Today I am honored to shine the spotlight on Children’s Book Author, Chieu Urban. She is an amazingly creative author, mother, baker, designer, and so much more. Stick around and find out more about Chieu and her latest book, AWAY WE GO. Chieu has also generously offered to give away a signed copy of her book! You won’t want to miss out on this opportunity. If you’d like to enter please a comment on this post below. You can also earn one additional entry for following Chieu’s blog here, where you can find links to awesome activities for young readers. Winners will be posted Wed. July 10th.
Hello Chieu! Let’s start things off by having you share your favorite flower?
I love tulips. They are simple in beauty and color, and there is something about tulips that make me very happy.
How did you get your start in writing and why specifically did you choose to write for children?
When my girls were in preschool, I decided to design a hands-on book to teach them about colors. I didn’t want a book that simply tells how primary colors (red, blue, and yellow) blend to make secondary ones (purple, orange, and green); I wanted to demonstrate this visually, with a novelty book, which was published six years later.
Your name is so beautiful. How is it pronounced and what is its meaning?
Thank you, that’s very kind. I’m Vietnamese, and the best spelling I can think of for pronouncing my name is “jeeeeew”, but everyone calls me “chew”. My name means “the light of the moon”. My father is a writer and poet, and came up with this name. I haven’t met another Vietnamese woman with my name.
Can you tell us a little more about your new book, Away We Go?
Away We Go! A Shape and Seek Book is a novelty board book published by Scholastic, Cartwheel. This concept book
introduces basic shapes. Triangles become sailboats and hearts become airplanes as each spread reveals a different mode of transportation made from bright colors and geometric shapes. Die-cuts of shapes are layered throughout each page, for a fun shape-and seek-game. The challenge is to find the vehicles in the shapes and the shapes in the vehicles.
How did you come up with the idea for your Away We Go?
I have a background in graphic design, and enjoy creating innovative formats that are clever in design. I thought it would be a fun idea to layer die-cut shapes throughout a book, transitioning from one transportation mode to the next. I love developing concepts that are playful and educational.
Your bio states that you bake, design, craft, entertain, and are a mom to three awesome girls. Wow! How do ensure that you have special time each day to write?
That’s a great question. My family is my main priority. When they are home, I’m pretty busy spending time with them. My creative time is when they are in school. I have a lot less time during the summer, and try to work in the evenings, or sketch at the pool.
Where can readers find your book for purchase?
Away We Go! is in Barnes and Nobles, and online with Target, Walmart, and Amazon.
Thanks for joining us today, Chieu. Don’t forget to comment below for your chance to win a copy of Chieu’s book, AWAY WE GO!