I am thrilled to welcome author and illustrator Divya Srinivasan to Watch. Connect. Read. Her picture book debut, Little Owl's Night, is perfect to share during Picture Book Month. It follows a cute and curious owl "whooo" loves the sights and sounds of the night forest.
Thank you, Divya, for writing and illustrating an endearing picture book that I will donate to Toys for Tots and Anderson's Book Angels. The recipients will be greeted with a gift tag like this one:
Divya Srinivasan: The book follows Little Owl's flight through his beloved night forest. He takes in the sights and sounds, visiting his fellow night-animal friends. When it's time for Little Owl to go to sleep he wonders how night ends, and his mother describes the dawn as it unfolds.
Divya Srinivasan: When I was small, I wanted to live in the illustrations of my favorite picture books. Pictures and their stories gave me a dreamy place to visit anytime. In my artwork for children, I try to create something that would have sparked excitement and wonder in me as a child. I've been an illustrator for a while, and with any drawing, I usually have a story about it going on in my mind. Little Owl's Night is my first time to write the story down along with the pictures, and share it with others.
Divya Srinivasan: I don't listen to any music when I'm writing or when I'm planning out an illustration. When I'm illustrating though, I sometimes listen to instrumental music, but mostly I devour audio books and audio plays.
Divya Srinivasan: I loved my Little Golden Books, especially those illustrated by Gustav Tenggren: The Saggy Baggy Elephant, Lively Little Rabbit. The artwork was beautiful and cozy even while sometimes being a little scary. (The hungry crocodile watching plump, oblivious Saggy Baggy was a spread I simultaneously feared and adored.) I also enjoyed books with puppet diorama illustrations because they looked so real in a way, like photo stills of a real puppet world. I'm not sure we had any Caldecotts at home, but we did have a lot of Amar Chitra Kathas, beautifully drawn Indian comic books that told stories about the Hindu gods and other Indian tales. Those are still among my favorites.Because I didn't grow up with many classic picture books, I first read Where the Wild Things Are, Good Night Moon, and Madeline as an adult. When I decided I wanted to get serious about making picture books, I started an ongoing list of ones I should read either because they were award winners or recommended to me. I can't even guess at how many stacks I've brought home from the Austin Public Library over the past several years. So, I'd have to say that for a while now, every month has been a Picture Book Month for me, which makes me feel pretty lucky!