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July 7, 2016 / peoplesbookprize

Keep on reading, roaring and voting!

naomi burmanshine⌈ Vote Now ⌋

In the lead up to The People’s Book Prize 2016 we caught up with author Naomi Burman-Shine to talk about her children’s book

Stonely’s Pet Dinosaur




Born and brought up in London, Naomi Burman-Shine adores reading children’s picture books with her two young sons. Naomi, who gained a first-class BA (Hons) degree in Music, Radio, Film and TV Studies from Canterbury Christ Church University, worked for many years as a production accountant for both the BBC and ITV. More recently, Naomi has worked as a volunteer teaching assistant at her sons’ primary school and at another local primary school. Naomi’s debut rhyming picture book for young children, Stonely’s Pet Dinosaur, was the Silver Medal winner of the pre-school category of the 2014 The Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards.

When did you start writing?

 I started writing children’s stories about seven years ago. I never had a burning desire to become a writer, but I enjoy challenges and as I read picture books to my children at bedtime, I thought it would be amazing to know that young readers everywhere were tucked up in their beds listening to – or reading – a book that I had written. I therefore set myself the task of writing a fun, interactive children’s story – and so I began my journey to becoming a writer of picture books.

As an Authour, what influences you the most?

My children are my inspiration! Picture books are especially fabulous for sharing, and I loved the experience of reading picture books to, and with, my two young sons. Not only were my boys charmed by the wonderful words and pictures in these enchanting and uplifting stories, but I was too.

Where did the idea for this book originate?

When my sons were pre-school age, they were fascinated by all things dinosaur. At this time, they were constantly asking me to buy them a pet, but unfortunately my husband is allergic to all things furry so I had to appease them by buying them the plush kind instead! The boys’ interest in dinosaurs, coupled with their constant requests to own a pet, sparked my idea for Stonely, a determined cave boy who longs to own a roaring red dinosaur. Who wouldn’t want to own such a cool creature? Young children love bold colours, and I therefore decided to make the dinosaur red, which is a popular colour. Along with the word ‘roar’, it makes a great alliterative phrase! ‘Please can I have a pet that is red and roars?’

The People’s Book Prize nominees are voted for by readers. How important are your readers to you?

 My readers are extremely important to me! I believe that books can change our lives, and I have always tried to instil a love of reading in my boys, starting from when they were very young. Books transport us into a magical world where we can set our imaginations free. Although my target audience is children aged three to seven, my book is being enjoyed by younger and older children, and adults, as my amazing Amazon reviews indicate. Indeed, even though my boys have progressed to reading chapter books, they still love sharing picture books! I immensely enjoy doing live readings of Stonely’s Pet Dinosaur to captivated young audiences. I use props to engage the children, and my own boys are often my loyal prop hands! I give Stonely’s Pet Dinosaur colouring-in sheets and dinosaur balloons to all the Stonely fans who attend my book events, and they always go down a treat. We also do lots of loud ROARING, which the children never cease to relish.

Rowanvale Books publishes a variety of brilliant authors. What is it like to be in the company of talented writers?

My publisher Rowanvale Books produces a variety of genres, including non-fiction, adult fiction and children’s fiction. It is inspiring to be part of a fresh-faced publishing house which supports and nurtures new talent.

Which books have influenced you most as a writer?

Stonely’s Pet Dinosaur is written in rhyme. Many of the picture books I shared with my sons were written in rhyme – rhyming books are always fun to read aloud. Many rhyming picture books have inspired my own writing: Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae (illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees), Aliens Love Underpants by Claire Freedman (illustrated by Ben Cort), Smelly Peter: The Great Pea Eater by Steve Smallman, and Dinosaur Doo by Andrew Weale (both illustrated by Joelle Dreidemy), to name but a few! My boys always enjoyed reading picture books, and loved guessing the rhyming words at the end of each stanza, which helped build their listening skills and language skills. Rhyming text makes a story dynamic, engaging and memorable. As a musician, I love the intrinsic rhythm of the text, which enhances the mood and pace of the story.

What can we expect from you in the future? What are you writing at the moment?

Stonely’s Pet Dinosaur is the first book in a series. I have written an accompanying children’s activity book and also two more Stonely books, Snore’s Roar and Snore’s Stinky Feet, which I hope will be published in the near future, so watch this space!








home pageThe People’s Book Prize is the unique literary competition that is judged by the nation and open to all UK publishing companies.

You Be the Judge: The People’s Book Prize – “The home for new and undiscovered works.”

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