Rock Stars of Reading part 20: Advice for aspiring readers

Monday, May 11, 2009.

It’s customary for interviewers to ask authors and illustrators to share their advice for aspiring book creators. During the 19th Annual Children’s Illustration Show at the R. Michelson Gallery, Mark instead asked authors and illustrators to offer advice for aspiring readers. Everyone was willing to pitch in. This video features responses from Jeanne Birdsall, Diane de Groat, Tony DiTerlizzi, Jane Dyer, Paul Jacobs, Norton Juster, Jarrett Krosoczka, Jeff Mack, David Mazor, David Milgrim, Barry Moser, Lesléa Newman, Shelley Rotner, Ruth Sanderson, Heidi Stemple, Mo Willems and Jane Yolen.

Also included is an interview with David Mazor, Founder and Executive Director of Reader to Reader — a non-profit organization that distributes books to schools and libraries in need. Reader to Reader honoured author Norton Juster for his generosity and passion in promoting literacy.


Rock Stars of Reading part 18: Mordicai Gerstein

Thursday, May 7, 2009.

Listen to author/illustrator Mordicai Gerstein tell Mark about his turbulent career, imagination and his idea that children’s books as the perfect combination of film, theatre and drawing.

Books by Mordicai Gerstein that you may recognize…



Rock Stars of Reading part 17: Jane Dyer

Wednesday, May 6, 2009.

Listen to Mark and illustrator Jane Dyer (on JOMB) talk about Jane’s fine brushwork, painting movement and imagination, and her own masterpiece.

Books by Jane Dyer you may have seen…


Rock Stars of Reading part 13: Making Children’s Books Count

Monday, April 27, 2009.

Mark, Richard Michelson (on JOMB), Tony Diterlizzi and Scott Fisher spoke for three hours about almost everything related to children’s books and the publishing industry.  It was a very cerebral conversation, much of which revolved around print and digital books, the future of the industry and competing with technology for reader attention.  There were light moments, too, like when they did an analysis of Jon Scieszka‘s (on JOMB) reign as the first National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.


  • Theme: Woolly Mammoth by Robert Farrell (from Sun House Fury, part 1)
  • Skittles at Buckley Bay & Mischief in the Garden by Jaime RT (from Reach)
You may have seen these books by Richard Michelson…
…these by Tony Diterlizzi…
…and these by Scott Fischer…

Rock Stars of Reading part 7: Creators of the Round Table

Tuesday, April 14, 2009.

Mark spent two amazing hours at a table with Jeanne Birdsall (on JOMB), Jane Dyer, Jarrett Krosoczka (on JOMB) and David Ezra Stein, sharing a common love of children’s books and talking about how each found their way into writing and illustrating, children’s books vs. traditional publishing and what keeps them in an industry that isn’t known for generating a lot of wealth for the people in it.


Interview with Gijsbert (Nic) van Frankenhuyzen

Monday, February 23, 2009.

No matter how you look at it, picture book illustration is art.  And when it comes to realism, illustrators face many challenges including visual storytelling and being true to the subject.

It took Gijsbert (Nic) van Frankenhuyzen about forty years to realize his childhood dream of becoming an illustrator.  Nic joins Mark to talk about his move from Art Director to Illustrator, visual inspiration on books including Saving Samantha and one of his greatest challenges, illustrating the book The Edmund Fitzgerald: Song of the Bell.

Photo courtesy of Gijsbert (Nic) van Frankenhuyzen.

Interview with Giselle Potter

Monday, February 16, 2009.

Some authors and illustrators have a knack for weaving personal experiences and family history into children’s books.  The written and illustrated stories compliment each other in a way that invites the reader to be a part of the book.

On this edition, author/illustrator Giselle Potter talks about how her life experiences have influenced her style, offers thoughts on effective journaling and the challenge of making a personal experience interesting for others.

Among our favourite books by Giselle Potter:

Conversation with Paul Rogers

Monday, February 9, 2009.

His work has included posters, murals, magazine art and logos.  Only recently has he become known for his children’s picture book illustrations with two books that carry musical themes; Jazz A-B-Z: An A to Z Collection of Jazz Portraits with poems by Wynton Marsalis and the warmly illustrated Forever Young (the song by Bob Dylan).  He’s also a contributor to the Just One More Book!! Love of Reading Gallery.

On this edition, Graphic Artist and Illustrator Paul Rogers speaks with Mark about new collaborations with Wynton Marsalis, finessing with a computer and the permanence of children’s books.

Relevant links:

Just One More Book!! Love of Reading Gallery illustration by Paul Rogers.

Conversation with Barry Root

Monday, February 2, 2009.

The economics of his first book experience had him doubting if being a children’s book illustrator was a viable career. We’ll spoil the story for you; it all works out. He continues to illustrate, and we get to enjoy books like The Araboolies of Liberty Street, Pumpkins: A Story for a Field, By My Brother’s Side and The Birthday Tree.

On this edition of Just One More Book!!, illustrator Barry Root talks about his relative anonymity on the web (his own website will be available soon), the time investment for illustrating books and turning down work.

Related links

Photo courtesy of Barry Root.

Conversation with Matt Tavares

Monday, January 26, 2009.

Natural talent and dedication still need good role models, mentors and a few lucky breaks. In the context of today’s conversation, that applies equally to baseball and being a creator of children’s books.

To continue with the baseball motif, author/illustrator Matt Tavares has all the tools. He’s also a huge fan of baseball, as evidenced by many of his books, and he even has a baseball sounding name. It makes you wonder if his business card features his photo, position and career stats.

On this edition of Just One More Book!!, Mark speaks with Matt Tavares about turning his senior thesis into his first published book, the ageless appeal of baseball stories and a kindergarten teacher who fostered his passion for art.

Lady Liberty

Thanks to Daniele Rossi and RuthDFW for submitting questions to ask Matt.

Books mentioned:

Music: Excerpt of Take Me Out to the Ballgame used as the conversation’s seventh-inning stretch.

Photos for the collage courtesy of Matt Tavares.

Interview with Kinuko Craft

Monday, January 19, 2009.

There’s long been a distinction made between pure art and children’s picture book art. Picture book art has a tradition of being playful in all manner of stories, fun and serious, an approach not yet adopted by art puritans.

Inspired by the her grandfather’s books of renaissance art she enjoyed as a young girl, Kinuko Y. Craft has been creating some of the most sophisticated art ever to appear in picture books — books that she insists are mistakenly viewed as exclusively for children.

K. Y. Craft speaks with Mark about storytelling through art, the time it takes to complete each of her illustrations and her quest for the perfect painting.

The following books, illustrated by K. Y. Craft, are mentioned in the podcast:

Photo courtesy of K. Y. Craft.

Conversation with David A. Carter

Monday, January 12, 2009.

There’s something about pop-up books, and books with tabs, levers and dials; they make a two dimensional book extend into the world of the child in a way that makes the opposite seem true.  The book literally explodes off the page.

You’ve probably had experiences with pop-up and movable books.  And then there’s the Bug Books.  Have you seen those before?  They present textures and other tactile experiences to the reader.

David A. Carter is an author, illustrator and perhaps most importantly, a paper engineer.  He makes those interactive experiences a reality.  A creator of more than sixty books including The Elements of Pop-Up, a veritable how-to guide for aspiring pop-up artists.

David Carter joins Mark to speak about an art that has largely been about reverse engineering and apprenticing on this edition of Just One More Book!!

David Carter’s top-10 pop-ups not including his own work (some of these are out of print):

David Carter’s top-3 works of his own:

To hear more of the conversation with David A. Carter, sign up for our monthly newsletter on our website,, in time for the January 2009 issue which will include a link to more of our conversation.


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