The children’s book as an art form seriously doesn’t get enough love. Those are the books that form the foundation of our literacy and early sense of empathy, and we carry their lessons for the rest of our lives. But it’s not often that we treat the people behind them with the same reverence as, say, Pulitzer prize-winning writers, or our favorite YA authors.
One thing’s for sure: it takes a special kind of mind, a special kind of person, to write books for kids. I recently spoke with two of these authors.
Mike Curato is known for his series of Little Elliot books, which he writes and draws. Isabel Roxas has made a name for herself as an illustrator both here and in New York, having gotten her start in the collective Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (INK). When I sit down to talk to them at the Writers Bar in Raffles, Makati, I couldn’t help imagining them as pre-school teachers — the way they open themselves up, reflect on their work with joy, and complement each other’s insights. They talk to Young STAR about the various things that make their line of work so fulfilling.