It has been a while since I’ve done a 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 interview. I’m excited to be back in the game of talking with book creators. Tom Booth’s picture book Don’t Blink (6/6/2017 Feiwel & Friends) is super fun, and kids are going to LOVE it. Be prepared for lots and lots of staring contests.
1. Can you tell us a little about DON’T BLINK?
DON’T BLINK is about a bright-eyed girl who welcomes an assortment of furry and feathered animal friends to join a staring contest with the reader, as long as they all follow the one rule: “Just don’t blink!”
2. What is the best part about being a book creator?
The best part about being a book creator is when a child learns something from your book and then applies that lesson in a new and creative way. I recently witnessed a little girl learn about a staring contest for the first time. Within minutes she was blinking intentionally just to get a rise out of her dad who was trying to teach her how to play. With a little twist she made the game her own.
3. What’s the hardest part of being a book creator?
Every now and then an idea comes almost fully-formed and in one moment, while others take their time to develop in your mind. I think one of the hardest parts of being a book creator is having the patience to not rush an idea that needs time to grow. And harder still, is knowing when to stop developing an idea to avoid overworking it.
4. If you could spend one day living in the world of a book, which book would you pick?
My favorite book growing up was “The Mysterious Tadpole” by Stephen Kellogg. I’ve always wanted to spend a day feeding a friendly sea monster cheeseburgers in a public pool.
5. What advice do you have for the young creators in my classroom?
Never allow yourself to believe that you can’t create something spectacular. All new ideas are rough at the beginning, and only become great ideas when they’ve been toiled over. Every great author and illustrator struggled in the beginning, and only became great after practice, practice, and more practice. Just remind yourself that you will get better as long as you push yourself to improve with every drawing or story you make. So, the next time you feel like your story or drawing isn’t turning out the way you hoped, take a deep breath and follow through!
Tom Booth is an author, illustrator, and art director. Born on the twelfth day of the twelfth month, Tom made his earliest marks — sometimes on his parents’ antique kitchen table — growing up just outside of Philadelphia. (bio was taken from Tom’s website)