Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Q&A with Ann Ingalls

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 ann.ingalls.books@gmail.com if interested.

--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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