Imagination at Work

Susan Hood brings children to a place where reality meets fantasy



photograph by Hugh Smith

“Tooth fairy? What’s a tooth fairy?” When Susan Hood was quizzing a little Parisian girl about what happens when she loses a tooth; the little girl’s answer surprised and inspired the author. In France (and lots of other countries too) kids with freshly gap-toothed grins are paid a call by the enterprising tooth mouse.

“Who knew?” says Susan, a Greenwich native and longtime Southport resident who is currently on a literary roll thanks to her knack for fictionalizing “those things that surprise me.”

Already the author of more than 200 titles, including baby board books and early readers, this summer Susan released three critically-praised children’s picture books—her first in that genre. There’s The Tooth Mouse (about that fairy-like rodent); the Halloween-themed Just Say Boo! and Spike, the Mixed-Up Monster—a fantastical account of a critically endangered Mexican axolotl.

Susan imagined Spike’s story—which includes a smattering of Spanish words for an authentic accent—after learning about the strangely adorable biological wonder. Axolotls can regenerate limbs and live on the biological edge in just one lake in the world. “If I’m surprised and excited about something, I think the kids will be too,” the Greenwich Academy alumna explains.

This “Who knew?” approach is working wonders for Susan, a former content director at Nick Jr. magazine, who was a children’s book editor before she attempted illustrated storybooks. Her new books were paired with drawings by the talented Janice Nadeau, Jed Henry and Melissa Sweet. “I was a little intimidated by it because I know how hard [illustrated storybooks] are to get published. It’s a tough genre for editors who have to read the manuscript and then imagine it illustrated.”

Her risk was rewarded when three publishers got in a bidding war over Spike’s manuscript. “I know it’s a cliché, but it’s a dream come true.”

Expect more Susan Hood titles soon. Although her two daughters are now adults, Susan constantly imagines new tales by keeping close tabs on the elementary set. It helps that her husband, Paul, teaches French at Wilton’s Cider Mill School and she’s the daughter-in-law of Dr. Bill Kueffner, a retired Fairfield pediatrician. “I have a lot of little kids on my block too. I read them all my books and they give me great and honest feedback,” she says. “But I think the real key is I just pay attention. There are stories all around us if we just take the time to stop, listen and observe.”

For more about Susan Hood visit her website

 

Greenwich Agenda

  • TREEHOUSES: Look Who's Living in the Trees!

    2014.06.21
     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Saturday, June 21 - Monday, September 1 Hidden in the leaves, snug in the trunk or burrowed under the roots, what types of animals actually...

  • Greenwich Harbor Sunset Wine Cruise | Greenwich, CT

    2014.06.05
     @ Delamar Hotel Dock

    The boat "Prudence" departs from the Delamar Hotel Dock on 500 Steamboat Rd. All the wine is sponsored through VALS with food...

  • SM&NC Farm Market

    2014.06.15
     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Sundays, June 15 – October 5, 10am – 2pm We're thrilled to bring back the SM&NC Farm Market — now on Sundays!...

  • Exclusive Tour of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Yale University Art Gallery

    2014.09.09
     @ Yale University Art Gallery

    Join JCC Greenwich for an exclusive tour with museum curator Elizabeth Manekin. The collection is noteworthy for exemplary works from the...

  • Understanding the Gaza War: Strategic & Political Implications

    2014.09.09
     @ Greenwich Library, Cole Auditorium

    Dr. Efraim Inbar is a Professor in Political Studies at Bar-Ilan University and Director of its renowned Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic...

  • Bruce Museum: Look and See - Into the Deep

    2014.09.10
     @ Bruce Museum

    A program especially designed for children ages 3-5 years and their adult caregivers, who will explore the Museum’s exhibition through...

  • College Admissions Boot Camp | Greenwich, CT

    2014.09.13

    College Prep 360 will be offering two college admissions “boot camps” in their Greenwich office over the summer. The first workshop...

  • Nigh Season: New Paintings By David Konigsberg

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM  Public Invited   NIGH...

  • Undulate: Paintings By Julie Gross and Margaret Neill

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    GALLERY II Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM Public Invited...

  • Greenwich Area Newcomers Annual Lobster Fest

    2014.09.14
     @ Tod's Point Clambake Area

    This is our kickoff event each year-held at Tod's Point Clambake area. The event is scheduled for Sunday September 14th starting...

  • Information Fair

    2014.09.16
     @ YMCA

    Our Annual Information Fair - This event showcases non profits , community businesses, schools and  services in the Greenwich...

  • Laurel House Family Seminar Series

    2014.09.18
     @ Laurel House

    Thursday evenings, September 18, October 2, 16, 30, 6:30-8:00 pm Join us Thursday evenings for this four part Family Seminar Series as...

  • The Many Faces of Multi Media

    2014.09.20
     @ Meli-Melo of Greenwich

    Dr. Julia Trebing, Director Creative Therapies in Stamford, CT exhibits her paintings at Meli-Melo Creperie & Juice Bar  during Sept...

  • SoulCycle GWCH for Make-A-Wish CT

    2014.09.20
     @ SoulCycle

    Make-A-Wish Connecticut is thrilled to be partnering with SoulCycle's Greenwich location for a charity ride on Saturday, September 20th!...

  • Wall Street Tennis Challenge

    2014.09.20
     @ Greenwich Country Club

    The goal of The Wall Street Tennis Challenge is to support the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation’s efforts while spreading awareness...

  • Arts & Crafts on Bedford

    2014.09.20
     @ Bedford Street

    Shop at over 100 craft and artisan boutiques on Bedford Street, which will be closed to traffic for the weekend. Dine in our extended sidewalk...


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