Q: Did you work on the text or the illustrations first for My Monsterpiece--or both simultaneously?
A: Both simultaneously because in this book, the visuals are an integral part of the text.
Q: How did you first get interested in creating children's picture books, and how did you develop your artistic style?
A: When I was a kid, I slept in the same room with my two sisters. At night, my father would read us a bedtime story but he was so tired that he fell asleep in the middle, so we never knew what happened at the end. One day, I got the idea of writing my own story.
I actually don’t have one style. I use different techniques, depending what I want to write about, so I experimented with pencil, crayons, acrylics, finger paints, chalk, you name it. But whatever the media is, I always aim to make my art personal and original.
Q: The Kirkus Review of the book says, "The monster-creation plot is fun, but this is more an invitation to make art." Do you hope kids are inspired by this book to create their own art?
A: Yes, in fact many librarians and parents wrote to me that My Monsterpiece inspired their kids to get out the art supplies and create their own Monsterpiece.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: Another book, coming out by Yeehoo Press, March 1, 2022, and two PJ Library books, coming up in 2022.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb