Happy Friday and welcome to Glitter Reviews!
We are excited to have Nadia Ali today featured on Author Spotlight, chatting with us about her fun picture book Humphrey the Egg-splorer. Nadia is a freelance writer who I met through Julie Hedlund’s 12 x 12 Challenge. Yeehoo Press published Humphrey the Egg-splorer on April 4th, 2023. Valentí Gubianas is the illustrator of its colorful, humorous, and attention-grabbing spreads.
From the Publisher
A rollicking story that expands the famous tale of a fragile egg to a new story about bravery, creativity, and forging your own path.
Eggs are fragile and bought specifically to be cracked. . . but what if they don’t want to be cracked and have their own ambitions and goals for life like becoming a great egg-splorer? Humphrey has long known the cautionary tale of his grandfather, Humpty Dumpty. Being an egg means he can easily slip and crack at any time . . . but what does that mean for his dreams of becoming an egg-splorer and going on grand adventures? But Humphrey is determined, and he’ll do whatever it takes to become a brave adventurer―even if that means putting himself through the fieriest trials to get there. Inspired by the beloved nursery rhyme, author Nadia Ali and artist Valentí Gubianas deliver a rollicking story that expands the famous tale of a fragile egg to a new story about bravery, creativity, and forging your own path.
My Favorite Things
What I love the most about Humphrey the Egg-splorer is that Humphrey dreams of becoming an egg-splorer. He doesn’t want to be like everybody else. His fellow carton eggs question him and imply that it is not possible. Their opinions do not deter Humphrey, and he pushes on to become stronger from the inside out and pursue his dream.
It is a message children need to be aware of from an early age. We tell them they can be anything they want, but we forget to say to them that many people will question and doubt them and their dreams along the way. And they must keep going because what other people believe, state, and do is a reflection of themselves rather than what one can accomplish.
Like his Grandpa Humpty, Humphrey wants to be an egg-esplorer and go where no egg has before. What inspired you to write this story?
Firstly, thank you Yolimari for having me as a guest on Glitter Reviews. I truly appreciate it.
I must admit that my love for nursery rhymes has stayed with me since my childhood, so when I read ‘After the Fall: How Humpty Got back Up Again’ by Dan Santat it sparked a story. I wondered how what if Humpty had not cracked and went on to become an egg-splorer. I figured Humpty would be a grandparent by now, so to connect with today’s generation why not have his grandson Humphrey who would continue in his grandpa’s footsteps and become an egg-splorer.
Humphrey the Egg-splorer is full of funny situations. My favorite is when Humphrey forgot it was Sunday, meaning baking day, and he sees a hand grabbing eggs. And he says, “I can’t end in a cake! Not before I’ve had my adventures.” Can you tell us about your thought process when writing humorous scenes? And which scene did you have the most fun writing?
Thank you for the compliment. I think that writing humorous scenes is two-fold – one of the words and the other of pictures. Thus, it takes more effort to write humor as each needs to compliment the other for the humor to work. Valentí created such expressive illustrations that readers can get a sense of what Humphrey is thinking without reading the text. My favorite is the double-paged spread with Humphrey swishing swords, boxing, and doing the freezer challenge. It was fun to create and write as I wanted to find three odd ways that Humphrey could attempt to become stronger.
Humphrey’s fellow eggs question his dream of becoming an egg-splorer and argue that they are all just eggs, and that’s all they will ever be. Why is this scene important?
Their unsupportive words motivate Humphrey to state, “I want to go where no egg has gone.” He then becomes more determined to succeed and swings into action.
Valentí Gubianas did eye-catching and funny illustrations. Which is your favorite spread? Why?
Valentí Gubianas did a wonderful job of adding emotion, color, and expression to bring Humphrey to life. In fact, when I saw the stunning double-page spread where Humphrey is floating and relaxing in what he thinks is a bathtub, it easily became my favorite. The simple yet effective illustration shows the water heating up and evokes the growing feeling of happiness that Humphrey feels.
Valentí also created a wordless story through the expression of the sun at the window and gave Humphrey a family who are shown throughout the book and even waving goodbye to him.
What do you hope children take away from Humphrey the Egg-splorer?
I hope Humphrey shows children the importance of setting goals, being strong, being positive, and forging their own path even if it doesn’t get the support of others. Humphrey had a plan, tried and failed, but persevered until he finally succeeded.
Do you have a writing routine? If so, please tell us about it.
I do have a writing routine. I like getting up early when the sun rises and birds start chirping. I generally began my day by spending the first hour or two on my social media and delving into emails. The rest of the day is for writing and creating graphic posts for tweets and Instagram.
What advice do you have for those who want to write funny books?
Read, read, read. Read funny books as much as you can and analyze them. The more reading you do, the better equipped you will be to write your own funny books.
What’s next for you?
I always have a work-in-progress, and my agent Joyce has something special of mine on submission.
How do you prefer your eggs?
With a sense of adventure!
If you were to go on an adventure, where would you go?
Thanks to my adult daughter Raisah I had a memorable adventure. We drove to the top of a hill and I ran off the side of it…gliding through the clouds overlooking the town of Sopo in Bogota on a tandem parasail. It was egg-cilerating!
What is your favorite quote?
I would choose… “To Thine Own Self Be True” ~ by Shakespeare. It relates to the character of Humphrey who remains true to himself and serves as a good reminder to everyone else.
If you had to be an animal, which one would you be and why?
Inspired by my paragliding adventure I would have to say I would like to be a bird. Free to fly in the open sky, soaring above the earth.
What do you like the most about living in the Caribbean?
Sunshine, blue skies, and the local cuisine.
Thank you again Yolimari for having me on Glitter Reviews. And may the readers be strong, be positive and let their adventure begin – just like Humphrey the Egg-splorer.
Thank you for chatting with me!
About Nadia Ali
Nadia Ali is a children’s author who writes fiction and nonfiction picture books. Her stories range from funny to fanciful to factual. She is a member of Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 community and was honored to be a Grand Prize Winner in the #SunFunWrite Contest, a #DVPit Critique Winner and a 2021 Picture Book Party Finalist. Humphrey the Egg-splorer with illustrator Valentí Gubianas is her latest picture book.
You can find Nadia at:
One thought on “Author Spotlight: Nadia Ali with Humphrey the Egg-splorer”