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 recently had the chance to speak with Chris Skinner, author of the Mom’s Choice Award-Winning Captain Cake Book Series! The Captain Cake Book Series tells of the adventures of Captain Cake and the Candy Crew, who have to save the Veggie Crew, fight the Rotten Tomatoes, and rescue Commander Pickle, who is always in a pickle. Each character in the candy crew has different strengths, from being logical and practical to fearless and brave. Each story within the series is broken into chapters with wonderful illustrations, making it easy for your little ones to follow along. Keep reading to find out more about Chris Skinner and his award-winning book series!
MCA: Hi Chris, thank you so much for joining us today. We’re very excited to get the chance to speak with you about Captain Cake and the Candy Crew! I’d like to start off the interview by finding out a little bit about you and your background as a Fintech author!
Chris: I’ve spent a lifetime immersed in technology, finance, and looking at the future. The future is the only thing we don’t know, and the only thing we can change for the better, so that’s my passion. Apart from this, I used to run marathons when my knees worked and now I just walk the dog!
MCA: As the Austrian-American Author Peter Drucker once said, the only thing we know about the future is that it will be different! What was the reason behind writing The Captain Cake Series, how did it come to life?
Chris: We have twin boys, Eddie and Freddie, who were four years old. I read to them every night and found a struggle at four because the stories were either targeted at a younger audience or an older child. One night, I sat down and said that we would have a story about something different and it became Captain Cake. It’s quite silly, but also educational and perfect for children of a young age.
MCA: You definitely succeeded in creating the perfect books for children in that sweet age spot where they are no longer toddlers but not yet teens. Who are the characters that can be found in The Captain Cake Book Series and what are their strengths?
Chris: Captain Cake is the leader of the Candy Crew. He’s amazingly fearless and will always try to do the right thing, but sometimes he gets into trouble so Sergeant Jelly has to save him. Sergeant Jelly is really brave and she always has your back covered, but she doesn’t always have the right answers which is why Lieutenant Chocolate is so important. Lieutenant Chocolate can always find the answer because he’s very logical, but he might get the answer and cannot do much about it because he is practical. That’s why Private Potato is so key to the Candy Crew. She has no special powers, but she can solve any challenge through hard work and the fact that she’s a sweet potato who is totally practical.
MCA: What are the different spaceships found within The Captain Cake Book Series and what purpose do they serve?
Chris: The main spaceship is The Sweet Candy, but we also have Commander Pickle’s spaceship The Gherkin. General Rock has the amazing Rock and Roll, and then there are the bullies who are the Rotten Tomatoes who fly The Smelly Onion. Luckily there are nice veggies too. The Veggie Crew, who the Candy Crew meet in the fifth book of the series, fly in The Big Sprout. It’s green but it’s not mean.
MCA: What are some of the key lessons that can be found in The Captain Cake Book Series?
Chris: We learn about diversity and respect, teamwork and loyalty, friendship and kindness, dealing with people we don’t like, and bullies. It’s not meant to be a lesson learner through talk or tell, but more through fun and adventure. Having said that, the books all have a number of questions to ask children about how they feel. I think it’s important for children to give feedback about their views of friends, foes, challenges, and opportunities. This is achieved by having difficult things to do as a team together, flying through space, to sweetly go where no sweet has gone before. Overall, the key lesson is meant to be that everyone is special in their own way and that children, at an early age, can work out how people work together.
MCA: Those are all super important lessons to be learned! What kind of response from readers have you received?
Chris: Really good. I was surprised to find some readers telling me that their six and seven-year-olds enjoy reading the book, as it was targeted at three and four-year-olds. Then I discovered that it’s because the book is simple sentences per page so, for parents, they say that it’s good to read to the young ones as it is simple and then, as they start reading, it’s good for the older children as it is simple to read for them too!
MCA: If you could ensure readers of your book walk away with one main lesson, what would it be?
Chris: Be nice, be kind, respect everyone, and have great fun.
MCA: That’s something MCA can definitely get behind! Thank you for a fantastic interview and for letting us know a little bit more about your award-winning book series. We cannot wait to see all of the adventures that Captain Cake and the Candy Crew take us on in the future!
You can learn more about Chris Skinner and his award-winning Captain Cake Book Series by visiting his MCA Shop pages.