A sorry-looking hound plods up to a farmer to ask for work in JOB WANTED. “Dogs just eat and don’t give anything back,” the farmer gripes. Most animals would be on their way, but the dog dreams up a plucky plan in this fanciful picture book. Author and children's librarian Teresa Bateman discusses the inspiration behind her story and offers advice for young writers.
Teresa, please tell us about your new book, JOB WANTED.
JOB WANTED is a story about a persistent dog, and who doesn’t love dogs? Well, the farmer doesn’t at first, but the dog wins him over.
In JOB WANTED, a homeless hound tries everything he can to get a job on the farm. What was your inspiration behind this story?
I was raised around dogs and know that they can be remarkably clever about getting their own way, and they are very useful to have around. One day the idea popped into my head—what would happen if a dog had to prove his worth to find a home? The story naturally evolved from that question.
What do you hope young readers will learn from this story?
Don’t just take “no” for an answer. If there is something you truly want to do, initiative and persistence are often the keys to success and happiness.
When did you know you wanted to become an author?
I’ve always known. I come from a family of avid readers, where words and language are important. Conversations in my family are like games of verbal Ping-Pong, with big words flying back and forth. A love of language led naturally to a love of writing.
How has your job as a children’s librarian influenced your writing?
I love being a librarian and handing a student just the right book. Being surrounded by children and books helps keep my writing centered. It reminds me daily of why I love to write, and I often get ideas for stories from the students and teachers I work with every day.
If you could give any advice to young authors and illustrators, what would it be? A writer writes. An artist creates. The more you do it, the better you get at it. Study your craft. Read and read and read. Always have paper and a pencil in your pocket. Ideas come anywhere, anytime. Always write down an idea the minute it pops into your head. It can disappear as quickly as it appeared.
About the AuthorTeresa Bateman is a school librarian, storyteller, and the author of many lively stories for children, including Leprechaun Gold. She lives in Tacoma, Washington. Jill Weber has illustrated a wide range of books for children and adults, including the best-selling The Christmas Tree. She lives in Mont Vernon, New Hampshire.
Books by Teresa Bateman