A warm welcome Hazel Nutt the author of the picture book trilogy What Squirrels Do. I invite you to see what this delightful character has to say about herself and her books.
A bit about Hazel:
Hazel Nutt is a baby who is nutty about nature, especially squirrels, whom she often has a good natter with. They tell her their secrets and her parents help her write them down to share with the world, as picture books.
Loving nature is really important to her, and Hazel Nutt hopes to make sure that lots of other kids get nutty about nature as well.
She also likes to blog about her observations on life and teach other toddlers how to train their parents.
Why did you decide become a children’s picture book writer?
Why did you choose Hazel Nutt as your pen name?
There is a real toddler actually called Hazel, and she has just recently turned two. She is a constant muse and source that the pen name Hazel Nutt is based on. Nutt is not her real surname, but we choose that surname as my books are about squirrels; Nuts and squirrels go together like cheese on toast.
How did you come up with the idea for the What Squirrels Do Picture Book Trilogy?
Ever since, I was little (or littler as I'm only two) I have loved looking up into the trees lying or sitting in my buggy. My parents wondered what I might be looking at. I was looking at the leaves initially, but then I started seeing these cute little furry creatures doing all sorts of funny things, when my parents were not looking. I later told my parents about what I had seen and the idea for these picture books were born.
Are any of the characters based on real people?
The little girl in the books is Hazel Nutt and that is me! I am the baby who talks to squirrels, although the squirrels depicted may have had their identities changed to protect their privacy. Some of the other squirrels might not appreciate some of the secrets that have been shared with me! Just call me Hazel Nutt, the Squirrel Whisperer.
How did you get the squirrels to tell you their secrets?
I am very persuasive. When I talk to squirrels I have to encourage them gently to tell me about their secrets. A lot of smiling, showing a lot of interest and being ever so complimentary does wonders. It also helps that I keep a supply of nuts and treats in my pocket! These curious creatures certainly can chatter; once they start, they don't stop.
What are you working on right now?
I am busy painting pictures. In some of these pictures my parents can see different animals and mythical creatures. My Mom hopes to write short poems and stories to accompany these pictures, so we can have a real Mom and daughter picture book, where we have both done equal amounts of work!
There are also more What Squirrels Do books in the pipeline and a Nutty About Nature series is in the offing as well.
Are there any words of wisdom would you like to share today?
Don't take anything at face value! If squirrels can get up to all these shenanigans behind our backs, just think what the foxes, rabbits, or even our pets might do when we are not looking! Keep your eyes, ears and imaginations open and who knows what craziness might come to light.
Where to find Hazel and her books: