Books, Poetry, and More by Donna J. Shepherd
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Bounding for Books Blog Tour - Margot Finke

My special guest on this last day of the Bounding for Books Blog Tour is Margot Finke who wrote Rattlesnake Jam, illustrated by award-winner Kevin Scott Collier.

About the book: "Rattlesnake Jam" is a rhyming romp for reluctant readers - especially boys! Pa hunts rattlers, and Gran cooks them up into her gooey green rattlesnake jam. Good for whatever ails you, Gran sells her concoction to folks near and far. However, Pa yearns for rattler over rice, or maybe rattlesnake pie: but can he persuade Gran to cook them for him?

REVIEW:Rattlesnake Jam is a hilariously funny children’s picture book about an old couple who share an irresistible affection for rattlesnakes. There’s only one problem: While Pa would rather have the rattlesnakes turned into fritters or pie, old Gran prefers them turned into jam… disgustingly green, sweetened, gooey rattlesnake jam! Collier's colorful, wacky illustrations complement Finke’s humorous rhyme perfectly. The book has 28 pages in all, and each story page has an illustration with a short text at the bottom—a two or four line rhyme. Whimsical and amusing, Rattlesnake Jam is one of those books young children will beg their parents to read to them again and again. --Mayra Calvani Midwest Book Review, June 2008

My Questions for Margot:

#1. Children's writers seem to have a knack for thinking like a child. What were you like as a five-year-old?

Just as well you didn't ask my husband. He has total un-recall from below the age of 12. I grew up Down-under, an only child longing for a brother or a sister - it never happened! I had to imagine my siblings, and I loved Mum making up stories to tell me at bedtime.. I eventually "adopted" the boy next door, and we spent our pre-pubescent years playing up a giant mango tree in our back yard. We made up adventures like those of Taconi and Sally: two intrepid characters from a popular radio serial kids loved. I knew my own mind even then, and I guess you could say I was bossy.

#2. What inspired you to write Rattlesnake Jam?

I have always written - plays, stories etc. Rattlesnake Jam was written for reluctant readers and boys. My son hated reading and I searched for topics and plots that would grab his male fantasies and interest. I discovered that gross stuff like frogs, snakes, barf and bathroom jokes, went down well with the male ten and under set, so Rattlesnake Jam fit the YUCK factor to a tee. Gran, Pa, and their yucky green jam has hooked many boys into reading for fun.

#3. Share the best feedback from a child you've received for your writing.

During a school visit one serious eight year old put up her hand and asked, "Mrs. Finke, my mom hates snakes. Can you wrap one of the books in brown paper, so I can take it home without her seeing it. I want to read it to my little brother. He loves wiggly things!"

View fun musical Book Trailer + "Puzzle Slides" of other book covers on her Blog:

Margot's Website for Children's Books, Manuscript Critique Service, Writing Help + her "Musings" column :

At the end of each week Margot will give away 3 FREE AUDIO links. Each link has Margot reading one of her stories + illustrations. These will go to the 3 readers who add that week's most unique comments.

Watch the hilarious trailer:

Keep up with future Bounding for Books Blog Tours by clicking the logo:

Watch trailers for all the books featured on the tour by clicking on the logo for Blazing Trailers. Enjoy!


Joy said...

Enjoyed the interview Donna and Margot.
What a great way to solve a problem that little girl had. Adventures in a mango tree ...sounds like a book title to me.

Joy Delgado
Illustrator and publisher of bilingual children’s books

Donna J. Shepherd said...

I think you're onto something, Joy! I'm sure Margot could make it fun.

Shari Lyle-Soffe said...


You should have called me, I had three siblings I would have been glad to give you.


Margot Finke said...

Donna, thanks for hosting me. You did me proud, mate!!

Joy and Donna, that mango tree does appear in an MG I wrote, titled "Down-under Calling."

Shari, If only I knew you way back then. I longed for a sibling.

"WILD and WONDERFUL" my rhyming 7 book series - Fun facts about animals from the US and Australia.

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