Tuesday, 10 October 2006 19:12
Q. "Once Upon a Banana" is a lively book full of action told in rhyming street signs. Where did the idea for this story come from and was it a collaboration with the
illustrator from the start?
A. I wanted to see if I could tell a story using only signs that a kid might see around town. When I wrote the poem I realized that there was no narrative to tie it together, so I wrote brief descriptions of action for the illustrator to use as a guide. I wrote it long before I knew David Small was going to illustrate it, so there was no collaboration. There almost never is, between and author and illustrator. The illustrator takes a text and works with that, not with the author.
Q. "The American Story" is a wonderful treasury of American History. What made you decide to do a collection of stories and how did you choose the ones you included?
A. The American Story was the idea of one of my editors -- to do a collection of 100 historical tales. I spent a long time coming up with the list, and it evolved during the process of writing the book. I wanted the collection to cover themes, regions, ethnic groups, historical movements and developments, and I wanted to choose
stories that I could connect to each other in unexpected ways. I wanted the whole collection to knit together tightly so that kids could develop a holistic sense of history rather than a simple time-line understanding. This, I hope, will help kids become more critical thinkers when they witness contemporary events.
Q. The United States has a rich and interesting history, what type of research did you while writing "The American Story?"
A. Tons of research! Of course it was quick, since there was so much ground to cover. I thought of each story like a commando raid: get the best three books on the subject, get the best info, and get out,
write the story, move on. Most of the research was book-based, with some web-based research as well.
Q. Are you working on anything new right now?
A. David Small and I just did a book tour together for Once Upon a Banana, and we talked about doing a sequel. Stay tuned!
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Last Updated ( Friday, 14 September 2007 15:09 )