Sunday, December 6, 2020

Little Lamb Books Spotlight on The Christmas Color by Tori Higa

Interview with Tori Higa about her book, The Christmas Color:

Congratulations on writing your first book! Let’s talk about it …

Why did you write this book?

I didn’t learn until I was an adult what the symbolism of red means at Christmastime. I was blessed to have both of my kids learn about it in their kindergarten classes a few years ago. I felt inspired to write a book about the significance of red so that all kids will be encouraged and reminded of the importance of the color and what it means – the gift of Jesus and how red can remind each of us of His ultimate loving sacrifice.

What message are you hoping to get across to your readers with this book?

I want my readers to enjoy seeing all of the traditional red we have during the holidays and through that, I want them to stop and think of the meaning behind the color. I want readers to know deep in their hearts that Jesus came into the world to live and die for them and to be raised again.

Alexis: What was the most fun part of writing this Christmas holiday story?

Tori: I think the most fun part had to do with the inspiration of the whole book. It came to me when I wasn’t looking for it, so it was a welcome surprise. Everything flowed so naturally that it felt like I just had to write it. It was also fun to brainstorm all of the red things at Christmas and see how I could tie them into the story.

Alexis: Why is the color red such an important part of this story?

The color red really is the main character of the book. I tried to illustrate it as the main character as well as write about it in that way. I feel like it’s so important because all of the little red details throughout the book point to Jesus. It drives home for us that Jesus is the reason for the season.

Alexis: Not only are you a debut author, you’re also an amazing illustrator! What was your inspiration as you created the pictures for this book? What program or method did you use to illustrate?

Tori: Thank you so much for saying that! It was a dream to illustrate. I love a simple and clean aesthetic, especially with this story, because I feel like it showcases the color of red the most. Your eye has no place to rest except for on the shades of red. I would say that my inspiration was my collection of vintage fabric that I have had for years. I did all of the line work with soft charcoal pencils, which I love so much, and then I scanned them into Photoshop and manipulated them from there as needed. I then did digital collage work once I figured out how I wanted the lines to look.

Did you listen to Christmas music while writing this story? If so, which song inspired you the most?

Tori: What a thoughtful question. I wish I could answer “yes”, but to be honest, I really don’t listen to music as I write and I didn’t listen to Christmas music during the illustration process. I wish I would have! “Mary, Did You Know” is my favorite Christmas song year after year, though, because it’s a fresh and creative way to look at the Christmas story. It stops me in my tracks every time I hear it.

Alexis: In what ways do you hope this story will bring parents and children together as they read it?

Tori: I love that you ask this question because it’s a dream to think of children and parents coming together as they read it. I want it to be a springboard for the season that families can notice red things together while they are out and about and then talk about it’s true meaning. Also, I believe that any time families sit down and read together is time well spent. It helps build strong bonds and to think that my book could play a small part in that truly warms my heart.

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Tori! Would you like to share closing thoughts?

The Christmas Color was a delight and a joy to write and illustrate from start to finish and to think of kids and families sharing in that joy is a huge honor that I don’t take lightly. Thank you for taking the time to interview me with your thought provoking questions. I enjoyed it!

Author Bio:

I (Tori Higa) am inspired by my faith, family & friends, coffee shops, people- watching, and all things vintage. 

I have always loved making art and recently began pairing my handcrafted pictures with the stories I write to share with young kids. 

I consider it a high honor to make books to inspire kids and encourage their faith journey. 

I currently live in California with my husband, two kids, and a playful puppy.

Book Blurb for The Christmas Color by Tori Higa:

Why is the Christmas color red? The answer takes us right to the heart of the matter. 

From Santa's red clothes to Rudolph's shiny red nose, from the berries we pick to sweet peppermint sticks, the color of Christmas is red!

But why do so many of our favorite traditions come together in this particular hue? Debut author-illustrator Tori Higa has an insightful answer that will warm your heart and remind readers young and old of the true reason for the season.

Connect with Tori:

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