Hilary McKay Blog Tour

April 7th, 2013 by melissa g

We are so excited to be a stop on Hilary McKay’s blog tour! Hilary McKay is the author of a very special series about a kind and compassionate 7-year-old girl named Lulu, who also happens to be a BIG fan of animals. In book one, Lulu and the Duck in the Park, readers meet Lulu and spend some time with her at school. Readers get to know Lulu and her family in book two, Lulu and the Dog from the Sea. Whether at school or at the beach, Lulu always seems to find an animal to help. And, of course, a little adventure seems to find her! We can’t wait to see book three, Lulu and the Cat in the Bag, which will be published in the fall. Check out Sweet on Books for reviews of these and many more quality kid’s books.

To celebrate the blog tour, ONE lucky reader will have the chance to WIN signed copies of books one and two. Just comment below to enter to win*. Don’t forget to include an email address so that we can contact you.
*Sorry, we can only ship to U.S. or Canadian addresses. Contest ends April 12th!!

What a sweet treat to have Hilary McKay with us today to share a little about herself, her writing, and, of course, Lulu. We are sure that you will enjoy getting to know her as much as we did!

What’s next for Lulu? Do you have a long-term plan for her?
There are four more Lulu books to come out in the US (I hope!) and I have another two to write before this summer.

What message do you hope that Lulu will deliver to readers?

Well, I hope she will make them laugh. And perhaps they will also see their pets in a new light.

What do you think it is that makes Lulu so universally appealing?

I’m glad to hear she is universally appealing! Priscilla Lamont’s lovely illustrations help! I think also that part of Lulu’s charm is that she is so hopeful. She tries to make things better. And she is funny and kind and brave and perhaps she does not always make the right decisions, but her intentions are always good. I am very fond of her myself.

How does your background in Zoology and Botany influence your writing?

Natural history has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. Zoology and Botany were just an extension of that. It is the Natural history, the awareness of other lives and environments, and the beauty and vulnerability of the world that gets into my books, I suppose. Not surprising, because it is a part of me.

Of all the characters that you have developed, do you have a favorite?

No! That would be as bad as having a favourite child!

Are any of the characters in your books inspired by real people?

No, but sometimes they are helped by the things real people say and do.

What made you want to be a writer?

I loved books. I wanted to join in the game!

Do you do any research?

Yes, I do research. Inaccurate facts in books (fiction or non fiction) used to destroy the magic for me when I was a child. So I make sure that as far as possible, there are none in mine.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

Anywhere quiet, as long as it has a view out. I have discovered that I’m not very good at it when facing a wall. I’m not fussy about time of day!

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Read! As wide a range as possible. Fiction, non fiction, poetry. And look to other centuries as well as your own.

What would you be if you weren’t a writer?

I can’t imagine.

If you could have lunch with any writer whom would you choose? Why?

I would choose James Thurber and I would get him talking about dogs.


Read or write?
Call or text? Depends to whom
Fly or drive? Fly, if I would actually be allowed the controls.
Beach or ski? Neither! Not keen on sand, skiing needs too much Stuff! I will have a nice breezy cliffpath, or a boat on a lake, or picnic rug under a tree in the New Forest, thank you.
Time travel back or time travel forward? Back
E-book or traditional? Traditional, the sort you can leave on a train or drop in the bath without tears.


Children’s book:
Where the Wild Things Are
Song: Happy When it Rains (Jesus and Mary Chain)
Sports Team: Who ever is losing.
Travel destination: At the moment, anywhere less damp than England.
Superhero: My dad
Magic power: Flight
We are Sweet on Books, so we have to ask – what is your favorite sweet treat? Lemon sorbet

We just want to say a huge thank you to Hilary McKay for her thoughtful answers to all of our questions! And, thank YOU for visiting Sweet on Books. Stop by often to see our latest reviews and to find out what’s new in children’s literature. The next stop on the Lulu tour is My Brain on Books, so don’t forget to visit there tomorrow for more on Hilary McKay and the Lulu series.

Note: Special thanks to Albert Whitman for providing Sweet on Books and our lucky winner with Hilary McKay’s books. You can find “tree books” at Albert Whitman and ebooks at Open Road Media.

Posted in Author Interviews, Giveaways, Reviews

44 Responses

  1. Cathy

    Love, love, love Lulu–and Hilary McKay’s books. Thanks for a fun interview.

  2. Jessica Mollin

    This sounds like the perfect book for my daughter. She loves books where the main character and adores animals!

  3. Joanne Fritz

    Great interview! Lulu definitely makes me laugh.

    Thanks for the mention. I’m not entering your giveaway, of course, but did want to thank you for sending people my way.

  4. melissa g

    Our pleasure, Joanne!

  5. the bookworm

    What a wonderful interview! You can feel the author’s genuine warm feelings toward her readers, and she imparts that same engaging friendliness to her books.

  6. roberta r

    I read all the time, and as a grandmother, I am always looking for wonderful books to give as gifts to my sweeties. These look like great choices. BTW, you have a terrific website.

  7. Violet

    I am always in search of books for my 6 year old girl. She loves the Henry and Mudge series, so a series about a girl who loves animals will be perfect for her. I can’t wait to read them with her.

  8. Justine

    Sounds like Lulu and Hilary have a lot in common! Great interview :)

  9. Joan

    These books look fabulous! This interview is really fun. Great website.

  10. amy

    I love to give books to children as a hostess gift when i’m giving their parents something for the home…know the perfect little girl for this one! thanks and keep up the great work!!

  11. Claudia

    I will be sure to share this post with the children’s librarians. Thanks for a great interview and can’t wait to purchase a Lulu book for my niece.

  12. Shari Levine

    Having two boys I don’t get to read many of these ‘girlie’ books but I love Sweet on Books reviews and suggestions for all ages & genders!

  13. Chrissi

    Great interview and great gift idea for my young nieces.

  14. Denise

    Great interview! My daughter’s favorite books are the ones that make you laugh out loud; Just like the Lulu books!

  15. Carinda

    My kids would love this and they love animals!!!

  16. Grace Martin

    The more you know and learn about the author the more interesting the books become. Terrific interview and by the description it sounds like a super duper book series for my daughter.

  17. Nancy

    Love this interview with the author and can’t wait to purchase these books for my animal-loving niece! Thanks Sweet on Books for your thoughtful reviews and great author interviews.

  18. Lisa

    I love this site. The reviews are so helpful. The interviews are great too!

  19. Casey

    What a fun way for children to learn! My kids enjoy humorous books with animals. A great way to end the evening!

  20. Lori

    Great interview and I LOVE your website!

  21. Amy Roth Sandrolini

    Thanks for the fun interview! I’m eager to have some new Lulu books on my son’s shelves soon. Keep up the good work!

  22. Shelbie Seys

    THanks for all your reviews and insight. Nice to have a place like this on the web. keep up the good work.

  23. Lisa

    Great website! Can’t wait to tell my kids about it!

  24. Lori

    Great interview with a thoughtful, passionate author. I love her comments about the importance of doing research and getting the scientific facts “right” in fiction books for early readers. Looking forward to learning what’s next for Lulu and all her characters!

  25. Suzanne

    Very helpful and relevant in getting kids interested in reading. Thx :)

  26. Beth

    Love the website. Great insight.

  27. Judy

    The books look great. Thanks for the reviews!

  28. Lisa Gerber

    So happy I stumbled upon this – I always need book ideas for my nieces and nephews. Great idea!

  29. Jennifer

    Throughly enjoyed the interview with Hillary. Lulu seems like a character kids would to read about as well as get to know and explore in future books. Will definitely recommend to my relatives with younger kids.

  30. Gigi Weissman

    Excellent interview. It is nice to get insight into the authors that your children are reading. As for the books, they are favorites with my girls. Thanks Sweet on Books for making reviews so helpful in choosing appropriate books and for continually bringing interesting content to the site!

  31. rebeca rodriguez

    Loved reading the interview, very helpful! Thanks.

  32. Ali HP

    Thanks for the great interview! Reading is a passion for me and one that I want to pass on to my children. A great character to share with friends and family!

  33. Lisa H

    Such a fun read/interview…going to check out the Lulu books for my daughter this weekend. Love the part where Hilary talks about research and having facts in her books!

  34. Kathy

    Love the books and the interview! Thanks!

  35. Kristen

    Great book review!!! In fact, I have found all of your book reviews helpful. Love this site!!!

  36. Kelli

    Can’t wait to read these books with my daughter. Thanks for letting me know about them.

  37. Karen

    What a nice interview. With a daughter who loves animals, these books sound great.

  38. maria

    Loved the interview, very nice.Thanks.

  39. Michelle

    Great website! Very helpful!

  40. Wendy Master

    That was a very informative interview. These sound like perfect books for my daughter. She is always well-intended and hopeful, but also doesnt always make the right decisions, but lovable like the character. Thank you!

  41. Ilene

    Great interview! This sounds like a great book series — I will have to check it out!

  42. Patty Wolff

    I have a niece would love the books. The Q&A was very helpful in giving me a good idea of the characters and the story behind the books! Thanks for reviewing these books! Can’t wait to see the next ones in the series!

  43. Maddie

    I love these interviews! They are so much fun to read and always interest me in the books! Love your website:)

  44. Leeanna

    These sound great for new readers!