A former zoologist and zookeeper, Julie Murphy has been writing about animals and nature for two decades. I’ve Got a Tail!, the third book in her I’ve Got… series, came out this year, and she agreed to answer a few questions.
Q: Tell us, Julie, why animal tails? What made you decide to focus on just one body part?
JM: The idea to focus on one body part first came to me after watching my (then) 2-year-old daughter, who loved wriggling her toes. Young children are fascinated by their own bodies and what they can do. It went from there.
I also love that my pet dog Banjo tells me things with his tail, like if he is in a good mood and confident, if he's worried about something, and even if he's about to play a sneaky trick on me. Tails are really interesting!
Q: Did anything surprise you during the publishing process—for this book or any others in the series?
JM: I only have a vague picture of the animals in my head when I write, so it's always a wonderful surprise seeing how the illustrator, Hannah Tolson, interprets my words into such beautiful illustrations.