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Chatham County author debuts with sweet new picture book about rabbit scientist

Posted March 5

Author Camille Andros

Author Camille Andros lives with her husband and six kids in the Chatham County countryside where she's weaving stories about a rabbit scientist and other tales.

Andros will celebrate the debut of her first picture book, "Charlotte the Scientist is Squished," published by Clarion Books and illustrated by Brianne Farley, on March 14. And she'll hold a special launch party at 2 p.m., Saturday, at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill.

During the event, she'll have goody bags for the first 25 kids with Charlotte's essential scientific equipment, along with cookies and lots of Charlotte books.

"I can't wait to share Charlotte with young readers!" Andros tells me.

You'll also be able to catch her at 11 a.m., April 29, at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh. I checked in with Andros to learn more about her, the book and what's to come. Here's a Q&A:

Go Ask Mom: You started your career in the health field and now you're a children's book author. Why did you make the leap?

Camille Andros: I've always loved medicine and helping people that way and I've always loved picture books. So, oddly enough, Charlotte The Scientist is the perfect combination of both of my loves. I had planned to attend physician assistant school when my youngest started kindergarten. At the time, I became serious about my writing. I still had a few years until she started kindergarten and thought I would give my dream of writing picture books a try during those years. It worked out better than I could have imagined.

GAM: Tell us about "Charlotte the Scientist is Squished." It's out this month. Congratulations!

CA: Thank you so much! Charlotte is a serious scientist. She solves important problems by following the scientific method. She has all the right equipment: protective glasses, a lab coat, a clipboard and a magnifying glass. What she doesn't have is space. She has so many brothers and sisters (she is a rabbit, after all) that she is too squished to work on her experiments! Can she use science to solve her problem? The story is a playful introduction to the scientific method and perfect for sparking an interest in STEM subjects.

GAM: There's definitely a STEM theme and you have a girl scientist as the main character. Why did you choose to pull in those STEM lessons with a girl, Charlotte, as the guide?

CA: I loved science as a kid (and still do) and I don't know if this was subconscious or not, but I didn't see any scientists that looked like me when I was a kid and just thought I couldn't be a scientist. It never occurred to me that it was something I could choose to do. I really want kids, especially girls, to know that being a scientist is something they can do.

GAM: You have six kids. How has being a mom informed your writing?

CA: I have a great in-house focus group. There are picture book, middle grade and young adult readers in my home. Those are the voices that constantly surround me and are the voices I hear talking to me in my head. Maybe that's why I have books I'm working on in all those genre's sitting on my computer.

GAM: What's coming up next for you?

CA: I am working on the second Charlotte book right now and a picture book called "The Dress and The Girl," illustrated by Julie Morstad, that will be out fall of next year. There are a few other projects in the works as well.

Go Ask Mom features local moms every Monday.

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