GRANDMA’S TINY HOUSE by JaNay Brown-Wood
I’ve been a fan of JaNay Brown-Wood ever since her book IMANI’S MOON debuted to critical acclaim. Her newest book, GRANDMA’S TINY HOUSE, is a beautifully illustrated story that engages little ones with counting!
This sweet, rhyming counting book introduces young readers to numbers one through ﬁfteen as Grandma’s family and friends ﬁll her tiny house on Brown Street. Neighbors, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and grandkids crowd into the house and pile it high with treats for a family feast.
But when the walls begin to bulge and no-body has space enough to eat, one clever grandchild knows exactly what to do.
Where there’s a will there’s a way when families grow and come together.
According to your website bio, as a child you wrote and illustrated your first series of unpublished picture books for fun called Taylor the Tyrannosaurus Rex. How did Taylor come to you?
My little sister’s name is Taylor and she was the inspiration for the character in that book. That “series” (I wrote 3) included themes that many children could relate to like moving to a new place, losing a tooth, and finding the perfect costume. But really, those books were a fun way for me to be creative. If I remember correctly, the first one was written for an assignment in 6th grade, and then the second one was an assignment in 7th grade. The third on I wrote for fun.
Wonderful! GRANDMA’S TINY HOUSE has such a beautifully woven narrative. Was it always a counting story, and in what ways did it develop as you wrote it?
Yes, it was always a counting story and it was always about my family. One of the big ways it changed, though, was including conflict, which as we know is an important piece of a narrative. Initially, it was just about the counting, but then after receiving some feedback, I was able to revise it with more conflict added in.
And I love how the story resolves that conflict too. IMANI’S MOON explores reaching the seemingly impossible. What is a goal you’ve attained that you once thought was impossible and why?
I am a person who sets many lofty goals and works really hard to reach them. One of those goals includes getting books published. As you know, publication is no easy feat and it takes a lot of hard work and determination. But, despite all the no’s you might receive, it is important to keep at it. Other goals I’ve attained include becoming a tenured professor and getting accepted into a doctorate program in education. And really, I have many, many more goals set that I am striving to achieve. I am really a believer that you only have one life, so why not make it as rich and full as possible, and why not make yourself the best you can be. One of the ways I do this is by continuing to push myself forward and constantly trying to grow, improve, and accomplish. I’m striving for self-actualization!
A good goal for us all! What are some of your current projects?
I always have ideas swimming around in my head. As of right now, I have several manuscripts being sent out (fingers crossed). I am also working on a middle grade which has also been a goal of mine (there I go again with goals). I am hoping to expand my publications beyond just poetry and picture books to include longer works as well.