October 20th, 2009


Interview: Barbara Jean Hicks, Sue Hendra, and Erin Clarke

There's a new picture book storming into towns - and kitchens! Monsters Don't Eat Broccoli is a brightly-coloured story about creatures who would rather chomp on real trees than those little green trees also known as broccoli. These tractor-eating, rocketship-munching monsters have had a long journey to publication, as described by author Barbara Jean Hicks, illustrator Sue Hendra, and editor Erin Clarke.

Little Willow: Barbara, how did this book come about?

Barbara Jean Hicks: MONSTERS DON'T EAT BROCCOLI has an interesting back story: My editor at Knopf, Erin Clarke, came across a book dummy in the offices of Random House England for a project by an author/illustrator that had been contracted and then not published. She loved the illustrations, but the text didn't quite work for her. When she got back to the states, she sent me a copy of the dummy and asked me if I could come up with a story for the pictures! Normally, a picture book story comes first and the editor looks for an illustrator after the text has been contracted, so this was highly unusual. I loved Sue's cheerful monsters, and there was a scene in the dummy with trees that reminded me of broccoli. Her original manuscript was about eating, too, but with a very different focus. I wanted her to be able to use the same or similar sketches to the ones she'd already developed because they were so much fun, so I wrote the text with food in mind,
rearranged the sketches to fit, and suggested a few others to make the book longer. Her pictures truly inspired the words. And it was great fun working the story backwards from the art!

Little Willow: Sue, were the original illustrations yours?

Sue Hendra: Yes, the original illustrations were mine. They featured monsters that I'd invented. Collapse )

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readergirlz, postergirlz

Chat with Lorie Ann Grover, Elizabeth Scott, and Lynn Weingarten tonight at readergirlz!

All week long, readergirlz is hosting live chats at http://readergirlz.blogspot.com with YA authors in honor of Teen Read Week. Tonight, we're hosting Lorie Ann Grover, Elizabeth Scott, and Lynn Weingarten. Chats are always open to the public, and anyone may join in! Here's the complete lineup for this week's events:

rgz TRW 2009
* Monday, October 19th: Beyond Imagination
rgz diva Justina Chen Headley (NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL)
Alyson Noël (EVERMORE)

* TONIGHT: Tuesday, October 20th: Beyond Hardship
rgz diva Lorie Ann Grover (HOLD ME TIGHT)
Elizabeth Scott (LIVING DEAD GIRL)
Lynn Weingarten (WHEREVER NINA LIES)

* Wednesday, October 21st: Beyond Daily Life
rgz diva Holly Cupala (TELL ME A SECRET)
Lisa McMann (WAKE)
Cynthia Leitich Smith (ETERNAL)

* Thursday, October 22nd: Beyond Our World
rgz diva Melissa Walker (LOVESTRUCK SUMMER)
Cassandra Clare (CITY OF ASHES)

* Friday, October 23rd: Into Our Beyond
rgz diva Dia Calhoun (AVIELLE OF RHIA)

It all happens at the rgz forum (http://readergirlz.blogspot.com) beginning at 6 p.m. Pacific Time (9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time).

In conjunction with the author chats, readergirlz will be hosting a Teen Read Week Tribute. Anyone who loves YALSA's Teen Read Week is encouraged to let it out on their blog through a post or vlog, then send the link to readergirlz@gmail.com (subject line: entrant's name, TRW Tribute) by Wednesday, October 21st. readergirlz will collect all contributions and post them at the rgz blog in a tribute that will run on Friday, October 23rd.

Watch the rgz Teen Read Week 2009 trailer at rgz tv: www.youtube.com/readergirlz

Read the readergirlz Teen Read Week 2009 press release.