Author-illustrator Lindsay M. Ward has created two memorable picture books in the last two years, tales proving that friendship can be an adventure. I’m so glad I found Pelly and Mr. Harrison Visit the Moon, as well as her newest, When Blue Met Egg.
Friendship is fun. So are Lindsay’s books!
Lindsay, what’s right right now about children’s books?
I love that authors and illustrators are really pushing the envelope with the type of books they are creating. In the last few years we have seen books that play with the physical construction of a picture book, such as Wave by Suzy Lee and Press Here by Hervé Tullet. Or those that have challenged readers to question what constitutes a picture book like Brian Selznick has done with both The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck, which were published as middle grade novels but incorporate a lot of illustrative storytelling. I think now more than ever publishers are looking for creative and unique books that reinvent the idea of what a picture book is and can be for its young readers. Children’s books are constantly evolving, which is one of the things I love most about my job as an author and illustrator.
What can be done to make that “good” better?
I think we as communities and readers need to stand up and support our local bookshops and libraries. I was a book seller for 10 years while I was working to become an illustrator and can tell you firsthand that booksellers and librarians are the ones who make a difference. They connect with the readers, helping them discern their likes and dislikes in books. Some of the most popular books today wouldn’t have become what they are now with out booksellers and librarians hand-selling books to readers saying “you have to read this, it’s fabulous!” I am so grateful as a reader to be able to go to my local bookshop or library and ask for the latest and greatest from a knowledgeable staff of booksellers/librarians. Due to the loss of many bookstores and libraries, not all of us have that luxury anymore. We must fight for the ones we have left.
Lindsay has a BFA in Illustration from Syracuse University. She has illustrated a handful of children’s picture books including The Yellow Butterfly (Bright Sky Press) by Mehrnaz S. Gill, A Garden for Pig (Kane/Miller) by Kathryn Thurman, and the covers of both STAR Academy books by Edward Kay (Random House Canada). Lindsay’s most recent books Pelly and Mr. Harrison Visit the Moon (Kane/Miller) and When Blue Met Egg (Dial Books for Young Readers) were both written and illustrated by her. Her upcoming book with Dial Books for Young Readers will be released in 2013. You can visit her on the web at lindsaymward.com or check out her blog at respectthecupcake.blogspot.com.