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

  • Exhibit Ira BARKOFF

    2014.10.11
     @ Canfin Gallery

    “The beauty of the physical world becomes a metaphor for the capacity of the spirit to reveal itself". Ira Barkoff Evocation of...

  • 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...

  • Parties at the JCC Center

    2014.09.02
     @ Stamford JCC

    A place to celebrate birthdays and special occasions. Be a guest at your own party! The JCC offers a wonderful space for you and your guests to...

  • SPLURGE Matches Scarf Donations for Cancer Patients

    2014.10.01
     @ SPLURGE

    SPLURGE and the Cancer Institute at Greenwich Hospital are partnering to bring comfort and encouragement to cancer patients.  From October...

  • Flinn Gallery Art Opening

    2014.10.30
     @ Flinn Gallery 2nd floor

    FLINN GALLERY Opening Reception 'IN FOCUS' Thursday October 30, 6 - 8pm Seven artists share their visions - Carolyn Conrad,...

  • IMAGINE CANDY- SWEET TASTINGS!!!

    2014.10.24
     @ Imagine Candy

    Imagine Candy located in Scarsdale Village- Winner of 2014 Best West of Westchester by Westchester Magazine- holds a Belgian Chocolate and Candy...

  • Flower Power

    2014.10.08
     @ SM Home Gallery

    SM Home Gallery show featuring two Greenwich based artists: Margaret Bragg and Penny Putnam. The art show runs thorough November 22nd....

  • Harvest Fair and Gift Show

    2014.11.01
     @ Second Congregational Church

    Event Will Include Hay Mazes, Games, Crafts, Food, Holiday Shopping The community is invited to a Harvest Fair and Gift Show on Saturday, Nov....

  • New Fitness Class: SalsaTone

    2014.11.01
     @ Latin Moves Dance Studio

    Starting November 1st ~ Every Saturday morning 10 to 11 AM Instructor: Melissa Lopez Start your weekend off right with this exciting cardio...

  • Lynne Scalo Design Opening

    2014.11.05

    Please join Lynne Scalo, Greenwich Magazine and athome Magazine to celebrate the Greenwich showroom opening of Lynne Scalo Design Cocktails...

  • Breast Cancer Alliance Benefit Luncheon & Fashion Show

    2014.11.06
     @ Hyatt Regency Greenwich

    Breast Cancer Alliance to Host Branching Out, Coming Together, Aspiring to a Cure 19th Annual Benefit Luncheon & Fashion Show: November 6,...

  • Free Screening of Documentary ' Children of the Inquisition'

    2014.11.06
     @ Bush-Holley House

    Join filmmaker Joseph Lovett as he presents his documentary film and multi-platform project of personal exploration and...

  • P.A.L.S. 2nd Annual Soarin' Soiree~ November 7, 2014

    2014.11.07
     @ Greenwich Country Club

    You are invited to join our State Senator, L. Scott Frantz and our First Selectman, Peter J. Tesei, for an awe-inspiring evening to benefit Patient...

  • John Hardy Event

    2014.11.08
     @ Bloomingdale's

    John Hardy One of a kind. One at a time. Each by hand. Bloomingdale's is inviting YOU to meet the head designer Guy Bedarida as he presents...

  • Olivine Gabbro Opening

    2014.11.08

    Olivine Gabbro invites you to join them for their Opening Party! DJ | Cocktails | H'Orderves | Gift Bags Made to Measure Beautifully...

  • Meet Joshua Safran, Author of "Free Spirit: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid"

    2014.11.11
     @ YWCA Greenwich

    Meet the author of this powerful memoir. Joshua Safran is an author, attorney, occasional rabbi, and nationally recognized advocate for...

  • Markham Roberts: Decorating the Way I See It

    2014.11.13
     @ Belle Haven Club

    Join us as Interior Designer Markham Roberts shares coveted design insights, key to creating the perfect home. The program will include...


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