Exclusive launch of Tobey the Business Mouse on Nooksy
Elinor Shklaz is celebrating the launch of her debut children’s illustrated book: Tobey the Business Mouse on Nooksy. This inspiring tale with clever illustrations reminds kids they can achieve anything they put their minds to.
Read on for an interview with Elinor about her book.
Q : How would you describe “Tobey the Business Mouse” to someone who hasn’t read it?
A : Tobey the Business Mouse is a heart-warming story about a cute little mouse, in a suit and tie, who takes kids on an adventure to discover that no matter how small they are, there is no limit to what they can achieve.
Q : What do you hope your reader will take away from the story?
A : Tobey, in many ways, represents your own inner voice, which starts as a whisper- as quiet as a mouse - and grows louder the more we nurture and develop it. That inner voice pushes us forward when things get tough, and we experience setbacks. A nurtured inner voice develops a strong sense of self-esteem and provides us guidance to overcome obstacles at any stage in life. We nurture an inner voice by listening to it, and like anything the more we practice the easier it becomes. I think it’s never too early to encourage kids to listen to their inner voice, believe in themselves and dream big!
Q : What is the origin story for Tobey as a character?
A : Growing up I would share elaborate tales of Tobey, the Business Mouse. Conversations around the dinner table at home were filled with stories of Tobey’s travels and wise advice Its quite unusual that a 6-year-olds imaginary friend is a business professional who also happens to be a mouse - however that just made all of Tobey’s escapades and business trips even more interesting!
Q : Are there any questions you think that parents/grandparents should ask their kids while reading this book together?
A : Just as Tobey takes the little girl on a journey of all the possibilities that lie ahead of her, so too should parents and grandparents start the conversation of the endless possibilities that lie ahead for their kids. I think we live in such an exciting time where most of the careers that will exist in 10- or 20-years’ time don’t even exist today. Encourage kids to be imaginative and start brainstorming what they can offer the world and what brings them joy.
Some questions to explore:
- What skill would you like to develop more?
- What do you want to be when you grow up?
- What are your talents?
- What is something you love to do? What makes you feel the happiest?
- What is one thing you would change about the world?
- What do you think your life will be like in the future?
- What five words do you think best describe you?
- What do you know how to do that you can teach others?
- How can you help someone today?
- Of all the things that you are learning, what do you think will be the most useful when you are an adult?
Q : The illustrations in the book are so cute and clever! They do such a wonderful job of engaging kids into the story. What was the process of coming up with these illustrations?
A : Thank you! The focus was to make Tobey as cute and approachable as possible. I worked closely with Casey (C.S) Fritz– who as you can see is incredibly talented in his craft. He has a gift where he can take out-of-this-world, imaginative concepts and put them on paper in the most captivating way. We would brainstorm ideas for each page, there was a lot of going back and forth to the drawing board and perfecting Tobey and all the scenarios he finds himself in. We really liked the idea of using real life objects in an imaginary way (for example, the airplane made from a carrot and a comb, the pocket watch used as a mirror etc.). In Tobey’s world, the most magical things can come out of the most ordinary, all you need is a little bit of imagination!
Q : Are you planning to write more books with Tobey and the little girl?
A : Absolutely! More characters and places will be introduced in the future series! You can also get hold of your own huggable Tobey the Business Mouse plush toy very soon! Watch this space!
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