Publishers' Preview: Picture Books and Graphic Novels: Five Questions for Jamie Green

This interview originally appeared in the November/December 2022 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Picture Books and Graphic Novels, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions.

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Shakespeare gets a magical makeover in the graphic novel Twelfth Grade Night, first in the Arden High series written by Molly Horton Booth and Stephanie Kate Strohm and illustrated by Jamie Green.

1. Memories of high school dances: happy or otherwise?

I didn’t exactly have a magical dance romance, but I did have fun going with friends, and an even better time lying on my friend’s floor eating snacks in my fancy clothes after the dance. I’m definitely aligned with Toby, Andrew, and Maria’s post-dance activities.

2. Your favorite fictional school?

Ouran High School, from the manga series by Bisco Hatori, looks like a gorgeous place to get an education…and get very distracted.

3. What turned you into an illustrator?

I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember, but it really picked up for me once I discovered video games and manga. On a professional level, I would say I kind of stumbled upon it by accident — or rather I tried computer animation (what I thought I wanted to do) and discovered that wasn’t for me. Illustration ended up being my sweet spot. I think illustrating will look very different for me as my life evolves, so I’m excited to see where it will go next.

4. What Shakespeare play would most tempt you to illustrate it?

Maybe I’m influenced by the fact that we have a few cameos from characters in this play, but I would say A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Fairies, love spells, pettiness, and a donkey-headed man? Yeah, don’t mind if I do.

5. Where have you seen magic happen?

This is clichéd, but I see it every day. It’s seeing a stranger compliment someone’s silly little laptop stickers at a coffee shop, or taking misty morning drives in the mountains, watching bread rise, seeing mushrooms popping up overnight, finding an abandoned rubber duck in a parking lot, going to the garden with someone special, having the first bite of cake, stumbling upon a new park you didn’t know existed, or making a connection online through the screen (are we doing that right now?).

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Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton

Editor Emeritus Roger Sutton was editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc., from 1996-2021. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his MA in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a BA from Pitzer College in 1978.

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