I’m Erin Dealey, and I write books for kids. I’m a teacher, presenter, rhymer, blogger, and proud Drama Mama.

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HOPE AND THE SEA + 7 Qs with #kidlit author Andrew Hacket = Happy #BookBirthday

May 28, 2024

Happy Book Birthday to HOPE AND THE SEA by Andrew Hacket, Illus. Svetla Radivoeva (WorthyKids)!

Illus. by Svetla Radivoeva from HOPE AND THE SEA written by Andrew Hacket, (WorthyKids)

What a perfect book to kick off your summer reads, at home or at the beach!

We’re excited to welcome Andrew Hacket to the blog today.

And we have questions:

Q 1. What inspired HOPE AND THE SEA? Are any parts of this book autobiographical?

AH: HOPE AND THE SEA was inspired by my love for the ocean. I grew up in Rhode Island and going to the beach was a frequent childhood activity that I hold very fond memories of.

All of my stories source some amount of emotion directly from my past experiences. As a child I did not feel like Hope, but as I got older, especially related to relocating, I have had moments of loneliness which absolutely influenced the character of Hope.

Q 2. Was the SEA always a character in this book? Was the child’s name always Hope? How did these aspects evolve?

AH: Yes and yes! My first two published books, OLLIE, THE ACORN, AND THE MIGHTY IDEA and CURLILOCKS & THE THREE HARES underwent massive revisions from first draft to final publication. HOPE AND THE SEA, however, was a much different story. Both Hope and Sea were present from conception and for the most part remained unchanged. Originally, we were going to be more specific that Hope had moved to a new area, but in the final version chose to omit that detail so more children could relate to the book. Sea was always going to be an integral part of the story and I wanted the reader to accept it as a fullfledged character with purposeful choices and real emotions.


Q 3. Did you use any mentor texts?

AH: I did not use any specific mentor texts for this story. I did, however, feel this idea beginning to take shape over the course of a couple of kidlit contest entries. Through these contests I began playing around with inanimate objects and settings as characters and was finding success and also really enjoying the exercise. Given my love for the coast, the ocean as a character was a natural next step and I wanted to explore it in a picture book format using my lyrical writing style which had not yet made it into any of my published books.

Q 4. What’s your favorite spread?

AH: I would have to say my favorite spread is right after the kids come to join Hope and they are all playing in various ways along the seashore. There is so much personality and childhood joy in this picture. I especially love how the boy is holding Hope’s hand and welcoming her into the fun.

Illus. by Svetla Radivoeva from HOPE AND THE SEA written by Andrew Hacket, (WorthyKids)

Q 5. What surprises did illustrator Svetla Radivoeva bring to the project?

AH: Svetla did such an amazing job with this book and I couldn’t be happier that we were paired together. I feel like her pictures are straight out of my memories. I especially love the expressions on Hope’s face and the way she gave Sea life and personality.

Illus. by Svetla Radivoeva from HOPE AND THE SEA written by Andrew Hacket, (WorthyKids)

Dad + Teacher + Writer

Q 6. How does your experience as a teacher and a dad influence your approach to creating children’s books?

AH: These two aspects of my life have (without my realizing it) given me a vast knowledge and education into picture books. I often comment that my journey to publication has been a quick one compared to most, but then I am reminded that my 17 years in education have been ingraining text structure, character development, and so many more craft related elements into my brain all along the way.

In addition to this, working with and having young children has allowed me to be in tune with a childlike perspective. I have been surrounded by seven and eight year olds for most of my life. I am deeply aware of their emotions and reactions to situations. This knowledge is something I always consider when penning a new manuscript.

Illus. by Svetla Radivoeva from HOPE AND THE SEA written by Andrew Hacket, (WorthyKids)


Q 7. What do you hope readers will take away from reading HOPE AND THE SEA?

AH: I hope that HOPE AND THE SEA helps those kids who feel lonely feel a bit less alone and recognize that everyone feels that way sometimes. And for my readers who don’t feel alone, I hope it grows their empathy and encourages them to think about how they can lend a welcoming hand to those around them.

Illus. by Svetla Radivoeva from HOPE AND THE SEA written by Andrew Hacket, (WorthyKids)

Thank you for joining us on the blog today. Andrew.

And Happy #BookBirthday to HOPE AND THE SEA!

To learn more about Andrew Hacket and his work,

check out his website andrewhacket.com

and follow him on social media:

TwitterX @AndrewCHacket

Instagram andrewchacket

Next up on the blog:

Jeanne Walker Harvey’s beautiful new pb biography:

ELSE B. AND THE SEA: The Woman Who Painted the Wonders of the Deep

Illus. Melodie Stacey / Cameron Kids

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