Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Interview with Exquisite Corpse Adventure Authors and Illustrators!

An Interview with NCBLA Exquisite Corpse Adventure Contributor, Illustrator Chris Van Dusen!

Chris Van Dusen began his career as a freelance illustrator specializing in art for children and then migrated to writing for them as well. His rhyming books are fun, colorful, and a must read aloud for all kids. Thanks for taking the leap!
Check out Episode 1, Episode 5, Episode 9, Episode 13, Episode 17, and Episode 21 of The Exquisite Corpse Adventure to view Chris' illustrations.

We pulled Chris away from his latest creation to ask a few questions:

Q-What did you find to be the most challenging aspect of illustrating an episode for The Exquisite Corpse Adventure?
A-"With each illustration, I try to intrigue the reader by showing an event from that episode, something that will entice them to read the story. The Exquisite Corpse Adventure is an interesting mix of humor, mystery, and sometimes even horror, so I try to convey the mood of the episode in the picture as well. What I find challenging is keeping the artwork consistent. When I work on one of my own books, I make sure the characters and settings look the same throughout the book. But when you're working with three other illustrators, keeping things consistent is almost impossible, so I've decided to let that go. By the way, I love all of their work and I look forward to seeing what they come up with for each episode."

Q-What were some of your favorite books when you were in elementary school?
A-"Since I was drawing all the time, I naturally loved picture books. On Beyond Zebra by Dr. Seuss, Burt Dow, Deep-Water Man by Robert McCloskey, and The Tall Book of Make-Believe illustrated by Garth Williams were some of my favorites. The first chapter book I remember reading just for fun was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming."

Q-What are you working on now? Do you have a new book coming out this year?
A-"I'm currently working on the illustrations for a book I wrote about an arrogant little king which will be out next Fall (2011). It's a fairy tale with a really funny twist. The book I have coming out this year is another adventure with my first character, Mr. Magee. It's called Learning to Ski with Mr. Magee."

Look for Chris' wonderful books at your favorite bookstore or library.

For more information about Chris' books and illustrations, visit his website.

What is The Exquisite Corpse Adventure?
For those not in the know, The Exquisite Corpse Adventure is a series of episodes written and illustrated by famous children's authors and illustrators. Each author and illustrator inherits the story from the previous folks. It's like taking over a recipe in the middle, you need to understand what's gone into the stew so far and then add your own ingredients to make it hot and spicy! To catch up on all the exciting episodes, go to Read. Gov.

And parents, teachers, and librarians be sure to check out the NCBLA's Exquisite Corpse Adventure Educational Resource Center for great ideas on how to turn The Exquisite Corpse Adventure into a great educational adventure, now featuring our Summer Adventures Treasure Chest!