Friday, July 7, 2023

Q&A with Valerie Bolling




Valerie Bolling is the author of Rainbow Days: The Gray Day, the first in a new series for kids who are starting to read independently. Bolling's other books include the picture book Together We Ride. She is a longtime educator in Greenwich, Connecticut.


Q: What inspired you to write Rainbow Days: The Gray Day, and how did you create your characters Zoya and Coco?


A: I set a goal to write a Scholastic Acorn series and knew I needed to come up with an idea that would interest young readers. Since most children love to create art and adore animals, I decided to write about a girl and her pup who enjoy engaging in art projects together. I hope this series will inspire children to create their own art – with or without their pets.


Q: What do you think Kai Robinson's illustrations add to the story?


A: Kai’s illustrations bring Zoya and Coco’s stories to life. For newly independent readers, the art is integral to helping them comprehend the text. Kai is such a talented artist, and I appreciate their gorgeous illustrations. In particular, I love how Kai has depicted Zoya’s expressions.


Q: Can you say more about what you hope kids will take away from the book?


A: As I said earlier, I hope children will be inspired to create their own art. I also hope they’ll see themselves as artists, knowing that with their imagination and a paintbrush, markers, or whatever they’d like, they can make something fabulous!

Q: This is the first in a series--can you tell us what's coming next?


A: Book 2 (Rainbow Days: The Gold Bowl) will be released Sept. 5, 2023. Here’s a description of the book:


It's Coco's birthday, and Zoya wants to give her pup the perfect present. She tries out a few ideas, including a yarn necklace and colorful frosted treats. But she finally decides to paint Coco's bowl gold. With some paint and LOTS of glitter, Zoya creates a gift Coco is sure to love!


Book 3 (Rainbow Days: The Orange Wall) will be released March 5, 2024. Here’s a description of the book:


Zoya wants to paint her bedroom a new color but can't decide on just one color! So, she decides she wants a fun, multi-colored room! Will Zoya - with Coco's help - be able to give her bedroom the perfect glittery makeover?


Both of these books are available for pre-order now:


Q: What else are you working on?


A: I recently sold two unannounced picture books – one is a biography, and the other is historical fiction. I’ve written several PBs this year and am also working on a chapter book and board books. A lot to keep me busy!


I’m also looking forward to two new PBs this year, Bing, Bop, Bam: Time to Jam! (illustrated by Sabrena Khadija, Abrams) and Together We Swim (illustrated by Kaylani Juanita, Chronicle). They will be released on Aug. 8 and 15, respectively.


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: I teach classes for picture book writers, independently and for the Highlights Foundation. Contact me if you’d like to be added to my email list to be notified of my class schedule.


I always appreciate book reviews and library requests.


Connect with me to find out about my books, upcoming events, and/or schedule a school visit.






--Interview with Deborah Kalb. Here's a previous Q&A with Valerie Bolling.

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