Daddy, Can You See The Moon? (release date April 9, 2019) is about the special moments a young boy and his deployed dad share by looking at the moon, until the father comes home a wounded warrior and the boy realizes that love was what kept them connected all along.
This is such a difficult topic, yet you handled the text with such grace. Why was this topic important to you?
As former Early Childhood Educator, I sat on the floor of my Laboratory Pre-K, which was affiliated with the teacher-training program I directed, and became uniquely attuned to the young child’s mind.
These precious little guys struggle to make sense of the world around them, especially the adult world of their parents. Emotional situations like divorce and deployment affect these children in a way that most adults cannot see.
It was one particular little boy that was having a very difficult time accepting the time frame of his dad’s separation from the family that came back to me years later and that along with all of the TV coverage of soldiers, be they Mom or Dad, returning to surprise their children resulted in DADDY, CAN YOU SEE THE MOON?
Did writing in rhyme help convey a lightness to a challenging topic?
Yes. I felt such a serious topic needed a light touch and since I write picture books almost exclusively in rhyme, it came to me that way.
In writing this story, did you interview any military families? What inspired you to incorporate the moon into the story?
I did not interview any military families. As I said above, the story just came to me almost the way it is published. At first it was written in 3rd person, and now it’s first—a more intimate portrayal of the boy’s POV.
When I write, whether it be a picture book or novel, I mentally insert myself into the story as an observer, or sometimes a participant and it seemed to me that a natural object that remains a constant would be the key to their connection. I chose the moon because I felt the boy would think about his father more when the flurry of the day’s activities were over and that would be bedtime.
On a true note, I met a Blue Star Mom at a book festival just after I signed the contract for Daddy, but there were no illustrations or cover. So I drew my own interpretation of the cover and advertised that the book would be available the next year.
When I told her the premise of the story, tears flooded her eyes. Her son came home a triple amputee from Afghanistan and their constant when he was away was the Pleiades star constellation. So the concept rings true for many military families.
What is your writing routine like? Every day at a certain time? Do you have favorite desk or do you write in the local coffee shop?
I do most of my writing in the morning before my husband wakes up. In the winter, I sit near the fire to write. In the other three seasons, I sit at my desk in my writing loft. And I always carry a pen and pad with me. You never know when story lightning strikes…in a car…at a football game…at restaurant…or a doctor’s office.
Giveaway: Win a PB Critique from author Gayle Krause (preferably a rhyming PB manuscript of approximately 500 words). To ENTER CLICK HERE!
Note: Giveaway begins on April 6th and ends on April 13th. One winner will be notified.
About Gayle Krause: As a child, Gayle made up stories and acted them out for her two sisters and the neighborhood kids. As an adult, she make up stories for kids around the world and hopes they’ll find themselves mesmerized. Gayle writes picture books and YA with inspiration from her many years as an educator.
For more information, visit www.gayleckrause.com