Today we are joining a well-traveled, camera-loving cartoon panda named Pix who loves to about the various cities he has visited around the world through his photos and stories.
Pix Goes to London
Pix Goes to London, the first adventure in the series, has just been released and is available on Amazon.com.
Among other things, Pix’s London adventures include
- a visit to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
- watching the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
- and searching for famous statues!
And I love the special reproducible section at the end of the book contains hands-on activities for kids to continue the learning fun, and additional activities are also available for free download from PixThePanda.com.
Erin Salazar, creator of Pix the Panda and the photographer behind Pix’s photos. She is a teacher and mother of three who currently lives in the United States. However, some of her past homes include Germany, Romania, and Mexico, and across the hall from me in a college dormitory.
Today's post is an interview with my college friend Erin in which she answers questions about the inspirations and experiences that were instrumental in the creation of the adorable Pix series.
Meet the Author of Pix Goes to London
Q: Did any of the books you read as a child have a major influence on your life?
Erin: I believe I was most affected by a children’s biography of Amy Carmichael. It taught me that
an ordinary little girl could grow up to travel to another country and make a positive difference in the lives of others.
Q: What were your favorite books to read when you were the age of your readers?
Erin: There are too many to name them all, but I loved books about girls my age who were smart and solved big problems. One of my favorites was From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. I also remember enjoying Carol Ryrie Brink’s Baby Island, Noel Streatfield’s Ballet Shoes, and the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary.
Q? Why did you decide to write the Pix the Panda series?
Erin: My goal in writing the books was to open up children’s minds to the idea of learning a language. I also wanted kids to understand that many people in other parts of the world are different from us, but that different is not bad. In fact, often the people we meet from other cultures have really great ideas we can learn from. So I decided to write a series of travel books for kids.
Q: Where did you get the idea for the character named Pix?
Erin: I felt like the series would be more interesting with a narrator. So I was trying to decide why the narrator gets to go to so many places: might his parents be pilots, or diplomats? Then I had the idea, what if I delve a bit into the realm of fantasy, and say the character is a walking, talking drawing on a piece of paper, so he can just travel through the mail for the price of a stamp? And since he is paper and doesn’t need to be realistic, wouldn’t it be fun for him to be a cartoon animal? So I was brainstorming: paper penguin, paper puppy, paper panda! I thought it would be fun to draw a panda. And his name is Pix because he likes to take pictures of the places he visits.
Q: What would you say to kids who want to learn a foreign language?
Erin: I think it’s great that you want to learn a language! When you’re a kid you can pick up a language so much more quickly and with a better accent than an adult can. Surround yourself with the language in every way possible, and with time you will learn it! You can learn a new language the same way you learned English when you were a baby, just by listening and adding a few new words to your vocabulary every day.
Q: How can we get our hands on Pix Goes to London?