Today it is my pleasure to feature author Danielle Dufayet with her new picture book WAITING TOGETHER (Albert Whitman).
Here’s my review of this delightful book: “A sweet and gentle tale that focuses on something we all have to face – waiting for someone or something. Onomatopoeia, word play, and playful and comforting illustrations show young readers how to face waiting alone and with friends.”
Danielle is giving away a signed copy of her book. To enter the random drawing, leave a comment and tells us what you find hard to wait for.
- How did you decide to write a picture book about WAITING…something we all have to do?
I was inspired to write Waiting Together when I read Deborah Underwood’s fabulous book, The Quiet Book. It made me ask: what else is really difficult for kids to do -the answer: waiting. Then I started looking at all the different kinds of waits kids do all day long. I really had a lot of fun with the idea. If you think about it, human beings do a lot of waiting throughout their lifetimes!
2. The text has such gentle rhythm and flow with lots of figurative language. How did that evolve?
At first, Waiting Together had dead-pan humor with lots of potential for illustrations; but, it lacked an overall arc and didn’t quite feel cohesive. I decided on a morning to night arc, with an emphasis on our senses -what does waiting for the train sound like? What does waiting for cookies or ice cream sound like? How does your body feel when you’re waiting to jump in the pool? I wanted this book to be fun, but the underlying message is that it’s always easier waiting with a friend.
3. The illustrations are perfect. Were you given opportunities to have input on any of them?
Yes, Albert Whitman was very good about having my input. There weren’t a lot of changes, but I did make some comments and they cooperated with my suggestions so I was very pleased. They are wonderful to work with.
4. What kind of waiting is hardest for you?
Ha! Waiting to get published was the hardest kind of waiting for me. It took 35 years of writing off and on and never quitting. But, the waiting never got easier. The publishing world is slow and being patient is a necessary part of the journey.
5. Anything else you wish to add?
Yes, this is the manuscript that landed me an agent in 2013 (Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary), but I revised it a lot since I had submitted it on my own. Also, after having sent it out to some publishers, Karen advised me to put it away for a few years since two other well-known authors had books coming out about waiting. I knew in my heart, this manuscript was meant to be published so after about 4 years of “waiting”, I woke up one morning and decided that it was time to get it back out. I tweaked it again and sent it to Karen and it took only about 3-4 weeks before Albert Whitman picked it up.
Thank you, Darlene, for featuring my book and sharing my story!
BIO: Danielle Dufayet (Doo-fye-yay), first generation American from France, was born in Yonkers, New York. She started writing at the age of seven. She is a professional fine art artist and has had her works in galleries up and down the California coast. www.danielledufayet.com
Danielle has a B.A. in English Literature and a M.S. in Psychology. She was always drawn to the beauty and simplicity of picture books and attracted by their powerful psychological impact on young minds. She believes that books are magic little gems that can change one’s life.
Danielle lives in sunny San Jose. If she’s not writing, she can be found listening to Bossa Nova while painting in her studio. She may be reached at: www.danielledufayetbooks.com.