This dad says, “SnoozeFest will be your next bedtime hit,” though we read it before lunch. The imagery in SnoozeFest is fun and engaging, taking you into the town of Snoozeville where we meet Snuggleford Cuddlebun a rather sleepy sloth. Samantha Berger and Krstyna Litten have created a fun little world to visit that your kids will connect to. For example the names of all the blankets ‘Knit-Knit and Woobee’ (At our house we call blankie Foofie) and the fun animals who visit the NuzzleDome for the SnoozeFest. My girls sat on my lap as I read the fun rhyming prose of SnoozeFest accompanied by engaging beautiful art. They enjoyed looking at the artwork in detail, talking about the silly things they saw. We read the book twice back-to-back because they liked it so much. I recommend SnoozeFest to moms and dads looking for a fun read-aloud story. When I asked my kiddos what they thought of the book; Kinley said, “Really good. My favorite part was the cats in the pajama parade.” Her sister Elsie agrees about the cats in pajamas (we love cats) but adds the book was, “Silly.”
A quick and awesome interview with the author and artist:
Brock: Samantha, how did you come up with the idea for Snoozefest? Samantha: Snoozefest combines 3 things I absolutely love: sloths, music, and SLEEPING! Once upon a time, I took a trip to Costa Rica and stayed at a sloth sanctuary that helps rescue sloths and baby sloths. I met a sloth named Buttercup and held her in my arms. Here is a photo:
I couldn’t believe how slowly sloths moved, and how expressive their faces were (*Just look at that FACE!) and how much they liked to SLEEP! I knew I wanted to write a book starring a sleepy sloth someday. And, I also love music!There are, all over the world, these HUGE music festivals, where tons of bands play, and people gather to listen to music for days. (Some of the famous ones in the United States are Coachella, Lollapalooza, Burning Man, and South by Southwest). That gave me the idea to have a great big music festival for the world’s greatest sleepers. What would the audience do at that music festival? They would sleep through the whole thing! And who would love that festival MOST? A sloth! (and ME!) That is how Snoozefest was born.
Brock: That’s a fun story. I’m going to have to put, ‘holding a sloth,’ on my list of things to do before I die. Tell us one thing about Snuggleford Cuddlebun that was not in the book?
Samantha: Snuggleford Cuddlebun has six sloth sisters and brothers. Their names are Yawna, Dozer, Sir Crashington, Snora, Restacio and Droolian. All of them are also too tired to wear pants.
Brock: That makes me laugh. What advice would you give to a kid who wants to become an author?
- Carry a pen and journal with you everywhere, all the time, and write down everything that comes into your brain. That could include conversations you overhear, a name you like, a joke, a word you think should exist that doesn’t yet, lists of different kinds of cookies! All of it is good stuff. Even keep a pen and journal next to your bed at night, so you can write down your dreams. I have dreamed about books I ended up writing. You always think, “Ah, I’ll remember this in the morning, I don’t need to write it down,” but sometimes you forget and WISH you had written it down. So keep your tools with you (waterproof pen and paper), and write, write, write!
- When you write, let your mind and ideas FLY FREE! Forget about whether you think what you’re writing is “good” or “bad” or “interesting.” Forget about anyone else who might read it, and what they might think. Just WRITE! Just ramble, blurt, blather, and get your words down on the page! You can always go back later to edit and improve your work, but the most important thing is for a writer to WRITE!
- Write about the things you LOVE writing about. Vampire teddy bears, superhero kittens, the boy who traded places with his Grandma. Anything at all! It’s ALL good. There is no such thing as wrong, no such thing as mistakes, no bad ideas when it comes to writing. Just write what you love, and become the writer you are!
Brock: That is great advice. I can’t tell you how many times I wake up in the middle of the night and quickly tap out a text or email to myself so I won’t forget. And I couldn’t agree more about your advice to, ‘just WRITE’, I know I’ve said it several times to kids who ask me, “WRITE, WRITE, WRITE, WRITE, get it all down on paper, worry about editing and formulating once the idea is down.” Thanks Samantha. Kristyna, you’ve done an amazing job with this book, my girls love the cats in the Pajama Parade. Did you have fun drawing all the animals?
Kristyna: Yeah, I love drawing animals so it was great to draw all the animal families that would be going to the Snoozefest. I’m glad they liked the three little kittens. Those mischievous three are actually on a number of the pages, right from the point they are waiting for the bus through to the performances of all the great bands. Where most of the crowd are chilled and mellow, the cats are running wild. One of them is even emptying the contents of an onlooker’s handbag, and another is riding a sheep across the stage.
Brock: My girls loved that (the cats)! My oldest had me flipping pages back and forth, while she was laughing. I wish I had a video of it. She was going on about the silly little kittens. What was your favorite part of the book to illustrate?
Kristyna: I really loved doing the PJ Parade. I love fashion and drawing clothes so that was really my favourite spread to do. And I also love colourful patterns so I block printed and drew lots of patterns that could be used through the book. So they all came in particularly useful when I was colouring all the unique blankets animals would bring to the festival.
Brock: PJ Parade was certainly the winning spread at our house. What advice would you give to a kid who wants to become an illustrator?
Kristyna: Draw as often as you can and draw what you enjoy drawing, the more you draw for pleasure the more confident you’ll become in drawing new things and develop as an illustrator. I’m still learning every day.
Brock: Great advice Kristyna, I’m no artist, but I do love to doodle. Perhaps there is even hope for me someday. Thanks Samantha and Kristyna for taking the time to answer these questions. We learned a lot and I know my family looks forward to your next books, hopefully we’ll meet Snuggleford Cuddlebun again.
From the Publisher:
Bedtime story meets Coachella in this adorable book about a sloth who packs up his pajamas to attends an arena festival for nappers, dozers, and the very best sleepyheads. Snuggleford Cuddlebun is a champion sleeper. In fact, she’s such a good sleeper that she decides to go to Snoozefest, an arena festival that celebrates sleep. There, she lounges in her hammock while bands like the Nocturnal Nesters and the Quiet Quartet serenade the audience with lullabies. There’s warm milk and honey to be had, designer pajamas from Diane von Firstinbed, and no one dares be seen without a baby blanket. But before she knows it, the nuzzling, snuggling, and dreaming are over—and Snuggleford has slept through it all. This hilariously endearing bedtime story is perfect for anyone who loves sloths, music festivals, and/or cuddles. Order Here