What's Up with the Daily Mystery Mail for Maggie, Millie and Merrie in Rosie Russell's New Picture Book?
Remember how you loved getting mail as a kid (the type found in your post box, not digital delivery to your device)?
And you usually knew who sent it, right?
Well, author/illustrator Rosie Russell takes a spin on that childhood delight in her ninth picture book, Maggie, Millie and Merrie's Mystery Mail. Packages arrive daily to brighten their long midwestern winter, but the triplets don't know WHO is sending them!
Join me on a Cat's Corner Book Spotlight to preview of this sparkling picture book and meet author Rosie Russell. Promise - she's just as effervescent and charming as her first name implies.
About the Book
Title: Maggie, Millie, and Merrie’s Mystery Mail | Author: Rosie Russell
Publication Date: November 2019 | Publisher: Books by Rose
Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 7-10
* Amazon US * Barnes & Noble * Rainy Day Books
The triplets are back, and my, have they grown.
The Midwest winter strikes with a vengeance.
Stuck in the house with too many snow days,
they turn grumpy with nothing to do.
That is, until a mysterious package is delivered.
Will the trio be pulled from boredom
as mail arrives each day?
Q & As with Rosie Russell
Cat: What inspired you to write this book?
Rosie: Hands down, the art project in this story. I learned how to make this project last year and became obsessed over the possibilities on what they can become.
Cat: Are the triplets based on anybody you know?
Rosie: The idea came from my mother, Mary, and her 1930s singing trio, Margret, Irene, and Mary. She also loved art projects, and she handed down the love of art to me. I changed the original names of Margret to Maggie, used Millie instead of Irene, and modified the spelling from Mary to Merrie.
Cat: Can children read your book as a standalone, or do they need to read the other two books in this series first?
Rosie: This book can be read as a standalone. I made sure to include instructions and ideas from the other two stories. I think readers will enjoy it even more once they read the first two books.
Cat: You feature fun kids' crafts in your book. What craft do you most enjoy doing?
Rosie: Oh my! That’s a tricky one because I love them all. I am fascinated by turning a plain object into something different or useful. Once I find a craft I enjoy, I make it non-stop.
Cat: Your illustrations shimmer on the page! How do you create them?
Rosie: Thank you for your kind words, Cat. When I started illustrating, I had to teach myself everything you see on the pages. I have learned so much along the way. I studied what other illustrators do with digital drawing and learned many fun tricks in Photoshop and a program I use called Photo Explosion.
This past year I learned about drop shadows in Photoshop. It has made a world of difference and gives the images dimension, so they don't look so flat on the page. My illustrations have evolved greatly since I started drop shadow. I can’t wait to learn more.
Cat: Have you ever met a gnome? (just kidding!)
What inspired you to write a gnome into your tale?
Rosie: I think we all love the thought of little gnomes in a little world. When the triplets go on their “Magical Adventure” in the first book, I wanted to create a fun gnome for them to meet.
Cat: What’s your next project? (tee hee…I know about one of them!)
Rosie: Besides working on my middle-grade chapter book with you, I have another picture book that's mostly written. However, I put it aside for the past year because I'm still looking for animal characters to add to the story. That’s all I can say about the book for now <wink>.
Cat: If you could be a Disney character, who would you be, and why?
Rosie: If Mary Poppins is considered a Disney character, then it would be her. I loved the movie as a child and still do.
Cat: What’s your favorite dessert?
Rosie: I blog a lot about sweets, but I don’t eat many sweets. Sure, I'll taste them when available. A bit of ice cream with a crunchy topping is always my go-to dessert.
Cat: Favorite book you read as a child?
Rosie: This is a hard one because I loved them all. “Naughty Bunny” was read to me by my mother. I truly think it became a favorite because of the loving voice she used when reading it to me.
Cat: Favorite genre to read OR last book you finished?
Rosie: I’ve been reading many middle grade books to get a feel for how they are written and what readers at that age enjoy. I also enjoy contemporary novels and non-fiction books for adults.
Cat: What else might readers like to know about you?
Rosie: Funny you ask because I was just talking to one of my author friends about this, Cat. It made me laugh!
Growing up and even today, food has been an important part of my life. Dinner always means an array of foods and special times gathering with family and friends. Although I often talk and write about food, people are surprised to learn I’m not a big eater, I also have an uncanny ability to remember everything I’ve eaten: the time, place, and person I was dining with (and often what they ate, too!).
Who knows! Maybe someday I’ll write a cookbook. If I do, each recipe will include a story about the person or history behind the food.
About the the Author/Illustrator
Rosie Russell is the author and illustrator of children’s books for early readers. Maggie, Millie, and Merrie’s Mystery Mail her ninth book.
Rosie studied Early Childhood Education and taught students in elementary and middle school for fifteen years in the Midwest. She now writes and illustrates full time. She enjoys sharing her books with students, and encouraging them to write and illustrate their own stories.
Rosie donates a portion of her books to different charitable organizations that help children or animals.
Blogging about books, writing, family life, travel and more good stuff.