From author and illustrator Karen Katz, My America is a picture book celebration of immigration to the United States told through the experiences of children who have come from around the world.
Children come to live in America from many different countries, and for many different reasons . . .
In this beautiful celebration of immigration, children from around the world tell their stories, sharing their love of where they’re from and where they live now―homes old and new. As they describe the foods they eat, the languages they’ve learned, the sports they play, and more, the differences and similarities that link us all are revealed.
Something about me
I have always been interested in folk art from around the world:
Indian miniatures, Mexican ceramics, fabrics, Chagall, Matisse, children’s art, and promitive painting, and I love to paint and experiment with pattern, texture, collage and color.
The careers I’ve had – as a costume designer, a quilt maker, a fabric artist, and a graphic designer – have taken all these interests into account. Looking back, I can see that these passions and career choices have played a large part in influencing me to become a children’s book author and illustrator.
But most importantly, it was after my husband I adopted our daughter from Guatemala that I was inspired to do a children’s book for her. My first book, Over the Moon, was the story of that magical experience of welcoming our daughter Lena into our lives. I painted, I drew, I collaged, and I wrote , and after working very hard . . . a beautiful book was born! Twenty-two books later, my daughter – fourteen years old – still is an inspiration for me.
I am fascinated by babies and little kids. The simplest words and gestures can make them laugh. Sometimes standing in line at the supermarket and watchin kids in grocery carts, my best ideas are born. I am fasinated by people from all over the world and what they look like and how they live and the differences that make us all unique.
When an idea pops into my head I ask these questions: — will a child want to read this book? — Will a parent want to read this book with their child? — Will this book make a parent and child feel something? — Is there something visual here that will hold a child’s interest? — Will a child see something in a different way after reading this book? — If the answer is yes, then I know I’m on the right track.
I am very lucky to get to do what I do. Everyday I go into my studio and have fun. Don’t get me wrong, some days are very frustrating. Sometimes the colors are all wrong and the words don’t sound right. But after I work at it for a while . . . and try to do it in a different way. . . and think. . . and change the words or colors . . . and try some more. . . suddenly, there it is – a great page of writign, or a great illustration..
And nothing is more satisfying than that!