|Anne Renaud, photo by Magenta Photo Studio|
Anne Renaud is the author of the new children's picture book Emma's Gems. Her other books include The True Tale of a Giantess and Mr. Crum's Potato Predicament. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including Highlights and Faces, and she lives in Montreal.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for Emma's Gems?
A: Many years ago I attended a fundraising luncheon and at each place setting there was a tiny nylon bag with three colored stones in it.
The keynote speaker told the story of how, when she visited her grandfather's office as a child, he had three small stones on his desk.
When she asked him what they were for, he explained they were to remind him every day that he needed to a) learn something new b) perform an act of kindness and c) tell someone he loved them.
That keynote speaker's story planted the seed to Emma's Gems. Some time later, I tracked down the keynote speaker to tell her how her talk had inspired me. I even dedicated the book to her grandfather.
Q: What do you hope kids take away from the story?
A: That we all have the capacity to bring comfort to others, no matter how small the gesture. Caring and kindness to others is never wasted. Even when we think we have not made a difference, we have.
Q: What do you think Leanne Fronson's illustrations add to the book?
A: They give life to this story in such a whimsical, colorful way. I love the almost messy, painting outside the lines approach that Leanne took to illustrate the book. Painting outside the lines can be just as beautiful as painting inside the lines.
Q: You have another book coming out later this year--what can you tell us about that?
A: My next book will be coming out in September 2019. It is a picture book biography for 5-to-8-year-olds on Frank Epperson, the inventor of the Popsicle. The book will also include four science experiments that kids can do.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I am still scouting for ideas and reworking rejected manuscripts in the hopes they will finally make the cut.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: It took almost a decade for this edition to be born. Sometimes the process takes that long. I first wrote Emma's Gems in English, shopped it around, and when there were no takers I then translated it into French. It was published in French in 2012. Then in Korean a few years later. The English rights were finally purchased by Peanut Butter Press and it is now available in English. YAY!!
--Interview with Deborah Kalb. Here's a previous Q&A with Anne Renaud.