It’s a perfect read for back-to-school! But don’t take my word for it…
“A playful, funny, and heartfelt tale to soothe the back-to-school blues.”
“Readers drawn in by the supernatural elements at play will stick around for a feel-good story line that involves very human concerns.”
Five Questions for Benson Shum:
Q 1. Where did the clever concept for HOWLERGARTEN (and werewolves) come from?
Benson Shum: Hi Erin, thank you again for having me here. Thank you for your kind words about the clever concept. I love the supernatural and fantastical elements to stories, even though I get scared with ghosts and all, but when they are kind and friendly, I’m all for it!
Changing it up.
I chose werewolves because of the idea of transformation. How we may change on the outside, but inside we are still the same person. And I thought going to school is where we start to develop and change, no matter the age, and using werewolf transforming as a metaphor could be really fun!
ED note: We think it’s a HOWLING success!
Q 2. Do you remember being nervous or anxious about going to kindergarten?
Benson Shum: Yes, I was always a nervous kid, and I am too as an adult. Even though this is set in Howlergarten/Kindergarten. I think we all go through that, where we aren’t sure how we will be received. What the new environment will be like. So I think we all can relate to Sophie and her feelings of being nervous and anxious.
Which character are you?
Q 3. Which character in HOWLERGARTEN is most like you: Sophie, Teddy, Emma, or Sophie’s parents?
Benson Shum: I relate to Sophie the most, as when I get nervous, I try to prepare as much as possible, and think positive thoughts. but when I get out there, I’m still nervous!! Then as the day goes on, it becomes a little easier.
If I’m talking to my nieces or nephew, I’ll be like Sophie’s parents, to reassure them that things will turn out ok. Ha! It is easier to say it then it is to do it.
Q 4. What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
Benson Shum: I hope readers realize we all go through the same feelings and anxiety as Sophie. And that we aren’t alone in those thoughts. I hope we all become more understanding with those around us and make those connections with each other.
Q 5. What’s next for you? Are you still working on the easy reader, MOONCAKE MEANS FAMILY with Penguin Workshop?
Benson Shum: Yes, I’m just wrapping up on final art for MOONCAKES MEANS FAMILY.
I also have another book called IMAGINE YOU AND ME (Dial books/Penguin) coming out January 23rd, 2024. Which I’m excited about. It’s a gentle story with a surprise twist! About the bond between an imaginative bear and his best friend.
Did someone say #Giveaway?
YES! One lucky recipient (U. S. only) will receive a copy of
THE FIRST NIGHT OF HOWLERGARTEN
and some COOL stickers!
To be eligible:
Retweet with #HowlergartenGiveaway hashtag,
Deadline 22nd of August. Winner wil be notified on August 23rd.
To learn more about Benson Shum and his work…
Check out his website: http://bensonshum.com/
And follow him on social media: