Our June Author of the Month is Marley Davis, and she’s here to show us that penguins really can fly… on airplanes, that is.
In The Penguin That Flew to Louisiana, we meet Sarai, a penguin that lives on an 50,000-pound iceberg in Antarctica but, ironically, hates cold temperatures.
One day, while Sarai is sitting on the icy shore of the freezing cold ocean, she encounters Mr. Crackl the Narwhal. He tells her all about a place with warm weather and crawfish buns, a yummy way for a penguin that hates fish, krill, and squid to eat seafood.
What is this place, you ask? Louisiana, of course!
Sarai is excited to go to Louisiana, but when she grows feathers, she is disappointed to discover that she can’t fly. How on Earth would she get to Louisiana now, she wondered.
This begins a journey that includes rowing her entire iceberg to Africa, riding a bike to the airport with the help of Chupier the Giraffe, and becoming the first penguin to fly in an airplane!
When she arrives in Louisiana, she is happy to bask in the warm sunlight, but something is still missing. She longs to have her family with her even though they prefer the chill of Antarctica to the heat of Louisiana.
But they love Sarai, so they make the sacrifice and travel to Louisiana to be with her. Sarai is pleasantly surprised and grateful that they get to stay together in Louisiana for the rest of their lives.
Marley found inspiration for this story from her own travels. She lives in New York but likes to visit her family in Louisiana, where it is much warmer.
And why did she decide to make the main character a penguin? Well, because it’s funny! After all, it’s not every day that you see a wild animal on an airplane.
Marley loved writing and illustrating her story, and this definitely paid off because the story is now very popular!
It is so popular that she was able to start a fundraiser to support her aunt’s trip to Haiti. She raised $210 for food boxes. Her mother told us that she now hopes to use her writing to raise enough funds to send a child to school. What an amazing use of profits!
Marley says the most important part of writing and illustrating a story is the hard work that goes into it. And she takes this a step even farther with her fundraising. She has definitely shown us the value of hard work inside and outside the writing process.
Marley plans to keep writing and illustrating stories that make us laugh, so stay tuned! I’m sure we will be hearing more about her stories and her charity work for a long time to come.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with Lulu Junior and for your generosity, Marley!
Read the full interview:
Lulu Junior: Where did you get your Lulu Jr. Kit? Who gave it to you?
Marley Davis: Madeline gave it to me on my fourth birthday party.
LJ: Have you always enjoyed writing?
MD: Yes, because it’s my favorite thing.
LJ: Tell us a little bit about your fundraiser for Haiti and what made you decide to help?
MD: It started because people wanted to buy my book. I decided to do it because I thought it would be nice to send food boxes to my aunt’s trip to Haiti. It turned out I sent a child to school because I sold so many books!
LJ: Where did you get the idea for your story?
MD: From Antarctica. 🙂 I thought it would be funny. Because it was on an airplane, which was weird. Airplanes aren’t supposed to have penguins on airplanes! Or any other animal. And penguins can’t fly! My family lives in Louisiana, not my mom and dad. I like Louisiana because of my family and because it’s hot…the best part. I live in New York in Buffalo city. It is cold here, but in the summer it is hot. Sarai got hot and she liked it. I want to get hot, too!
LJ: What was your favorite part about writing the book?
MD: Drawing it. It was fun doing colorful things.
LJ: How did it feel to see your story published into a book?
MD: Exciting because that’s my first book that’s a real book and I published it!
LJ: Who did you dedicate your book to and why?
MD: I dedicated to my family in Louisiana and New York because they’re my favorite people and I thought it would be special.
LJ: What do you want people to remember about your book?
MD: When she finds her family. It’s the most special because they loved their family.
LJ: Do you have any advice for other young authors?
MD: It is important because I thought it was a lot of hard work. Writing the words, illustrating it 2 times, filling it with colors, packing it, sending it. I thought it would be important to work hard because it’s good for you!
LJ: What will your next book be about?
MD: A monster that’s going to destroy the city! And it will attack the city and tore the city down. I thought it would be super funny. I just wrote a cactus book (really about the desert) because we went to the desert in Las Vegas.
Allie Long is a Customer Voice Associate at Lulu Press, Inc. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in economics. In her spare time, she enjoys cozying up with a glass of wine and plotting the destruction of the patriarchy.