Friday, December 6, 2019

My Friend Moose'r McDan Tour: An interview with Sky Danley


My Friend Moose'r McDan stopping today on my blog in partnership with The Children's Book Review and Sky Danley Productions.

Written by Sky Danley
Illustrated by Alli Coate
Publisher’s Synopsis: An aggressive hunter bear meets a gentle moose who is looking for a new friend. The moose is so friendly that the bear decides to drop his gun and stop hunting altogether. Instead, the bear learns that it’s more fun to just hang out with a new friend, playing games and enjoying nature. However, after the fall colors change, it’s time for the bear to go back home. The gentle moose is sad because he lost his play friend, so he is again looking for a new one. He invites whoever is reading the book to become his new friend.
Ages 5-6 | Publisher: Sky Danley Productions | October 8, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-0997345100
PURCHASE LINK

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An Interview with the Author, Sky Danley

You’ve got an impressive background in
The Author: Michael 'Sky' Danley
science as well as visual storytelling. Can you give us a snapshot of your career and how it led you to this point, where you decided to write books for kids?


Many years ago, while working as a young engineer on a contract with NASA, I was trained to use a computer to model jet airflow.   Since then, I've continued to play with computer modeling, which led to my learning 3-D character modeling at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Hollywood, which led to developing my own characters.  Additionally, I have two boys, and while they were young, I enjoyed reading them the entire catalogue of Bill Peet's picture books, which are very strong in both story arcs and character development.  Bill Peet, by the way, was a story man at the original Walt Disney Studios, probably the most talented of all Disney's story men, and whom I studied while a film student at Harvard.  Interestingly, Walt ended up firing Bill for writing children's books outside of the studio. 

What was the inspiration for this particular book or series?

While a young military pilot, I once flew an Air Force jet, with a Moose painted on its tail because the jet was based in Maine, to intercept a Russian Bear bomber that was threatening our coast.  The Bear Bomber was acting aggressively and we went out to greet it in our "Moose" jet.  During the cold war, the Russians were our adversaries, and we would get intelligence briefings about how evil they were, but I always imagined their pilots were a lot like us, that they were just trying to get by, caring for their families just las we cared for ours.  I thought about how insane it all was (they actually called it MAD -- Mutual Assured Destruction), and how the world would be better if would could just all become friends.  The world is always better when people choose friendship over aggression.

What’s the message you’re trying to get across to children in this new book?

In the book, an aggressive Hunter Bear meets a gentle Moose asking to be friends, and the Bear decides to abandon his aggression and instead accept friendship with the moose, which friendship turns out to be a lot more fun than aggression.

How would you describe your books to first time readers?

The story arcs in my books are told completely through the illustrations, so that the young reader can completely follow the story visually. The words only support the picture, which allows the child to learn the words in context.  I also play a lot of visual games in the illustrations.  For example, in the Moose'r book, there are 4 ants, 3 birds, and one squirrel in every illustration.  It's a little inside game to see if the child can notice this pattern and point out the ants, birds and squirrel on each page.  It's been my experience that children are better at picking up this pattern than adults.  At the story's end, I also visually transform the "outside woods" into the "child's room," like the whole story happened in a child's imagination.  Children have such wonderful imaginations.

What’s been your biggest challenge with regards to the process of writing, publishing, and marketing a book for children?  

My biggest challenge is the time I can devote to the book projects.   I'm a trained commercial pilot, and aviation is one of my life's passions, so I still fly part time to keep my nose in it.  I also run a film production company, with several projects in the works, so my time is definitely challenged there too.  I should add that one of my upcoming film projects is an animated cartoon about a moose that overcomes adversity to successfully build a flying machine, in this case a child-like flying bicycle.  This cartoon should be released in early 2020.

Who do you feel is most likely to connect with the topics you write about? (can be age group, demographic group, those with certain interests, etc.)

For the moose book, I think it's the parents that are concerned with the amount of aggression that is increasingly occurring everywhere in our society.  Children should be allowed to be children, and not have to worry about such things as taking shelter in school.  If the moose book can help reduce this increasing aggression, just a tiny bit, then I feel it's all been a success.  Therefore, those most likely to connect are fellow parents that share these same concerns and hopes.  As for the children, I just want them to be entertained, and I think the visually inclined child will be the most likely to connect.

A favorite review quote or sample quote (snippet) from one of your book reviews that I can use on the page?

In "My Friend Moose'r McDan" by author Sky Danley and illustrator Alli Coate is the picture book story of an aggressive hunter bear who meets a gentle moose who is looking for a new friend. The moose is so friendly that the bear decides to drop his gun and stop hunting altogether. Instead, the bear learns that it's more fun to just hang out with a new friend, playing games and enjoying nature. However, after the fall colors change, it's time for the bear to go back home. The gentle moose is sad because he lost his play friend, so he is again looking for a new one. He invites whoever is reading the book to become his new friend! A distinctively original and thoroughly entertaining picture book story for children ages 5-6. -- The Midwest Book Review


You can follow the author on his official links:




Guess what, we also have a GIVEAWAY just for you
Enter for a chance to win a copy of My Friend Moose’r McDan and a plush moose!

Click on the link to this giveaway page👇

Three (3) grand prize winners receive:
  • A copy of My Friend Moose’r McDan
  • A plush moose
Giveaway begins December 6, 2019, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends January 6, 2020, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

My Friend Moose'r McDan Tour: An interview with Sky Danley

My Friend Moose'r McDan stopping today on my blog in partnership with The Children's Book Review and Sky Danley Productions. ...