Picture book author Eve B. Feldman talks about her newest book, Billy and Milly, Short and Silly, a book that had Colonel Mustard giggling away and asking, “How’d she do that?” Why? Because Billy and Milly, Short and Silly is an ingenious picture book–13 funny stories told in four words or less! It’s garnered starred reviews from both Kirkus and School Library Journal.
What Eve has to say:
What were you like as a kid?
I loved books, longed for a dog, or to be a twin, wanted to be a ballerina, loved crafts of all sorts, making up stories friends (who are still my friends) and mothering my little brother.
Did you like school?
Loved school- spelling, writing, reading, math,history and art! My favorite homework was composing sentences for spelling words! I’m still close to friends from elementary schools (website will eventually reveal more) and to my teachers!
What’s the grossest or most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you as a kid?
Not ready to share that outside of a book- for a fun take on gross, read THAT CAT! which has a passage that my son though would be too gross to be in print!
If you weren’t an author/illustrator, what would you be? Why?
There is an actress, comedian somewhere inside me- likes to pop out especially when I talk to groups.
What’s one thing you’d love to learn to do?
Play the harmonica, be really talented with a yoyo (not kidding, either!)
What are your three favorite things to do other than reading or writing?
Enjoying my kids, other peoples’ kids, exercise, dancing, cooking- especially with fresh farm picked vegetables- and laughing!
What’s the coolest place you’ve ever been?
California and the waterfront by the Hans Christian statue in Copenhagen, also Mediterranean shore and of course, my own Atlantic ocean beaches! Love the sounds, smells and charm of breaking waves.
Tell us about your book(s).
Hm, most are humorous – have posted a few on my website with descriptions, will add more soon. All my books answer some question or question that I’ve thought a lot about and tried to
How did you get the idea for Billy and Milly?
The ingredients would include a love of words (have read the dictionary for fun), a mother who encouraged word play games, my fourth grade teacher, Ms. Kantor, who introduced some great word puzzle games, teaching elementary school, teaching ESL overseas, teaching remedial reading in more than one language, and a love of laughter and ‘silly.’
How long does it take you to write a book? Where do you like to write? What time of day? (Or anything else you want to add about your process.)
Each and every book has its own time from the first vague idea, to the writing, self- editing, rewriting and that’s all before anyone who might want to publish gets to see it. When not sitting and writing, still carrying around ideas and/or characters and plot in my head- always.
We loved your book! Is there a similar book from a different author that’d you’d recommend for kids who liked yours?
I don’t know of any book like mine but would recommend any and all of the books by Laura Vaccaro Seeger. All her books involve a love of words, some include word play, all are thought-provoking discussion starters. Examples: BLACK WHITE, DAY NIGHT; FIRST THE EGG; LEMONS ARE NOT RED; ONE BOY. Her series, DOG AND BEAR , is also great for emerging readers before they can move on to the fun of Cam Jansen and then the great books of Johanna Hurwitz.
In April, a book of short stories and poems is coming out from Candlewick. The book is edited by Johanna Hurwitz and each story or poem will have these three words in it: “I fooled you.” I have a short story in that book- busy thinking of whether I should retitle it… Working on more wordplay books and have several ideas for chapter books- all tossing around in my head simultaneously!