Author-illustrator Barney Saltzberg
Happy Friday, friends! Thank you for taking a break from back-to-school preparations to read my fun interview with Barney Saltzberg. He and I chatted about art, dogs, creativity, old typewriters, school libraries, and music. I wrote the words in orange, and he wrote the words in black. Thank you, Barney!
A Little Bit of Oomph! and Arlo Needs Glasses are two other books I created with Workman. A little bit of oomph is really a message I want to share with children and adults about giving a little extra. We live in a world of instantaneous gratification. We write a letter and send it to someone electronically. We want a response, NOW! We take a photo and see it instantly. Trying to learn a musical instrument takes time. It is not instantaneous. Getting good at most things take time and effort. I know it’s a bit preachy, but I wanted a book that encouraged giving a little extra effort to anything and everything we do.
Arlo Needs Glasses was originally written as a picture book called, Arlo Can’t Catch. It was about a dog who ultimately needs glasses to play ball and eventually discover books. No publisher wanted it. My brilliant editor, Raquel (Author of the book, WONDER) asked me what I had in my bag one day at lunch. She screamed that the book should be called Arlo Needs Glasses. Raquel immediately saw this an an interactive book where the dog in the story and the children reading the book could try on cardboard glasses and experience a little of what going to an eye doctor is like. She spent six months talking me in to making this book. I finally realized that Arlo Needs Glasses could be a fun book. I get a lot of letters from parents who are delighted to have a book to share with their child when they find out they need to wear glasses. Given that I wear glasses too, that makes me pretty happy to think that my book might make a difference. That’s why it says, ‘Glasses Rock’ on the back of the book!
Mr. Schu, you should have asked me about music! I am a musician as well as an author illustrator. I see such parallels in illustrating picture books and putting music to lyrics. The illustrations illuminate the text and the music illuminates lyrics. I think being a musician has influenced the rhythm of my picture books. The rhythm of a page turn. The beats in a story. All my songs are on itunes. I have CD’s but I think people use them for coasters now, since very few people have CD players. So, I would have had you ask me to sing you a song, but given that our conversation is taking place in cyberspace, it seems to be a fitting place to find my music as well. Thank you so much for the opportunity to play with you.
Thank you, Barney!
Thank you, Barney!
Borrow Barney Saltzberg's books from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops.