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

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    2014.08.02
     @ Greenwich Education Group

    If you are planning on taking the SAT or the ACT in October or November, this is an ideal time to start your preparation! Once school begins,...

  • Seaside Center: Shoreline Seining and Plankton Tow

    2014.07.20
     @ Seaside Center

    Help us gather plankton and see what creatures are living in our ocean’s water! Examine microscopic organisms caught in our plankton net...

  • Cool and Collected ‘14

    2014.07.10
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    (Gallery 1) Featuring artists:  Carla Goldberg, Melanie Kozol, Francis Sills, and Eve Stockton Summer exhibition at Kenise Barnes...

  • Summer Vacation Day Programs- Grades K-6

    2014.08.18
     @ Stamford JCC

    Monday August 18 To Friday August 22, 8am – 6pm Monday-Baking a Mitzvah Tuesday-Scavenger Hunt Wednesday- Ice Cream Craze....

  • 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...

  • Exhibit: Tales of Two Cities: New York & Beijing | Greenwich, CT

    2014.05.03
     @ Bruce Museum

    May 3 – August 31, 2014 Tales of Two Cities: New York & Beijing This exhibition focuses on two of the world’s leading...

  • A Day in a Farmer's Life

    2014.07.01
     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Tuesdays, July 1 - August 19, 2:30 – 3:15pm Come by and discover what it takes to be a farmer on Heckscher Farm. Each week farm staff...

  • Wine Time Social Hour | Greenwich, CT

    2014.01.27
     @ Barcelona Greenwich

    $4.00 select wines, $4.00 well drinks, and $3.00 beers.

  • Happy Hour | Greenwich, CT

    2014.01.26
     @ Morello Italian Bistro

    Refresh yourself with our famous Red & White Sangria! Don’t forget that during happy hour every day 4:30pm-6:30pm your 2nd drink...

  • Bar: Ladies Night | Old Greenwich, CT

    2014.02.18
     @ Beach House Cafe

    Drink Specials starting at 9:00pm 'till close, $2.00 off any Martini or Margarita.

  • Tuesday Wine Appreciation Night | Greenwich, CT

    2014.02.04
     @ Terra Sole

    Receive 50% off on most listed Wine under $100.00 and 25% off on bottles $100.00 and over!

  • Seaside Center: Shoreline Seining at Low Tide

    2014.07.15
     @ Seaside Center

    Help us collect data for the Long Island Sound biodiversity database. 1:00 pm: June 24, July 8, Aug 5, 19. 4:00 pm: July 1, 15, 22, 29,...

  • Family Fun Art Activities: Roz Chast - A Cartoon Creation

    2014.08.20
     @ Bruce Museum

    This is a free, drop-in program for families. Pick up a self-guided gallery hunt for the featured exhibition -- Roz Chast, Beyond The...

  • Seaside Center: Squid Disection

    2014.07.16
     @ Seaside Center

    Join us for a special opportunity to learn all about these fascinating mollusks! Call (203) 637-3515 or email seasidecenter@brucemuseum.org...

  • Pregnancy /Baby Fair

    2014.08.21
     @ Gigge Store

    Happy Healthy Pregnancy and Baby Fair August 21st ;30-8;30 pm Giggle BabyStore 102 Greenwich Ave. Greenwich CT Personlized shopping,...

  • Greenwich MakerBot Store Innovator Session with Jess Chung

    2014.08.21
     @ Greenwich MakerBot Store

    Teachers, students, parents, and everyone interested in modern education and technology is invited to hear Jess Chung, a teacher and MOUSE Squad...

  • Happy Hour Beauty Thursdays!

    2014.06.30
     @ ELLELA Cosmetics & Lashes

    Our Summer Happy Hour Beauty Thursdays are back at ELLELA Cosmetics! Hit the top of Greenwich Ave from 4pm to 8pm for the BEST Blowouts before...

  • Tree-Mendous Treks

    2014.07.10
     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Thursdays, July 10 - August 21, 3:30 - 4:30 pm After visiting our new exhibit, TREEHOUSES: Look Who's Living in the Trees, join one of...

  • 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...

  • Seaside Center: Coastal Scavenger Hunt

    2014.07.03
     @ Seaside Center

    Timed for low tide exploration. A scavenger hunt for nature’s treasures. 11:00 am: July 3, 17, 31, Aug 14, 28 3:00 pm: June 26, July...


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