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.
Catherine is a woman with a green heart, an inspiring ecologist turned into a children’s books author.
When she looked for a narrative about evolution - rather than a textbook - to engage her own two girls in that extraordinary true story, she couldn’t find any. That’s why she teamed up with Steve Williams to create the series “The Story of Life”.
She writes to inspire children to realise that being curious about the world around them is the first step in having a positive impact on the natural world.
If she could, today she would hug her two daughters, who, as she writes, are meeting up together in London and hopefully giving each other a big hug.
Maria Pereira dos Santos
Maria is the voice behind the hilarious Instagram account @mikasps, where she tells us about her adventures with her big family of little people. Standing still tires her out, so she is always "on the go".
She grew up in a household where money was managed cautiously but never lacked for books. Adding to this the absence of television, Maria grew up reading: books helped her to travel, to learn more and to get closer to those who told her the stories.
If she could, today Maria - who is not that keen on hugs - would embrace her grandparents.
Ilan has published more than 80 children’s books. Those books have travelled th world, just like his family: his grandparents were born in Russian and Poland, his parents were born in Argentina and he was born in Israel, though he spend most of his life in Brazil.
Ilan’s life was changed by a child who couldn’t make sense of something llan told her. He said he didn’t know how to tell a story. Surprised, she stated: If you don’t know, make it up!
If he could, today Ilan would hug his father and mother.
Kobi is the heart behind “Maybe” and quite a few other amazing books.
Like everyone else, he has doubts and fears that, at times, held him back from pursuing his passions. But he believes in his ideas and his dreams more than he fears his fears so each day he steps out into the unknown hoping for a great adventure.
He believes his books are incomplete without the reader. They are the ones who bring their own hopes and dreams to the book and it is this combination that makes them come alive.
If he could, today he would hug his father, who he lost him several years ago and still misses dearly.
Vera is a mother who wakes up very early, every day. In the morning she is a radio host and in the afternoon she is an active, sporty and very playful mum.
Francisca, a sensitive, curious and very funny girl, and Henrique, a physical and emotional hurricane, are her offspring. When they like a book, they always want to hear the same story.
She would like books to make them get to know the world, to open the doors of curiosity to travel, to experiment, to question.
If she could, today she would hug her grandmother.
Dulce is a woman from up North, a full-time mother and a children's rights activist. Her world changed when Sara was born and she found out that babies are so much more complex than we are led to believe.
Fascinated by the Pikler-Lóczy approach, she has been an important voice in spreading the knowledge that she has kept gaining over time.
If she could, today she would embrace Devendra Banhart, whom she has been following for almost 20 years.
Catarina is an Early Childhood Educator who is passionate about her professional career! She thrives on utopian dreams of justice, kindness and sustainability, and that’s what moves her: the possibility of sowing those seeds in every child that crosses her way.
Stories have been a huge part of her life ever since her father took her on daily journeys of discovery through picture books. Now she does the same for the children under her care: she builds a world of wonder and amazement that they do not want to leave.
If she could, today she would hug her paternal grandmother, whom she misses dearly.
Rosie is the hand behind "It Isn't Rude To Be Nude!", an amazing book that celebrates human diversity in all its shapes, colours and ways.
As a child, she loved to draw so much that for most birthdays and christmases she was given a large box with paper. Rosie always loved picture books, as did her mum, who bought her beautiful ones when she was a child (and still does).
Through humour, humility and simple language she does her best to reach people, never forgetting how it was to be a child.
If she could, today Rosie would hug her grandma who is no longer with us.