Drum roll please . . .
I'd like to introduce you to my friend, Karen Lee, and her latest book, My Half Day, written by Doris Fisher and Dani Sneed, published by Sylvan Dell Publishing, available Today!
So you've illustrated three books on mathematics and fractions now, One Odd Day, My Even Day, and now My Half Day. Were there any particular challenges in portraying "half" as compared to "odd" or "even"?
Yes! In a way the concept of half, while very pervasive in our daily lives, is harder to show. All of these books have loads of hidden things that are intended to bring the viewer into the hunt. That was fun to do in My Half day as well. I incorporated everyday things like measuring cups and spoons, rulers, quarters, music and the iconic pie wherever I could.
I LOVE the aliens in this book, were they especially fun to create? What was your inspiration?
This was the first spread I painted because I couldn't wait to get started on it - like having dessert first. I used animals as starting points for several of the aliens. One in particular is obviously of bird decent. I also tried to give some of them a bit more personality. The lanky fellow with the horns is kind of ornery, and the great big guy is stodgy and grumpy - probably because his clothes are too tight.
Have you had much chance to share these books with children, and if so, how do they react to all the fun things going on in your illustrations?
It is slow going when I read the books to a group because the kids want to linger on each page. That is absolutely wonderful with me. Bit by bit they creep closer and closer to the book until they are touching the pages to point out the little things they've found. The way the kids pore over each discovery is far and away the most successful thing I've brought to the book.
You were the author AND illustrator on your picture book ABC Safari. Do you have different feelings about being a writer vs. being an illustrator? Which do you prefer?
If I am honest, and I always try to be, I prefer doing the illustration only. The amount of choices I have had as sole creator can be paralyzing - like choosing toothpaste. It is a more doubt ridden endeavor for me at this point. I still do it because I feel like I have something worthy of the creative and emotional effort. The gestalt that comes from collaboration is where my real passion is though. I love taking something that is a given and enhancing it with my own ideas and skills.
Thanks so much, and best of luck with My Half Day!
Want to learn more about marketing newly released books? Read this article by Sylvan Dell's PR person, Sara Dobie.
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