Thursday, June 17, 2021

Q&A with BonHyung Jeong




BonHyung Jeong is the author and illustrator of Kyle's Little Sister, a new middle grade graphic novel for kids. She lives in Korea.


Q: What inspired you to create Kyle's Little Sister, and how did you come up with your character Grace?


A: I read other middle grade graphic novels, such as Awkward, Brave, and W.I.T.C.H. It gave me the idea of setting Kyle’s Little Sister in a school, because that’s where all the fun stuff happens!


Since Kyle’s Little Sister is about sibling rivalry, when creating Grace, a girl who is introverted and finding her way, I wanted to make her the opposite of her brother Kyle, a boy who is extroverted and confident. That’s how I made her.


Q: The Publishers Weekly review of the book says, "With a soft color palette and stylized faces, bouncy illustrations interplay seamlessly with denser speech bubbles, making this ideal for intermediate graphic novel readers." What do you think of that description, and how did you decide on the book's appearance?


A: It was great seeing how they described my style, ‘cause I’m not good at describing things in English. Lol! I really hope readers perceive my drawings in that way. I didn’t spend too much time deciding on the appearance—that’s just how I draw kids.


Q: How would you describe the relationship between Grace and Kyle?


A: I would say they’re the typical brother and sister. There are always fights between siblings and plenty of misunderstandings, especially if one is considered “better” when compared to the other, a common occurrence since people often compare siblings to each other.


Q: What do you hope kids take away from the story?


A: Bad things can happen, but don’t be afraid. Things will get better as time passes. 


Q: What are you working on now?


A: It’s not ready to be shared, but following my debut graphic novel, I hope you all really like what is coming next!


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: I want to remind people who read my book that Grace and other kids are still in middle school. They’re still maturing and learning to make things better yet.


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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