Monday, June 1, 2009


Bounding for Books Blog Tour Schedule:

Today Margot Finke visits my blog to tell us about her book "Rattlesnake Jam".

Shari: Margot, I love your book "Rattlesnake Jam" and I’ll bet children do too. How did you come up with such a wild idea?

Margot: I guess it was another of my sleepless midnight imaginings. Many fun stories come to me late at night when I can't sleep. I wrote this one for reluctant readers and especially boys. My son was a reluctant reader, so I have an idea what it takes to HOOK a boy's interest. Mice, snakes, frogs
. . . boys love anything with a YUCK factor. If it gets them reading, my job is done!

Shari: Are Ma and Pa patterned after anyone you know?

Margot: This will date me for sure, but Ma and Pa Kettle, from the book and the old movie "The Egg and I," feels about right. He didn't hunt rattlers, but the relationship between the two of them is a perfect match. My mum read us chapters of the book every night, and we rolled on the floor laughing about their antics.

Shari: Your story and Kevin Collier’s illustrations are a perfect pairing. Did you communicate back and forth during the illustrating process, or did Kevin read your mind?

Margot: Kevin and I were in perfect sync right from the beginning. He sent sample drawings and I loved them. I did suggest the red hair. Apart from that, each one was a perfect match for the verse it went with. Kids love his comic style too.

Shari: Is there a lesson to be learned from Rattlesnake Jam?

Margot: .Hmmm. . . A lesson? Perhaps the lesson is that if you want boys to read and enjoy it, you have to give them what their little macho brains yearn for. Cut the frills, girly stuff, and the cute descriptions. Bring on the fat frogs, raving relatives, and use fun words that paint vivid pictures in their heads

Shari: Have you had any response from readers of your book?

Margot: Oh yes. The reviews for Rattlesnake Jam have been just wonderful, though Mothers are a bit wary of snakes in general, and rattlers in particular. However, as soon as they see how Gran, Pa, and that pot of rattlesnake jam captures their child's imagination , they order up.

After all, Gran does say her jam cures everything from gout to wheeze: so, is a cure for "reluctant readers" so surprising?

Rattlesnake Jam -
(Illustrated by award winner Kevin Scott Collier.)

Reading level: Ages 5 -10
Paperback: 28 pages
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc (G.A.P) - May 2008
** eBook ISBN 13: 978-1-935137-24-5 - (BUY - Fictionwise, G.A.P, Author's Website., & more)

** Print ISBN 13: 978-1-935137-00-9 -
(BUY - Amazon, B&N, Target, G.A.P, Author's Website & more)
A FREE Link to an AUDIO of Margot reading this book comes with every Autographed soft cover copy purchased from her website
"Rattlesnake Jam" is a rhyming romp for reluctant readers - especially boys!
Pa hunts rattlers, and Gran cooks them up into her gooey green rattlesnake jam. Good for whatever ails you, Gran sells her concoction to folks near and far. However, Pa yearns for rattler over rice, or maybe rattlesnake pie: but can he persuade Gran to cook them for him?
Rattlesnake Jam is a hilariously funny children’s picture book about an old couple who share an irresistible affection for rattlesnakes. There’s only one problem: While Pa would rather have the rattlesnakes turned into fritters or pie, old Gran prefers them turned into jam… disgustingly green, sweetened, gooey rattlesnake jam! ...
Collier's colorful, wacky illustrations complement Finke’s humorous rhyme perfectly. The book has 28 pages in all, and each story page has an illustration with a short text at the bottom—a two or four line rhyme. Whimsical and amusing, Rattlesnake Jam is one of those books young children will beg their parents to read to them again and again. --Mayra Calvani Midwest Book Review, June 2008

View fun musical Book Trailer + "Puzzle Slides" of other book covers on her Blog:

Margot's Website for Children's Books, Manuscript Critique Service, Writing Help + her "Musings" column :

"Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind," Guardian Angel Publishing - illustrator K.C Snider, is due out soon. Ruthie and her family move far from their old home. The move gives Ruthie a change of personality, as well as a new address. Ruthie's horrible moods drive her parents crazy - Parent/teacher guide is included.

*** At the end of each week Margot will give away 3 FREE AUDIO links. Each link has Margot reading one of her stories + illustrations. These will go to the 3 readers who add that week's most unique comments.

Find Shari Lyle-Soffe today at Joy Delgado's Blog
Join Margot Wednesday June 3rd at Joy Delgado's Blog
Leave a comment on this blog to be eligible for the drawing for an autographed copy of my book "Nothing Stops Noah" in softcover.


Joy said...

Good Morning Shari and Margot. I remember the names Ma and Pa Kettle. Looking forward to following you on this tour. See you tomorrow over at my place.

Illustrator and publisher of bilingual children’s books

Kim Chatel said...

I could use some Rattlesnake Jam this morning. My toast is boring!

Margot Finke said...

Shari, thanks for having me on your Blog, mate.

KIM - Gran says her rattler jam will cure everything that ails you - so I guess that covers your burnt toast!!

Joy, I will need coffee early tomorrow on your Blog. Can't do a thing without an infusion.

Hey, did you read the book, "The Egg and I?" Hysterically funny. The movie was a riot also.

Manuscript Critiques - My Books!

Mayra Calvani said...

Rattlesnake Jam is disgustingly deliciuous! LOL

Margot Finke said...

Hey Mayra, I hope you mean "disgustingly" in a GOOD way?

Manuscript Critiques - My Books!

Joy said...

We do storng Puerto Rican coffee here with warm milk and honey. I haven't read the book "The Egg and I," but I'm adding it to my 'to read' list.

Joy Delgado
Illustrator and publisher of bilingual children’s books

April said...

ROFL!! Oh my gosh, I LOVE the cover on the Hippo book. I saw that and simply burst out laughing! Too cute!
Rattlesnake Jam sounds like such fun! Great interview Shari and Margot!

Donna J. Shepherd said...

Ma and Pa Kettle were part of my childhood, too! Great interview.

Jennifer Gladen said...

I enjoyed learning more about Margot Finke and her fabulous book. Margot, you have a knack for tapping into what the readers want.

Margot Finke said...

Thanks for the comment Joy. Our daughter, Laura, brought us Puerto Rican coffee back from a vacation there - sure put curl in MY hair!!

Jennifer, thanks for the kind words, mate.

Donna, I hope you realize that knowing about Ma and Pa Kettle dates us both.

April, I'm scared the hippo in my upcoming "Ruthie" book will steal the show. K.C. Snider is a really cool illustrator.

Manuscript Critiques - My Books!
BUY any Autographed Book from my website, and
receive a FREE LINK to me READING that story!

Mary Cunningham said...

Wonderful story and great illustrations, once again. Only Margot could come up with "Rattlesnake Jam! LOL"

Thanks for such a delightful interview!


Anonymous said...

I'm offended and I think I might have to sue. To take a picture of my butt is bad enough, but then putting it on a book cover for the world to see is another. Keep the phone lines open. My lawyer will be calling. I refuse to be the butt of any joke.
J. Aday Kennedy
The Differently-Abled Children's Author