Cars Cars Cars! by Donna David and Nina Pirhonen ~ Blog Tour ~ Author Interview

It’s my stop of the blog tour and publication day for Cars Cars Cars! by Donna David and Nina Pirhonen and I’m super excited to share an author interview with Donna.

My daughters loved the first book in this series: Trains Trains Trains and so I couldn’t wait to share Cars Cars Cars with them. Well, it did not disappoint! Just like before, we were introduced to 50 types of transportation – this time cars. There were fast cars, slow cars, ready steady go cars . . . every kind of car you can think of!

Donna’s bouncy rhyme suits Nina’s bright and bold illustrations perfectly. We particuarly loved the super cool fold-out. Cars Cars Cars is fun, fast and furiously addictive – it is a book children will want to read again and again.

And so, with no more ado, it’s over to Donna to reveal how this series came about and her best tips for writing picture books…

Donna David

Hi Donna, my daughters loved Trains, Trains, Trains and we so excited to read the second book in the series, Cars, Cars, Cars. Can you tell us a little bit about how this series came about?
I wrote ‘Trains, Trains, Trains!’ and sent it to my agent.  She came back to me almost straight away and said that we needed to put together a series proposal for this text; I’m so glad that she did!  It was easy to think of other books in the series and I have 7 or 8 roughly planned out.  Macmillan Pre-School were on board with the entire series from really early on and I’m so grateful for their belief in Nina and I. 

How long did it take from idea to publication day?
I’d been thinking about writing ‘Trains!’ for a few months.  Every now and then I’d jot down a few lines in my notebook.  I finally got it finished in the summer of 2020 and it was published earlier this year.  ‘Cars, Cars, Cars!’ was much quicker.  It’s so much easier to write a book when you already know that a publisher wants it!  I wrote it in a couple of weeks in October 2020 and then it was a case of handing the text over to Nina Pirhonen to work her illustrator magic.

Did you always want to be a writer?
I’ve wanted to be so many things in my lifetime!  A professional athlete, a fire fighter, a police officer, a teacher, a probation officer and a Blue Peter Presenter.  But, along the years, I always came back to reading and writing.  I didn’t know that it would be a job for me, but books always have (and always will be) a huge part of my life.

What are your favourite picture books (from childhood and more recently publications)?
I don’t remember many picture books from my childhood.  We were regular library goers so we only ever fleetingly had the books in our home.  But I do remember the feeling that books gave me.  It was magical!

More recently,  one of my favourite picture books is ‘One Camel Called Doug’ by Lu Fraser and Sarah Warburton.  The rhyme is sublime and the illustrators are fab-u-lous.  Another hilarious book is The Diddle That Dummed by Fred Blunt and Kes Gray. 

It’s completely different to the first two I mentioned, but The Midnight Fair is breath taking.  It’s haunting and chilling yet hopeful and stunning.  I can’t describe it.  It’s a wordless picture book and it’s spectacular.

Do you have any upcoming books you can you tell us about?
I do!  Nina Pirhonen and I are working together on a third book for Macmillan Pre-School.  We’ve done trains, we’ve done cars and now we’re moving on to…


‘Planes, Planes, Planes!’ publishes in February next year.  I’ve already seen Nina’s artwork and I’m so excited to share it with you all. 

What advice would you give to someone trying to publish a picture book?
Read every picture book that you can get your hands on.  Read books that have been recently published so that you know what is working in the market right now.

Join a critique group if you can.  The advice I get from my critique partners is incredibly valuable and my texts are improved immeasurably with their help.

Remember that no writing exercise is ever wasted.  Some stories are never going to be published (some of my stories have never been seen by another living soul) but that’s OK.  Every story you write will teach you something and each story will be another stepping stone in your writing journey.

It took me a long time to get my picture books published so do be prepared to play a long game.  If you enjoy the process, then anything else is a bonus.

Thanks so much Donna – great advice!

Cars Cars Cars was published by Macmillan, 21 July 2022

Buy Now!

ISBN: 978-1529069761

About Donna
Donna David is a picture book author who could (and often does) spend all day lost in a book.  When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her running cross-country, leaping around a netball court or binge-watching her latest favourite box set.

You can find out more on Donna’s website or follow her on Twitter.

I am very grateful to the publisher for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book. This voluntary review contains my honest opinion.

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