Today I’d like to share with you about an exciting new series of books for kids ages 5-12, called “Pix the Panda’s World Tour.” The books star a well-traveled, camera-loving cartoon panda named Pix who loves to talk about the photos he has taken in the various cities he has visited around the world.
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Pix Goes to London, the first adventure in the series, is scheduled for release on August 8, 2016, and will be available on Amazon.com. In this book Pix’s adventures include a visit to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, watching the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, and searching for famous statues. A special reproducible section at the end of the book contains hands-on activities for kids to continue the learning fun, and additional activities are available for free download from PixThePanda.com.
Erin Salazar, creator of Pix the Panda and the photographer behind Pix’s photos, is a teacher and mother of three. She currently lives in the United States, but some of her past homes include Germany, Romania, and Mexico. Today Erin is answering a few questions about the inspirations and experiences behind the book.
Which books from your childhood inspired a lifetime of reading and writing?
When I was little I loved the Golden Books illustrated by the beautiful colored pencil drawings and watercolor paintings of Eloise Wilkin. I also liked the Richard Scarry books, with humorous illustrations such as a pickle car and a one-shoed worm. These books made me want to create my own art, and naturally, my pictures needed storylines so they would make sense, so I decided to become an author and illustrator!
When did you decide that you wanted to write and illustrate children’s books?
I think I was about four years old when I first started trying to write and illustrate my own books. I didn’t know how to spell yet, so I drew the pictures and then dictated the words for my mom to write on the pages. Of course, the books didn’t look very professional. They were just paper stapled together into book form, some of them cut down to the size I wanted with the ragged edges that result when a four-year- old cuts paper. But I didn’t give up. I kept practicing and dreaming of becoming a published author someday.
What advice would you give to a child who would like to be an author and illustrator like you?
Don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t get frustrated if your pictures don’t look like the pictures you see in books. You are developing your own unique style and nobody can do YOUR style as well as YOU can!
Why did you decide to write about a world-traveling panda?
I thought it would be fun to share my photos from some of my travels with kids, so that they could learn about culture and history. I wanted to use a fun cartoon narrator to hold the series together and make the books more visually appealing, and after some brainstorming, I came up with Pix the Panda. He seemed to fit because he always has a camera around his neck.
What are you working on next?
I’m planning to release some bilingual children’s books soon, and of course, there are more Pix the Panda books on their way to completion. I’m considering creating an adult coloring book as well. I was recently commissioned to illustrate an adult coloring book about lighthouses, and it was a really fun project, so now I really want to do another one.
How can we find out more about Pix Goes to London?
Pix Goes to London will be available to purchase on Amazon.com August 8, 2016. You can find out more about the upcoming release and the rest of the series at the website: PixThePanda.com
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