Talking with Author Carrie Daws about A NEW HOME FOR ALLIE and a Giveaway!

by Sally Matheny
A New Home for Allie by Carrie Daws
This month, Ambassador International releases a beautiful children’s picture book, A NEW HOME FOR ALLIE. Carrie Daws penned the sweet story about a giraffe named Allie. Joanie Bruce painted the charming illustrations.

The main character, Allie, lives with her parents in Kenya. Her dad serves in the Animal Jungle Patrol. Allie learns her dad received orders and her family must move to Somalia. As her new journey unfolds, so do her concerns about moving.

I caught up with the author of this book in between her writing, speaking, homeschooling, and serving our military community alongside her husband at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. She kindly agreed to share some of her own journey with us.

Carrie, after all the books you’ve written for adults, what prompted you to write a children’s picture book?

C: My sweet baby girl! Years ago, in a writing class, I had an assignment to come up with five original ideas for children’s books. I struggled with that, and asked my then eight-year-old girl to help me. Allie was one of her creations. Over the years, I did a little research here and there, amazed at how well giraffes fit the story that she’d proposed. Occasionally, she would ask if I’d written it yet. Once I found an illustrator that I loved and who agreed to look at the project, I couldn’t let her down. I started writing.

I believe all young children will enjoy reading about Allie. Do you have places in mind where you’d like to see the book distributed?

C: While I did write the book specifically for military children, I also intentionally kept the military references and jargon light so Allie can reassure kids in all kinds of moving families. I would love to see it picked up by the small libraries on many installations though, and in the Chaplains’ offices who frequently stock books that encourage their troops and families.

What are some of the facts you learned about giraffes and incorporated into Allie’s story?

C: Giraffes mirror military (and other nomadic) families in amazing ways! They really do move from tower (group) to tower. They are fairly independent unless trouble is around, and moms with young kids tend to congregate the most.

You mentioned you did research “over the years.” About how long did you allow your ideas to simmer before you were ready to create the story?

C: My daughter was about eight when she first conceived the idea, and she was nineteen when I finally handed the story over to Joanie Bruce, the illustrator.

After writing several nonfiction and fiction books for adults. What did you find most challenging when writing for children?

C: In picture books, about half of the story is told in the illustrations. So as I wrote, I had to differentiate between what needed telling with words and what could be communicated through the pictures. I also had to break up the story by page to help Joanie determine what she needed to paint (yes, every page is a painting!). And it all had to be done in less than 1,000 words and in just 24 story pages!

Beautiful illustrations painted by Joanie Bruce

How involved were you in the publishing process?

C: Joanie and I contracted with Ambassador International to print this book. They are a delight to work with! They give their authors a lot of say in the entire process, from formatting to design.

Will there be more books about Allie’s adventures?

Joanie and I have talked about future books for Allie. We know we could offer encouragement on all kinds of topics common to military kids. But it’s a huge undertaking! If this first book does well, then I’m sure we’ll get to work on another.

One last question! What do you want children to take away from reading A NEW HOME FOR ALLIE?

C: We all know moving is hard, but I want kids, and their parents, to also see that moving is an adventure that can bring amazing people into your life. Some of the hardest moves for me brought the biggest blessings once we were settled. If you focus on that then moving is easier.

Carrie, thank you for carving out time to talk with us! I hope for all the best for you, Joanie, and A NEW HOME FOR ALLIE.

Carrie Daws
Hey Readers! Carrie has generously offered a copy of this beautiful, hardcover book for me to give away to one of you!

How wonderful would it be for you to win this for a child? Or donate it to a library? April is recognized as the Month of the Military Child. Perhaps you could donate this book to a military organization.

There are multiple ways to enter. Every place you leave a comment (between now and 12:00 noon on April 27) you will get your name in the drawing for the book.

You can leave a comment on any or all of these places:

Carrie Daws’ blog: A New Home for Allie 
Carrie’s facebook page: Carrie Daws

Or, you can leave a comment here on this blog in the comment section below.

Maximum total of entries = 4 (one comment per site)

What do I say?

People often wonder what to comment about. You can say whatever you like! Do you think you’d like to read this book? Was the article interesting? Perhaps you have a question for Carrie. You might tell who you would give the book to if you won. 
Or you can simply type: “I want to win this book!” 😊


  1. Thank you, Sally, for highlighting the picture book on your blog. I'll pass the word along. :-)

  2. Thanks to everyone who left comments in all the places mentioned. The winning name drawn was Ashley F. E. from California. Congratulations, Ashley! I'll be contacting you about where I should mail your book. Thanks to all of you who participated here and on facebook. And a big thanks to Carrie Daws for the interview and donating a copy of her book.


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