In this adorable book, it’s bedtime for baby Jesus, but who knew a stable could be so loud? Mama, Papa, and all of the animals try to lull the baby to sleep, but between itchy hay, angels singing, and three kings bearing gifts, it’s too noisy. Will the baby ever get to sleep? You’ll have to read the book to find out!
I’m thrilled that Laura agreed to be interviewed on my blog today, and also graciously agreed to give my readers a chance to win a signed copy of her book.
Thank you so much for stopping by my blog today Laura! Let’s get the formal introduction out of the way. What does the bio on the back of your books say about you?
The bio on the back of my books reads: Laura Sassi has a passion for telling humorous stories in rhyme. She writes daily from her century-old home in New Jersey where she lives with her husband, two children, and a black cockapoo named Sophie.
Okay…now for two interesting and quirky facts about you that we won’t find on the back of your books…
Oooh, this is fun. Let’s see.
First fact: One of the side-effects of writing stories in rhyme is that sometimes I rhyme (without thinking) in normal conversation. Ex: “Pull up a seat, it’s time to eat!” This is especially embarrassing to my children when friends are over, though the friends usually like it.
Second fact: I spent most of my elementary school years living in Paris. I spoke French every day, played in French (and English too), watched TV in French, sang songs in French, and memorized poems in French. To this day, I LOVE watching French films and speak French whenever I get the chance, which is more often than you might expect. I credit all those years of listening to the beautiful lyrics of francophone singers such as Jacques Brel for infusing me with a love for creating beautiful pictures with words.
What inspired you to write Goodnight, Manger?
As a mom, I have tender memories of putting my babies to bed and how hard it was when they were overstimulated or overtired. I also have memories of my sweet daughter, who was only three or four at the time, playing with the little Baby Jesus that was part of our nativity set. She’d carry him around the house saying things like, “Baby Jesus crying. It’s okay, Baby.” Then she’d gently feed him or rock him and sing a lullaby. Before listening to her tender play, I’d never thought of Baby Jesus as ever crying. But, he was human (and God) and so he must have cried. With those sweet sparks of inspiration, I was ready to write the story that was on my heart – which was to write a fun Christmas bedtime book that kids would want to read again and again and which would point them in the direction of Jesus – the real gift of Christmas.
The illustrations in the book are just adorable, and so unique. What was your reaction when you first saw them?
I loved Jane’s illustrations for my first book, Goodnight, Ark, so I was confident that she would do an amazing job with Goodnight, Manger as well. And once again, when I saw her work I was thrilled. Her illustrations for Goodnight, Manger glow with a warmth and gentle humor that perfectly capture the essence of the story. I love the sweet interactions included in each illustration, such as the mice peering dotingly down on Baby Jesus and the exceptionally expressive donkey, rooster and hen. I also love how her depictions of all the Christmas characters look like they belong in the beautiful part of the world into which our Savior was born.
Do you have any other books on the horizon?
I do, but I am afraid that any details must remain in the “top secret” category for now. =)
How can readers stay connected with you?
Readers can stay connected by visiting me on Facebook, Twitter, or by stopping by my blog. If readers are interested in arranging a class or library visit either in person or via Skype, please reach out to me via the Contact tab on my blog. I would also like to share that in response to requests from readers for signed copies, my local indie book store, The Town Book Store in Westfield, New Jersey, will now offer signed, personalized copies. If this is of interest, please call them to order the books you want. Explain that you would like to have them signed by the author and pass along the names you’d like included. They will take the order and do the transaction. I will then come in and sign the book or books. Readers can either pick them up in-store at no extra charge, or have them mailed. There will be a shipping fee to cover the cost of mailing, but they can give you those details. I thought this was a nice way to make signed copies available and support a wonderful independent book store. Their number is: The Town Book Store (908) 233-3535.
Thank you so much Laura! It was a blessing to have you visit my blog today! And here’s the best part….enter the giveaway to win a signed copy of Goodnight, Manger! (To be eligible, you must be a U.S. resident and have a physical address, not a P.O. Box. )