Tuesday, August 25, 2009



ABOUT THE BOOK:(Courtesy of Amazon.com)
Christina has a problem. Her ballet class is coming up, and she must decide which one of her many tutus to wear. She lays them all carefully on her bed to help her decide. The decision is difficult, because the colors are each so vibrant and lovely. She imagines herself inspired to dance in a unique and special way in each tutu, with each color evoking its own particular imagery. In her blue tutu she could dance by the sea, with the birds and fishes joining in. In her green tutu she could do a forest dance among the trees, and in the meadows. Her orange tutu creates images of a joyous dance in the firelight at sunset. There are other colors too, each suggesting its own special mood. At last she receives some wise counsel in solving her dilemma, and helping her to make the correct choice.

Author Suzanne Davis Marion grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and has lived in Houston, Texas for many years. She is a singer, pianist, and composer. Several years ago she established Lullabies by Suzanne (www.lullabiesbysuzanne.com), offering personalized lullabies and play songs for babies and children. She enjoys performing with other musicians on a regular basis. She and her husband Stuart enjoy visits with their three sons and daughters-in-law, and their seven grandchildren. The latter provide endless inspiration for stories. Houston artist Marj Hales is originally from North Dakota. She received a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from the University of Oklahoma. Happy watercolors of bright florals and whimsical animals are among her favorite subjects, reflecting an inner joy that she hopes to communicate to others.

Thank you to Suzanne Davis Marion for agreeing to grant an interview with BOOKIN' WITH BINGO. Welcome and would you like to tell us a little about this book that you wrote and Marj Hales illustrated?

Thank you so much for your interest in our book, 'Too Too Many Tutus'. We had lots of fun preparing it. It came about in an interesting way -- my granddaughter Christina called me one day with a big problem about which tutu to wear to her ballet class, and we began to giggle about having 'too too many tutus.' Soon I wrote the little story for her, which she loved. Then a friend read it, loved it, and asked if her mom could read it. It turned out that her mom is Marj Hales, the marvelous artist who created the watercolors of the little dancers. Neither of us originally planned to turn it into a book, but the paintings made me so happy that it occurred to me one day that they might make others happy as well. And so... we ended up with a book.
Would you tell us a little about your personal life?
Certainly..... I am a musician -- singer, pianist (do a lot of chamber music and accompanying), composer and teacher. Marj is a retired teacher, and marvelously gifted artist. We live in Houston, Texas. Marj is originally from North Dakota, and received her training in Minnesota and Oklahoma. I grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and received my training in Arizona and Texas.
Do you have a website where my readers could find out more about your work and what's next for you?
My web site is www.lullabiesbysuzanne.com -- I compose personalized lullabies and play songs for children, and present them in a decorated album. They are nice gifts for newborns, baby showers, childrens' birthdays, Christmas, and other occasions. I am active in several musical organizations, am a church choir director, and live in Houston with my husband Stuart and two large dogs, Laura and Diana. Marj has a beautiful and
enthusiastic Dalmatian dog named Blue. I believe there is a photo on the web site of Christina in her pink ballet costume.

Marj and I are working on our second book, which is named 'Donner the Western Dragon.' Marj is particularly adept at painting mythical creatures, so this next effort is a 'natural' for us. The story was written for my grandchildren Evan and Margarita, and also features a little unicorn. The inspiration was the interest that Evan and Margarita had in dragons and unicorns, respectively.
Where do you get your ideas for your stories from? Do you start with a character or an idea?
Most of my stories were in fact inspired by our grandchildren, who love to receive them. Stu and I have three grown sons, and seven young grandchildren, who are just at the right ages for my storytelling experiments (ages 2 to 9).
What made you want to be a writer?
All my life I have been a reader, and my tastes are eclectic. I enjoy biography, history, novels, just about anything. Some of my most recently-enjoyed books include the following:
  • A Romance On Three Legs (Glenn Gould's Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Piano) by Katie Hafner
  • Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer by Fred Kaplan
  • Still Alice by Lisa Genova
  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
  • ...and many more...
Among my favorite books of all time are:
  • Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson
  • The Bounty Trilogy by Nordhoff and Hall
  • Kristin Lavransdottir by Sigrid Undset
Finally, what advice would you give to young people who want to be writers?
You mentioned among your questions advice to young people who wish to be writers. I can't imagine anything more helpful than to be voracious readers.

This is a beautiful book that little girls especially will fall in love with. Christina is the main character and her problem is that she has too many tutus to choose from. When she is told to get ready for her ballet class, she just can't make up her mind. She had SO many tutus and there were TOO MANY! She had them in every color you could ever dream of. When she asked her mother which one to wear, Mother would always tell her to go and ask her father. Of course, Christine loved her dad but he couldn't help her and so she was back to square one. Finally her big brother, Mac, told her to put all the tutus out and then pick as she could see them all at once. But that didn't help because each one she looked at made her think of a special dance and thing around her and about her. Finally, her mother gave her the idea that helped her pick her tutu.
This book will enchant little ones with the gorgeous illustrations and the fact that the story will be easy to comprehend and learn from. Colors and numbers can be taught through this delightful tale by Suzanne Davis Marion. Recommended for ages 2-5.


rhapsodyinbooks said...

This sounds wonderful! Wouldn't you love to have THAT as your big problem?!!! I know some little girls who would be very happy with this book - I need to check it out!

Anonymous said...

Sounds fantastic. I work in a school. I'd love to read segments to a class, and then include it in a classroom library for all the children to enjoy. Thanks!


kalea_kane said...

Oh Karen! Doesn't this just sound lovely?! If I had a little girl, I would be snatching this one up. I remember having two beautiful tutus. I would have loved too many to count. :)