Thursday, July 5, 2012

Interview with Children’s Author Sherrill S. Cannon

A former teacher, all of Sherrill S. Cannon’s books are in rhyme and all try to teach good manners and consideration for others. In 2011, she won eight National Awards for her books, The Magic Word, Peter and the Whimper-Whineys, and Santa’s Birthday Gift. Her fourth book Gimme-Jimmy, has just been released, with wonderful reviews. She also has written six published and internationally produced plays for elementary school children. A magna cum laude graduate of The American University, she has had a varied career including teacher and coach, newspaper photographer and columnist, Dinner Theatre Manager, and Business Administrator. She and her husband of more than 50 years are now retired, and travel in their RV from coast to coast each year, visiting their children and nine grandchildren... sharing Sherrill’s books along the way!

Welcome back to my blog, Sherrill. Please tell us about your new children’s book, The Magic Word.

The Magic Word is currently ranked #1 in Children’s Popularity on amazon. It has won four awards: a Gold medal Readers Favorite, winner of a Pinnacle Achievement award, second place in the Reader Views Awards, and was a Finalist (third place) in the Global eBook Awards. It is a story about a little girl who needs to learn good manners, so that she will make friends who will want to come to her birthday party. Her mother’s words echo in her ear, “What is the magic word?” and little Elisabeth has to say “Please.” Children seem to love to anticipate the answer!!

Where did you get your inspiration for The Magic Word?

I was inspired to write this book because this has always been a common reply in our family if someone forgets to say “Please.” It also works for “Thank-You”! I wanted to write a rhyming book to help children learn good manners, disguised as a fun story. I received the following lovely comment from a reviewer:

I have passed the ones you sent me to my 4 year old niece… Her mother has already read her ‘The Magic Word’ and said she was completely delighted. She now sleeps with the book under her pillow. You have a definite 4 year old fan.”

 Please tell us about your newest children’s book.

My just released book, Gimme-Jimmy, is a story about how a bully learns to share. James Alexander’s nickname was Gimme-Jimmy because he was a greedy and selfish bully. Imagine Jimmy’s concern when he discovered that every time he said the word “Gimme,” his hand grew larger. Jimmy was happy to discover that when he was polite and said “Please” and “Thank you,” his hand began to shrink. He started practicing his new “Polite Rule” and found out that it was much more fun to share.

A reviewer wrote: “Gimme-Jimmy is a delightful children’s book. This is a great story to teach young children good manners, specifically not to be selfish. Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

In this case, the title came before the book! When my son was in the “it’s mine” and “gimme” stage, he had a little friend whose name was Jimmy who always said, “Gimme”– so we got in the habit of saying, “Don’t be a Gimme-Jimmy!”

I love it when authors add real life situations to their stories. Do you ever put real experiences in your books?

Probably all my books are somewhat based on real life situations. Having been a teacher, as well as a mother of four and grandmother of nine, I have had multiple opportunities to help me determine that good manners need to be taught to small children, preferably by example, as early as possible. Learning consideration for others, to “think more of others and less about you,” helps not only with a child’s popularity; but becoming a good citizen is the best way to practice the “Golden Rule”. Reading books with your children is a great way to help them learn.

Thank you, Linda, for allowing me to reach more readers who will share my books with children. It’s all about the children… My website, where I also have a blog, is My SBPRA Link – Press Reviews for all four books:

Thank you, Sherrill, for this wonderful interview. I know my readers have learned more about you and your books.


neansai said...

Your book reminds of an old Captain Kangaroo (tv character from the Chicago area in the '50s) song...
There are two little magic words
That will open any door with ease
One little word is thanks
And the other little word is please.

G said...

since manners are not often used in everyday life, parents can use a book like this to help teach their children
ceis8009 at yahoo dot com

G said...
ceis8009 at yahoo dot com

Linda Kish said...

Both books look terrific and would be great for teaching kids appropriate behaviors. I wish they were around when my son was young.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Debbie Rodgers said...

I'm particularly interested in Gimme-Jimmy. My four-year-old grandson could have been your son's friend, but Gimme-Steven isn't as catchy. ;-) Sometimes real life hands you gifts.

debbie -at------exurbanis (fot) com

Mutti said...

Having grown up with 'the Magic Word' I used that same question with my students and then later with my own children. I enjoyed reading Sherrill S Cannon's 'The Magic Word' to my grandchildren. They, fortunately, had already learned it from their parents but it is a delightful book!

I would love to read Gimme-Jimmy to them as well. Thank you, Linda, for this interview with yet another author of enjoyable books!

Debbie Rodgers said...

I posted about your contest on Facebook. My FB name is DebbieRodgers

Anonymous said...

Childrens books are not only hard to write they are responsible for influencing a generation. I really liked your take on manners and bullies/big hands. They both address the need in a special way. I know my kids love to here the magic word. I would be blessed to share that with them.
Please, and Thank you. Linda thank you for interview with Sherrill S. Cannon and giving us a glimplse into her world. ~Blessings Jenn

Darlene said...

These are exactly the type of books that I seek out for my kids, the ones that model good behaviour and teach important character traits.

Thanks for the giveaway!
darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

Darlene said...

+1 shared on Facebook

darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

These sound great! My son could really use GimmyJimmy!
jbsmunky at aol dot com

Katie Amanda said...

Sounds perfect for my classroom! Thanks!


Unknown said...

Both books sound like great books for my daughter.

Sandra said...

Once when I asked my then 4 YO daughter "What is the magic word?", she responded: "Abracadabra!" LOL
Thanks for the chance for winning this book!

Maegan Morin said...

I love finding new books to read with my kids! Especially books where they dont realize they are learning something lol. I would love to share this with them!

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulations to the following winners:
The Magic Word to
Darlene's Booknook
Katie Amanda

Gimme-Jimmy to
Debbie Rodgers