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Meet the Authors and Illustrators
Nina Laden

Book List

NLfollowdog 
The Night I Followed the Dog

NLprivatei 
Private I. Guana: The Case of the Missing Chameleon

NLroberto 
Roberto the Insect Architect

NLpigasso 
When Pigasso Met Mootisse

NLpeekawho 
Peek-A-Who?

NLreadysetgo 
Ready, Set, Go!

NLclownvaca 
Clowns on Vacation

Nlgrowup 
Grow Up!

NLflatsbrown 
The Blues of Flats Brown, written by Walter Dean Myers and illustrated by Nina Laden

NLants 
An Ant's Day Off, written by Bonny Becker and illustrated by Nina Laden

Write to Nina or visit her online!

Nina Laden
c/o Chronicle Books
85 Second Street, 6th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105

http://www.ninaladen.com/

Nina Laden - Illustrator

Nina Laden is an author and illustrator who has created 10 books of her own, and she has illustrated two books that were written by other authors. Below, she answers questions on her books, writing, and wishing she could be a German shepherd.

Interview

RIF: Most of your books have animals as the main characters. Why do you use animals instead of humans?

Nina Laden: You can make fun of people by using animals. Animals represent people in a lot of ways. Anyone can find themselves in an animal. I think that animals have so much personality, and imagination can really be expanded with animals.

RIF: If you could be an animal, what kind would you be?

NL: I’d have to be some breed of dog, probably a bigger dog. I’m not a little dog person. I love German shepherds and their intelligence. They’re incredibly soulful. There’s a part of me that’s cat-like, too. I wouldn’t mind being able to slink around and lie on my back and get my tummy rubbed.

RIF: In your book The Night I Followed the Dog, a boy discovers that his pet dog has a whole life of his own. Did you get the idea from one of your pets?

NL: My ideas come mostly from my imagination. I’m always writing down anything that sounds interesting, occasionally from real things.

I think the whole mystery of life is that there’s things going on that we don’t know about. I remember as a child that nighttime was such a mystery, and kids aren’t privy to it. You aren’t allowed to go out and find these things. I want to tell stories that you don’t know what the answer is. There’s so much possible that it’s inspiring. I love to ask myself “What if?”

RIF: Did you have any pets now?

NL: My cat, Cali, is an adopted calico. She’s an indoor/outdoor cat, and she goes into all of the neighbors’ cat doors and eats their food. I once had a call from a neighbor who said, “Your cat is on my kitchen counter right now.”

We treat Cali like a human. She gets little bits of whatever we cook for dinner. She has a special stool in the kitchen so she watch us prepare dinner. She has to be where we are, and in bed with us at night. She’s very social.

RIF: Growing up, did you have lots of animals around?

NL: I grew up in New York City. We had two cats and a dog, fish, turtles, birds, and even rabbits for a little while. Sometimes we’d lose a turtle, and then find it a week later in the closet. And the dog loved the cat. I loved horses, but didn’t have one.

RIF: As a kid, did you draw a lot?

NL: Both my parents were artists. They gave me free-range creativity. They gave me art supplies and a license to create. I’d go in my dad’s shop in the backyard to saw and cut wood. The house was filled with books, and music was always playing. My mom let me paint the walls in my bedroom. She painted a jungle theme on my closet.

RIF: What advice do you have for kids who want to be authors and illustrators?

NL: My first advice is to keep a sketchbook and journal. My only rule is that you can’t tear out the pages. You have to save everything. A little thing might turn out to be a great idea.

Also, read. Feed your imagination. There are so many different ways to write a story. Experience your life to its fullest. Go to museums and galleries. Dance, go hiking. All of those things are what’s going on in your imagination.

RIF: When’s your next book coming out? What’s it about?

NL: My next book is Romeow and Drooliette. It’s coming out in spring 2005. I’m halfway done with the art and I’m finished with the story. It’s a take-off on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with felines and dogs – Romeow is a cat and Drooliette is a dog.

 

Learn more about each of these authors and illustrators:
 

 
  Author

Author

 
  Illustrator

Illustrator

 

 
- - -
 

  illustrator

Allen Say

 
  Author

Arthur Dorros

 
  Illustrator

Ashley Bryan

 
  Author

Barbara Park

 
  Illustrator

Beverly Cleary

 
  illustrator

Bryan Collier

 
  Author

Candace Fleming

 
 

Carmen Rubin

 
  illustrator

Chris Van Allsburg

 
  Author

Cornelia Funke

 
  Author

Dav Pilkey

 
  illustrator

David Kirk

 
  Author

Eoin Colfer

 
  Illustrator

Eric Carle

 
 

Fred Bowen

 
  Author

Gail Carson Levine

 
  Illustrator

Graeme Base

 
  illustrator

Henry Cole

 
  Author

Jack Prelutsky

 
  illustrator

Jerry Pinkney

 
  Author

Jerry Spinelli

 
  Author

Joseph Bruchac

 
  Author

Karen Cushman

 
  Author

Kate DiCamillo

 
  Author

Kathleen Karr

 
 

Laurie Halse Anderson

 
  Author

Lemony Snicket

 
  Author

Lemony Snicket - part 2

 
  illustrator

Lulu Delacre

 
  illustrator

Mark Teague

 
  Author

Mary Pope Osborne

 
  Author

Megan McDonald

 
  Author

Mem Fox

 
  Author

Michelle Y. Green

 
  illustrator

Mo Willems

 
  Author

Nikki Grimes

 
  illustrator

Nina Laden

 
  Author

Pam Muñoz Ryan

 
  Illustrator

Pat Cummings

 
 

R.A. Montgomery

 
  Author

R.L. Stine

 
  Author

R.L. Stine - Part II

 
  illustrator

Rosemary Wells

 
  Author

Sharon Creech

 
  Author

Stan Lee

 
  Illustrator

Tony DiTerlizzi

 
  Author

Wendelin Van Draanen

 
  Author

William Sleator

 
 


For Grown-Ups:

 
 

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