Jeff Rivera, a multi-talented bestselling author who has came out with the funny, witty and hilarious “Um.. Mommy, I think I flushed My Brother Down The Toilet Again, Return To Yuck Kingdom.” A Sequel to the original “Umm, Mommy, I think I Flushed My Brother Down The Toilet.” The babyspot.ca sat down with Jeff Rivera to have him give us the scoop on his latest book!
Jeff, all of the fans of the first “Umm Mommy” book are going to be excited to read the sequel! What made you decide that little Falisha was ready for another adventure?
Oh, you know that Falisha. She’s a naughty one and her little brother is driving her crazy again. So, of course she’d want to flush him down the toilet. Wouldn’t you?
We love and respect that you are a self published author! You can see that in how creative the books are. What made you decide to self- publish your books?
Well, I think part of it was my impatience. I’ve been traditionally published too and I couldn’t imagine waiting a year and a half for this book come out. Instead, I wrote the book in 1 hour and had it illustrated and up on Amazon 3 days later.
What thebabyspot.ca loves about this series is how well-written it is. Children and parents alike can have a great time reading this book with each other. It seems like you positively challenge a young reader to try to read bigger words, but you make it fun with great rhymes and such an interesting plot line! How important is it to you for children to continue to expand their reading and vocabulary?
Very important. It’s really sad to see incredibly intelligent people who cannot read or write. No matter how smart they are, they are limited because they haven’t learned to really expand their vocabulary. We have to do something about this at a very early age.
It is so unique to have a writer who can write for children, young adults and adult novels! What made you decide to be so multi-faceted?
Well, that’s nice of you to say! I began writing when I was in the first grade. I’d write stories about the kids in class and this one girl in school, whom I had a crush on told everyone, “You better watch out or Jeff’s going to write a story about you!” I think that writing is just another form of communicating and when I’m writing for children, it’s totally different than when I’m writing for teens. I spent about an hour on the phone with James Patterson once and that’s what he told me about how he’s able to juggle different genres and audiences.
There are many lessons to be learned in this book. One that is subtle but so important is how Urpie and the Slumpies taught Falisha a valuable lesson to brush off the little things that may bother you, like how they would also mispronounce Falisha’s name. How important is it that children’s books have a valuable lesson?
I think most of the lessons that were in the book were not conscious. My first job, as a writer, was to write something that my nieces and nephews would enjoy and hopefully laugh about. So many lessons can be learned through humor. I didn’t want to beat a lesson over their heads. Oftentimes, the kids will see lessons in the book that I didn’t even know were there. I ask them whenever I do Skype talks with classrooms around the world, what lessons they learned and all the kids raise their hands and come up with something different. I love it!
The Toilet Paper King is so creative. How did you come up with him?
Thanks! I needed a big bad guy and I thought what could be down there. Well, her mom is always complaining about her using up all the toilet paper (or worse yet, her father doing so) So, I thought … hmm … that would fun. What about a Toilet Paper King?
Can we see another adventure with Falisha in the future?
Definitely! If enough people support these first two books and they really take off, I’d love to create a one called Um … I Think I Flushed MOMMY Down the Toilet.
Do you have any other children’s books on the go? Can we expect another book in the near future? What is the next year like for Jeff Rivera?
Yes. I wrote one called My Two Uncles & Me, which is for gay, lesbian and transgender families and their heterosexual brothers and sisters. I wrote a tongue twister book for one of my nephews called Peter Pumplenickle – Private Pimple Popper, P.I. but it’s not ready yet and I have about 10 other ideas.