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

  • 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...

  • Puttin’ On The Dog Festival

    2014.09.21
     @ Roger Sherman Baldwin Park

    Puttin’ On The Dog Festival Greenwich, Connecticut the place to be on September 21st for dogs and their owners...

  • Candy Fairies Book Reading

    2014.09.21
     @ Imagine Candy

    SCARSDALE, NY, Imagine Candy brings the acclaimed children's author Helen Perelman, the writer of the wickedly sweet Candy Fairies book...

  • Chizi's Tale Book Launch Party

    2014.09.21
     @ Tudor Investment Campus

    You and your family are invited to join Diane's Books of Greenwich and TUSK USA to celebrate the launch of Chizi's Tale: The True Story...

  • Chizi's Tale Book Launch Party

    2014.09.21
     @ Tudor Investment Campus

    You and your family are invited to join Diane's Books of Greenwich and TUSK USA to celebrate the launch of Chizi's Tale: The True Story...

  • 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...

  • 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!...

  • 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...

  • "Israel and the U.S."

    2014.09.22
     @ New Canaan Library

    The public is invited to attend a World Affairs Forum Great Decisions event featuring Seth Anziska, Columbia University. Mr. Anziska will speak...

  • Holistic Health Practitioner Kevin W. Reese

    2014.09.24
     @ Meli-Melo

    Meet Holistic Health Practitioner Kevin W. Reese & Take Home a Signed Copy of His New Book! Kevin is a holistic health practitioner,...

  • Annual State of the Town Address and Luncheon | Greenwich, CT

    2014.09.25
     @ Milbrook Club

    Greenwich Chamber of Commerce Annual State of the Town Address and Luncheon will be held at Milbrook Club. Registration 11:30am; start at...

  • 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...

  • Verismo - Opera Arias and Ensembles

    2014.09.26
     @ Round Hill Community Church

    Music from the Heart at Round Hill  “Verismo – Arias and Ensembles,” an opera concert, will bring drama and passion...

  • Aaron Henry Trunk Show & Personal Appearance

    2014.09.26
     @ Richards

  • Curiosity Concerts Season Opening: SONIC ESCAPE

    2014.09.27
     @ Greenwich Library Cole Auditorium

    The Greenwich Arts Council's Curiosity Concerts opens its second season of free classical music concerts for families on Saturday, Sept. 27,...

  • Bistro Versailles Wine Dinner

    2014.09.29
     @ Bistro Versailles

    Wine dinners at Bistro Versailles are entertaining social events held on a regular basis. Socialize with friends and mingle with other...

  • Joie Special Shopping Event

    2014.09.30
     @ Joie

    Joie invites you to a special shopping event! Enjoy wine & hor d'oeuvres while shopping 20% off your purchase Enter to win a...


Show More...

Most Popular Articles

  1. American Red Cross: Red and White Ball 2014
    NetJets Hangar at Westchester County Airport
  2. Fashion Day Out
    September 13, 11am to 6pm
  3. Stars of Greenwich
    Meet the founders of the Greenwich International Film Festival
  4. Moroccan Nights
    Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich
  5. 5 Key Pieces To Buy Now
    Buy now and wear all season