Today we sit down with children’s author Ann Morris to talk about her work and her inspiration. Please enjoy.
DM: What is the title and genre of the book you want to tell us about?
AM: “Everything Is Different”/”Todo es distinto” are the English and Spanish versions of the same story. They are picture books for children of any age.
DM: Can you summarize your book in one sentence?
AM: No, but I’ll do my best.
Brett and his dad visit England briefly; many observations and questions ensue; Brett learns that different is not the same as wrong.
DM: Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
AM: Children of any age (5-9), children reading to them and parents or adults reading to them. Language learners are also part of my intended readers.
DM: How did you come up with the title?
AM: I was visiting the United Kingdom, in England specifically, and people were commenting on things they noticed that were different. Immediately I knew it would be a perfect children’s story. Children’s notice things that are different, but they are much more adaptable to new ideas than adults. With a constantly changing world, it is important for children to learn that there is more than one way to do things “right”.
DM: Tell me about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image?
AM: Melissa Wright is my illustrator for this book. She is a cousin of mine that I have never met, but she has entertaining details included in her illustrations.
DM: What are your biggest writing influences?
AM: My junior high English teachers were fantastic and left a deep impression on my love of the language. Growing up, my dad was very observant and constantly drawing our attention to a pretty landscape or sunset. My mother loved to write and gave me tips as I progressed. She never did a project for me but was always cheering from the side lines. My junior high geography teacher was important in pointing out that we should look at what we have in common with people that are different from us.
DM: Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
AM: They are both equally important. Brett is the young boy who is constantly noticing “different” things and worrying that something will happen. His dad patiently addresses his concerns and explains why they are that way and that they work fine in this location.
DM: If you could change ONE thing about your book, what would it be? Why?
AM: I don’t know that I could change anything. The story is based on things I actually saw, places I visited, and Brett is based on my nephew, true to form including speech patterns.
DM: Can you give us a fun fact about your book
AM: My tax advisor wouldn’t allow me to deduct trip expenses on my tax return! I’ve learned since that I could have. Grrrr.
I loved the trip and relive it every time I read the story. I want to return to the Midlands in England!
DM: What other books are similar to your own? What makes them alike?
AM: My books are all based on true experiences. They are my way of telling a story, teaching a lesson, and trying to impress the importance of healthy adult/child relationships.
DM: Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?
I am equally bilingual in English and Spanish (spoken and written) and love languages and cultures. I am always learning. A former High School Spanish teacher, I was always working to reach the students personally as well as academically. They know if a teacher cares about them or not.
I was a musician starting with piano in elementary school through adulthood. I’ve had leadership positions and feel it is important to include co-workers in decision-making. Everyone is important.
I love to bird watch, flower garden, and work on geneology. I write poetry and love to take photographs. My piano technician says I have a “sensitive” ear. It’s all related somehow. People and the world are inter-related, it is important for us to notice and be conscious of other people as well as Mother Earth, and it is important for us to seek harmony.
About Ann Morris
Ann (Ana for Spanish books) Morris has a deep interest in education. She knows that children have vivid imaginations and an insatiable love of learning. Morris developed an interest in writing children’s stories with the intention of recording memorable experiences with young family members sprinkled with memories of her own youth.
As a teacher and as a community worker, Morris has collaborated with and served people from many cultures new to our country, including our Latino friends. She speaks and writes Spanish as well as English. Her hopes are to encourage children and parents learning to read their native language, as well as to motivate language learners. She includes a positive adult role model, a curious child and a unique learning experience in each story.
Ann (Ana) Morris is the author of
- Mommy and Mikel Go for a Walk/Mikel y Mami dan un paseo
- Surprise in Auntie’s Garden!/¡Sorpresa en el jardín de la tía!
- Everything Is Different/Todo es distinto