Today we take a look at the teaming of Anne Rockwell and Paul Meisel. They’ve done many titles in the Let’s-Read-and Find-Out series, plus other action-filled stories like “Brendan and Belinda and the Slam Dunk!“, and “Chip and the Karate Kick,” all from HarperCollins. Paul is also an author/illustrator. Find out more about him at www.paulmeisel.com.
5. “What’s So Bad About Gasoline?: Fossil Fuels and What They Do” is your most recent collaboration. This is such a topical subject! Was this proposed by you, or through your agent? Is there a set procedure when working on a Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out (LRFO) book? Is it more rigorous? Do you get to view the tight dummy or sketches for factual accuracy? Or is there an alternative protocol that happens at the publisher’s end?
Anne Rockwell: I love working with Paul Meisel, for while I do the writing, he’s such an intelligent and thoughtful researcher that he often comes up with things that weren’t in the text, and wonders if they add something. And you know what? They almost always do. And he brings a different observation and wit than I have, and enriches the story.
Paul Meisel: Anne is a delightful author, and person, with a clear, consistently friendly, and informative voice. Anne is able to convey fairly complex concepts in accessible language for the early science reader. I really enjoy our collaborative relationship.
Phoebe Yeh, at HarperCollins, is the ultimate authority on all things LRFO! On these books, I work directly with Phoebe and her assistant, the very helpful Amanda Glickman. They give me a lot of room to design and conceptualize the interior spreads.
Naturally, my sketches come back with comments and suggestions for revisions. LRFO‘s are also vetted by experts in the field, to assure the accuracy of the material.
“Why Are the Ice Caps Melting? The Dangers of Global Warming” was the first LRFO on an environmental theme that Anne and I did together. The reviews on Amazon are somewhat amusing, since there is a fair amount of political posturing about the topic of Global Warming. With that in mind, we aim—I think successfully–to present these “hot-button” topics without any bias. We offer a positive message about how children and grown-ups can take action to help solve problems.