Disclosure: Disney-Hyperion Books has sponsored this post about Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker. Ann Arbor with Kids is compensated for sales through links in this post.
Michigan Author Shelley Johannes published her debut elementary school novel, Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker last week. This week she launched her book tour with school visits at Haisley and Pittsfield Elementary Schools. Thank you to Literati Bookstore for sponsoring these visits.
About Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker
Disney-Hyperion Books provided the following pass please about the book:
A charming chapter book series, perfect for fans of Junie B. Jones and Ivy + Bean
Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker
by Shelley Johannes
“I fell in love with the unsinkable Beatrice Zinker—an unflappable, creative, and funny problem-solver with a big heart.”
—Ann M. Martin, New York Times bestselling author and Caldecott Honor winner
“Fresh and fun!”
—Sara Pennypacker, New York Times bestselling author of the Clementine series
BEATRICE ZINKER, UPSIDE DOWN THINKER (Disney-Hyperion; On Sale: September 19, 2017) by debut author Shelley Johannes is the first book in this heartfelt, unique, four-color illustrated Beatrice Zinker series. With adorable four-color illustrations and a corky sense of humor throughout, readers will enjoy this endearing story. Spunky third-grade Beatrice realizes that some friendships are worth risking recess for, and sometimes all it takes is the simplest act of kindness to “turn that frown upside down!”
Beatrice does her best thinking upside down. Hanging from trees by her knees, doing handstands—for Beatrice Zinker, upside down works every time. For instance, she was definitely upside down when she and her best friend, Lenny, agreed to wear matching ninja suits on the first day of third grade. But when Beatrice shows up at school dressed in black, Lenny arrives with a cool new outfit and a cool new friend. Even worse, she seems to have forgotten all about the top-secret operation they planned! Can Beatrice use her topsy-turvy way of thinking to save the mission, get her friendship back to normal, and flip things sunny-side up?
Recognizing differences in a positive way will make BEATRICE ZINKER, UPSIDE DOWN THINKER an instant classroom favorite, timed perfectly for back-to-school!
BEATRICE ZINKER, UPSIDE DOWN THINKER by Shelley Johannes On Sale September 19, 2017 Disney-Hyperion | $14.99 US | $15.99 CAN Hardcover | ISBN: 9781484767382 | Ages 7-10 | 160 pages
About Shelley Johannes
SHELLEY JOHANNES previously spent ten years in architecture—where she fell in love with felt-tip pens, tracing paper, and the greatness of black turtlenecks. She lives in Michigan with her husband and two sons. Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker is her first book. Find her online at shelleyjohannes.com or on Twitter @ShelleyJohannes.
Interview with Shelley Johannes
In between her two school visits, I sat down for lunch with Shelley to talk a bit about her book and the inspiration.
What Inspired you to Write?
Shelley had wanted to write for a long time. She was inspired by a quote from Joss Whedon “Whatever makes you weird is probably your greatest asset”. This quote helped her overcome her natural quietness.
Where did the idea of Beatrice Come From?
Shelley describes being at her local library one day at the end of 2012 and looking at their display of newly arrived books. She was trying to think how many books she could check out without being greedy. She pictured a girl in a ninja suit coming down form the ceiling and taking a bunch of books – and the library staff chasing her down.
How did the book evolve?
The day after getting the idea, she bought a book with agents, read a few bios, and was drawn to a particular agent. She then spent the next year writing a picture book featuring Beatrice. In early 2014, she sent the book to the agent she initially identified. He got back to her quickly, but suggested that it would be perfect as a chapter book. The book evolved from a particular page in the book where Beatrice was hanging upside down and said “Lucky for Beatrice she does her best thinking upside down.” It took them 9 months to develop the first chapter and sold it to Disney-Hyperion. The first draft of the book was completed in May 2015 and was published on September 19, 2017 after final editing and illustration.
Where does Beatrice go from here?
Shelley has a second Beatrice book in the works and possible ideas for future books.
What advice do you have for kids who want to write?
Shelley’s biggest advice is to Have fun and trust yourself. She encourages kids to write about whatever they want and are passionate about. Her first book as a kid was about Pac-Man.
Buy Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker
Buy Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker for your child and enjoy it together. The book is available at local bookstores, or you can find it on Amazon both in hardback and Kindle formats.