Interview with Carole P. Roman
FRIBBET THE FROG AND THE TADPOLES
Carole P Roman
Reviewed by Paola Belloso (age 7) for Reader Views (2/15)
Article first published as Interview: Carole P. Roman, Author of ‘Fribbet the Frog and the Tadpoles’ on Blogcritics.
Carole P. Roman, a Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2012, and multiple award winning author started writing as a dare from one of her sons. Using an imaginary game she played with her grandson as a base, the Captain No Beard series was born. Roman has also written a book that teaches four yoga poses to kids and shows how easy and accessible yoga can be. Carole’s non-fiction series about cultures around the world, If You Were Me and Lived in…, combines her teaching past with her love of exploration and interest in the world around us, earning her multiple awards. Carole P. Roman lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children.
Susan: Hi Carole, Thank you for visiting with me to chat about “Fribbet the Frog and the Tadpoles.” So who is Fribbet?
Carole: Thank you for having me. Fribbet’s personality is loosely based on my brother. We work together every day. He is the CFO of my family’s company and sometimes he has similar reactions to calamities. Don’t tell him though!
Susan: I am a big fan of the “Captain No Beard” series because of its messages and unique characters. Where do you find inspiration?
Carole: I find inspiration in everyday life. Every one of the Captain No Beard challenges are problems we’ve had to work through as a family, or based on situations that have occurred. In Pepper Parrot’s Problem with Patience, I based Pepper Parrot’s learning disability on my own. I can’t tell my right from left. Stuck in the Doldrums is a very real problem when someone, who shall remain nameless, becomes very bossy. It doesn’t have to be a child either! Strangers on the High Seas was a way to introduce my new granddaughter, Cayla to the family, and Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis was a very real conversation between Alexander and myself one night. He wanted to steal the aurora borealis. I love to read and a beautiful sunrise was the inspiration for The Treasure of Snake Island and the issue of my nephew dealing with bullying sparked The Crew Goes Coconuts. Fribbet the Frog and the Tadpoles is my tribute to Zachary joining the crew. Lastly, A Flag for the Flying Dragon is my homage to my family’s ability to adapt to all situations.
Susan: I remember when I had my second daughter; my oldest daughter, then 3 years old, asked me when the baby was going to leave! I wish I would have had Fribbet the Frog’s help then! How did you come up with the idea of tadpoles to help explain additions to the family?
Carole: I adore Fribbet. I love his excitement and frenetic energy. Having a new baby can be overwhelming and there is nothing more overwhelming than hundreds of tadpoles swimming around. I was thinking that to a bewildered older sibling, that’s what it might feel like when a new baby arrives. Hallie was four years old when her brother joined our crew. They moved to a new house the day he was born (not planned). The house had to be gutted- we had four crews waiting at the door for the papers to be signed. Believe me, I felt like Fribbet that day! I also wanted children to understand that despite the hard work, a sibling is wonderful and a great built-in friend.
Susan: Is there a message you hope parents get from Fribbet?
Carole: Everyone needs a support system and nobody should be afraid to use it. Like the captain says, “Problems can weigh you down like a heavy anchor. When you share your load with others, it’s never too heavy to carry.” Arrrgh!
Susan: As a children’s book author how do you feel kids connect to books in this technological era?
Carole: There is nothing more delightful than curling up with the damp head of your child on your chest, hearing the rumble of words as you read together. Whether you share a giggle or a deep thought, it is precious and wonderful.
Susan: You have been very successful involving your grandson in your books to the point that you have co-authored a book together. Can you give parents some tips on how to get kids into reading books?
Carole: I always try to read things that do not bore them. I read Shakespeare and Shirley Jackson with my sons at an early age. One of them grew up to be an author, the other designs his covers, so it must have been a good idea. I try to write things that will animate and interest parents so reading time will be exciting for them as well. If you treat it like a chore, it will be received as a chore.
My mother was my reading partner. We had a reading group of two and loved discussing and sharing books. It was a common denominator that made for some fascinating discoveries as well as entertainment. Books connect people by bring ideas for self awareness. Find subjects that spark interest as well as controversy. Make it fun.
Susan: Where can readers find your books and find out about your new upcoming projects?
Carole: Here are the details:
All books are available on amazon.com and Barnes and noble.com.
Susan: Carole, as usual I had a wonderful time chatting with you. Thank you so much for stopping by!
Carole: Thank you for such insightful and interesting questions.