Authors' Spotlight


Today I’ll be hosting author Dalandra Young on my blog. Her book through exciting adventures shows children ho much fun school can be.

Me: Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Dalandra: I created my first character when I was just 14 years old and continued to draw him, along with 9 other characters that I named Noonimals. The name “Noonimals” originates from my nickname as a baby, which was Nooni. I was having a conversation with my mother one day and decided I would use my characters to help children overcome fears and concerns that are faced on a daily basis. I then begin to write stories that stemmed from events that went on in my life as a young child.

 Me:    What made you take the specific subject and pen down The Land of Noonimals?

Dalandra: I came up with the idea of children using their imaginations to enter another dimension by way of a magical train ride into the land where Noonimals would reside.

Me:     Why choose to write for children?

Dalandra: Writing for children came so natural for me once my characters were all created. It seemed more logical to use the big fun animals to capture the hearts of kids around the world with imagination, love and adventure while offering ways to approach the issues that young children are faced with in their everyday life.

 Me:  The first few days of a new school can indeed be hard for some children. It certainly was for me. How do you intend to impact them through your book?

Dalandra: The Noonimals have an exciting day planned for Michelle when she arrives in the Land. They teach her how much fun school can be and how easy it is to make friends and have fun while learning. She enjoyed her day so much that when she returned back to reality she was so excited about going to her school.

Me:    Did you struggle through similar fears when you were young?

Dalandra: Honestly, this story originated from my younger sister and her fears on her first day of school. We had to convince her that school would be a fun place to go.

Me:    What are you doing when you are not writing?

Dalandra:  I’m usually spending time with family. My family is very important to me.

Me:    I think The Land of Noonimals not only will help children overcome their fears and anxiety but will also instil a love for reading in them. What will you comment on that?

Dalandra: I agree. The Noonimals are full of love and will offer creative ways for parents to approach sensitive subjects in a way a child can relate. This will make great bedtime stories and healthy family resolutions to issues that arise in a home.

Me:    Are there any new projects underway?

Dalandra: Yes, I am now working on another Noonimals book called “Believe” This will be an introduction to law of attraction for kids and teaching them that they can be, do and have anything they want in life if they just Believe in themselves. I’m excited!

Through her imaginative Noonimals characters, Author and Illustrator Dalandra Young inspires courage and perseverance in her heartwarming story about a little girl who pushes through big fears on the first day of school.  Creating this book has been a labor of love for Dalandra, who has also pushed through hardships to achieve her lifelong dream of becoming a successful character creator and writer. On November 12, 2019, Noonimals – First Day of School hit #1 on the International Best Seller’s list. It was a proud moment that Dalandra will never forget, but also one that validates her considerable talents nearly 33 years after creating her very first character, Dopy Dog! 

Born January 20, 1973 in Newark N.J., Dalandra conceived Dopy Dog when she was just 14 years old and continued to draw him, along with 9 other characters created in her early 20s—all called Noonimals—for years to come. The name “Noonimals” originates from Dalandra’s nickname as a baby, which was Nooni. 

Dalandra attended Arts High School in Newark for a short time before graduating from East Side High School. Even while working through everyday struggles of life and eventually raising children on her own, Dalandra never gave up on her art. When time allowed, she continued to revisit her characters and work on crafting new stories. Dalandra taught herself graphic design and digital art programs that allowed her to continually develop her characters—making them even more vibrant and attractive.

Dalandra landed her first publishing deal with a small Belgium company whose owner was forced, due to illness, to release Dalandra from her contract before the book could go public. Despite the disappointment, she moved forward attempting to start her own publishing company where she could create, publish, and sell her books locally to help care for her family. 

Upon meeting her husband years later, Dalandra’s situation continued to improve, as did her ability to pursue her publishing goals. Dalandra and her daughter Alexus started several successful businesses that afforded Dalandra more time and resources to get her Noonimals project off the ground. 

Thrilled by the positive reception her work has received, Dalandra looks forward to introducing many more new and wonderful books featuring the Noonimals.

Find Dalandra on:


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