Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bee Book Buzz: Baseball Fan-Grateful-for-Salad-Rock Star Author Audrey Vernick

It's an exciting day at the hive! These bees are buzzing books with writer pal extraordinaire Audrey Vernick. She's the author of several great books for kids, including two new fabulous picture books, SO YOU WANT TO BE A ROCK STAR and BROTHERS AT BAT: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team.
SO YOU WANT TO BE A ROCK STAR (Walker Books for Young Readers)illustrated by Kirstie Edmunds, is the essential primer on everything rock ’n’ roll. With an interactive text that encourages young readers to get up and move and retro illustrations that balance fantasies of stardom with real-world rocking out, this book has something for everyone—budding singers, musicians, and their parents, too!
After the bees rock out, it's time to buzz over to the ball field where the bases are loaded with Audrey's second picture book out this Spring. BROTHERS AT BAT: THE TRUE STORY OF AN AMAZING ALL-BROTHER BASEBALL TEAM (Clarion Books for Children), illustrated by Steven Salerno, has already hit a home run with Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Junior. He says, "I was lucky to play in the big leagues with my brother as a teammate and my dad as our manager. It was a very special time. The story of the Acerra brothers brought those memories back. It is a wonderful illustration of what a great game baseball is and how it brings families together on many different levels. BROTHERS AT BAT is a story any baseball fan will enjoy and one that we all should know." 
BROTHERS AT BAT will keep you buzzing through the pages to discover more about a truly fascinating family. The Acerra family had sixteen children, including twelve ball-playing boys. It was the 1930s, and many families had lots of kids. But only one had enough to field a baseball team . . . with three on the bench! The Acerras were the longest-playing all-brother team in baseball history. 

Audrey Vernick has plenty to buzz about with her new books. Read on to read her Bee Book Buzz:
If you were a bee, which would you be and why?
Queen, drone, or a worker?
I suspect I might unionize. These options are limited—we must fight for more choices! We will not be oppressed bees any longer! But if forced to choose, I would likely be a worker bee, though my nectar-gathering skills definitely need some work.

Bees pollinate most of the vegetables and fruits that we love to eat. Did you eat your vegetables when you were a kid?
I did, but it was easy. I was the third child. My mother no longer bothered trying with traditionally not-kid-friendly vegetables like brussel sprouts, cabbage, etc. We ate a lot of broccoli, green beans, and salad. In our family at that time, cauliflower was kind of exotic….

What's your favorite fruit or vegetable?
I love roasted root vegetables, spinach sauteed with garlic, cherries and melons in the summer. I’m also kind of pathetically grateful whenever someone makes me a tasty salad.

What's your main character's favorite fruit or vegetable?
In Brothers at Bat, a nonfiction book, there are 16 children in the family—12 brothers who formed their own baseball team, and four sisters. I would guess that the brothers would be happy whenever a fruit or vegetable reached them.

Bees pollinate plants and flowers, too. What's your favorite flower?
I have a history of annoying children on school visits, because they always ask what’s your favorite _________ and I say I only have one favorite and that’s my favorite ice cream flavor (Ben & Jerry’s Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz), but you just reminded me that I also have a favorite flower: ranunculus.

Are flowers mentioned in your latest book?
They are not, and so I shall offer you a bit of Audrey Vernick lore to compensate. My family took a cross-country trip when I was two. While I was sitting in my stroller, someone handed me a carnation, and when backs were turned I ate it as though it were a lollipop.

How old is your main character?
In Brothers at Bat, there is a 25-year age span between the youngest and oldest brother.

Have you ever competed in a spelling bee? If so, what was the winning or losing word for you?
I have, but I don’t remember the losing word. My daughter came in second in her elementary school spelling bee a few years ago. I was impressed that she knew how to spell tsunami, but I forget what word—a much easier one than tsunami—was the losing word.

My causes are bees, trees, seas, and all things affecting our environment. What's important to you besides writing for children and or young adults?
I can’t call baseball a cause, but I sure do love it.
I donate my time to a number of literacy organizations. In terms of financial support, I always find myself seeking out organizations that provide food and fight hunger.

Books and bees make life sweeter every day. If you had to choose: Honey or sugar?
Sugar. Lame, but true. 


Anne E. Johnson said...

I love the concept of the "Rock Star" book. Thanks for letting us know about it, Alison, and for introducing us to Audrey.

Mirka Breen said...

Audrey's answers to the busy buzzing Bee's questions show why she is so special.
And sticking with 'B's- those baseball brothers are a blast. I hope Audrey's books break records (=sales)!

darlenebeckjacobson said...

Hi Alison, read your interview with Audrey V. and how much nature influences your writing. Mine as well...I am following you on Twitter and bookmarked your blog. I'd be thrilled if you stopped by and visited my blog.
Best wishes,