Traveling Tootsie by Karen and Kathy Honaker
Happy Tuesday! Today's tour with iRead Books Tours includes an adventurous teddy bear and won the 2023 Family Choice Award. Enjoy reading about this delightful book and hearing from the author.
Have you ever wished you could go away on your parent’s business trip or hide in their suitcase to explore a new city all on your own? Well, Katie and Steven sure have! They wonder why they always have to stay home when Mommy or Daddy travel for work. Once their favorite yellow teddy, Tootsie, comes up with the idea to stow himself away for Daddy’s trip to Washington, DC, Katie and Steven realize that they’ll be able to travel along, too—but just not in the way they first imagine!
What was the inspiration for the story?
We were inspired to write this story because it was based on a special childhood memory that we believed would make a wonderful children’s book. We had our own Traveling Tootsie growing up so we wanted to see him come to life!
What do you hope readers take away from this book?
Travel Tootsie can start out as a picture book with its beautiful illustrations and become a favorite book for a child to read by themselves. When parents read this book to their children, we hope it will spark conversations about travel and inspire them to want to come visit and learn more about Washington DC. Our hope is for families to start their own “Traveling Tootsie” tradition.
What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel?
We definitely plan to write a “Traveling Tootsie” sequel. Katie and Steven have found a way to embrace their dad’s traveling and absence. It’s not so tough to see their dad leave now that they know Traveling Tootsie can go along and come back and tell them all about his adventures. The book ends with Katie and Steven dreaming about where he could go next…see the last page for some of their ideas!
What was the highlight of writing this book?
The highlight of writing this book was watching a childhood memory come alive with each other. We’re both married, raising teenagers, volunteer, and work outside the home so the time we got to spend together re-living this memory and all the fun we had with it (then and now) was just priceless!
What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?
Our busy schedules and finding long stretches of uninterrupted time to work on the book together were the biggest challenges. The whole process from start to finish took three years, and that was after we first attempted to get this off the ground over ten years ago!
A smaller challenge was that our illustrator lives in Italy. We were amazed at how she was able to capture the sights of Washington, DC, but we had to go back and forth to get the exact details we wanted to include in the illustrations. We are so pleased with the final product. The pictures are so colorful and beautiful!
This book is ideal for children of traveling parents either for their job or vacation. Younger children will love having the book read to them and older children will love reading the book. I love the imagination of the children to send their teddy bear in their fathers suitcase. The illustrations are beautiful and look like drawings rather than pictures. They match the story perfectly and highlight the important parts of the pages. The book is also educational giving facts about Washington D.C. and the sites Tootsie sees. Your little one will love hearing or reading this story for the imagination and the sites of the city. If they have been to Washington D.C. they will recognize the sites and if they have not been to the city they will get to see the wonderful sites. A wonderful story for everyone to love!
Kathy and Karen grew up in the Chicago suburbs and moved to Virginia as teenagers. They enjoyed many family vacations, which began their love of travel. They both reside in Virginia with their families and continue to instill a love of travel with their own children. This is their first children’s book written together, about a favorite childhood memory that they always wanted to share with others to enjoy. They hope to inspire a sense of adventure in you!
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