Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Q&A with Isabelle Simler




Isabelle Simler is the author and illustrator of the new children's picture book Home. It was translated from French to English by Vineet Lal. Simler's other books include The Blue Hour. She lives in France.


Q: What inspired you to create Home?


A: I'm fascinated by the ingenuity and beauty of nature. Animals are very creative, and I think we have a lot to learn from them. I wanted to get under the skin of these animals and visit their incredible architectures.


Q: How did you choose the animal homes to include?


A: I've tried to highlight the diversity of constructions, materials, and methods used. I think insects and birds are the most astonishing in this respect. The smallest, most fragile creatures are often the most inventive.


Q: How did you research the book, and did you learn anything that especially surprised you?


A: I did a lot of research and discovered a lot! That's what I love about my job. The research part, before and during the project, is one of my favorite parts.


I rummage around (books, scientific journals, the Internet, museums) and then try to transcribe it all in my own sensitive rather than didactic way.


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


A: The pleasure of observing, of understanding the desire to preserve this beauty.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I'm working on my next album, Carnet lointain, which is a kind of drawn walk in which I'll come across extinct animals, fantastic creatures and strange, wonderful landscapes.


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: Remember to carry a sketchbook in your pocket...


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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