Grace Lin: press_authorbio
Grace Lin is the author and illustrator of more than 20 books — from picture books read a short biography on Grace Lin, or see a selected list of her children's books. Her most recent young adult novel, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Over the years, author-illustrator Grace Lin has mined her own The past year has been a good one for Lin, with her novel, Where the Mountain Meets the . do something about Ling and Ting having to share their birthday. Grace Lin author biography: Grace Lin is the award-winning author and illustrator of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, The Year.
If you could go back in time and share one of your books with your younger self, which one would you choose?
Q & A with Grace Lin
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. When I was younger I was very princessy. I always wanted to be blond-haired and blue-eyed. This was before Mulan, so I was very upset about all the Cinderellas.
I always tried to imagine that maybe Snow White was Chinese since she had black hair. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon would be the kind of princessy, fairy tale kind of book that I could have clung to and said, "I could be this heroine.
I really hope so because I think it would be great fun. But we're waiting to see how this one is received before I start another one.
I'm crossing my fingers.Q & A with Grace Lin
What other themes would you like to tackle in future installments? So I'm saving some for the next books. I think it's interesting how twins have to share a birthday, so I asked do you get two cakes?
Do you each get your own party? I think it would be fun do something about Ling and Ting having to share their birthday. Before winning, my books were kind of niche. A lot of the people who read them were Asian-American girls, which felt like a really small population.
I'm very proud of being a multicultural author and illustrator, but for the first time I felt like the "multicultural" adjective wasn't as important. Now, after winning, it was more about "Grace Lin, author and illustrator" than "Grace Lin, multicultural author and illustrator.
Q & A with Grace Lin
I grew up as a Twinkie——yellow on the outside, white on the inside. Sometimes it was a rude awakening when I would see myself in the mirror and realize that I wasn't Caucasian. One reason I do these books is that it would have been nice to see in a book someone who looked like me. The other reason is that because I still feel like a Twinkie, the books give me an excuse to find out more about my own culture.
For example, I didn't know much about my parents' life in Taiwan. I entered a book contest in the seventh grade and won fourth place. I was so excited about winning that I decided, "I'm going to be an author and illustrator forever! And I thought, well, if I had to lose, I guess it makes sense that I'd lose to him.
Obviously you stuck with your plan. What steps did you take? I went to Rhode Island School of Design, to the horror of my parents. Because they are from Taiwan, going to art school seemed so foreign to them.
It was almost like me saying, "I want to go to Mars. After graduation, I sent out maybe a million postcards and promos to publishers, without much response. For a couple of years I worked fulltime designing T-shirts and mugs. When I got laid off, I took the severance package and went to New York, dropped off my portfolio and met with people.
When I got back home, I got a phone call from Harold Underdown, who was senior editor at Charlesbridge then. He said, "I really like your new samples. Do you have a story to go along with them? In the next week I wrote The Ugly Vegetables, which became my very first book. What has shaped your illustration style? While I was in school we studied the great European artists, but I started feeling really strange about the art that I was doing.
I started to realize that I did not really know any Asian art at all. When I started looking at it on my own, what I really liked was Chinese folk art, which is very bright colors, a lot of pattern, very flat, not paying too much attention to perspective.
At the same time, we were studying Matisse who was doing a similar thing, but in a different way. I tried to mix those two together to make my own style, kind of Asian-American.
I wanted my style to reflect the mix that I felt that I was. And your writing style?
I see that same mix. I love them because they are so timeless and so heartwarming.
That's what I strive to put in my books too. The same family appears in several more books, dining in another Chinese restaurant in Fortune Cookie Fortunes, and engaging in a traditional sport in Kite Flying.
In Kite Flying, Ma-Ma makes the kite frame, Ba-Ba attaches the paper body, and the three sisters add eyes, whiskers, and paint to create the colorful dragon kite that takes to the air. Citing Lin's appropriately "spare" text, Julie Cummins wrote in Booklist that the book's "overall simplicity is effective and appealing.
Hawaii is too far to go on chicken wing-power, but since she wants to join her feathered friends at an island bird conference, Olvina boards an airplane, where she meets a penguin in a similar situation. Animals again take center stage in Robert's Snow, about a young mouse named Robert and his family. The mouse family makes their home in an old shoe, which the playful young mouse thinks is fine, whatever the weather. When the snows begin to fall, others in the shoe start to grumble, but Robert remains unconcerned [Image Not Available] until he plays outside too long during a storm and cannot find his way home.
Noting that young children will share Robert's fear of becoming lost when his home is buried by show, Booklist reviewer Ilene Cooper wrote that "Lin's bright water-colors combine sweetness and humor," while in Publishers Weekly a critic praised the book's "fetching, rotund mice" that "beam with familial closeness.
I would sprawl next to my mother's banana plant big plant! My mother would call throughout the house, 'Grace, where are you? When I became old enough to think about the future, I wanted to be either an Olympic figure-skater or a book illustrator. When I realized that I fell down every time I tried to lift one foot off the ice, my direction became clear. As a child, I was hungry for books with an Asian-American character.
I wanted the main character to be someone just like me.
Back then, the few books with Asian characters were folktales, not something that fit into my contemporary life.