Author-illustrator Susan Stockdale

I hear thunder crashing and rain hitting the windows. It is the perfect weather to curl up with a stack of picture books written and illustrated by Susan Stockdale.  

Susan dropped by to chat with me about spots, stripes, her studio, picture books, and reading. I wrote the words in red, and she wrote the words in black. Thank you, Susan! 

Did you know that animals use their spots as camouflage, a lure, a distraction, and much more? I had such fun showing these and other ways that creatures benefit from their spots in Spectacular Spots.

Illustration credit: Susan Stockdale 

I created the illustrations for Spectacular Spots in acrylic on Bristol paper, as I do with all my books. I was truly “seeing spots” when I painted the black and white spots on the Helmeted Guineafowl! 

I wrote and illustrated Stripes of All Types after seeing a museum exhibition of brightly striped poison dart frogs. These tiny creatures inspired me to explore the fascinating and varied world of striped animals in this book.

My studio is my favorite place to be, especially on a cold, snowy day. It’s my very own creative space, where I feel most safe and cozy. 

Reading is an astonishing activity that can evoke powerful emotions with just a single turn of phrase.  It can soothe, stimulate, inform, help you escape and even help you find yourself. 

Picture books marry all the things I enjoy most: conveying a concept, writing in rhyming text and painting bright, bold images. Creating a picture book is the consummate project, and I am a project person!

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me when I think I became an artist. I was six years old, looking out on the sparkly Irish countryside, dazzled by all the different shades of green before me. I’m still trying to capture those colors when I paint today.

Borrow Susan Stockdale's books from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops. 


  1. You know, I didn't think anyone else was inclined to use acrylic on Bristol paper as I do. Nice to here! :)


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