Category Archives: 01a | Meet Anne Rockwell

The Got Story Countdown welcomes Anne Rockwell. She’s produced a terrific body of work as artist, author/illustrator, and writer. Her experience gives a wide perspective of the ever-changing landscape of the children’s book field.

When you write, and someone else draws…

It’s a unique opportunity when an illustrator can also write stories that other artists can render. This happened to Don Tate when he wrote It Jes’ Happened, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie.

Check out this excellent discussion between Anne Rockwell and Don Tate, at Anne’s site.

“…While I could have illustrated the story, my illustration styles weren’t the perfect match for the text. My editor wanted the art to be edgy, gritty. I wanted to go with an illustrator who had broader name recognition than myself. Greg Christie became one of our top choices.”—Don Tate

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Original art by Bill Traylor

Remember this if you encounter a book editor who loves your story, but suggests that another illustrator provide the art. Don’t insist on all (doing both story and pictures) or nothing.

If a publisher is seriously interested in acquiring one component, make sure to ask why. Decisions like these are made for the good of the project.

Art from

From “It Jes’ Happened” by Greg Christie right-click to enlarge

Editors want your book to sell as many copies as possible. One practical consideration is name recognition. Newcomers tend to forget that buyers invariably prefer to request a familiar name or brand, even in bookstores or libraries. Or just the books with the medals on their jackets. Publishers also need to see how your name fares out there initially, in the mutual interest of nurturing a new career for the long term.

Meet Anne Rockwell

The Got Story Countdown welcomes Anne Rockwell. She’s here to address ten questions about her work. Her career spans over three decades. She’s produced a terrific body of work as artist, author/illustrator, and writer. Her experience gives a wide perspective of the ever-changing landscape of the children’s book field. 

One new question will be posted each morning (excluding weekends). Question 1 begins today, November 4th. We’ll wrap up when we complete addressing all ten questions — probably by November 18th.

Everyone is welcome to post comments or queries, 24/7, as long as it pertains directly to the corresponding topic. Leave a comment, and check back for feedback throughout the day.

Learn more about Anne at her website:  www.annerockwell.com.

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Sullivan Wong Rockwell studies his favorite book.

1. What made you decide to focus on informative works for children?

Anne Rockwell: I’m not sure it was ever a conscious decision. Most of my books are for very young children — 5 and under, and I’ve never heard a child that age say they prefer non-fiction to fiction, or vice-versa.

If something interests me and holds my interest for a long time, I figure there’s a child out there with the same curiosity as mine. Children want and need to know about this world they’re newcomers to, so all sorts of books can guide them on their journey.

Unfortunately, I sense there’s a stigma to non-fiction. It seems as though the adults who introduce books to children think there are certain things children should be made to know, lessons as it were, and then, if they’re good, and learn how bulldozers work, or how to milk a cow, or whatever, then they’ve earned the right to have some fun and can read about witches and goblins, magicians, Martians, king and queens, or the like. This strikes me as ridiculous and completely insensitive to how a child’s mind works.

The real world, the here and now, has not yet become stale for them, and when I write for this audience, I try to return to the real world with the eyes I had as a child.

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