Roar-Choo Virtual Book Tour, Author Interview, and Giveaway

Friday, March 29, 2024


Written by Charlotte Cheng
Illustrated by Dan Santat
Ages 4+ | 40 Pages
Publisher: Rocky Pond Books | ISBN-13: 9780593531754

Publisher’s Synopsis: Patient, peaceful Phoenix tries to take care of rambunctious and cold-ridden

Dragon, which leads to hilarious and sweet results (with vibrant illustrations by the Caldecott Medal-winning creator of Beekle).

Everyone knows that dragons are fierce, capable of taking on the world!

But this dragon can’t stop sneezing long enough to get a roar out. Even with friendly Phoenix insisting that Dragon get some rest, this powerful creature refuses to stop for any orange ginger tea or a drop of bone broth soup.

It’s only when Dragon realizes Phoenix has caught the same cold that they are both able to take the break they so badly need. This tale of helping your friends and valuing differences is a sure-thing for story time.

Available for purchase here


Charlotte Cheng’s writing credits include Night Market Rescue, Explore China: A Mulan Discovery Book and BoBo Loves Dumplings, and she has illustrated the picture books Silly McGilly and A Moment in Time. In the field of education, she has written and illustrated K-12 curriculum for a variety of companies such as LeapFrog, Disney, and Wonder Workshop. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, daughter, and two dogs.

For more information, visit her website, twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn.


Dan Santat is the National Book Award-winning, Caldecott Medal–winning and New York Times–bestselling author and illustrator of The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend and the middle grade graphic memoir A First Time for Everything. His artwork is also featured in numerous picture books, chapter books, and middle-grade novels, including Dav Pilkey’s Ricky Ricotta series. Dan lives in Southern California with his wife, two kids, and many, many pets.

Life is What It's Called - Why did you choose to convey the message in Roar-Choo! in a folklore style, and what significance do you believe this holds for young children?

Charlotte Cheng - I love sparking children’s imaginations while encouraging curiosity. What if a dragon gets a cold? What if each sneeze causes chaos and destruction? What would you do if you were the dragon’s friend? Through larger-than-life characters and epic settings, folktales let us explore relatable topics, such as having a cold, in ways that are both memorable and fun.

Life is What It's Called - What motivated your decision to feature a dragon and a phoenix as the central characters in the book?

Charlotte Cheng - As a kid, I grew up going to Chinese restaurants in LA. At one of these restaurants, I remember seeing a golden Dragon and Phoenix mural that took up an entire wall. It looked like they were flying and dancing together. I asked my parents about it, and they explained to me the mythic relationship of Dragon and Phoenix. Dragon is known to be strong and courageous. Phoenix is known to be graceful and generous. Their differences and strengths complement each other.

Many years later, my entire family unfortunately caught Covid at the same time. As we all tried to manage our symptoms, I noticed how differently my husband and I recovered from Covid. I, in fact, was a lot like Dragon. I had deadlines to meet, things to do, but the more I rushed trying to get back to normal, the more I would relapse and get worse. My husband, on the other hand, took it more gracefully and helped me slow down. In the end, we had to lean on each other’s strengths to get our family through Covid.

I then imagined the destruction a Dragon could cause with a cold and how a friendship with Phoenix could help repair the damage. It seemed like a relationship that both kids and parents could relate to as families tackle various illnesses and limitations in their lives. Please share your insights on your writing experiences while creating this story.

Writing Roar-Choo! was truly a collaborative process. When I wrote my first draft, I shared it with my critique group and my agent. They had vital feedback about how to improve the story. One of the key issues was that in the original draft, Phoenix felt like a secondary character and the reader didn’t get a chance to connect with how Phoenix felt.

I was able to take their advice and create a shift in the plot, where Dragon had to stop and take care of Phoenix instead. When my editor finally saw the manuscript, she pushed me to build up Phoenix’s perspective even more. I think the final result is a much more balanced story, where you truly see the push and pull of the relationship between Dragon and Phoenix!

Life is What It's Called - Could you discuss your favorite scene to write in Roar-Choo! and the inspiration behind it?

Charlotte Cheng - I love pattern and repetition in storytelling as it appeals to children (and myself). In the beginning, Dragon has the cold and is the only one who says “Roar-CHOO!” over and over again. Each time, the phrase gets louder and louder. However, halfway through the story, when Phoenix has the cold, the two characters begin to share the phrase. My favorite spread is when Dragon and Phoenix are finally able to stop and recover together. Then the phrase “roar. . choo” becomes softer and takes on a different meaning – one that speaks of self-care and tenderness towards someone you love.

Life is What It's Called - How do you believe the illustrations in Roar-Choo! contribute to bringing the narrative to life and engaging young readers?

Charlotte Cheng - Dan Santat is a Caldecott medalist and a world renown author/illustrator. I knew he would create gorgeous illustrations to pair well with the story. Each spread in Roar-Choo! is so dynamic. It feels like Dragon and Phoenix are about to burst from the page.

Dan used so many different layouts and perspectives that the book feels cinematic. Most importantly, I love how Dan managed to capture the complex relationship between Dragon and Phoenix. Even the color choices reflect this. Dragon is green and Phoenix is red. Red and green are complementary colors – which mirrors how the personalities of Dragon and Phoenix complement each other!

Life is What It's Called - Are there plans to continue the adventures of the characters from Roar-Choo! in future stories?

Charlotte Cheng - I have a few ideas of how Dragon and Phoenix could explore more adventures together. However, we need to make sure that Roar-Choo! is successful before we can develop the next story for these two characters. It helps a lot when people check out the book, write reviews, and spread the word. Then maybe, just maybe, we’ll be able to go on more adventures with Dragon and Phoenix!

Enter the giveaway for the chance to win a copy of Charlotte Cheng’s captivating book, Night Market Rescue, a $100 visa gift card, and a free 30-minute children’s book writing consultation.

Roar-Choo: Book Giveaway 

This post is sponsored by Charlotte Cheng. The review and opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal view. This post contains affiliate links that help support this blog.

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