Friday, October 2, 2015

Anna Dewdney Talks Llama Llama

Anna Dewdney shares her creative inspiration behind Llama Llama

Guest blogger: Anna Dewdney

Author, Anna Dewdney shares the creative inspiration behind her Llama Llama books

All of the Llama Llama books begin with a feeling: frustration, impatience curiosity, anxiety, etc. These emotions are feelings that most children have had at some point in their lives (if not daily!), and I hope that children can recognize themselves in the Llama Llama books. It is also my hope that in addition to being fun to read, the Llama Llama books can inspire conversations about behavior and feelings between adults and children.

When Llama Llama is having a temper tantrum in the grocery store, or when he is anxious that his mama is not giving him the attention he wants, or when he is having trouble sharing with one of his friends, I hope that parents and children can discuss these behaviors and situations while reading the book. These can be teachable moments that occur while reading together as a kind of practice for when these situations happen in real life.

"Llama Llama and the Bully Goat" by Anna Dewdney
Reading books together creates a common bond between adults and children --- that bond is a shared emotional experience. Talking about the emotions presented in the story, and about the emotions that the readers feel while reading the story, nurtures a sense of safety, trust, understanding, and confidence between the child and the adult reading the story with that child. Reading is not just about entertainment, or even just about building literacy skills – reading, especially when done together, is also about building relationships and expanding our understanding of the world that children share with adults.

I created Llama Llama to reflect the experiences I had with my own children and that I knew other parents were having with their children. For me, Llama Llama’s relationship with Mama Llama is a way to express the emotional experiences I share with my kids. I hope Llama Llama can continue to serve as means to bring children and adults together through reading.

Anna Dewdney, author of Llama Llama children's books, meets fans of all ages during recent book signing.