In this post, we feature sibling creators: author Amy Seto Forrester and illustrator Andy Chou Musser. You can hear them speak about their interactive debut for beginning readers, Search for a Giant Squid: Pick Your Path, and try their “invitation to imagine” activities. You’ll also find other resources to explore. Thanks for joining us, and let us know what you think in the comments below!
- Written by Amy Seto Forrester and illustrated by Andy Chou Musser
- Published by Lee & Low
- Release date: March 21, 2023
Take a journey to the ocean’s twilight zone in this exciting choose-your-path STEM adventure for emerging readers! With 11 unique endings, this interactive text puts readers in charge of their own story. Once readers pick their submersible, pilot, and dive site, the journey begins! Woven throughout the bright, detailed spreads are facts about marine life, the work of marine zoologists, and scientific expeditions in general. Readers will also meet a cast of diverse scientists and crew members as they explore their way through the pages. As entertaining as it is informative, this title will appeal to emerging readers interested in the wonders of the ocean and those who study the creatures who make it their home.
Listen to Amy Seto Forrester and Andy Chou Musser talking with TeachingBooks about creating Search for a Giant Squid: Pick Your Path. You can click the player below or experience the recording on TeachingBooks, where you can read along as you listen, and also translate the text to another language.
- Listen to author Amy Seto Forrester pronounce her name.
- Listen to illustrator Andy Chou Musser pronounce his name.
- Explore TeachingBooks’ collection of activities and resources for Search for a Giant Squid: Pick Your Path.
Invitation to Imagine
TeachingBooks asks each author or illustrator on our Virtual Book Tour to share a writing prompt, a drawing exercise, or just an interesting question to spark curiosity and creativity. Enjoy the following activities contributed by Amy Seto Forrester and Andy Chou Musser.
Imagination Activity with Amy Seto Forrester
Write your own pick-your-path story! Start by picking a goal for your protagonist. This could be finding a rare species, climbing to the top of a mountain, baking the winning cake for a competition, or anything else you want it to be. Now, think of all the things that could stop your protagonist from getting what they want. Maybe their backpack is swept away in a river, or they lose their shoes off the side of a cliff, or they bake an eleven-layer cake, but then their dog eats it. Now that you have all your endings, the one where your characters get what they want and lots where they don’t, you can go back to the beginning and write your way to each ending. Add decisions along the way until your protagonist is able to explore each ending.
Imagination Activity with Andy Chou Musser
Experiment with colors by creating color swatches! When I’m trying to decide on what colors to use for an illustration, I usually make quick color swatches to try out different color combinations. My color swatches are just quick squiggles. Their shape isn’t important; their only purpose is to help me quickly try out colors.
For this exercise, you need two pieces of paper and something to color with. You could use crayons, pencils, markers, or paint; anything that makes colorful marks will work great! First, imagine one of your favorite places, and try to picture the colors you’ve seen there. Then, pick three to five of those colors and quickly make your first set of color swatches. When you’ve finished, get your second piece of paper ready. Now think about your favorite place again, but this time think about how it makes you feel. Think about what colors would best show your feelings, and make your second set of color swatches. Compare your two sets of swatches. How are they different, and how are they similar? If you were to draw or paint your favorite scene now, which colors would you use?
Finish This Sentence . . . with Amy Seto Forrester and Andy Chou Musser
As part of our Virtual Book Tour, TeachingBooks asks authors and illustrators to complete short sentence prompts. Enjoy Amy Seto Forrester and Andy Chou Musser’s responses.
“You may not know that I can…”
You may not know that I can dance! Tap, ballet, and modern are my favorites. I take class weekly, partly for exercise, but also because it’s a time when I use different parts of my brain than I do as a writer or librarian. Best of all, dancing makes me happy! —Amy Seto Forrester
“I hope that my book may encourage readers to think about…”
I hope that my book may encourage readers to think about collaborating with their friends to make their own unique stories! I wouldn’t have dreamed up this book on my own, but brainstorming with Amy allowed us to combine our strengths and imagine new possibilities.—Andy Chou Musser
“A strange topic I had to research for our book was…”
One topic I had to research for our book was all the things that can go wrong on a diving expedition. Pick-your-path books have to have lots of endings that don’t work out. So I got to ask scientists and specialists about expeditions gone wrong. Could there be a fire? Could the power go out? Could the submersible get stuck? A lot of their answers made their way into the book.—Amy Seto Forrester
“A surprising thing that helps me work is…”
A surprising thing that helps me work is my floor. I write all my ideas on slips of paper and move them around on the floor until I like them and then I tape them together. I’ll do this four or five times at different points in the process because it can be hard to see 12 different pathways on my computer.—Amy Seto Forrester
A surprising thing that helps me work is my cats Barnacle and Lucy! They wake me up in the morning and make sure I stay on schedule. Then they take turns keeping me company while I’m working. When I get stuck trying to finish stories, they encourage me to take breaks to chase them around the house or to watch squirrels out the window. And at the end of the day, they sit on my computer to remind me to unplug and relax. —Andy Chou Musser
To wrap up this Virtual Book Tour, we thank Amy Seto Forrester and Andy Chou Musser for signing a book for all of us.
More Connections to Amy Seto Forrester, Andy Chou Musser, and Search for a Giant Squid: Pick Your Path
- Discover books like Search for a Giant Squid: Pick Your Path on TeachingBooks.
- Chronicle’s page about Search for a Giant Squid: Pick Your Path, written by Amy Seto Forrester and illustrated by Andy Chou Musser.
- Buy Search for a Giant Squid: Pick Your Path, written by Amy Seto Forrester and illustrated by Andy Chou Musser.
All text and images are courtesy of Amy Seto Forrester, Andy Chou Musser, and Chronicle Books and may not be used without expressed written consent.