ONE GOOSE, TWO MOOSE: An interview with Kael Tudor

ONE GOOSE, TWO MOOSE: An interview with Kael Tudor

For our first interview of 2024, I’m really pleased to welcome Kael Tudor into The Reading Realm to talk to me about his hilarious debut picture book ONE GOOSE, TWO MOOSE, which is beautifully and wittily illustrated by Nicola Slater!

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Before we sit down and talk about your new book, what’s your drink and snack of choice? 

I’m a big fan of a cup of tea and a digestive biscuits.

Without giving too much away, can you tell us about One Goose, Two Moose?

Of course! One Goose, Two Moose is about a bossy goose and two disorganised lines for an ice cream shop that spiral out of control thanks to lost moose, despite his best efforts to stop it from happening. Spoiler alert, but there’s way more than one goose and two moose in the book, too.

What inspired the story?

A very niche situation! I was heading to the kitchen one evening and my wife asked me if I could get her a pot of chocolate mousse, so in response I asked, “One mousse, two mousse?” and instantly the idea of multiple moose lining up popped into my head. I often work with the concept of “Wouldn’t it be funny if…” and the “if” became the idea of a single goose stood in a lineup of moose, but I quickly swapped the roles around for there to be one moose among multiple geese because I thought it was funnier, and it went from there.

Talk us through the writing process for the book! It’s such a silly and joyous book, it must have been fun to write! What were the fun parts? What was challenging or difficult?

So after the idea popped into my head I sat down and wrote the text in about 30 minutes and it’s remained largely unchanged since then. That’s very rare for me as I tend to tinker with manuscripts for months after I’ve written the first draft, so I feel like I got really lucky! What I love about it is that the ice cream shop wasn’t in the manuscript and wasn’t my idea at all. The idea came from Nicola Slater, the illustrator of the book, and my editor, Fiz Osborne, and really showcases how collaborative making a picture book is.

The illustrations by Nicola Slater are wonderful! Do you have a favourite illustration in the book?

Working with Nicola on this book has been a dream, and every page is filled with her incredible characters, so it’s really hard to choose. If I had to pick a single illustration, though, I’d go with the background moose in the pink jacket, who is just SO thrilled to be lining up for ice cream that I laugh every time I look at him.

One of the main themes that struck me in the story was control and what happens when we try and control everything! Would you agree? What other themes do you think are pertinent to the story and why?

This is a really good question because I typically avoid writing themes into my manuscripts and instead go with ideas I think could be funny or interesting, so I can honestly say that I wrote this book without any deeper meaning in mind. What I find really interesting, though, is that once the book is in the hands of readers it becomes theirs, and will be enjoyed and interpreted by everyone differently, so any meaning that’s attributed to it is just as valid as whether I’d intended it.

Can you tell us what you’re working on next?

I have a few more books with Scholastic lined up over the next few years, including a sequel to One Goose, Two Moose called One Goose, Two Moose, Three Raccoon, Four Baboon, so I’m very excited to share more about all of them!

Finally, can you describe One Goose, Two Moose in three words?

Goosey moosey chaos.

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