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(FYI, 10% of sales are going to the wonderful children’s literacy non-profit, “Reach Out and Read.” Yippee and Thanks!)
Pete Q: Hi Pete, you are looking fabulous!!! How do you do it?
Pete A: Wow, thanks. This might be easier than I thought. Not sure how I "do it." It's probably just lucky genes and loving what I do.
Pete Q: So, what do you "do?"
Pete A: (Thinking out loud)... Aw, man. This is easy!! So... Yea... well, I'm a pediatrician by training so that takes up my daytime hours, and by night I'm an illustrator, so I disappear after dinner and go up to my studio for 2-3 hours almost every night... Sometimes 4 hours depending on the project. I love both professions!!! I'm lucky that way.
Pete Q: So, how'd you end up doing this project with Ted?
Pete A: Well, Ted is a hugely-talented children's poet as you probably know and I've been best friends with him since college. (Yes!! They did have cars back then!!!) So... He does these poetry workshops up and down the east coast and when he comes to my part of the world, he stays at my house and we talk and catch up, and I've been hinting for decades to be asked to do a project with him and finally, finally he got the hint and asked me to do this Night-night, Body book with him.
Pete Q: Could you keep your answers a bit shorter, please?
Pete A: Yeah, yeah... Sorry. I can get carried away. I'm very excited about this project.
Pete Q: Why's that?
Pete A: Well... I've seen a lot of kids books in my lifetime and there's nothing quite like this book out there... The rhyming text is impeccable. And funny. And sweet. It's also got that perfect zen/yoga projection of isolating each body part and putting it to sleep. It's very centering, and sophisticated at the same time. And it takes kids around the world in one spectacular voyage and plops them right into dreamland! And... There's tons to look at along the way in the illustrations, if I do say so myself!
Pete Q: What's your favorite color?
Pete A: What? Where'd that question come from? Why don't you guess? You've seen the book.
Pete Q: I'd have to say blue.
Pete A: Good guess... But not right. My mom only allowed me to wear blue for the first 5 years of my life til I started designing my own clothes, but that's another interview... Ahem! I think it's yellow at the moment. It was green a few years ago. For a while, it was orange. I'm fickle with colors so they'd better watch out!!!
Pete Q: How'd you finish this book so quickly?
Pete A: Quickly? I was on a rigid schedule for about 12 months from start to finish. It seemed like an age to me!!! Don't get me wrong... When I'm in my studio, I get into my zone and the time flies by!!
Pete Q: We're running short on time, so...
Pete A: Good.
Pete Q: Excuse me?
Pete A: Oh! Sorry! Nothing. Was that a question?
Pete Q: Yea, so... I'm short on time... And I have to go brush my teeth. My mom's yelling at me in the background to wrap this up. Besides, I have a great book that's gonna put me right to sleep!!! Nice talking to ya!
Pete A: Oh! Okay... Night-night, buddy!!
An interview with the illustrator by the illustrator (of the sleepiest and best bedtime book ever).
(Yup... Pete was very reluctant to attempt this cuz he's not a natural born writer. Paints are his thing, but here goes the interview. If Ted and Pete's new book doesn't put you to sleep, this interview probably will.) (Pete wrote all that, as you smartly guessed.)