Thursday, May 15, 2014

Interview with Caldecott Honor, Molly Idle - by Juana Martinez-Neal

Author Illustrator, Molly Idle.
Today, we have with us the most wonderful, Caldecott Honor winner, Molly Idle. Her latest book, CAMP REX (Viking Press) has just been released on April 22, and we could not wait to interview her to chat a bit about the new adventures of Cordelia, George, TRex and his friends. 

We met Cordelia and the gang at tea time on Molly's first book with Viking Press, TEA REX. This time, they are back and venturing into the outdoors on this second book, CAMP REX.

Now, let's get to the interview. Good morning, Miss Molly! Thanks for being here with us. 

"Camp Rex" by Molly Idle - Viking Press, 2014.
First, I have to ask- are you Cordelia? 
Ah yes, I am. Or, at least, she and I have a lot in common. Cordelia and I both get so focused on the tasks at hand, and on doing them well, wanting to do them perfectly really... That we often forget to live in the moment and enjoy ourselves and the company of those around us. Luckily, I have my boys here to remind me to loosen up, stay present, and embrace the wonderful mishmosh of everyday silliness that is my life.  They are my Rex and George.

True, we learn so much from our children. Would you tell us one thing you learned while working on "Camp Rex"? 
A note from my art director, about a possible inaccuracy in one of my sketches, led me to research poisonous plants. Did you know that poison ivy grows not only as a creeping ground cover, but can grow as bushes as well?! I get itchy just thinking about it... "Leaves of three- Let it be" folks!

"Camp Rex" by Molly Idle - Viking Press, 2014.
I'm curious... what books did you reference while working on Camp Rex?

Ah Google, how I love thee for instant reference material... Did you know that all the early 20th century Boy Scout and Girl Scout manuals are available as PDFs online? Neither did I before I started working on Camp Rex... But now I do. And now you do too! 

What advice can you share with illustrators who want to start writing?  

Read! You've got to read to understand how to write. My boys are 7 and 9, so for years now, I've been reading a lot of picture books. A LOT! And not just reading them once, but over and over. There was a period of about a year when my boys wanted to hear Jim Averbeck's book "In A Blue Room", 3 times every night! After the first 100 reads, I really got to know that book, why my boys loved it so, and why it worked, as a truly lovely book, on so many levels. 

And before we go... Camping trip essentials?

"Camp Rex" by Molly Idle - Viking Press, 2014.

Thanks so very much, Molly! And, congratulations on your Caldecott Honor. We look forward to seeing you receive your Caldecott Honor in June! 

You can find more about Molly on her website and Twitter.
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Juana Martinez Neal is a children's author illustrator and mami born in Lima, Peru and living in sunny Arizona. She's represented by Stefanie Von Borstel of Full Circle Literary.  Twitter | Blog

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