PJ Mouse, an adorable little stuffed animal, was lost and alone until young Emily heard his cries for help. Now, along with his new family, PJ gets to travel the world – discovering exciting new places, people, and animals along the way!
Come join PJ on this, his second adventure, along the coast of Queensland, as he snorkels at the Great Barrier Reef, chats with a Loggerhead turtle in the midst of a great undertaking, and explores the tropical rainforest- until he has to be rescued by one of the local friendly wildlife.
Review: The second book the PJ Mouse series, we follow our brave and sweet mouse to Queensland, Australia. PJ and his friend Emily are heading to Queensland via airplane! We follow PJ on his adventures to get to know Queensland by riding the Tower of Terror, boogie boarding, and where PJ does lots of exploring on the great barrier reef and rain forest. We meet Queensland through the eyes of our little friend PJ. The illustrations accompanying the story always add to the journey. Those who love travel stories with talking animals will love PJ’s adventures!
Brand Products: PJ Mouse Stuffed Toy, Customized Stickers, Passport
Gwyneth Jane Page (Jane), who holds an MBA from Simon Fraser University, has called many countries home. She grew up in such places as England, Peru, the USA, and the Caribbean, and has also lived in Australia and Canada. She now resides in Victoria, BC with her husband and four children. The PJ Mouse books are based on Jane’s family trips with the real stuffed animal, PJ, who was found by Emily, Jane’s youngest daughter.
Megan Elizabeth, Jane’s second oldest daughter, has lived in Canada and Australia and travelled extensively with her family-and PJ. Having been artistic since she was a little girl, illustrating the PJ Mouse books has enabled her to combine her love of travel with her love of art. Megan completed her studies at VanArts and is now building her career as a professional photographer as well as an illustrator. She currently resides in Victoria, BC with her family.
Where do you get inspiration for your stories? / How do you do research for your book?
My books are all based on places we have been. I like to include places that people might not otherwise learn about, such as Little Manitou Lake in Canada, Mon Repos in Australia, Peak District National Park in England or Saturnia Falls in Italy. I base the stories on our experiences, but I also do research for specific details from either Wikipedia or pamphlets that I have on the places. I also follow up with looking at the websites of the places to make sure my facts are accurate.
Which was the hardest character to write? The easiest?
There is not one that is particularly hard or easy but I did find it interesting to realize that you have to develop a character by what they say, think and do. The reader never actually gets to meet the characters in the books and children are not going to sit through a lengthy description of what someone is like, so you have to develop the character through the written word and nothing more. It can be quite challenging to have each character talk or think in a different way to create their unique personality.
What made you write the book?
I love exploring the world. It is an amazing place with lots of wonderful things to see and do. I had so many people over the years tell me that they did not want to go to Australia because of snakes and spiders and I thought this very sad as Australia is beautiful….it may have snakes and spiders, but I hardly saw any and never had any dangerous encounters with either. You are more likely to be in a car accident on your way to work. So I thought this an irrational fear and people were missing out on life because of having an irrational fear. I wanted to try to teach kids a bit about the world so that they would be curious, want to explore and not live their lives with irrational fears.
I also wanted to make children aware of some of our endangered places and species so they learn to care for them as they get older. These are mentioned in the books. I did not want to preach at kids, I wanted them to want to care for these animals and places, so it is very subtle in the books but still brings awareness to the issues.
If you are a mom writer, how do you balance your time?
Yes, I am a mom writer. I have 4 kids…ages 22, 21, 16, and 14. They are still all at home. My life is very busy. With 2 grown kids and 2 kids in their teens, the needs and schedules of each are very different. My kids are my priority. I do what is necessary within each day. I use the time when the kids are at school to manage things to do with the books whether it be writing, having the books made, contacting stores, libraries or schools, creating and ordering PJ, the stickers, or the PJ‘s pjs kids clothing line that I am starting. I go for a run almost every day as it is my time to myself and I really enjoy it. After school time is random from day to day…errands, extra curricular activities that the kids are in, dinner, entertaining, or just relaxing and watching a movie in the evening.
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
I think I would go and live in England near my relatives. Growing up as an only child of older parents and living all around the world is quite a lonely experience. I greatly value family and wish I had had much more of my life surrounded by my cousins and aunts and uncles.
Favorite travel spot?
I love tropical places, especially those where snorkeling is available. However, I also love exploring many parts of Europe. The history is so fascinating and much of the countryside is so pretty.
What is your next project?
My next book is on England ‘The Travel Adventures of PJ Mouse – In a Small Corner of England’. It will be available in November. The next one is on New Zealand. The first draft of the manuscript is complete but Megan has not yet started the artwork for the book. I expect it will be published some time in the middle of 2016. The 5th book in the series will most likely be on Italy. I have just started writing the manuscript.