Mom’s Choice Awards is excited to announce another post in our interview series where we chat with the inventors, designers, publishers, and others behind some of our favorite family-friendly products.
Hello, Mom’s Choice readers! We hope this finds you well- thank you for joining us for another installment of our interview series. For this installment, we had the pleasure of speaking with Andrea Cassell, the author of the MCA award-winning book Kibby and Olive Move to Georgia! Kibby and Olive Move to Georgia is the third book in the Kibby Book Series to win a Mom’s Choice Award! Kibby and Olive Move to Georgia is about a dog named Kibby who experiences an unexpected adventure when his parents move from his home and the friends he loves. Keep reading to learn more about Kibby and Olive Move to Georgia and the author behind its creation!
MCA: Hi Andrea! Congratulations on another Mom’s Choice Award! This is also the second interview you’ve done with MCA. Can we start by you giving us a refresher on your background and also some updates on your life since we last heard from you back in October?
Andrea: I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. I am also a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader and a former Mrs. Kansas. I graduated from Western Carolina University with a bachelor’s in Special Education and took graduate classes in Child Psychology at Wichita State University. I taught special education for more than 30 years and am passionate about special needs children, which influences my writing.
Since the last time we spoke, I’ve been staying busy cooking, painting, and doing DIY projects. It helps to keep my mind off the things going on in the world today. Staying safe is my top priority as well.
Walking Kibby has been fun as we explore new areas of the Georgia landscape. Hot and steamy now!
MCA: Staying safe is definitely a top priority for everyone lately, we’re glad to hear you’ve been able to keep busy while during such unprecedented times! What was the inspiration for writing Kibby and Olive Move to Georgia?
Andrea: My inspiration for all my books is my dog, Kibby! Kibby and Olive Move To Georgia was written when we all moved from Kansas to Georgia. I Saw how we felt moving and especially Kibby. Olive, his fictional sister was added in the book too. Kibby still remains the main character.
MCA: As dog lovers, we think it’s so neat and wonderful how you were able to incorporate your pup to star in his very own book series! Kibby definitely gives us some serious “dogspiration!” What are some of the key lessons that can be found in Kibby and Olive Move to Georgia?
Andrea: Kibby experiences an unexpected adventure when his parents move him from his home and friends he loves. Moving can be stressful for children and I wanted this book to help them see the beauty in moving and making new friends.
Change is hard for everyone, but this beautifully illustrated book with a touching message helps with life changes. Kibby shows us that there are new friends to meet, many places to explore, and new adventures to enjoy! It helps children to expand their world and find beauty and happiness anywhere!
MCA: Moving can definitely be tough, especially when you’re still in your formidable years. In your experience, why do you feel moving to a new city can be so hard emotionally?
Andrea: Moving can be very emotional, as you feel as if you are giving up everything for something unknown.
MCA: What are some of the ways that Kibby and Olive learn to cope with the stresses of moving?
Andrea: Kibby and Olive learned to meet new dogs and keep in touch with their old ones. They learned to do fun things they have never done before.
Examples: Rolling around in the red dirt, going to a peach orchard and tasting the delicious peaches, going in a golf cart when dad plays golf, a new dog park, and a new landscape with lots of new smells.
MCA: What has the response to Kibby and Olive Move to Georgia been like?
Andrea: Wow! I have received great responses from everyone! Here are a couple of reviews:
Kara L. Zajac, Author, top mom blogger: “I highly recommend this book as a tool to help children deal with the stress of difficult life changes. It has an easy, steady flow that speaks to them on a level they can understand without losing their attention. I consider this a must-read for any child having trouble coping with change.”
Rosemarie Jaworski, Retired Principal Miami-Dane County Public Schools: “Once again, Andrea Cassell has written a book that excites, delights and brings a life lesson into focus. “Kibby and Olive Move To Georgia” is a joyful read about leaving the past and making life wonderful again in a different city with new friends and adventures. This book joins her previous two as a must-have for children and classrooms across America.”
Even if children aren’t moving, this book helps them learn about change and that’s a big thing right now. They are learning to change their way of learning and doing things they have never done before.
MCA: What are the main lessons you hope your readers walk away with after reading Kibby and Olive Move to Georgia?
Andrea: Moving has taught Kibby about himself. He learned that you can find beauty and happiness anywhere. The world is full of places to explore, dogs to meet, and new things to experience. Change can be a good thing!
“Home is where your heart is.” Life lessons as seen through a dog’s eyes!
I also have moving tips that will be very helpful for children.
MCA: Those are very important lessons to remember, especially in these uncertain times where change is inevitable. Thank you for sharing, we hope to hear from you and Kibby again very soon!
You can learn more about Andrea Cassell and her award-winning book, Kibby and Olive Move to Georgia by visiting her MCA Shop pages.