Author Chat with Matt Myers (Dino-Gro), Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
Today we're excited to chat with Matt Myers author of
Read on for more about Matt, his book, plus an giveaway!
Meet Matt Myers!
MATT MYERS the illustrator of the New York Times bestselling Battle Bunny, as well as numerous other children's books, including A Dog Named Doug and the Infamous Ratsos series. For more about the author, and to see a gallery of his work, you can visit him online at myerspaints.com [myerspaints.com], and on Instagram and Twitter at @myerspaints.
From the New York Times bestselling illustrator of Battle Bunny comes a laugh-out-loud story of a little sponge dinosaur that keeps growing...and growing...and growing....
Cole is very excited about his new Dino-Gro toy. He can't wait for it to reach its full size! But when Dino-Gro becomes much larger than intended, Cole goes so far as to put Dino-Gro on a liquid-free diet and an exercise regimen, which don't seem to make a difference! As Dino-Gro becomes so big that he can't fit in the house, Cole learns that growing up and getting bigger can have advantages too, even if you're not a dinosaur.
For fans of Tiny T. Rex and We Don't Eat Our Classmates, this sweet and hilarious read-aloud is fun for kids to learn the importance of growing up big and strong.
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
Those little animal toys that grow in water. So fun, unless you forget about them. Neglected, the detailed animal shapes bloat into slimy, unrecognizable lumps.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the text?
The idea, then some sketches, then the words. The title came last, and changed from Dinogrow to Dino-Gro, thanks to a smart buddy of mine.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
When Dino-Gro returns to save his boy. It’s a big, colorful spread with only one word, WET! By that point in the book this word carries a lot of meaning, all negatively-charged. But on this spread it becomes a positive. I love it when one word is worth a thousand words. I’m also very happy to have managed the look of pure joy on Dino-Gro’s face.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
That pretty words, just like pretty pictures, only add to a story if they fit. The story is the important thing, and sometimes that means sacrificing wonderful sentences or images.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
The look of admiration on the boy’s face as he races to keep up with his huge friend. It’s the way I felt running after my dad as he jogged. I really wanted to be able to run faster than him, but then again I really didn’t. It’s nice sometimes, following a leader, if they deserve it.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2021?
Not Little. A great story, perfectly illustrated by Hyewon Yum, perfectly written by Maya Myers, who just happens to be my wife. (She knows I wouldn’t recommend it for that reason).
YABC: What’s up next for you?
At the moment I’m working on another book for Maria Modugno at Random House Studio, called The World’s Longest Licorice Rope. It’s about the boy who bought it and is determined to reach the end of it, a girl who pesters him all along the way, and a friend he makes at the end of his journey. The illustrations are much looser in style than anything I have done, which seems to fit the mood of the story. Very few words, too. Hopefully no one who reads it will guess how many times I rewrote it, more than any other picture book, published or not. I was about to give up on it when the right ending finally came along. And then Maria changed it again! (For the better.)
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Great question, so I’ll spend some time on it. The two skills are so different that it feels like I’m using not just a different part of my brain, but a completely different brain. This is how it goes, when it goes well:
Drafting Me is a free spirit, a fearless child. He just goes for it, knowing it’s playtime, knowing someone else will clean up the mess. His only rule is that boring old Revision Me is not allowed in the room until the first draft is done. “Whee!”
Once Drafting Me is exhausted, Revision Me strides in, showing that kooky kid the door. “Harumph,” he says, “another mess.” He rolls up his sleeves and digs in. He is also fearless, in a totally different way. While the creator was unafraid to add, the editor is unafraid to subtract. His job is to hack through all the clutter in order to find the whatever true path the kook may not have even known he was blazing. It’s harsh, but no harsher than dismissing a dead end in order to find your way home.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
Another great question, shorter answer. I have the power to take a critique. Some might call it super thick skin, but that implies callousness. I have super hearing. Because I really am eager to hear how my stuff might be better.
YABC: What would you say is your super-weakness?
I had to add this question myself, to balance out the last one. I tend to come up with a funny concept and mistake that for a good story. Then I spend eons trying to cram an interesting plot and characters into the cool idea, which is completely backwards from how I know a story should develop. Here’s an example from my story graveyard: Duckdo, a spin on hairdo, about a duck who wants to be a hair stylist, but his family and friends all have feathers. So poor misunderstood duck has to risk getting furry clients, some of which are scary, which leads to . . . .
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
The environment is the obvious number one issue, since all other causes depend on keeping the world healthy. The biggest problems can seem too big to do anything about, but I try to start by editing my own life, changing small habits I can live with, such as saying no to Styrofoam cups and takeout containers. I also think it’s tremendously important to make sure my money is not being invested in companies that are reckless with the environment, manufacture weapons, or negate human rights. It’s so easy to support a good cause while also supporting a bad one, without even being aware of it.
By: Matt Myers
Release Date: June 15th, 2021
Publisher: Random House Studio
Two winners will each receive a copy of Dino-Gro (Matt Myers) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
I love this cover--so much fun! The synopsis promises lots of laughs and heart, so I will enjoy reading this book.