Sep 13, 2011

Linda Elovitz Marshall Cooks Up a Rosh Hashanah Story

Finding inspiration for stories is almost always an interesting process. Linda Elovitz Marshall’s new book Talia and the Rude Vegetables has inspirations that are as varied as they are interesting. We interviewed Linda to learn more:
Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
I love words and I love playing with words. I like to string them together in all sorts of different ways and see what happens. I never get tired of this game. I guess that’s why I like writing.
Where did you get the inspiration for Talia and the Rude Vegetables?
One of the things I enjoy doing is helping people from other countries learn to speak English. While I was teaching a Russian speaker, I realized that there’s not much difference between the sounds of the words “root” and “rude.” I combined this with a recipe that I use for Rosh Hashanah (based on root vegetables, many of which I used to grow in my garden). And that’s how I cooked up the story! I used the name “Talia” because my granddaughter, Talia, was born just about the same time I presented the story to my editor at Kar-Ben.

What is the most interesting thing you learned in the process of writing or illustrating your book?
In an early version, Talia sold the perfect vegetables and gave the money to her grandmother. When I showed that version to my Russian student, she said, “Nyet! Money is not to be in a story for children.” I thought about what she said. And I thought about Tzedakah. That’s how I got the idea that Talia should give the perfect vegetables to the rabbi, for distribution to the poor.

How do you hope your book will impact the Jewish life of a child?
I hope the book will help Jewish children appreciate the joys of gardening and the need to help the hungry.
Get ideas for Rosh Hashanah related activities: grow your own "rude" vegetable.

No comments:

Post a Comment