This month I had the honor of doing my first interview for How to Be an Elephant with the wonderful Luann Toth from School Library Journal. Below, you can read our conversation on research, process, and the future of elephants. Following on the heels of her Sibert Honor–winning Neigh
A few weeks ago, I held my first Story and Illustration Workshop for 4th and 5th graders at our public library. We started out with pencils, paper, and feelings—Which color means happiness? What shapes mean anger?—and then did a series of exercises on creating feelings by using the co
While I can appreciate the need to self-replicate, I wish the local grass plants would stop trying to do it on my face! I often have seasonal allergies, but my family and I are now living in an area in Oregon with one of the highest grass pollen counts in the world, so for the last fe
If you are what you eat, elephants are basically one big walking pile of acacia leaves. They eat other plants too, of course—some populations of elephants have hundreds of different greens to choose from—but the elephants that I met in Kenya loved acacia plants, enormous spikes and al
There are all of these little moments in my sketches that never make it into a final book, raw ideas that are loose and messy that capture the feelings or information I want to work into in a scene. Some are diagrams, some are page spreads, some belong in a future, unwritten project.
When I imagine a book that I didn’t write or illustrate, I usually think of the book’s front cover. But when I imagine one of my books, what usually comes to mind instead are my piles of notes and sketches, or a particular moment during my field research, or perhaps even one of the ch
A baby elephant is basically the opposite thing of a great white shark. Unsteady and shuffling, small and pink, she begs for milk and whiffles her tiny trunk from beneath the safety of her mother’s towering legs. The cover for HOW TO BE AN ELEPHANT was challenging to create, bec