"No, mon ami! You can't catch me!"
When an old Creole woman bakes dessert on King's Day, she has no idea what shenanigans will ensue. In this New Orleans adaptation of The Gingerbread Man, a mischievous king cake baby escapes his cake! He outruns a praline lady and a waiter at Café du Monde, but can he outsmart the clever baker? Chock full of Louisiana phrases and comic-book-style illustrations, this new take on an old tale brings the Crescent City to life from Jackson Square to the Creole Queen riverboat. This lively story is a great way to introduce children to the sights, sounds, and especially tastes of New Orleans. It even comes with a recipe for homemade king cake-just make sure to keep track of the baby!
I am pleased to devote this blog to an interview with debut author Keila Dawson, whose book The King Cake Baby will be released just in time for Mardi Gras. Kids will recognize familiar elements from The Gingerbread Man in this fractured New Orleans version of the fairytale in which the King Cake Baby tries to escape his fate inside the Mardi Gras cake.
The King Cake Baby
by Keila Dawson
Illustrated by Vernon Smith
Release Date: Februrary 1, 2015
"From Jackson Square to the Mississippi River, the story sparkles with French phrases, New Orleans colloquialisms, and vibrant, comic-book-style artwork depicting the city’s characters and treasures." - Back Cover
I remember the excitement of visiting the public library as a child. The magic and suspense of reading favorites like The Velvet Room and The Secret Garden tugged at my imagination. Biographies of George Washington Carver and Betsy Ross allowed me to see the lives of those who came before me and to appreciate their accomplishments. Poetry collections like my favorite The Tall Book of Poems, which I took with me on sleepovers, introduced me to a range of poetry where I could consider how the placement and rhythm of words affected your mood – sometimes bouncy, other times melancholy. Plus, I really loved the way that book felt in my small hands. My goal in writing children’s books, I think, is an attempt to recreate those feelings, those early years of reading books where everything seemed possible.
I received an M.F.A. in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University and won the Karen and Philip Cushman Late Bloomer Award from SCBWI. I worked as a Children's Librarian for 20 years and still prefer to read books written for young people. I have two Cavapoo dogs named Prince Albert and Daisy Wu, and a black kitten named Mortimer. I am married and split time between homes with my husband Rod in Dayton, OH and in Cadiz, KY where we enjoy our pontoon boat on Lake Barkley.
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