Tells us a bit about Take a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee and BunnyBear:
TAKE A PICTURE OF ME, JAMES VANDERZEE! is about the legendary black photographer of the Harlem Renaissance who was known all over the world his breathtaking and evocative portraits of African American families, communities, and individuals.
BUNNYBEAR is about a sweet little bear who feels in his heart that he is really a bunny. The bears don’t understand him and the bunnies don’t believe him, but eventually he finds a special new friend likes him just the way he is.
What are three things are VanDerZee and Bunnybear grateful for, and why?
James VanDerZee was grateful for friends, family, and the opportunity to add beauty to the world. These were the most important things to him and you can see it througout his life’s work.
Bunnybear is grateful for friendship, appreciation, and freedom because those things are in scare supply at the the beginning of the story. He’s probably also thankful for strawberries because they’re sweet, just like him.
As the author, what picture book(s) are you thankful for?
Too many to choose from! I am thankful for Ezra Jack Keat’s THE SNOWY DAY because it sparked my lifelong devotion to picture books.
Please share one person that’s made a big impact on your picture book career.
Many people have impacted me on this journey, but writer/illustrator Don Tate has really helped me to fully envision my career as a children’s author. His Facebook feed is so open, candid, and fun, and it’s filled with stories of traveling the country as a picture book author of color, which is one of my biggest dreams. Seeing him do these things gives me the courage to believe that I may do them too someday.
What are you hopeful for (or looking forward to) in 2018?
In 2018 I am looking forward to creating, learning, and growing even more as a writer, author, and presenter.
Thank you, Andrea! And congratulations on TAKE A PICTURE OF ME, JAMES VANDERZEE’s nomination by the NAACP’s Image Awards for Outstanding Literary Work – Children!
Andrea J Loney’s picture book BUNNYBEAR, (Albert Whitman & Company, January 2017) is about a bear who believes in his heart that he’s really a bunny. Her debut picture book TAKE A PICTURE OF ME, JAMES VANDERZEE! (Lee & Low Books, July 2017), is the 2014 New Voices Award-winning picture book biography of the legendary black photographer of the Harlem Renaissance, and her third picture book DOUBLE BASS BLUES shares the adventures of a young black boy carrying his double bass home from school (Random House Knopf, 2019). A community college instructor with an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University, Andrea volunteers for Reading to Kids and the We Need Diverse Books campaign. She lives in sunny Los Angeles, California with her devoted family, embarrassingly spoiled pets, and towering stacks of picture books. Visit her on at andreajloney.com or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest @andreajloney.