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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Interview: Rachel Weston talks about Messy-o-saurus

Messy-o-saurus is Rachel’s fifth independently published children’s book in 3 years. It follows on from her popular picture book Bumblebee (2021) and her continuing sought-after first book Bumblebees Have Smelly Feet (2019). Rachel homeschooled her three, now grown, children for ten years where reading books was at the heart of their schooling. During that time, Rachel confesses, there was lots of mess! Rachel talks to NZ Booklovers.

Tell us a little about Messy-o-saurus

Messy-o-saurus is a bright, fun story about a girl who’s making mess around the house while playing. A theme that’s all too familiar for parents, grandparents and caregivers! When she’s asked about the mess, the girl draws on her imagination and blames the ‘Messy-o-saurus’. She then creates further larger than life messy monsters, like the, Snivelling Snoo-galas and Bouncing Boo-galas, to blame for the messes turning up everywhere.

What inspired you to write this book?

The inspiration came from my three little messy-o-sauruses, who are now three big teenager-plus messy-o-sauruses! I remember fondly the frequent topsy-turvy trails of destruction from one end of the house to the other – all in the name of play. Blissfully unaware of the mess. Blissfully unaware of the clean up required! Happily caught up in the moment. Grandiose ideas tumble out from children, like constant waves lapping the shore. Natural. Beautiful. Messy!

How did it work working with the illustrator, Scott Tulloch?

It was easy to collaborate with, Scott. He’s very talented and he ‘got’ the Messy-o-saurus idea right away. Scott jumped onboard and the next day started sketching up character roughs. Scott has brought Messy-o-saurus to life through clever illustrative narrative effect, creativity and humour – perfect for this story.

If a soundtrack was made to accompany this book, name a song or two you would include.

Happy – by Pharrell Williams. Because that’s how children feel when playing.

For the parent who daily cleans up mess – Here I go again, by Whitesnake

What did you enjoy the most about writing Messy-o-saurus?

I really enjoyed making up the messy monsters’ names and reminiscing the wonderful times of childhood play. One time I found a toddler with the garden hose on full blast watering the dining room floor …

What did you do to celebrate finishing this book?

Sadly, nothing. I have so much on the go, it rolled right into the marketing. I’ll take a moment to appreciate the book in a few months. Getting such positive feedback and reviews and hearing children (and families) are enjoying the story, that’s the real celebration.

What is a favourite book you have read so far this year and why?

I’m reading two books at the moment that I’m enjoying, ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ by Delia Owens and ‘The Bookseller at the End of the World’ by Ruth Shaw.

What’s next on the agenda for you?

I have a children’s non-fiction book in the pipeline and I’m percolating a couple more picture book ideas.

Weston Books


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