Hi Valerie, I’m so excited to talk with you about your new book, Ride, Roll, Run: Time for Fun! published by Abrams.
VB: Thanks for taking the time to chat with me, Kirstie. I’m happy to tell you and readers about my newest book.
KM: How did the idea for this book come about?
VB: I was thinking about the games that children enjoy playing outside with their friends, many of which I loved as a child. There’s no need for expensive equipment or electronics. Friends + imagination = a fantastic time!
KM: The cover grabs your attention immediately. It’s colorful and features a diverse group of children. What were your thoughts when you saw the cover and inside images for the first time?
VB: From the initial sketches, I loved Sabrena Khadija’s illustrations. They have a unique style that’s so appealing. The vibrant colors and energy that their art conveys are perfect for a book about children having fun together.
KM: The children in the book engage in various forms of riding, rolling, and running. Will you tell us about a few of the activities featured in your book?
VB: Yes, Kirstie, the children in this book are riding on bikes, rolling on skateboards, and running on a basketball court. They’re also jumping rope, playing hopscotch, and making art on a sidewalk. These are few of the activities highlighted in the book.
KM: Your book is an easy-read in rhyme, but for many authors, writing in rhyme is difficult and hard to sell, yet you make it look effortless. Tell us about your writing process and how you get those perfectly rhyming words to flow.
VB: Thanks for saying I’m able to get “perfectly rhyming words to flow.” I enjoy writing in rhyme, and I think part of my success is because I use few words. That allows me to keep my rhyme and meter tight. If I were writing longer sentences that rhymed, it would certainly be more challenging.
As for my process, I get the words down on the page. Fortunately, most of the rhymes flow easily, but I do use rhymezone.com as a tool when I’m struggling with a rhyme or want to explore other options.
KM: What do you hope children will take away from your book?
VB: Children should play! So, after reading Ride, Roll, Run: Time for Fun!, I hope young readers will go outside and play with their friends. I wouldn’t even care if, in the midst of reading the book, they said, “I want to play now!” and decided to head outdoors and finish reading the book later.
KM: There are so many outstanding books coming out this fall, including your own. Will you share with us any children’s books you’re looking forward to adding to your collection?
VB: Kirstie, I’m looking forward to books by our fellow KidLit in Color members, Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow (Hold Them Close), Tameka Fryer Brown (Twelve Dinging Doorbells and Not Done Yet: Shirley Chisholm’s Fight for Change), and Aya Khalil (Our World: Eqypt).
Valerie Bolling is the author of the 2021 SCBWI Crystal Kite award-winning and CT Book Award finalist, Let's Dance!, and has been an educator for almost 30 years. When she taught elementary students, it was difficult to find diverse literature for them. Thus, she is passionate about creating stories in which all children can see themselves and feel seen and heard and valued and validated. Valerie has two books scheduled for release in 2022 (Together We Ride/Chronicle and Ride, Roll, Run: Time for Fun!/Abrams) and two more slated for 2023 (Together We Swim/Chronicle and Neighborhood Jam/Abrams).
A graduate of Tufts University and Columbia University, Teachers College, Valerie currently works as an Instructional Coach.
Valerie and her husband live in Connecticut and enjoy traveling, hiking, reading, going to the theater, and dancing.
You can learn more about Valerie at http://valeriebolling.com
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