Grumpy Bird author/illustrator Jeremy Tankard recently chatted with Sonja Bolle of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some highlights:
SB: Is Grumpy Bird based on anyone in your life?
JT: I’d probably be in trouble if I answered that honestly.
SB: What kind of a reader are you?
JT: The irony was that [as a kid] I was not a big reader at all. There were a million things I’d rather do than read a book. I still love being read to, but it wasn’t until I was 30 or 31 that I started to enjoy reading. [He’s 36 now.]
SB: What are you working on now?
JT: Possibly an illustrated novel, maybe a chapter book taking advantage of my love of comic books. My editor at Scholastic did The Invention of Hugo Cabret with Brian Selznick, so she’s open to doing something unusual. I’ve got a story mostly written.
The great thing is that what I thought would be a hobby to supplement my work turns out to be a viable career.
Tankard also lays out the genesis of the Grumpy Bird character and series, something he talked about in Q&Q‘s Jan/Feb cover story on children’s illustrators.