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Traditionally, I eat cereal, usually the healthy-ish (and maybe a little boring) kind. And I prefer soy milk to cow's.
For a while I was really into making smoothies with fruits, berries, nuts, supplements - a whole bunch of healthy things. But after I broke my third magic bullet, that trend ended (I'd love to get back into that, but need some better hardware).
But my favorite favorite is going to a diner. Pancakes, French Toast, omelette. Some syrup, hash browns. That I'll do any day! (but probably should save for special occasions).
2. Do you jot down art notes as you write, or do they come to you after completing a story?
Actually, I don't do too much with art notes. In fact, for Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast, there wasn't a single note for the illustrator. Everything that's not in the text, but is on the page came from Brendan Kearney and the folks at Sterling Children's.
All I did was give them names.
Lady Pancake's whipped cream hair-do with cherry garnish was all Brendan. Did I always imagine Sir French Toast with a mustache? Yes, but I never told anyone - Brendan just knew. Did I even think about how Lady Pancake would 'sail through oceans of soup?' No. But Brendan put her on a baguette with Swiss cheese sails. How awesome is that!?!
Picture book artists are so talented, and let's be honest, they spend as much or more time developing the stories as authors do. I find it's best to let them take ownership of the material and not give too many notes.
3. What would be a 2015 picture book that you highly recommend?
Just one? Wow, that's tough.
Ally-saurus & the First Day of School by Richard Torrey is a fabulous book, also from Sterling Children's. Great for back-to-school time, but it's more than that. It's so deeply layer with the illustrations.
I've also been really into Boats for Papa by Jessixa Bagley. Get the tissues ready for that one. I recently wrote a blog post about books I'm excited for in 2015. Many of those books are out now.
4. Did you find yourself craving any particular foods after rhyming about them in LP&SFT?
Yes. But it would spoil both my appetite and the ending of the book if I told you.
5. What is a fav line(s) from Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast?
It's a tie between:
"'He scraped himself off and yelled up, 'You're a meanie'
As Pancake rappelled down a rope of linguini."
"Caught behind dressings, one Russian, one ranch,
she squeezed out and started a bean avalanche!"
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Josh is a board member of The Writers' Loft in Sherborn, MA and the co-coordinator of the 2016 and 2017 New England Regional SCBWI Conferences.
Josh is the author of LADY PANCAKE & SIR FRENCH TOAST (Sterling), as well as the forthcoming picture books DEAR DRAGON (Viking/Penguin 2016), PIRASAURS! (Scholastic 2017), JACK! [and the beanstalk] (Two Lions, 2017), and more.
Josh is terrible at writing bios, so please help fill in the blanks. Josh enjoys _______ during ________ and has always loved __________. He has played ____________ since age __ and his biggest fear in life is being eaten by a __________.
Josh is represented by Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.