Our state seems to attract artists of all kinds, but especially writers or at least that’s the art I know the most about. Last night 18 authors and illustrators gathered at Park Place Books in Kirkland to present “The Inside Story” on their newest releases. Each presenter was give 2 ½ minutes to tell the story behind the story of what they’d written and had published. This event was presented by the Western Washington chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators.
Below I’ve revealed some of their insights in case you want to buy and read these books. Some haven’t been released yet, but most have.
I overheard two members of the audience talking about how they would rather read children’s books than some of the books for adults out there because the children’s authors do a better job of engaging the reader. I heartily agree.
A Bedtime for Bear by Bonnie Becker continues the saga of a grumpy bear and a cheerful mouse and the series now comes with a cuddling stuffed toy.
New to Seattle, Maggie Smith has penned Christmas with the Mousekins just in time for the holidays – how does a mouse family prepare for Christmas?
Illustrator Kevan J. Atteberry said drawing monsters in Frankie Stein Starts School by Lola M. Schaefer, makes his job fun and though friends and relatives don’t find Frankie frightening enough, he is his own kind of scary.
Hope for Haiti by Jesse Joshua Watson gives some much-needed realism to the Haitian earthquake disaster so it doesn’t get relegated to a news item that’s forgotten after a couple of days.
While J. Elizabeth Mills was riding a Metro bus in Seattle, the idea for The Spooky Wheels on the Bus was conceived. It started with, “what if the bus was haunted?”
Kathryn Thurman’s sister once brought home a pig for a pet and that sparked the initial idea for A Garden for Pig, which took more than five years to become a published book.
Every time Erik Brooks saw wrapping paper or greeting cards with polar bears and penguins together, he marveled at how inaccurate that was – they didn’t live together. So this Winthrop author finally used the topic as fodder for Polar Opposites.
Early Readers & Chapter Books
When her contractor quit in the middle of building her dream home, illustrator Liz Callen took solace from and immersed herself in the pictures in Wolf Pie – a story about the three Pygg brothers.
While explaining the back story for Zelda and Ivy: The Big Picture, Laura McGee Kvasnosky strummed the ukulele and sang about her own family.
Stay tuned for Middle Grade and Young Adult Novels by local authors.