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.
Hi, Mom’s Choice readers! We’re so happy you could join us for another segment in our ongoing honoree interview series! For this interview, we caught up with Chris Skinner, author of the MCA award-winning book, Captain Cake 2: Commander Pickle Is in a Pickle! This is Chris’s second Mom’s Choice Award as well as his second interview with us. In this second book in the Captain Cake series, Commander Pickle is constantly finding himself in a pickle. The series joins Captain Cake and his friends as they journey through space. The Captain Cake stories will keep young readers engaged as they explore important character-building lessons. Keep reading to find out more about Chris and his award-winning book, Captain Cake 2: Commander Pickle Is in a Pickle!
MCA: Hi Chris, thank you for joining us for another interview, and congratulation on your most recent Mom’s Choice Award! Can we start the interview by having you tell us about yourself, including what you’ve been up to since our last interview?
Chris: I’ve carried on during lockdown doing what I always did, writing about finance and technology on my blog and creating new business books – the latest is Digital for Good. That’s been a good experience as it’s all about how to use finance and technology to make the world a better place, and I want that message to be out there as all parents should consider how to make the world a better place for our children.
MCA: What was your inspiration for writing Captain Cake 2: Commander Pickle is in a Pickle?
Chris: The publishers and I always had the idea that Captain Cake would be a series of books – there are already five in production – and the second book explores each character in more depth. Commander Pickle seemed to obviously be a bit of an idiot and yet he’s a Commander. In this book, you find out that he’s always in trouble and the Candy Crew has to save him. In the next book, you find out why he’s always in trouble (spoiler: it’s General Rock’s fault).
MCA: Where did the ideas come from for the characters that can be found within Captain Cake 2: Commander Pickle is in a Pickle?
Chris: When the series began, it was a simple idea of sweets going sweetly where no sweet has been before, and soon that became a universe of ideas from Commander Pickle to General Rock to Admiral Mouse and the Fruity Fleet.
MCA: Why is Commander Pickle always in a pickle?
Chris: It’s obvious, isn’t it? It’s in his name! He always tries his best but ends up in a mess and Captain Cake with the Candy Crew always has to sort it out.
MCA: What are some of the key lessons found in Captain Cake 2: Commander Pickle is in a Pickle?
Chris: Similar to all of the Captain Cake books, it’s about teamwork, diversity, friendship, loyalty and more, but the main lesson in this book is that you must not judge people or take what people are doing at face value. There are always things underneath and you need to be tolerant and understanding.
MCA: What kind of response from readers have you received?
Chris: I’ve been blown away by the comments people make, and generally people say it’s great to have these books as it creates interaction with their children. One of the themes of the books is to regularly ask questions of the reader, and for dads and mums that’s great.
As one reviewer said:
“I love this book! The pictures are bright and colorful. The story has food references, superheros, superpowers, and cooperation. My students and I loved reading this together at storytime!”
MCA: If you could ensure readers of your book walk away with one main lesson, what would it be?
Chris: I try and do this with all the books in the series, and the main lesson is meant to be understanding. Recognize not everyone is the same and respect each other for our differences and what we do well.
MCA: That’s a wonderful sentiment to leave us off with, thank you, Chris! Please be sure to keep us posted on the next Captain Cake book!
You can learn more about Chris Skinner and her award-winning book, Captain Cake 2: Commander Pickle is in a Pickle by visiting their MCA Shop pages.