This is the blog home of #kidlitart, a live Twitter chat Thursdays at 9:00 pm Eastern, for children's book illustrators, picture book authors, author/illustrators and friends. Check back weekly to read transcripts, comment on previous chats and suggest topics for upcoming chats.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

GUEST(s): Greg Pizzoli and Number One Sam!

This week on the #kidlitart chat we have a special guest chatter: Greg Pizzoli!  He's no stranger to the chats, as he pops in regularly. He's one of us, and we're thrilled to have him chat with everyone this week about illustrating picture books.

 Here's a little background:

Greg Pizzoli is an author, illustrator and screen printer from Philadelphia.

His first picture book, The Watermelon Seed, was published by Disney*Hyperion Books and was the 2014 recipient of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award. Greg's latest picture book, Number One Sam, received starred reviews from Publisher's Weekly, School Library Journal, and Kirkus, while the New York Times said Pizzoli's "zingy ice-pop colors and dramatically varied page compositions take home the blue ribbon."

Tasty worry wrapped in a sweet little package.
After college, Greg spent two years as a full-time volunteer in
AmeriCORPS from 2005-2006. In 2009, he received his MFA from the
University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where he now teaches

He lives in Philadelphia with his wife and two cats.

I first met Greg through his work. I saw it in the Portfolio Showcase at SCBWI LA and knew there was something special there. Since then, I've become a huge fan thanks to THE WATERMELON SEED.  (I actually yelped out loud when it was announced as the Geisel Award winner during the ALA award webcast. How often have you met the winners?!) You can see the really fun book trailer here.

You can also see Greg's work in fun places like Tattly, where you can get temporary tattoos, and Badge Bomb, where you can pick up reading badge buttons!

Now Greg has a new book out this week called NUMBER ONE SAM. Everyone, meet Sam:

It takes me down memory lane to my favorite book: GO, DOG, GO. I can't wait to see what is in store for Sam.

We asked Greg a few questions about his latest book.

1. Is Sam's story derived from a personal experience? It was at first, actually. I mean, I was never a dog. But I think it's safe to say that I, like most people, have a competitive side, and I've needed to learn how to be gracious and do the right thing.

2. What is your favorite thing about Sam? I don't know - he is fun to draw. I think if he was a real dog or person or something, his scarf might annoy me.

3. Sam struggles with not winning in the trailer. Does he want to be the best at EVERYTHING? He definitely wants to be the best at racing. I'm not sure about other stuff. I think when you align your identity with your accomplishments, it can get tricky when those accomplishments are diminished in some way. It can really disrupt your idea of who you are. I think Sam's character is just figuring that out.

4. What is Sam's favorite thing to do besides winning at the racetrack? Reading! He is a real book hound.

5. If Sam were to recommend a book, what would it be? I think he is partial to the Peanuts anthologies that Fantagraphics put out.

And even better, Greg is doing a giveaway with NUMBER ONE SAM! Here are the guidelines to enter:

1. Have a Twitter account
2. Participate in the #kidlitart chat on Thursday at 9pm EST
3. Following the chat, we will do a random drawing of the participants. The lucky winner will receive a personalized drawing of Sam like the one below.

See you Thursday night at 9pmEST on #kidlitart! Don't forget to check out tweetdeck or tweetchat.com if you want the experience streamlined.

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