Thursday, September 27, 2018

Giraffe Instructor Viviane Elbee -- Plus a PRIZE!

Viviane is one of the members of my fantastic critique group I found thanks to Julie Hedlund's 12x12! I'm very lucky to find two group (writing and illustration) that give me invaluable feedback. When any of my critique members get good news I think it's absolutely wonderful. I was over the moon when I heard "Teach Your Giraffe To Ski was now on Pre-Order!

I love Viviane's writing style. She has such animated characters and she puts so much hard work into all of her stories. I know this is only the first of many of Viviane's stories that I will be sharing with you!

Check at the end of this post for a PRIZE!

Dani: How did you get started writing?

Viviane:  I've always loved writing, but I started writing seriously for children after my first child was born. I had written a few rough drafts when I saw an ad in the newspaper for a local SCBWI critique group. Joining the critique group and SCBWI was one of the best decisions ever. I later joined 12x12, which is an organization specifically for picture book writers. Joining these organizations helped me learn so much, and I've met so many talented, supportive & encouraging people. (Dani is one of them!) :)

Dani: What is your absolute favorite animal?

Viviane: I love so many animals I don't think I can pick a favorite! Unfortunately, some of the animals I love are endangered. I hope that humankind can figure out a way to save them, because I'd hate to see so many wonderful animals disappear. Giraffes are on the endangered list, and so are some species of elephants, tigers, leopards, dolphins, whales, turtles, birds, honeybees, wombats etc... Some programs to help endangered animals are already making a positive impact - such as sea turtle conservation programs. Everyone can help, even by doing little things, like setting up birdhouses that are just right for endangered birds, or planting flowers that honeybees like.

Dani: Who inspires you the most?

Viviane: Kids inspire me the most. They're so smart and imaginative and fun.

Dani: How did you get the idea for TEACH YOUR GIRAFFE TO SKI?

Viviane: I got the idea during my family's very first ski trip, which coincided with the 2014 Winter Olympics. My kids packed many stuffed animals. During the day they were learning to ski, and in the evening, the stuffed animals tried all sorts of winter sports too. This led to a lot of funny jokes about skiing giraffes.

I wrote a longer blog post about the inspiration behind this story -

Dani: How many giraffes have you taught to ski?

Viviane: None. But I keep my eyes open for giraffes on the ski slopes, because you never know, maybe one day I'll meet one!

Dani: What are you working on next?

Viviane: I'm working on several other picture book manuscripts. I'm still learning and taking classes to improve my craft too. Currently I'm doing some classes with Arree Chung's Storyteller Academy.


Follow Viviane:
Poster Prize!
Here is a pre-order link:


Here is my website:

For those who want to buy through an Independent Bookseller:


Viviane is offering an 12x18" poster from "Teach Your Giraffe to Ski"!*

*This prize is limited to those who live in the US.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I love how you took inspiration from your children's play with their animals and turned it into a story ... there are stories all around us we just need to be open to receiving them!!!

  2. This book sounds absolutely fantastic!

  3. Thank you Paul, Geralyn and Virginia for your kind comments. I hope you'll enjoy the book

  4. Kids can offer so much inspiration! This looks like a really fun book! Can't wait to read it!

  5. This is such a FUN and FUNNY idea. Can't wait to read it and get in on the fun! The poster looks AMAZING! Kudos on your work!

  6. Addendum comment: the illustrations are also a hoot!

  7. Great interview! I can’t wait to read my very own copy of TEACH YOUR GIRAFFE TO SKI. Congratulations, Viviane!

  8. Seriously can't wait for such a fun book!

  9. Such a great idea for a book! This looks like fun!

  10. Thank you Judy, Sunny, Joana, Suzie & Sherry for your kind words. I hope you'll enjoy reading the book!

  11. I love the idea of having your own giraffe. Congratulations on your book!

  12. Love the humor of the concept and how the inspiration hit, followed by the hard work of writing! Thanks, Viviane.

  13. I love seeing how she got the inspiration for her book from her kids and family.

  14. I love anything to do with giraffes so I liked reading about the book!