Wednesday, 2 November 2022

BLOG TOUR: Mending The Moon by Emma Pearl and Sara Ugolotti

Welcome to our stop of the blog tour for Mending The Moon by Emma Pearl and Sara Ugolotti. Today we are celebrating the launch of this beautiful picture book with a special review and author interview. Mending The Moon is published by Page Street Kids and will be released in the US on November 1st and in the UK on December 5th. 


Mending the Moon by Emma Pearl and Sara Ugolotti publishes in the UK on December 5th. 

When the moon falls out of the sky and smashes to pieces, Luna is desperate to fix the situation. With the help of her Poppa and a whole host of forest animals, she searches high and low for every last piece. But how can a broken moon be put back together, let alone be placed back in the sky? And if she manages to achieve this mammoth task, will the moon still look perfect?


This picture book is visually stunning. Sara Ugolotti has captured the magical luminescence of the moon, making it the star of the show on every page. Mixed with beautiful forest scenery and a host of colourful animals, it truly is a feast for the eyes.
 

But, of course, without the story, there would be no pictures and from the moment you start reading aloud, you'll discover that Emma Pearl's storytelling language is as gorgeous as the illustrations. As she weaves the gentle tale of the moon falling out of the sky, readers will be sure to fall in love with Luna's determination to fix this enormous problem, which has very high stakes. 


There are a whole range of important takeaways from this story: the beauty and importance of nature, our need to nurture and protect it, working as a team, not giving up, exploring different methods to find a solution and the value of imperfection. I also love that there is a scientific element to the book, which touches on the crucial role the moon plays in the balance of our planet and which can be linked to the school curriculum. 

So, if you're looking for a gorgeous bedtime story to share with little ones, then I recommend giving Mending the Moon a try. It has a magical, folklore feel to it and plays on our fascination with the moon, encouraging empathy, curiosity and imagination. Look out for a sequel coming in 2023...



SCROLL DOWN TO READ AN INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR, EMMA PEARL...

Hi Emma, congratulations on the publication of Mending the Moon, written by you, illustrated by Sara Ugolotti and published by Page Street Kids. It really is a beautiful story. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and where the idea for the story came from?

Hi Tracy, thank you for having me! I wrote the first draft of this story about five years ago. It started while I was rooting around in the dark recesses of my brain for some story ideas and came up with a silly question – what would happen if the moon fell out of the sky? From there came the story of Luna, who saw it happen and wanted to fix it.

 

Can you tell us about Mending the Moon’s journey to publication?

I was incredibly lucky to get picked up by Kayla Tostevin at Page Street Kids during a Twitter pitch event (#PBPitch) in October 2020. I had participated in the event a few times prior to that, and I really enjoyed the buzz and connecting with other writers that way. I never imagined anything would actually come from it! I submitted my manuscript to Kayla straight away and she responded quickly and positively. There were a few rounds of revision to get through before an offer was made. And it’s been a long wait from there to publication, but I’m so excited it’s finally here!


The illustrations by Sara Ugolotti are truly stunning. How did you feel when you saw them for the first time and how did it feel to finally hold a finished copy in your hands?

Oh my goodness, aren’t they incredible? I actually had a little input into the selection of an illustrator, so I knew the artwork would be wonderful, but seeing your characters brought to life for the first time is such a magical thing. When I received the first character sketches they took my breath away. Luna is just so perfect! And of course, there were a lot of stages between the first sketches and the final copy, but holding the finished book in my hands was the culmination of a lifelong dream. Such a special feeling.

 

Is the finished story similar to your first draft or has the story evolved over time?

I’ve just gone back to look at the first draft to see how much it evolved. And wow, yes – the answer is a lot! The first draft was over 1600 words long – full of a lot of unnecessary detail! By the time I submitted the manuscript to the publisher it was about 970 words and the final version is about 750. So, as always with picture books, reducing the word count was key to making the text really shine. My editor Kayla also really helped to bring out the ‘folklore’ element, focusing on the lasting effect of the story’s events on the moon.

 

What are you hoping young readers take from the story?

I’m hoping that readers of all ages will find in the story a sense of wonder and an appreciation for the magic and beauty of nature. And maybe the next level of meaning is to follow Luna’s example, to have compassion for all living things and to work in harmony with nature to fix it.

Your next picture book, Saving the Sun, is out in September 2023. Can you give us any sneaky information about what to expect? Will we meet the same characters again or is it a completely different story?

It’s another adventure for Luna and Poppa, but this time they are holidaying on a tropical island when the sun gets so hot, it decides to go for a dip in the ocean. Luna, Poppa, the sea creatures and island animals have to work together to literally save the day!

 

What do you love most about being a writer and what do you find challenging?

I’ve been a writer since I was big enough to hold a pencil and I would be a writer for the rest of my life even if I was never published. Writing is how I organise my thoughts and express my feelings. It’s like breathing. But actually becoming an author is a long and difficult path, and nearly all of it is challenging. I’m quite an impatient person – if I decide to do something, I want to get on and do it immediately. This is not a good trait to have in an industry that moves as fast as a glacier. Every single part of the process takes an inordinate amount of time (seriously - imagine the most far-fetched amount of time you can and multiply it by your birth year!). So I’ve had to learn to deal with that, which I mostly do by working on many different projects and keeping myself busy. I write across age groups from picture book to young adult, and I have more WIPs on the go than is probably sensible.

 

Do you have a top tip for young writers?

I have four top tips!

Read – as much as you can. Read, read, read!

Write – as much as you can. Don’t worry about writing anything perfect or even good, just write. The more you write, the more you’ll learn and the better you’ll become.

Learn – writing is about so much more than just putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). There are many resources available online and if you’re serious about writing you’ll need to learn the basics of plot structure, character development, narrative arcs and other such delights.

And finally, reach out to authors whose work you enjoy. Most writers have a contact form on their website and we love to hear from readers, especially if they’re budding writers too. You’ll be surprised at how friendly and helpful most writers are. You never know what nuggets (or should I say pearls?) of wisdom you might receive!

 

Thanks so much for talking to us, Emma and good luck with the launch.

Thank you so much!

 Mending The Moon is available in the US now and available to pre-order in the UK:

Waterstones

Bookshop.org UK

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Bookshop.org US

Indiebound

Amazon US






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