This was Bev Stone’s fourth Gittle List award! Her books are truly magical. This year she won for The Best You Can Be, which she wrote and illustrated. In her exclusive Gittle interview, Bev shares how she got started in children’s publishing and which of her characters she most resembles. (Read Aviva’s review.)
How did it feel to win a spot on The Gittle List? 2017 was a very busy, crazy and wonderful year for me. My daughter had a beautiful baby girl, our first grandchild, so as you can imagine, my focus was pretty much all baby involved. Still, the Gittle contest, was on my ‘must do’ list. Seeing my book on the list topped off a great year and made it one of my best ever.
Tell us about your latest project. I’m still working on a collection of rhymes that I’m co-illustrating with my son, Calvin. I’m hoping that 2018 is the year we’ll publish this one. It’s different from anything I’ve published so far so I’m excited to see what the readers think. The illustrations will probably be in black and white but I may have a hard time keeping my watercolor brush away from them. ;0)
What is your favorite color? You can probably see a color pattern when you look at the covers on my author page on amazon. I can’t seem to help it. I guess I just love that color blue. Even when I think I’ll try a different shade, that blue just seems to find itself on my brush. I’ll have to wait and see if it pops up in that black and white anthology. ;0)
Which children’s book has your favorite illustrations? Raymond Briggs’ book, The Snowman, is a book whose illustrations I love. I guess as an author and illustrator I realize how difficult it is to use illustration as the story. It’s a great way to get the ‘reader’ involved but it takes some very strong illustration skills and the right story line.
Which of your children’s books characters do you most resemble? I think the character that I most relate to in one of my books is, Wind, in the Snowpuppy series. She’s like a mom who looks after her little ones even when they don’t know she’s watching. Unfortunately, I don’t have the same advantage to see as much as Wind does but then maybe that’s a good thing ;0)
How did you get started in writing children’s books? When my son was younger, he always asked for one of my own stories for bedtime. The problem was that he usually fell asleep mid story and the next night when he’d ask me to continue, I couldn’t remember the story I started the night before. I eventually started writing them down but it took me a long time before I started experimenting with illustrating them.
Bev was introduced to art at an early age and that introduction started her on a journey to experience many different art mediums throughout the years. “I can’t remember when art wasn’t a part of my life. In 2013, Bev decided to combine her love of art with her love of writing and started illustrating some of her many children’s stories.