All Ages of Geek Ame Dyckman

Kidlit Interview with Ame Dyckman NY Times Bestselling Author

Ame Dyckman, self-described as “short, loud, goofy… Did I mention goofy?” is the colorful award-winning author of many books for children, including Boy + Bot; the New York Times-bestselling Wolfie The Bunny; Misunderstood Shark (and sequel); You Don’t Want a Unicorn! (and sequel); Dandy, etc.—with several new projects on the way, including her next picture book: How Dinosaurs Went Extinct: A Safety Guide, coming April 18, 2023.

Galaxy-Boy Delivery is an All Ages of Geek STEAM/STEM-based show that’s all about digital media and literacy! It’s an exciting and fun way for kids to learn and explore new ideas. Recently, they had the honor of interviewing award-winning children’s author, Ame Dyckman! During the interview, Ame shared her insights on the writing process, gave tips for aspiring authors, and even shared sneak peeks of her upcoming projects. Ame’s passion for literacy and children’s literature make her a perfect fit for the show.

Galaxy-Boy Delivery is committed to making learning fun and accessible, and this interview is just one example of the exciting and innovative programming they offer. If you’re a parent or a teacher looking for engaging and educational content for your child or students, stay tuned and learn more from the amazingly goofy Ame Dyckman.

Interview with Bestselling Kidlit Author Ame Dyckman

What was your biggest inspiration for writing children’s books?

My biggest inspiration for writing children’s books was reading them—especially picture books! The picture books of the ’70s/’80s were often these hilariously weird little universes (like Jack Kent’s There’s No Such Thing As A Dragon, in which Billy Bixbee’s mother refuses to believe dragons are real until his dragon grows larger than their house), and I decided that someday, I wanted to help create hilariously weird little universes like these for kids, too. Now, I get to! 

What is your writing process like?

My writing process is messy! When I get a new idea for a book, I’m obsessed: dishes stack, dinner burns, and yaks could stampede through the house unless one trips over my laptop cord. I fill in lines, walk around repeating dialogue, envision spreads, and sporadically tinker and tweak sometimes for weeks/months/years until it finally feels like “Sub Time!” and I send it to my agent. Then I work on books already in the pipeline, brainstorm the next idea, vacuum (maybe), and do it all over again! 

How do you balance humor and important life lessons in your stories?

Humor-humor-humor-now that you’re hooked, here’s a lesson!-humor-humor-humor-remember that lesson? Good!-humor.

What was your favorite book to write and why?

My favorite book I wrote is whatever I just wrote because it’s fresh and shiny, but the book I’m currently proudest of is my next one, How Dinosaurs Went Extinct: A Safety Guide (hilariously illustrated by Jenn Harney), because writing this book was hard! I decided to try to squeeze twenty-some different kinds of dinosaurs (with their ridiculously long names) and all those unsafe things—running with scissors, tipping in your chair, forgetting to change your underwear, etc.—we’re always reminding kids not to do all into the same book, make it funny, and make (most of) it rhyme! It took a couple of years and a lot of coffee, but it finally came together, and I can’t wait for everybody to see it!

How do you create such relatable and lovable characters for children?

Awww, thank you! I try to make my characters (like Dot Bunny, from Wolfie The Bunny, illustrated by Zachariah OHora) relatable by giving them real kid-true emotions, actions, and dialogue, not some grown-up’s “perfect” (and perfectly boring!) idea of how a kid “should” feel, behave, or sound. (We’ve all read those books. PPPBHT! on those books!)

Can you share any tips for aspiring children’s book writers?

Read as much as you can in your chosen format/genre—all the new releases, but also books you may have missed the first time around. (The good news is, this “homework” is fun!) Consider joining SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) to learn manuscript craft (and formatting, the market, and querying), to find critique groups and friends, and to meet potential agents—yes, you need one!—and editors. Study what’s selling well, what’s not, and scan the deal announcements to see what each major house and imprint is currently buying. Find your voice because that’s what’ll make your subs (and later, your books) stand out. Then when you’re ready, it’s Agent Query Time!

What message do you hope to convey to children through your books?

Play nice (and if you don’t, apologize), embrace differences, love learning, and know that everybody’s weird in some way or another, so it’s okay—actually, it’s awesome!—to be your own weird little self, too!

Can you tell us about a challenge you faced while writing a book and how you overcame it?

Besides the whole study-dinosaurs-forever-then-whittle-hundreds-down-to-twentysomething-popular-favorites-then-pair-each-selected-dinosaur’s-believed-appearance-or-name-with-a-safety-action-that-matches-while-also-varying-the-dinosaurs-for-visual-interest-and-dinosaur-name-syllable-count/pronunciation-which-surprise!-varies-by-region-and-for-the-first-time-write-a-rhyming-book… Hmmm. Nope, I can’t think of any challenges. *wink-wink!* Seriously, each book has its own unique challenges, but the consistent challenge when writing a book is just: WRITE THE BOOK! Give it your 110%… then write the next one! 

Can you give us a sneak peek into any new projects you are working on?

Sure! After How Dinosaurs Went Extinct: A Safety Guide (Little, Brown Books For Young Readers; 4/18/23), my other new picture books for 2023 are: 

Tiny Barbarian Conquers The Kraken! 

(Illustrated by Ashley Spires; HarperCollins, 8/22/23). In this sequel to 2021’s Tiny Barbarian, once again our tiny tot with the big imagination emulates his favorite Conan-esque movie poster character—the now-seafaring Bob The Barbarian—to overcome his fears and take his first swim lesson! But when Tiny spots a “kraken!” at the community pool, can he use his new skills and kickboard—I mean, “floating shield”—to conquer this creature of the deep and save the day? (If you guessed I watched a lot of Barbarian movies and cartoons as a kid, you’d be right!)

Don’t Blow Your Top! (Illustrated by Abhi Alwar; Orchard Books, Scholastic; 10/17/23). Join Little Volcano and Big Volcano on a beautiful day in Paradise! All is calm until—BONK! A wacky parrot accidentally drops a coconut right on Little Volcano’s crater! Will Little Volcano… blow their top?! Readers of all ages will erupt (with laughter!) at our hilarious and heartfelt tale of holding your temper even when unexpected things happen, and how to return to a beautiful day if sometimes—KABOOOOOOOM!—you don’t. (Our Don’t Blow Your Top! cover hasn’t been released yet, but Abhi’s art for our book is so unique and cool! It looks a little like rainbow “scratch art” and it’s totally kid-true and I completely love it!)

For 2024, I’m working on the first two books in a new early reader series about very different roommates called Bat, Cat, And Rat (illustrated by Mark Teague), the first two books in a new early reader series with STEM components called Monster Og (illustrated by Elio), a love-despite-differences picture book with political subtext called Silly Boobies: A Love Story (illustrated by Christopher Weyant, and it’s the bird kind of boobies!)… and another series and more books I’m not allowed to talk about yet!

What is your favorite part of being a children’s book author?

My favorite part of being a children’s author is when a kid excitedly tells me about the book they’re writing, because they’re an author, too. (But having a kid say they liked one of my books is also pretty cool.)

How do you make sure your stories appeal to both children and adults?

I grew up watching cartoons (especially Looney Tunes cartoons), which have something for all ages, and I similarly try to include characters, situations, and dialogue that can be funny to all readers. This often includes at least one kid (or kid substitute) character who’s “misbehaving,” which children find hilarious and grown-ups find… familiar. HA!

What was your experience like getting your first book published?

Getting my first book (Boy + Bot, illustrated by Dan Yaccarino) published was surreal—in the best way. It doesn’t seem possible to hold something in your hands that started in your head, but there it was!

What was the biggest lesson you learned while writing children’s books?

The biggest lesson I learned while writing children’s books is that nothing is too silly for kids. Silliness is like bubble-gum flavored toothpaste: some grown-ups don’t like it, but most kids do—and it helps get an important job done. Of course, silliness isn’t a stand-in for good writing, but adding a little silliness to your book can help deliver the fluoride—I mean, Big Picture Message—in an appealing way. 

Can you share any tips for engaging young readers with your books?

Engage kids by not being preachy with your Big Picture Message, don’t ever talk down to them, and include things kids find funny. For example, in How Dinosaurs Went Extinct: A Safety Guide, where our Big Picture Message is safety, one of our funniest Kid Interest spreads (brilliantly illustrated by Jenn Harney) contains both a Velociraptor and a booger! It’s a Funny Kid Interest double!

What is your favorite children’s book and why?

My favorite children’s book is the legendary Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, because it was one of the first picture books to show a kid having real kid-true emotions—which helped pave the way for us to do that today!

Can you tell us about any upcoming events or book signings you have?

We’re still booking events for How Dinosaurs Went Extinct, but our very first event will be—weeks before the book even comes out!—a sneak peek Zoom with the University of Findlay’s Mazza Museum, which celebrates the original art of picture books. All are welcome! (March 21, 9:20-10:00 AM ET, Zoom link below!) Pre-order your copy through the Museum and receive a signed bookplate while supplies last!

How do you think technology has changed the children’s book industry?

With technology, children’s book creators are able to reach more readers than ever before! (I appreciate all the ways folks love to read, but personally, I love to read “actual,” physical books best. Until we go on vacation and I end up lugging around an entire separate suitcase full of books. OOPS!)

What do you hope to achieve with your writing in the future?

I hope to continue writing not just picture books, board books, and early readers, but new-to-me formats, too—especially early chapter graphic novels. And someday, I’d love to write a television show or movie for kids, too!

What advice do you have for parents who want to encourage their children to read and write more?

Parents who want to encourage their children to read and write more can start by doing it together. Go to the library or bookstore and choose books to share. Co-author a poem or a story. And model the importance (and fun!) of reading and writing by taking the time—even just a few minutes here and there—to read and write on your own, too. 

How do you stay creative and continue to write new and exciting stories for children?

Learn new things! (Museums are a great place to start!) Try new things! This will help you write new things! (And pretend to be five—or whatever age you’re writing for—and look at the world that way.)

All Ages of Geek is looking to get more involved with providing free resources for parents and teachers! Any tips for us on how to improve?

I love lists of “If your kid/student is interested in *insert topic*, here’s a book suggestion for that!”

Where can people find your work online?

You can find my books pretty much everywhere books are sold and borrowed (we love libraries, too!), including brick-and-mortar as well as online Indies, chains, and general online retailers. My cobwebby website is, but for the most recent book news, goofy poetry, and pretty much everything that pops in my head, I’m on Twitter: @AmeDyckman. 

Thanks again for having me, and thanks always for reading, everybody!

Thanks for joining us today! We hope you enjoyed learning about Galaxy-Boy Delivery, Ame Dyckman, and the exciting programming available on All Ages of Geek. Whether you’re a young reader looking for fun and engaging content or a parent or teacher searching for educational resources, All Ages of Geek and shows like Galaxy-Boy Delivery are here to help. Be sure to check out the site for more exciting and innovative programming that will inspire, entertain, and educate you and your family. Thanks again for tuning in, and we’ll see you next time!

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