I've been hosting a children's book podcast for nearly 5 years (and over 400 episodes). I think about past guests often and wonder what new things they're working on.
Today I'm catching up with author and illustrator Steve Antony.
Steve joined me in January of 2015 to share Please, Mr. Panda, The Queen's Hat, and Betty Goes Bananas. You can listen to our conversation HERE.
I invited Steve to answer my questions below. Steve's answers are in blue. Join us as we catch up!
Hi Steve! When you were on the last podcast your newest book at the time was Please, Mr. Panda.. What's new since we last talked?
Wow, time flies! Firstly, thank you so much contacting me in the first place. You were the first person to invite me to take part in a podcast, and so much has happened since then. Believe it or not, I've since managed to somehow write and illustrated 8 picture books, including more Mr Panda books.
The response in the USA to my Mr Panda books has astounded and delighted me. It's so wonderful to see how children and adults have adopted Mr Panda into their lives, but what has really inspired me is how teachers have devised really fun lessons and activities based on the books.
More recently, I illustrated Tim Minchin's hit song 'When I Grow Up' from the musical Matilda.
This was a dream project. We both launched the book in Europe's largest bookstore, in London. Here's a photo of us perched on the edge of Waterstones' epic window display.
When I Grow Up (also published by Scholastic) will publish in the USA on March 27th next year.
Also, my next author-illustrator US release is Unplugged, which comes out in Feb, and it was just received a Kirkus star!
I have had the most amazing time meeting lots of new people. I've visited countless schools and libraries. I've learned so much from teachers and librarians about how picture books can be used in fun and creative ways to teach and inspire children. I've also toured the US twice, which was so much fun.
Finish the sentence: This past year has been...
Hard work, but lots of fun.
What’s filling you with wonder these days?
A lot more work with libraries these days. It's fun to visit bookstores and it's a joy to visit schools, but nothing compares to visiting the library. Today I met with a local librarian to organise a really cool art contest for the run up to Christmas. And next week I will be attending a re-opening of my local library, something I'm really looking forward to.
It's great to catch up with you, Steve! Congratulations on the Kirkus star for Unplugged and for all of your success with Mr Panda! You hit the ball out of the park with that series and there is no child in our entire elementary school that can resist that wry ho-hum nature of Mr. Panda. It's a requested read aloud all the time!
Here's a peak at some of the pages from Unplugged, which will be available in February, 2018 and is available for preorder.
And here's a look at some of the pages from When I Grow Up, which will be available in March, 2018 and is also available for preorder.
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