Author Heather Bradley is passionate about sharing her love of nature with children. She does exactly that in her book When We All Get Together, all while teaching kids about collective nouns. The kid’s book for early childhood readers (under 8 years old) has a lovely Canadian focus (she lives in Ontario) and beautiful illustrations.
Disclosure: This sponsored post spotlights a picture book that makes learning fun for children and the talented Heather Bradley, who wrote it.
Interview with author Heather Bradley
I sat down with this retired teacher to talk about why she wrote When We All Get Together, what exactly collective nouns are, and much more. An exclusive interview with Heather Bradley follows below!
What inspired you to write When We All Get Together?
Two things, really. The first is that my favourite part of my teaching day was reading to children. After retirement, I was able to fill that void by writing my picture book, When We All Get Together and offer free author visits to schools and libraries.
The second is that I had read one too many stories where polar bears and penguins are happily playing together with no regard that they are from opposite poles of the Earth!
Both are great reasons! What exactly are collective nouns?
Collective nouns are the descriptive term we use for a group or collection of things. For example, there are many players on a baseball team, yet it is still one team.
Likewise in a cluster of grapes. There are many individual grapes that make up one cluster.
Why did you choose to focus on this topic?
I chose to use the collective nouns for groups of forest animals because children love animals and forest animals are familiar to them. Children love learning new words. Do you know a five-year-old that is not familiar with Tyrannosaurus Rex?
I focused on Canadian Forest animals because of the paucity of information available to young children. I believe it is important to know the indigenous animals in our own backyard in their true settings. They recognize a tiger, but can they name or recognize a porcupine?
When I was a child, we spent summers at my father’s 400-acre bush lot on a river. We witnessed beavers damming the river. We saw deer grazing in the fields.
We heard the howl of wolves at night. It was a great childhood.
As a fellow Canadian, I love the focus on nature in When We All Get Together? What are some examples of the wildlife you highlight in the book?
In When We All Get Together, children meet a mischief of mice, a prickle of porcupines, and a loveliness of ladybugs. They also discover lesser-known collective nouns, such as a sedge of Great Blue Herons.
How can this book help both parents and teachers?
The book is both entertaining and enlightening. Parents can cuddle up with their child and share the surprise ending. Teachers will have a resource upon which to draw when teaching collective nouns or the names of forest animals.
Wonderful! What can young readers expect from this picture book?
Young readers can expect to be introduced to forest animals indigenous to Canada. They are entertained by the colourful engaging illustrations and laugh at the surprise ending.
The illustrations enhance the book. Can you tell us a bit about them?
I did not draw the illustrations but made suggestions, such as the raccoon peeking out from the hollow log or the moose who practically kisses your nose. The illustrator is one of a bank of illustrators who work with Friesen Press.
A few last words from author Heather Bradley
I have another book coming out in the New Year. We Both Speak English But… is about two cousins, two countries, one language-sort of. Cousins living over 3000 miles apart discover that they enjoy many of the same things but refer to them differently.
Thank you for the opportunity to be interviewed. It is always great speaking to a fellow Canadian.
Get your copy of When We All Get Together now
When We All Get Together is available through Friesen Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Chapters Indigo online. Get yours today in hardcover, paperback, or ebook format for the youngster in your life (under 8 years old).
Author Heather Bradley is wonderfully creative. She helps kids learn about collective nouns, animals, and the forest, all while having a fun time doing it! She makes it look effortless, and that’s a sign of a talented writer.
Heather’s love of nature and Canada shines through in this interview. She is inspiring, and it’s been a pleasure to introduce her to you.
I know many kids will enjoy reading When We All Get Together and adore the illustrations. If you’re looking for a birthday or Christmas gift for a young child, this book is one to consider.
Top photo: Meet Heather Bradley. Photo credit: Brenda Verwey