Saturday, May 21, 2016

Q&A with Elementary School Students


I love to visit schools. I meet many inquisitive students from grades K-5 and there’s never enough time to answer all their questions towards the end of my presentations. I love coming home with their questions to answer on my blog. Thanks to the students and teachers at PS130 Brooklyn and PS120 Queens for their questions!

Q: How often do you actually do the writing?
A:
As an illustrator I can paint books for authors other than myself. I’ve illustrated 11 books for other authors. I love to interpret their stories with colors, textures, and form. What I find most fun as an illustrator is the challenge that I cannot change the author’s text. I must rise to this challenge by working inside a boundary of the author's vision, then add my vision in a seamless blend.

Picture books I have illustrated for other authors.                   


Q: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
A:
By designing and painting the books I learn about my inner life through an outward visual medium. During the process of book creation the craft mirrors what is happening in my life at that time. The process helps me see certain life issues clearly. 

Q: Have you ever written for the New York Times newspaper?
A:
No, I do not write for the New York Times. However, I am proud to say that my books have been reviewed in that newspaper and my name listed for book events several times. Currently, I’m a Huffington Post blogger and write online essays. 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/melanie-hope-greenberg/

Q: Who did you work with to make your first book?
A:
All my 17 books are trade published picture books so I work with a publishing team. The team includes an editor, an art director, and sometimes another author. My text and art must be approved by the editor and art director. If there are mistakes
I get homework of revisions to work on and bring back. This back and forth goes on until the words and pictures are in perfect shape for your book shelves.

Q: Do you have any friends that help you with your books?
A:
Authors and illustrators usually work alone. However, for my book MERMAIDS ON PARADE, I interviewed my friends. I asked why they marched in the Mermaid Parade and one answer became the main character's theme of “Shy Mermaid Coming Out of My Shell". I took photos of my friend’s wonderful parade costumes then painted those costumes into the book. My friends also taught me how to create a mermaid tail, so I added a tail-making craft activity in the book. Yes, my fabulous artistic friends in the DUMBO, Brooklyn community really helped me create MERMAIDS ON PARADE.
Can you find real life friends and their costumes inside the book, MERMAIDS ON PARADE?

Photo credit: Dari Litchman - parent, PS 130 Brooklyn

 

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