Ann Ingalls is the author of the new children's picture book Fairy Floss: The Sweet Story of Cotton Candy. Her other books include J is for Jazz and Chow Down, Biggety!. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for Fairy Floss, and how did you research the book?
A: Actually, Sonali Fry, the publisher at Little Bee, requested that I write a book on cotton candy. She allowed me to find an appealing slant and I discovered that the Electric Cotton Candy Machine was introduced at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. I knew immediately that placing the story there would provide a wonderful opportunity for an illustrator.
Q: Was there anything that you learned that especially surprised you?
A: I learned lots in the process of writing this book. For one thing, I learned that Walt Disney visited the fair with his parents when he was just 5 years old. He patterned the Magic Kingdom after the time period he remembered from his visit to the fair.
Q: What do you hope readers take away from the story?
A: I hope that readers will appreciate the history surrounding the World’s Fair. I so enjoyed the research for the book. I loved diving into photos from the era and the actual fair.
Q: What do you think Migy Blanco's illustrations add to the book?
A: I love what Migy Blanco did to bring to bring these characters and venue to life. He is a huge talent and a nice man to boot. I’ve had a few email communications with him and he couldn’t be more pleasant. I’m looking very forward to seeing what he does next.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I’m working on a couple of picture books with writing friends. Both books will have a bit of rhyme in them.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: As a former elementary and special education teacher, I love to do school and library visits! I do about 40 presentations a year. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb