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Five Questions for Clar Angkasa

In Stories of the Islands (Holiday, 8–12 years), Clar Angkasa retells three Indonesian folktales in a gorgeous graphic format, reframing the tales in ways that empower their female protagonists.  1. Were folktales a big part of your experience growing up? If so, who would share them with you?  Clar Angkasa:...

Five Questions for Remy Lai

In Ghost Book (Holt, 8–12 years), July Chen can communicate with the wandering soul of William Xiao, a boy who is in a coma. This middle-grade graphic novel takes them on an adventure through the Hungry Ghost Festival, with high emotional stakes but plenty of fun to be had along...

Five questions for Pedro Martín

Nine kids. One motor home and a pick-up truck. In Mexikid: A Graphic Memoir (Dial, 10–14 years), Pedro Martín recalls his family’s 1977 road trip to pick up his abuelito from Jalisco, Mexico.  1. You seamlessly incorporate a few artistic styles. How did you decide which would best capture a mood...

Five questions for Maxwell Eaton III

Scout, the protagonist of Maxwell Eaton’s new graphic-novel series Survival Scout, may be fictional, but when she gets lost on a hike (and her adult brother gets chased away by a bear) in series debut Lost in the Mountains (Roaring Brook, 7–10 years), the wilderness safety advice she offers is real. ...

Five questions for Kerascoët

Bear with Me (Random House Studio/Random, 3–6 years) by Kerascoët (the French husband-and-wife team of Sébastien Cosset and Marie Pommepuy) is about a young child about to start school...without the comfort item of a favorite teddy bear. 1. What is it that draws you to create books about childhood emotions...

Five Questions for Gail Carriger About Divinity 36

My friend Gail Carriger is a New York Times best-selling author of books for adults (the Parasol Protectorate series, among others) and YA (the Finishing School series). Her trademarks — and sweet spots — are feisty protagonists, witty dialogue, wildly imaginative sci-fi/fantasy world building, and humor. She has published traditionally and independently, and...

Five questions for Jack Wong

“Is a book about swimming really just about swimming?” When You Can Swim by Jack Wong (Orchard/Scholastic, 4–8 years) — winner of the just-announced 2023 Boston Globe–Horn Book Picture Book Award! — is a joyful, inclusive, reassuring picture book that encourages all readers to take the plunge. 1. Did you...

Five questions for Vashti Harrison

In the picture book Big (Little, Brown, 5–8 years), a young Black girl feels comfortable in her own skin — until classmates’ taunts and two adults’ admonishments make her question her size. Author/illustrator Vashti Harrison’s sensitive, compassionate story ends on an empowering note, with the girl finally able to hand...

Five questions for Jerry Craft

New Kid fans rejoice! The third book in author/illustrator Jerry Craft’s wildly popular, bestselling, and highly decorated (by the Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Author Award, for example) graphic novel series is here; although its title is School Trip (HarperAlley/Quill Tree/HarperCollins, 9–13 years), an end-of-middle-school trip to Paris(!) feels...
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