About Caryl Hart

Caryl Hart is a full-time children’s writer, who also runs creative workshops with schools. Her Princess series, illustrated by Sarah Warburton, has sold hundreds of thousands of copies around the world. She lives in Sheffield, United Kingdom. Visit her online, and on Twitter and Instagram.

When a Dragon Comes to Stay: Interview with the Author

Remembering your manners when visiting with friends can be a challenge. Preschoolers and dragons will relate to Caryl Hart's book, When a Dragon Comes to Stay, as it explores different situations a small child, or dragon, might experience during a visit to a friend's house. Ms. Hart talked with Magination Press about creating When a Dragon Comes to Stay in this interview. Magination Press: What inspired you to write When a Dragon Comes to Stay? Caryl Hart: The initial idea for the book came from my editor at Nosy Crow. She asked me if I’d like to write a book about a preschool-aged dragon using the concept: “Why no, dragons don’t do that!” Of course I said yes straight away! MP: Why did you decide to write a book about manners? CH: We wanted to find a fun way to model good behavior for preschool children - to create a book that was engaging for children but also carried some universal messages to support parents. I do feel this has been especially important over the past year as children have been socializing less and have had fewer opportunities to work out how to get along with others. MP: Why did you choose a dragon to be the visitor? CH: Dragons are often cast as baddies in children’s literature so the expectation is that they will always be mean, scary, and unkind. Using a dragon as the main character gives us a unique opportunity to play with that role. The book first suggests how a dragon might behave - for example, will she snatch and keep the toys from other little girls and boys? But then quickly clarifies that in fact, a dragon will wait her turn and always share.  So the book gives caregivers and children lots of opportunities to discuss how they or their friends might deal with certain situations and experiment with ideas on the best ways to behave. Children love to take the higher moral ground, so find the idea of a dragon behaving badly very funny! It was also lovely to be able to create a very young dragon character - I think you’ll agree that Ros Beardshaw’s illustrations are absolutely adorable! MP: Why did you choose to explore manners at home, as opposed to manners at a party or somewhere else? CH: This book is set at home because we’re focusing on preschool children, many of whom spend a lot of time playing at home with their friends. The second book in the series, When a Dragon Goes to School is set, as the title suggests, in a school environment. We have more books in production that draw on different settings, so watch this space! MP: What was it like to see your illustrator Rosalind Beardshaw’s interpretation of your words? Was it your idea or hers to depict multiracial siblings? CH: Ros’s illustrations are completely adorable and I know it took a lot of work to get the characters just right. Both Ros and I are

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When a Dragon Comes to Stay: Interview with the Author 2021-03-15T23:04:48-04:00