Home / News

Blog - News

MY INTERVIEW WITH CHILDREN’S AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR ELLY MACKAY

MY INTERVIEW WITH CHILDREN’S AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR ELLY MACKAY

Acclaimed paper artist Elly MacKay is the author/illustrator of our feature book this month, Red Sky at Night. Her previous books have included If You Hold a Seed, Shadow Chasers and Waltz of the Snowflakes. Elly studied print making and illustration at art school. Her technique for creating her illustrations is quite detailed. First she inks her characters and the backgrounds on Yupo paper. Then cuts out the layers and sets them up in her miniature theatre. She lights the scenes and takes multiple photographs, altering the lenses, light and filters to create atmosphere. Elly takes her inspiration from Victoria Paper Theatre and Tunnel Books. She lives in Owen Sound, Ontario, with her husband and two children.

MARMALADE BOOKS: Can you tell us a bit about your childhood, growing up with parents who were artists? Did they inspire you to become an artist?

MY INTERVIEW WITH CHILDREN’S AUTHOR MINH LE

MY INTERVIEW WITH CHILDREN’S AUTHOR MINH LE

Minh Le is the author of our feature book this month Drawn Together, an amazing look at the barriers that many children (and adults too!) face with relatives from different cultures who speak a different language. Minh drew on his own experience with his grandparents who were from Vietnam, where his parents immigrated from. Minh was born in the US and grew up in Connecticut. If anyone knows about picture books, it’s Minh. Not only has he written about children’s books for many publications, he writes his own blog, Bottom Shelf Books. Currently, he is serving as a judge for the 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book awards. Always a picture book fan, it was his wife who persuaded him to write a book.

MARMALADE BOOKS (MB): In your first book Let Me Finish, you worked closely with illustrator Isabel Roxas, which is not usually the norm. Your new book Drawn Together, has few words and is such a fabulous and important collaboration with illustrator Dan Santat. How did it come about that Dan would be the illustrator? You didn’t work directly with Dan this time but did you give him notes about how you saw the illustrations for the story?

MY INTERVIEW WITH CHILDREN'S AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR DAN SANTAT

MY INTERVIEW WITH CHILDREN'S AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR DAN SANTAT

Dan Santat is a very talented author and illustrator of over 60 books. He lives in southern California with his wife, two sons and a variety of pets. In 2015 he won the Caldecott Medal for his book Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend. This prestigious medal is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. Dan is the illustrator of our feature book this month, Drawn Together.  

MARMALADE BOOKS (MB): In order to convey the language barrier that the boy and his grandfather had in Drawn Together, there was very little text. Your illustrations were so important to the story. How much direction did you get from author Minh Le and/or your editor? And while we’re at it, how did it work for Dude!? This hilarious high concept book (illustrated by you) only has one word by Aaron Reynolds, expressed in many different ways.