Paul Meisel is the illustrator of What is the World Made Of? All about Solids, Liquids and Gases. He is also the author/illustrator of See Me Dig, winner of a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor in 2012. He was kind enough to answer 5 questions for Science Book a Day via email about his work.
Check out his wonderful illustrations at his homepage: http://www.paulmeisel.com
#1 – Your book has been out since 1998. What has been the reception to your work in that time?
Well, it’s really Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld’s book, and I was fortunate to have been asked to illustrate it. Phoebe Yeh, the wonderful editor at HarperCollins, subsequently asked me to illustrate a number of other books in the Let’s-Read-And-Find-Out series (I just recently finished the eighth book that I’ve illustrated in this series), so I can assume the reception to my work was pretty good!
#2 – Looking on the internet, it seems your book has been widely taken up in school curricula, was that your intention from the start? How does it make you feel that kids around the world are learning about the states of matter from your illustrations?
The Let’s-Read-And-Find-Out Series has been around for more than 50 years. All of the books in the series are widely used in schools and homes to teach scientific concepts to young readers. It’s rewarding to know that kids around the world might be looking at and enjoying and learning from my illustrations! Hopefully children, and their parents and teachers, find the books not only educational but also entertaining- their longevity would indicate this might be the case.
#3 – To you, what’s the best part of being an illustrator?
The best part is doing what I love- namely creating pictures for books. I also get to work with great people who are passionate about what they do. And of course my children and my wife, who all work nine to five at jobs they commute to, think I’m a pretty lucky guy who gets to stay home all day with the dog doing something that looks like a lot of fun! (I would have to agree.)
#4 – What are you working on at the moment?
I recently finished the illustrations for Light is All Around Us, by Wendy Pfeffer, my eighth book in the Let’s-Read-And-Find-Out series. I also recently finished illustrations for a non-fiction book for Holiday House called Swamp Chomp, by Lola Schaefer. On my desk right now are sketches for an easy reader about a couple of animal friends, as well as a dummy that I’m working on that I wrote about a bat who lost his home.
#5 – You have a twitter account, but no tweets? What’s the story there? 🙂
Oh, gosh, you caught me. Will “I lost my password” work? (I’m also not terribly active with my Facebook account either. Suffice it to say I should use social media more, both as a learning tool and for self-promotion…I’ll try to be a better person in the future! But no promises. Aren’t twitter and Facebook “over” already anyway?)
Thanks for your interest George!
[Image Credit: http://www.walker.co.uk/walkerdam/getimage.aspx?class=person&id=4462&size=powerpoint ]
[Book covers and illustration supplied courtesy of Paul Meisel]