The little yellow hermit crab was proud of her shell. It was pleated and twirled and fitted her so well. It kept her safe both inside and out and it made her feel fancy when walking about. The reef was much calmer than on a regular day And the little yellow hermit crab wanted to play. She peaked inside the waving anemone But the clown fish was stuck in front of the telly. She asked the barracudas to slow down. But they didn’t listen and zoomed off through the town. She knocked on the hole of the wobbegong But he looked so sad as if something was wrong. The whole reef was quite like a bedroom at night and each and every family was locked up tight. No schools swam by and the waves were still. There was none to play with, not a whale or a krill. There were groupers, octopus, lobsters and squid but when asked to come play not a one of them did.
Today we talk about The little yellow hermit crab, a book by Mark Ruddick & Melissa Snelling published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the authors Mark Ruddick & Melissa Snelling to get to know them better, what are the messages they want to send out with their book The little yellow hermit crab, as well as the reason why they choose a crab to represent the main character of this illustrated story.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- Why did you choose a crab to represent the main character of this story?
We chose a crab since it is a creature that has to consider how and when to protect itself. Since the point of the book is to make young children feel secure about wearing Covid masks it seemed a sensible allegory. We are also both keen scuba divers and enjoy nothing more than watching hermit crabs size up a new shell.
- What messages did you want to send out with your book?
Initially the homemade book, which we printed ourselves and posted to our nieces and nephews was to make them understand why they would need to wear a mask and why other people would be wearing them. This was back in March 2020 during the first UK lockdown. Since there were no masks available at the time we sewed enough for our friends and family and added the book as a little something extra. When we were offered the chance to publish it we thought that it would be nice to spread that message a little further. It is important to wear a mask to protect yourselves and others and its only sad that now in September 2021 that little has changed.
- When was your passion for writing and for illustrations born?
We are keen story tellers in our respective mediums and have been since childhood. Mel has always been sketching and sculpting and I always enjoy making things up. Personally my passion was sparked though audio books and comics. I am dyslexic and so all of my reading is really listening. I read incredibly slowly and so it is hard to get into a story from the page. Writing however is something different. I can type as fast as I can think and though it comes out as a jumble of misspelled words that can all be fixed later. Writing is a way to engage with stories at a pace I am happy with and it offers endless joy in the process.
- How was your publishing experience?
Publishing is a very strange thing and honestly a little disheartening. The Little Yellow Hermit Crab was written and illustrated within a week. It was posted off and enjoyed by our nieces and nephews and that was that. The back and forth involved in publishing means that things take longer and that results are not seen until much further down the line.
- Are you planning to work on a new project that combines writing and illustrations or will you change the genre.
We have lots and lots of children’s picture books ready to go including a sequel to The Little Yellow Hermit Crab. Unfortunately we cannot afford to publish them and need to wait on the sales figures of the first book. We were asked if we wanted to publish the second book but finding an additional £1500 from nowhere is a tall ask. As for other genres I have a long form novel that I am writing as a passion project and a handful of short stories that keep me entertained but they are for older readers and chances are will not be seen any time soon .
Europe Books thanks the authors Mark Ruddick & Melissa Snelling once again for taking the time and answering our questions. We are really pleased to have walked alongside them on the editorial path that led to the publication of their book The little yellow hermit crab. We wish them the best of luck for this novel and for their future works.
To you, my dear reader, I wish you to immerse yourself in the sea world of the sweet little yellow hermit crab and his adventures down the coral reef; always remember that, no matter how adult you are, books for children have a lot to teach us all! They have the ability to make us reach fantastic worlds and, at the same time, teach us important life lessons to put into practice every day.
So, my dear reader, I just have to wish you a good and pleasant reading!