book Review | August 30, 2019
The Children’s Book Review: What Five Words Best Describe El Perro con Sombrero meets Los Gatos con Gelatos?
Derek Taylor Kent: Action-packed, hilarious, bilingual, heartwarming, and educational.
Can you share a highlight from the book?
My favorite page is the introduction to Los Gatos con Gelatos. In Pepe’s effort to deliver a forgotten homework assignment to his owner, little Lucia, he runs afoul of a gang of ice-cream loving cats when he spoils the leader’s chance for a baby bird lunch. In retaliation, the cats steal the homework paper and demand that Pepe bring them the bird he saved. When working with the illustrator, we are always looking for ways to add to the humor in ways that are not expressed in the text, but can be shown through character and environment. Using the idea of a gang of ice-cream loving cats, we had to come up with funny “gang apparel” they would be wearing and how they would try to act tough despite always carrying ice cream and despite being very cute cats. We created a dramatic dance pose to serve as their big introduction where they are trying to act super-tough, but of course look adorable and end up having mishap with an ice cream cone.
If you had to take a vacation with one of the characters, who would it be and why?
The main character of Pepe is based on my own dog, Zander Zoo. My wife (children’s author Sheri Fink) and I have actually vacationed with him a couple times and would love to take him on more adventures with us. We went to Sydney on our honeymoon and were amazed at what a dog-friendly and dog heaven city it was. Enormous grassy park areas where dogs were having the time of their lives and could then walk down some steps to the beach. We couldn’t stop imagining what an amazing time Zander would have had if he could come with us. One day we have to return with Zander so he can experience it, but it’s a very long flight for a dog!
What has been the best reaction from a reader so far?
I have a nephew and a niece named Westley and Hazel, who are six and three years old. The first El Perro con Sombrero book was one of the first books that Westley fell in love with and he read it so much, it practically fell apart! He even created cut outs of Pepe and made a leash out of paper so he could pretend to walk him around the neighborhood. He passed along his love of El Perro to Hazel and they were very excited to be the first ones to read the new book. We brought the advance copy along on a visit and they were cracking up on just about every page. After we finished reading it, they demanded that we read it again and again so they could relive the adventure and soak in all the details.
What’s on your nightstand? Any books?
Yes! At the moment there’s a giant book that my wife picked up at the library called Tools of the Titans by Tim Ferris, where he interviews hundreds of todays most inspiring leaders, businesspeople, and heroes to uncover the secrets of their success. It’s a really fun read, but there’s so much it could take months to get through it all! I also just got back from San Diego Comic Con, so I have a stack of new comic books that I’m getting through. I love the Rick and Morty comics.
For your writing energy: sugar, salt, tea or coffee?
When it’s cold out I like to make Earl Grey tea. When it’s hot out like right now, I have a jar of cold brew coffee in the fridge. It’s about $10 for a jar, but it lasts for months because it’s so strong, and I only need a little to get very hyped up. I actually haven’t been drinking much caffeine at all this year, so now when I do, it has a much bigger impact on me and it becomes very difficult to fall asleep.
For short stories or poetry I do pen and paper. For novels, I use the laptop.
Can you tell us one more thing we may not know about El Perro con Sombrero meets Los Gatos con Gelatos, your writing style, or yourself?
For El Perro con Sombrero meets Los Gatos con Gelatos, I would say to look very closely in the book for Easter eggs, especially toward the end of the book. The story has a lot of set-ups and payoffs, so pay close attention to those first couple pages and see if your young reader can figure out how Pepe learns to do all the amazing things he does in the story. Because it’s written in both English and Spanish, it can also help kids to learn either language when it’s read to them! My nephew loves hearing it in Spanish even though he doesn’t know the language yet! At the end, you might find some references to some other of mine and my wife’s books.
Speaking of which, since our last interview, I got married to the beloved children’s author, Sheri Fink! We met at a school visit a couple years ago, where we were both invited to do a presentation for the students and sign books. We recently formed a new children’s brand called Whimsical World with a mission to inspire, delight, and educate children of all ages while planting seeds of self-esteem and high achievement. We seek to accomplish these goals through our books, live appearances, school visits, speaking, and creating one-of-a-kind special events. We even made a quick fun video to launch our company that you can view below. We have two new books coming out this fall we can’t wait to share with everyone. Sheri’s The Little Dragon and my newest picture book The Grossest Picture Book Ever… and trust me… it is. You can learn more at www.WhimsicalWorldBooks.com, DerekTaylorKent.com and SheriFInk.com. Thanks so much!
El Perro con Sombrero meets Los Gatos con Gelatos
Written by Derek Taylor Kent
Illustrated by Lynx Animation Studios
Publisher’s Synopsis: It’s the action-packed and hilarious second adventure in the best-selling El Perro con Sombrero series! Written in both English and Spanish, the El Perro con Sombrero series has been one of the most popular bilingual picture books in the world since the first book’s release in 2015. We are excited for Pepe to continue his adventures and to share our love of bilingual reading and education. In this story, Pepe discovers that his owner, little Lucia, forgot her homework assignment and races against the clock to bring it to her at school before the bell rings. However, a gang of mischievous ice cream-loving cats, who call themselves Los Gatos con Gelatos, have other plans for Pepe!
¡Es la segunda aventura divertida y llena de acción en la exitosa serie El Perro con Sombrero! Escrita en inglés y en español, la serie El Perro con Sombrero ha sido uno de los libros de ilustraciones bilingües más populares del mundo desde el lanzamiento del primer libro en 2015. Estamos muy entusiasmados con Pepe por continuar sus aventuras y compartir nuestro amor por los bilingües. Lectura y educación. En esta historia, Pepe descubre que su dueña, la pequeña Lucía, olvidó su tarea y corre contra el reloj para traerla a la escuela antes de que suene la campana. Sin embargo, una pandilla de traviesos gatos amantes de los helados que se llaman a sí mismos Los Gatos con Gelatos tienen otros planes para Pepe.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Whimsical World | April 30, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-0999555453
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About the Author
Derek Taylor Kent is a #1 best-selling, award-winning author and screenwriter based out of Los Angeles, CA. Together with his wife, beloved children’s author Sheri Fink, he created the brand Whimsical World that publishes books, creates whimsical experiences, and magical merchandise. His popular book series, SCARY SCHOOL (written under pen name Derek the Ghost), won an award for Funniest Chapter Book of 2011 by Children s Literature Network and has become a favorite for middle-readers. Derek’s bilingual picture book EL PERRO CON SOMBRERO was released August 2015 through Holt/Macmillan and was a #1 best-selling new picture book and continues to be a top-selling bilingual book. His bilingual picture book, DOGGY CLAUS/PERRO NOEL was released November 2018.
This speed interview with Derek Taylor Kent, author of El Perro con Sombrero meets Los Gatos con Gelatos, was conducted by Bianca Schulze. For similar books and articles, follow along with our content tagged with Bilingual Picture Books, Cats, Derek Taylor Kent, Dogs, and Picture Book. Be sure to follow along with out Speed Interview series, too.