Book Reports

Local children’s authors and illustrators tell us what doesn’t make it onto the jacket flaps.


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We caught up with 22 local authors and illustrators—just a fraction of those who live here—to find out what they’ve learned from their careers in children’s publishing.


Judy Blundell
Katonah, author of What I Saw and How I Lied
Did you ever think that you would win the National Book Award? I never, ever expected to win. I thought I’d have to employ my usual marketing strategy of haunting random bookstores and turning the book cover out.


Nick Bruel
Tarrytown, author/illustrator of Happy Birthday, Bad Kitty
Is there a children’s book that you wish you had done? Mordicai Gerstein’s most recent two books, How to Paint the Portrait of a Bird and A Book, have both floored me. They are some of the most conceptually unique and brilliantly executed books. Curse you and your eyes, Mordicai!


Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Hastings, author of the Biscuit series
What are the advantages of having established characters that you can return to again and again? Biscuit started as one simple book and I often pinch myself to see how his world has grown. It’s been a totally joyful experience.



Katie Davis
Bedford Hills, author/illustrator of Kindergarten Rocks!
What are the advantages of writing and illustrating a book? My first novel, The Curse of Addy McMahon, is about a girl who believes the family joke that they’ve been cursed. She keeps her diary as a comic strip and so calls it her ‘autobiogra-strip.’ When she’s talking about something very important or private, you get to actually see it happening. If I weren’t the illustrator, I couldn’t have done that, and I love doing that!


Jean Craighead George
Chappaqua, author of My Side of the Mountain
Did you expect My Side of the Mountain would be such a success? Oh no! I was sort of embarrassed by it. I didn’t mention it. My daughter was the one who came home and said, ‘Mother, everybody is reading it!’ And it’s still selling. I think people are interested in being green and, in this economy, they want some practical ideas for how to live off the land.



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