Through my early review reading with http://www.librartything.com, I came across a delightful picture book by author/illustrator Jaewook Kim of the Imagine Brothers. Located in Gangnam, Seoul, Korea (which is pretty awesome that I now have a friend there!) Kim agreed to an interview which after translation is posted below:
Engle: What inspired your story Yummy Backpack, Lou Chang’s Delicious Picnic?
Kim: When I was young, I felt as if my mother never bought me enough sweets. She always said sweets were unhealthy and bad for me and that was her excuse for hardly buying them. But on school field trips, she always filled my lunchbox with my favorite sweets and foods. I was too young to understand why she jammed my lunchbox with all those unhealthy sweets. Back then, all I cared about was the sweets. I was always so excited on the night before a school field trip. For me, anticipating the sweets was probably as exciting as anticipating the trip itself, if not more so. Now I am old enough to understand why she only allowed me sweets on school field trips. Although sweets really are unhealthy, for my mom, there was also a financial reason to avoid them. She had to save every penny to raise five kids. But the school field trips served as a special occasion, an opportunity for her to spoil me. She didn’t want me to be singled out as a “have-not”, and on school field trips I could revel in sweets. One day, my son said to me, “I wish I had a candy bar as big as you daddy.” For some reason, this made me think back to my mother packing my lunchbox the day before school field trips. All of the old excitement came rushing back. My inspiration for this book is a hope that my son feels the same excitement I did when I was younger.
Engle: The art is very clever and fun. How long have you been illustrating?
Kim: I am a designer by profession. I’ve been working as a designer for 16 years. Thank you for the complement on the art, I appreciate that you found my art clever. My work requires that I be able to visually deliver ideas. This requirement often involves lots of problem solving and a bit of drawing skill. This book in particular took me about 5 weeks.
Engle: What is the hardest part about writing/illustrating for picture books and how do you overcome that obstacle?
Kim: Translation & Editing. Finding competent translators and editors who understand my work is not easy. Waiting is also hard.
Engle: Where are your books available for purchase?
Be sure to take a look at this adorable book. My five year old gave it five stars for laugh out loud funny!