Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Joe Kulka's Blog Tour!

Enough about me. I'd like to talk about Joe.
Today I am pleased to act as Station #2 on the Blog Book Tour for
Joe Kulka, author and illustrator of a new picturebook, WOLF'S COMING! (Carolrhoda Picture Books)

This is the first book that Joe both wrote and illustrated, and to celebrate he's touring the blogs for interviews by a few of my author/illustrator friends in the kid lit world:
Check out yesterday's interview, by
Elizabeth Dulemba
See tomorrow's, by
Alan Gratz,
the next by
Dotti Enderle,

and the last by Barbara Johansen Newman.

You don't have to read the interviews in order, but I hope you'll check them all out because

1) they're fun and insightful
2) you'll learn a lot about Joe Kulka, and
3) he's one heck of a great illustrator and
WOLF'S COMING! deserves the buzz it's getting.

RMB: So, Joe, what's your favorite part of "Wolf's Coming!"?

JK: My favorite spread is the one where Wolf is creeping towards the tree with his tongue hanging out.
I like the way Wolf turned out in that one, I think he's got a good gesture to him and shows some
personality. I also think composition wise it was a nice spread with the simplicity of the dark tree trunk making for a good background for the text.
Plus it's probably the most scary/creepy looking illustration in the book so that always makes me happy.

RMB: Do you have a favorite routine or lucky clothes or a special muse that got you through the deadlines for this book?

JK: No, not really. Mostly seeing the mortgage bill arrive every month was all I needed to keep going and get it done.

RMB: How many times have you read this story to your kids?

JK: So far only twice.
The very first time they were distracted by SpongeBob on TV so I concede that battle.
The next time was when they were both tucked in for bed and it just magical.
They are 3 and 6 and especially watching my youngest's son face - he was all into it. And, at least I think so, not just because I wrote it. He was really listening to the story. I can't begin to describe how wonderful a moment that was. I'm just very grateful I got a book published while they were still young enough to enjoy it.

RMB: What kind of kid were you when you were growing up?

JK: A nerd. Glasses since second grade, constantly sniffling from allergies.
I was a very good student in school, usually straight A's.
Spent a lot of time in the library. Loved to draw. Liked playing basketball but pretty much was lousy at it.
So I spent even more time drawing. I started taking lessons on Saturdays from a local illustrator, Robin Heller, when I was 11. That pretty much set up my next 30 years for me. I would get an assignment and have a week to do it. Even at age 12 I remember staying up until 3 in the morning so I could finish my drawing.

RMB: What's up next, now that WOLF'S COMING! is out?

JK: Working on my next book as author and illustrator "The Rope" to be published by Pelican. After that I start on "Gingerbread Man Superhero" written by
Dotti Enderle. That should a lot of fun.

RMB: Thanks, Joe!
See a sampling of Joe's books on
and check out his entertaining website at

And then check out the rest of the blog book tour:

- Elizabeth Dulemba
- Alan Gratz
- Dotti Enderle
- Barbara Johansen Newman.

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