How lucky are we to welcome children’s author Lu Fraser into The Reading Realm to talk about her new book Home is Where the Herd Is, which is illustrated by Kate Hindley!
Without giving too much away, can you tell us about your new book Home is Where the Herd Is?
The Littlest Yak is off on a new adventure but this time the whole herd is going with her – yes, it’s time to move mountains and find pastures new! But moving house can be a BIG thing for a small yak – how do you fit your whole home on the back of your sledge? And what’s the ONE THING you should never leave behind?
This is a tale about what really makes a home and, as Gertie is about to discover, it might not be your second-best hat or your telescope…
How is this book similar to the other books in the Littlest Yak series? How is it different?
Well, we get to say ‘hello!’ again to lots of familiar faces, such as Mummy & Granny Hilda, and, of course, Gertie’s constant companions are back (can you spot Barbara Birdy and Frank the Snow Marmot on each page?) …but life is definitely about to change for the herd! For the first time we are clip-clopping OFF the mountain – who knows where the yaks will end up?!
Do you have a favourite illustration from the book you can tell us about?
Ohhh! This is such a hard question! In the first two Gertie adventures I do have favourite illustrations but, in our latest tale, it’s incredibly hard to pick – I think Kate has done such an amazing job! There are two spreads where we have all the Yaks in a long line that I absolutely love…plus anything with Granny Hilda…and also the moment Dotty Yak falls off the sledge! (Arrrgh! I told you it was hard to pick!).
You are so wonderful at writing rhyming picture books for kids! They always read so beautifully! What are your top tips to new authors who might want to try writing a rhyming picture book?
That’s so lovely of you, Ian – thank you so much!
And as for top tips for writing in rhyme? Well, this is going to sound harsh but it’s the rule I apply to myself so… here goes…
Don’t be lazy!
Don’t be tempted to use an easy rhyme or an obvious rhyme or a half-rhyme that almost (but doesn’t quite!) fit or, even worse, to change the plot to fit the rhyme! There should be no short cuts in a good rhyming story and every single rhyme has to be the best that it can be. If it isn’t…you simply start again!
Finally, can you describe Home is Where the Herd Is in three words?
Heartfelt. Family. Love.