Thursday, November 19, 2009

nonfiction illustration

This morning I am driving down to Jamestown, NY to meet Laura Jacques who will be illustrating my new picture book biography of Roger Tory Peterson. I am thrilled to get this opportunity, because it is rare that the author and illustrator meet. For those who don't know, typically, the editor will choose the illustrator for a text. The author has no say, which is okay with me because they know better than I do.

Although I talked to Layne Johnson (illustrator of Farmer George Plants a Nation) on the phone and emailed a few times, I never met him. And all of my other nonfiction books were illustrated with photographs. So it is a real treat to meet Laura. She was chosen because she does exceptional work with birds, which a biography of RTP would require. I am excited to learn how she researches a topic visually. The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that her job is harder -she has to portray each bird accurately as well as the time period (1920s - 1990s), the character (RTP), and the places (Jamestown, NYC, etc.). I hope my words have inspired her enough to do just that.

Visit her website at