Marcy began as a writer for adults, but when she became a parent, she spent many hours reading picture books to her own children and fell in love with so many. She had to try and write one herself.
When she writes a book, she tries to follow her characters as they solve their problems and hope that children will be interested in following along on that journey. Though she can’t control how a child will respond to her stories, she hopes they will see how important it is to be kind and that it is okay to make mistakes.
If she could, today she would hug all of her friends.
There was once a little girl who loved to dream. Day dreams were good, but at night she could brush the stars off her pillow, fly away, have the moon roll out of the sky to her feet, visit with the faeries… Her imagination was fuelled by books. She would run home from school to read. Books became essential. She studied literature in university, has a career in publishing, and writes stories. Each day begins, middles, and ends with books.
Jan considers books, art and music can transport. Imagination is essential to being, and stoking those fires is a gift. As a writer, all you can really do is present something that is meaningful to you and hope that it touches someone.
If given the chance, today she would hug her family.
Sara O'Leary is a writer for both adults and children, the author of the lovely “Maud and Grand-Maud”, amongst many others. As a child, she loved books and never imagined she would once have the opportunity to work with so many great artists to produce books for children.
When she creates a book, she tries to make the child reading it feel like they have been seen. And also to make them laugh.
If she could, she’d hug her grown-up kids every day.
Pat Zietlow Miller
Pat is a picture book lover and writer, one whose favourite part is playing with the rhythm and fluidity of the language. When making a book, she tries to recall all the big emotions she or her own children felt when small. Then she writes the story they would have needed.
Here’s one thing she learned about picture books: they are for everyone. Because no matter how young or old we are, we all have the same emotions. We all need to feel seen. The best picture books show our common humanity.
If she could, today she would hug both her daughters. And her cats. Always her cats.
Rita is the mother to a wonderful boy, a nursery school teacher with an enormous desire to live a happy, peaceful life.
Because she doesn't keep any childhood memories about books, she tried to pass on the love of books to her son from an early age.
Whenever she can, Rita hugs those she loves, especially her son Vasco.
Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Kayla who loved animals and drawing pictures. This story would tell of many hours spent quietly watching critters in the backyard followed by many more hours quietly drawing those critters, and on and on until the day she finally got paid to do these beloved activities.
Kayla is the illustrator in the …Like You series, a collection of books that fosters tolerance and empathy values.
Filipa is one of the voices at Rádio Renascença, among so many other things. She’s passionate about radio and books, the latter having been a door to the world ever since she can remember.
Books have empowered her imagination to the maximum. With them, she could know everything and go anywhere. In fact, that’s what she expects them to represent to her children: a gate to the world. She hopes books will also be a way to transform them into empathetic and respectful people. One to make them understand that the world is not only ours and that we have to be prepared to welcome the beauty of diversity.
If given the chance to choose who she would hug today, Filipa would go for her children. Today and always.
Jessica is the illustrator in The Story Orchestra series, among many other beautiful picture books.
As a child she was quiet and thoughtful and liked thinking about big questions like why the sky was blue. She also loved writing stories and drawing pictures of all the things she thought about. Thankfully, when Jessica grew up, she found there was a way to live from drawing her pictures. It was called ‘being an illustrator’.
If she could, today she would hug her grandmother, who gave the most wonderful hugs.
Christopher Silas Neal
Christopher is an author-illustrator, the one who signed the illustrations in the beautiful collection ”Over and Under”.
When he creates a book, he doesn’t want to transform the child reading it. He’d rather speak to their curiosity and inner voice. His biggest hope is that as adults, these children look back at his books and pictures and feel they somehow shaped who they are as a person and how they view the world.
If he could, he would love to get a big bear hug from his grandfather.
Paula is a nature and travel lover and a handmade enthusiast. Her life took a big turn when her first son was born and she decided to put her personal and family life at the forefront. Now, being a mother to her two boys, Tomé and Gaspar, is one of her priorities.
Books are a great part of their life together. They are a time for sharing, a way to stimulate the imagination and one to help face the challenges they come across in their daily lives.
If she could, today she would hug her father, whom she misses dearly.
Amy June Bates
Amy is the illustrator of a long list of books, from which “The Big Umbrella” is one of the most recently translated to Portuguese.
As a child she was constantly watching and looking at every single thing in the world. She was a little baffled, a bit amused, and slightly overwhelmed by it all. She would do almost anything for a good story. She wanted to listen to stories, look at stories, read stories, draw stories, collect stories, open the door and crawl into a story, slice into a story and spread hot butter and jam onto it and eat it for a snack, and then snuggle up to it and go to sleep and dream of stories.
Today, if she could, she would hug her grandparents, her dogs, kids and husband. Probably a bear, though she knows how terrible an idea that would be.
Emily is the author-illustrator of “The Lost Property Office”, among other beautiful picture books.
She hadn't considered being a childrens’ books illustrator until she visited Paris and saw the beautiful picture books in bookshops like Chantelivre. French children's books were stylish and interesting and inspired her to start making her own.
When she creates a story she doesn’t try to transform the child that will hold her books, but she does try to impart empathy as she feels a little bit more of that would make the world a better place.
As soon as she has the chance, she’ll hug her two children, whom she didn’t hug tightly enough earlier this morning.
Corinna is the author-illustrator of “The Tree in Me”, as well as the NY Times bestseller “My Heart” and “The Book of Mistakes”.
As a child, she loved to read and draw, paint and write poems. Her favourite books were the strange and beautiful ones, with stories and pictures that could never happen in the real world, but that still felt like they were true in some way.
When she creates a story, her main purpose is to make the reader feel something and, through that, to create a sense of connection.
If she could, today she would hug her mother.
Bronwen is the writer of “Your Mind is like the Sky”, a book that is trying to give children a language to talk about their thoughts. She wants children to be aware about how they think, and to notice that they have more power than they think when it comes to dealing with difficult thoughts.
She has always loved reading and, as a small girl, would have many books on the floor, spines breaking, waiting to be picked up. That’s why when she had her own children, it was a pure joy when they started to love picture books.
Bronwen is a huggy person so if she could she would line all of her friends and family up in a room and hug them hard, one by one.
She was born in the Soviet Union where everything, including books, was difficult to get hold of and everything American was simply forbidden. Thus, she is now living her second childhood surrounded by beautiful and meaningful books.
If she could, today she would hug her parents, from whom she is separated by the pandemic, her husband and sons, and maybe Kate DiCamillo who wrote “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane”.
Rita is an author truly passionate about picture books. So much so that in a storybook world she would live precisely inside of books, snuggling in their pages at night, and living incredible adventures everyday.
When she creates a book, her main purpose is not to transform the child, but the adult who over the years has been forgetting "his child" and carrying prejudices and forgetting what really matters.
If she could, today she would hug her maternal grandmother, whom she wishes she had known better.