Author Barb Rosenstock

Is it really Friday? This has been the strangest week. Schools all over the Midwest had an extended winter break because of subzero temperatures. I hope this allowed many of you to sneak in a few extra books. One picture book you'll want to read next week is Barb Rosenstock's The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky's Abstract Art. Barb dropped by Watch. Connect. Read. to chat with me about it. I wrote the words in red, and Barb wrote the words in black. Thank you, Barb! 

Vasya Kandinsky was always a believer in his own artistic vision. That takes guts. 

Mary Grandpre’s illustrations were so much better than I could have ever wished for or imagined. When I got the rough sketches to comment on, I just kept thinking, well is it OK if I have nothing to say except, “she’s a genius?” Her illustrations built other worlds of emotion and meaning into my story.

If you want to learn more about Kandinsky’s art and synesthesia watch these two cool videos on what it’s like to have synesthesia, a short one from PBS/Nova:

or a longer one called “When Senses Collide” from The Science Channel

School libraries allow freedom. In a library, kids can choose what they want to learn and that’s the power that changes the world for the better.

Photo Credit: Barb Rosenstock
My “Chase Your Dreams!” presentation always makes me laugh since as “dream chasers” students dress up as race car drivers, sometimes wear fake beards and we sing. 

Reading is everything. If I couldn’t do anything else except read, I’d probably be just fine. Well, water and food wouldn’t hurt either, and hugs, and a blanket, and sleep, and… 

Picture books are just the way I think. I love the process of smooshing big stories into small spaces, and I love the partnership that melds how writers think with how illustrators think to hopefully create an interesting, fun piece of readable art.

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me whether I have synesthesia. And I’d say that when I was in elementary school I felt 2 was a soft, baby number, 4 was insanely organized and 6 was just plain mean and nasty—it certainly made math interesting. What should I have asked you?

(P.S. Barb, I met you in "real life" the same day I met Katherine Applegate and Augusta Scattergood. What a memorable day!) 

I am giving away one copy of The Noisy Paint Box. 

Rules for the Giveaway 

1. It will run from 1/10 to 11:59 p.m. on 1/12. 

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward. 


  1. Great interview :) Thank you! And when I saw the illustrator for THE NOISY PAINT BOX (love the title!) is Mary Grandpre, I about fell out of my chair. I mean, come on----the U.S. Harry Potter covers and vignettes! Her work will forever be with us and in our hearts. How lucky for you, Barb :D


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