Pizza Day by Melissa Iwai

Hello, Melissa Iwai! Happy Monday! Thank you for dropping by to celebrate Pizza Day and to chat with me about your illustrations, pizza, soup, and school libraries.

Melissa Iwai: Thanks for having me, Mr. Schu! I'm so excited and honored to be here, introducing my new book, Pizza Day, the sequel to Soup Day!

I think I will eat soup for lunch and pizza for dinner. :) 

The cover illustration for Pizza Day should remind people of the ooey, gooey, juicy, crunchy goodness of a fresh pizza. And if they read the book, they will discover how they can make one just like it themselves!

Illustration Credit: Melissa Iwai
I created the illustrations using a mixture of hand-drawn ink markings and painted watercolor paintings and swatches which I then scanned into the computer and assembled digitally.

Illustration Credit: Melissa Iwai
After you read Pizza Day, I hope you'll be inspired to plant a garden or cook in the kitchen with a child in your life. Some of my favorite memories are of making recipes with my son when he was little. It must have done something because now he loves making up his own recipes and cooking for himself (sometimes!)

Illustration Credit: Melissa Iwai
My favorite pizza is Veggie -- just like the one featured in the story. I made this pizza from scratch too many times to count when I was developing the recipe for the book, and I still love it!

Soup Day tells the story of a little girl and her mom making "Snowy Day Soup" for lunch in their cozy apartment in the city on a winter's day.

School libraries are sanctuaries for the mind and soul. They are a safe place for kids to explore, learn, and find peace. One of my earliest memories is of spending hours in our Kindergarten library after school. My mother was a volunteer librarian and would bring me there after lunch. I loved being alone and free to explore the enormous collection of picture books for hours on end. It's the reason why I've wanted to be a picture book creator my entire life!

Explore Melissa's website. 
Mr. Schu, you should have asked me if the family depicted in Soup Day and Pizza Day are multi-ethnic. The answer is yes! Though the stories themselves aren't about ethno-cultural issues per se, I purposely made the daughter in Soup Day be adopted from Asia and the boy in Pizza Day be biracial. The reason why is because I know, from my own experience, how affirming it is for kids of different backgrounds to see themselves in books!

Look for Pizza Day on October 31, 2017. 


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