As some of my readers know, my bestselling adult mystery/romantic suspense novel Twenty-Five Years Ago Today has a Greek mythology subplot. In my book, doomed artist Diana Ferguson painted a scene depicting the story of Pandora. The very last line of Twenty-Five Years Ago Today refers to Pandora’s Box and the theme of hope. (I can tell you that without giving away the big ending!) From time-to-time, I also like to feature other authors whose work has a Greek mythology premise. For example, awhile back I showcased the Goddess Girls series for tweens.
Today I’d like to welcome bestselling children’s author, Julia Dweck, author of the children’s picture book Pandora’s Box about a curious penguin named Pandora. When an independent and precocious little penguin named Pandora accidentally stumbles upon a secret box, all of her family and friends from the pole warn her against exploring the mysterious and unknown. I saw a tweet about the book on Twitter and immediately invited Julia to do an interview on my blog. She had me at Greek mythology and penguins!
I had the opportunity to read and review the book and my first thought was that the vibrant light-hearted illustrations by Chris Robertson are sure to capture children’s attention. Penguins are cute in real life, but he made them look even cuter. The pictures were a nice accent to the lively rhyming text. I liked that the story featured vivid adjectives and strong verbs that will build children’s vocabulary while keeping them entertained. Kids will wonder what’s inside the frozen box and be delighted at the beautifully illustrated surprise at the end.
You can learn more about the book in my interview with Julia.
Tell us about Pandora’s Box and your character in the book.
In my version of Pandora’s box the main characters is a curious, little penguin. She’s unlike her sisters and brothers and refuses to waddle with the flow. Her independent and courageous spirit is tested when she accidentally falls into the frozen waters and discovers a mysterious locked box.
How does the book plot compare to the myth of Pandora?
In the myth of Pandora’s Box, the main character unleashes a torrent of evils into the world, including envy, crime, hate and disease. Just when Pandora thinks all of the contents have escaped; hope flies out into the world. In my version, Pandora’s curiosity and determination unleash the one powerful element that hope left behind in the original version. That is the majesty and brilliance of what hope can bring. Hope is empty without the realization of our dreams. The illustrator, Chris Robertson, so brilliantly paints this picture in the form of the Northern Lights.
How did you get the idea of weaving the Pandora story into a children’s book?
It’s important for children to believe in the power of hope. As an author and illustrator we worked together to paint that picture through this visual retelling of Pandora’s Box. Its theme and imagery are magical and less abstract, so that a child can understand and appreciate this meaningful concept.
Why do you think this is an important theme for kids to be introduced to?
Children should be encouraged to believe in themselves and their dreams. Some of the greatest accomplishments and benefits to the world are the result of those who persisted against all odds because they believed that they could.
Could you briefly tell us about your other books?
My stories mix humor, word play, and rhyme along with a social or educational message. Scram-Pire is the story of a reluctant vampire kid who doesn’t fit into the norm. However, he ultimately finds acceptance for who he is. Pandora’s Box, demonstrates how great rewards can result from believing in yourself and others. My newest release, Where Are the Dinos? is a fast-paced rhyming book for young readers. My goal is to engage readers with a mix of humor and edutainment. This ebook includes real dinosaur facts, a dinosaur-drawing lesson with illustrator Bob Ostrom, and a dinosaur word scramble. Hopefully, my readers will come away from my stories empowered by a positive message.
More about Julia:
Bestselling children’s author, Julia Dweck, writes children’s stories for digital and traditional publication. Her stories span the spectrum of humor, fantasy, and edutainment in rhyme and in prose. Well known on Amazon for her number 1 bestselling ebooks, Zombie-Kids and Pie-Rits: A Pirate Adventure, Julia continues to entertain children and their parents. Her background as a gifted instructor, working with students in grades 1-5 keeps her in touch with what children enjoy and what makes them giggle
About the Illustrator:
Chris Robertson is an author/illustrator of Children’s Picture Books. His most recent book is a collaboration with author Julia Dweck, “Pandora’s Box”. Chris’s other books include “I’ll Trade My Peanut-Butter Sandwich”, “Little Miss Liberty”, “Kit and Kaboodle”, and “The Tooth That’s on the Loose!”. Chris’s whimsical cartoon style feels light-hearted and carefree which seems to perfectly match his humorous writing style.