30th August 2017
The Scared Book
Written by Debra Tidball
Released: 29th August 2017
Book title: The Scared Book
Author: Debra Tidball
Publisher: Hachette Australia
RRP: Hardcover - $26.99
RRP: Softcover - $16.99
Intended Audience: 3-8yrs
ISBN (Hardcover): 9780734417497
ISBN (Softcover): 9780734417503
Author’s website: www.debratidball.com
Tell us about yourself
I'm a children's book tragic who reads, collects, writes, reviews, blogs and tweets about children's books.
I'm also a compulsive helper - not sure if that's a cause or result of being a Social Worker - and I love encouraging and supporting people who are children's book creatives - hence the reviewing and blogging and tweeting.
What is your book about?
My book is not so much about anything so much as being something - it is a book that is scared. It is especially scared of monsters and it asks the readers to help it with its scared symptoms - tingly spine, goosebumps and butterflies in its insides. When monsters start appearing in the book, the action heats up and with the reader's help, the monsters are vanquished!
Who is your target audience for this book?
Three to eight year olds. I initially thought that my target audience was on the younger end of this spectrum, but since road testing it in schools, I have been surprised at how the older children have embraced the concept and enjoy the interaction and being involved in the story. It calls for active participation and they love it!
What aspects did you find challenging about this book?
The nitty gritty of making a book have recognisably human characteristics but still be a book: a book doesn't have arms and legs, but it does have a spine and 'insides.' Keeping this concept consistent throughout the book required some thought so that readers are happy to enter into the conceit that the book is somehow 'alive.'
What does your book offer the reader that differs from others covering similar subjects?
Essentially about being scared, it has a totally unique angle, by making the book scared. It gives the readers insight into scared symptoms so that they can recognise and label their own. It gives them mastery over the outcome which is defeating the not-too-fearsome monsters and gives them strategies to deal with their own fears, like blowing away butterflies and using a spiral (or labyrinth) to help calm down. And it doesn't take itself too seriously - it's fun.
How did the idea for this book come about?
I was having a sleep-in one Saturday morning. I hate getting out of bed on the weekend because as soon as you are up there's always something that needs doing, and I reckon weekends are for relaxing. So I was slow to get up and musing, for some inexplicable reason, about the slang use of the word 'sick' to mean 'awesome.' I started applying it to things like sick music, sick shoes, sick book - and then I wondered - What if a book actually was sick? How would it feel and how could readers make it feel better, and over time sick morphed into scared and that's how we have The Scared Book.
Find out more about Debra Tidball
Debra Tidball's website: www.debratidball.com
Debra’s first picture book When I see Grandma, was shortlisted for the Speech Pathology Book of the Year and won the children’s section of the CALEB award. She reviews for the CBCA Reading Time and was a reviewer for Creative Kids Tales. She blogs regularly at Just Write for Kids and you can find her tweeting @debratidball. Debra is a qualified social worker with a Master of Arts in Children’s Literature. She is the wife of one, mother of two and caretaker to a menagerie of furry (and sometimes feathery) friends in suburban Sydney.
To celebrate the launch of The Scared Book Debra has a give-away bonanza for Australian residents!
- For your chance to WIN a signed copy of The Scared Book, comment below or on the facebook post with the answer to this question: What gives you goose-bumps? Winners are chosen at random across all the book blog blitz posts. For more details see Debra’s blog www.debratidball.com/blog
- For a chance to WIN a signed copy of The Scared Book PLUS an author visit by Debra to a classroom of your choice (Sydney metro area only) Draw or Make your own unique monster. Write its name and something it loves to do. Post a photo to Facebook or twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #thescaredbook (if you are a child, ask an adult to do this for you) or email to
- For your chance to WIN the opportunity to pitch and submit your picture book manuscript (up to 500 words) direct to Suzanne O’Sullivan at Hachette, include #thescaredpitch in your comment as above (point 1 and/or2).
Enter either or all!
Entries close 9th September. Winners will be announced and contacted by the 12th September.