India Wimple can spell. Brilliantly. Every Friday night, she and her family watch the Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee on TV. When the Wimples suggest she enter the next bee, India finds the idea disconcerting. She’s sure she’s not good enough—but her family won’t accept that and encourages her to sign up. There are plenty of obstacles to reaching the finals, and the whole thing seems rather calamitous to India. But with hope, hard work, and a little bit of heart, something splendiferous might be on the horizon…
Deborah Abela, Dip Teach, BA (Comm), Children’s Author.
After completing a teaching degree, Deb went to Africa where she was caught in a desert sandstorm, harassed by monkeys and thrown in jail…twice! She moved back to Sydney, Australia, where she has written twenty-five books including the Max Remy Superspy (Spyforce) series and Grimsdon, New City and Final Storm, about kids living in a climate-changed world. Teresa A New Australian was inspired by her dad who was born in a cave during one of the heaviest bombing raids of WW2. The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee and the sequel, The Most Marvelous International Bee, were inspired by her grade 4 teacher, Miss Gray. Her first picture book is called Wolfie, An Unlikely Hero. Deb’s won awards for her books but mostly hopes to be as brave as her characters. www.deborahabela.com
Where did you originally get the idea for this book?
My Grade 4 teacher, Miss Gray, made spelling huge fun, which in turn lead our class to love reading and books. This was written as a tribute to her.
What do you hope children enjoy about your character?
I hope readers love that even though India is painfully shy, the support of her family and entire country town leads her to believe in herself and sign up for the spelling bee.
What is your favorite thing about the Wimple family?
I love the Wimple family and how supportive and quirky they are….I would love to meet them one day. I think that would be a hoot.
What would you say is the primary message of this book?
Even though you may feel small and insignificant, we all count.
During which stage of the ideation/creation process did you know that this particular idea was going to go somewhere?
When the characters came to life and began making me laugh and cry without me having to do anything.