Sunday, November 12, 2023

Q&A with Jannie Ho




Jannie Ho is the author and illustrator of the new easy reader graphic novel The Lost Mitten. Her many other books include Bear and Chicken. A cartoonist, she has worked as a designer and art director, and she lives in the Boston area.


Q: What inspired you to create The Lost Mitten?


A: My family and I went to a winter animal tracking workshop at a nearby state park, Blue Hills Reservation. We learned about looking at animal tracks in the snow to find out what they were up to and their location.


As we were walking around, we were also making tracks in the snow too. It got me thinking: what if these animals were tracking us too by the footprints we made? After the workshop, I told my family, I have a story idea!


The Lost Mitten is about two animals that find a lost mitten next to a set of tracks. They follow the tracks to find out who the owner is. Who made the tracks? Check out the book to find out!

Q: Did you focus more on the text or the illustrations initially, or both simultaneously?

A: This is probably my first project where I focused more on the text and story first, and then the illustrations came second. But during the revision stage, I was doing both simultaneously.

Q: Why did you choose a rabbit and a mouse as your two main characters?


A: I wanted two small, prey animals to be the main characters. I love drawing rabbits, so that was an easy choice. I usually like to pair big and small characters together, so the mouse became apparent. They have two very distinct personalities though!

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

A: I hope they find a sense of delight and discovery in the story. And also inspire them to play outside.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: I have been working on book 2 of Fry Guys, a graphic novel I have with Eric Geron, and Super Chicken and Shelly, a comic I have in High Five magazine. I'm also working on an early reader spooky graphic novel series, but that is top secret for now!

Q: Anything else we should know?

A: In addition to graphic novels and books for kids, I also have a comic for grown ups called Creative Obstacles ABCs. It is a comic that explores the creative mind through the lens of me drawn as a neurotic hen from A to Z. It explores the struggles we face as artists and writers.


I love connecting with fellow creatives. You can check out more of my work at Thank you so much for the interview!


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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