A Conversation with Jason Chin

Photo: Deirdre Gill.

Jason Chin is the winner of the 2022 Randolph Caldecott Medal for Watercress (written by Andrea Wang; published by Neal Porter Books/ Holiday House). Martha V. Parravano interviewed Jason via email for Calling Caldecott.

Calling Caldecott: Congratulations on winning the Caldecott! So well earned. What have been some of the highlights of your Caldecott year so far?

Jason Chin: The highlight of the year was when I realized how many kids were going to read Watercress. It’s something that should be obvious, and I was sort of aware of it, but it really hit me when my daughter’s librarian read it to all the classes in her school. It was the week after the announcement and I realized that there must be librarians and children all over the country reading Watercress that same week or even that same day. That realization was humbling and thrilling.

CC: You mentioned in your acceptance speech that the great Trina Schart Hyman was a mentor of yours in your youth. What would Trina have said about your winning the Caldecott? 😉

JC: She would have said something like: “Look at you! You think you're really hot shit now, don’t you?” Then she would have given me a big hug.

CC: Have you heard from any previous Caldecott winners? 

JC: Yes, several past recipients reached out with congratulatory emails. Erin Stead reached out right after the announcement to let me know that I could always call her if I had any questions. I really appreciated being able to compare notes with her, so to speak.

CC: How has winning affected your plans for future books/work (if indeed it has)?

JC: It really hasn’t yet. I had already completed a book (The Universe in You, which is coming out soon) and was under contract for the next one. So I haven’t had to make any decisions about new projects yet.

CC: What advice would post-Caldecott “you” give to pre-Caldecott “you”?

JC: Focus on enjoying the daily act of creating books, whatever part of the process you are in, and remember that books always take more time than you plan. Come to think of it, the time management advice is something I’m still working on.

Martha V. Parravano

Martha V. Parravano is a contributing editor to The Horn Book, Inc., and co-author of the Calling Caldecott blog.

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Kevin Oberhausen

What a stroke of genius this book was

Posted : Nov 16, 2022 09:43



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