Local author and illustrator team Allison Wood and Samuel Waddle released their first children’s picture book, Sprinkles. Allison, an elementary English Learner teacher at St. Paul’s EXPO Elementary School, wanted to write a children’s book for many years and decided last summer to make her dream come true. She began crafting a story about a little girl who creates a big mess while eating a sprinkled doughnut. Allison’s words came to life with Samuel’s beautiful watercolor illustrations. The team were intentional about creating characters that represent the Twin Cities community and one illustration showcases the Minneapolis skyline.
Why sprinkles? Allison’s story inspiration stemmed from classic childhood messy food books such as Popcorn by Frank Asch and Lorna Balian’s The Sweet Touch. After witnessing the enormous mess created by her niece’s sprinkled birthday cake, she knew she needed to write a story about the joy and mess that sprinkles create.
As an elementary teacher, Allison was purposeful in seeking feedback from future readers throughout the process. The main character, Julia, was created using input from students on what they wanted to see in a book character. Student input guided Samuel’s illustrations based on what was important to them. EXPO students were treated to sneak peeks at its illustrations and learned about the publishing process, which Allison taught herself how to do. Luckily, her author proof copy arrived just days before the end of the school year. Kindergarteners were treated to the first official book reading and a surprise walk to local bakery La Boulangerie Marguerite in St. Paul, where they enjoyed sprinkled doughnuts.
“I want the pretty, pink, super-sprinkly doughnut, please.” (Wood, p. 7).
Sprinkles is a sweet story about Julia, who learns just how messy sprinkles on a doughnut can be. The sprinkles seem to have a mind of their own as they bounce, tumble, and dance around her new home. Julia has a real mess on her hands and very little time before her grandma’s visit. Can she round up all the sprinkles in time? Join Julia, her dad, and Luna the cat as they find out how fun (and messy) sprinkles on a doughnut can be.
Sprinkles will delight readers with its relatable plot, use of personification and charming watercolor illustrations. Story themes include: single parenting, multigenerational families, urban living, responsibility and humor. Sprinkles was created for children ages 4-8 and their doughnut-loving caregivers and educators.
Sprinkles is available via online through Amazon, Target, Barnes & Noble and Walmart. Allison and Samuel encourage you to shop local and order from your community bookstore. Retailers and libraries may order through Ingram. The hardcover (ISBN 978-0578367361) retails for $20.99 and paperback (ISBN 979-8218011901) for $10.99.