2h 16min beginner

What goes into your favorite children’s books? Join host Rocco Staino as he interviews popular children’s book authors to find out how they create your favorite stories.

Episode descriptions

Angela Dominguez
1. Episode: Angela Dominguez

Meet "Maria Had a Little Llama/María Tenía Una Llamita" and "Knit Together" author and illustrator Angela Dominguez. She creates heartwarming tales about family and togetherness.

Aram Kim
2. Episode: Aram Kim

StoryMakers’ host Rocco Staino interviews author and illustrator Aram Kim, the creator of "Cat on the Bus!" Young readers will have fun looking for clues in this picture book.

Emma Otheguy
3. Episode: Emma Otheguy

In this episode, author Emma Otheguy tells about her book "Martí's Song for Freedom!" José Martí dedicated his entire life to political independence for Cuba, the abolishment of slavery and the fight for freedom. Be ready to learn some history about Cuba and sing along with Emma and Rocco.

Vanessa Brantley Newton
4. Episode: Vanessa Brantley Newton

Rocco Staino interviews Vanessa Brantley-Newton, the illustrator of "The Youngest Marcher" and many other picture books. Discover how Vanessa overcame her challenges and be inspired by her story, books and illustrations.

Hervé Tullet
5. Episode: Hervé Tullet

Hervé Tullet’s children’s books follow a path of simple lines, raw and energetic, that take the reader on an expedition. Hervé shares a reading of "The Trail Game" and an excerpt from "Mix It Up!" Learn how he discovers ideas for books that create a playful dialogue with young readers.

Mike Curato
6. Episode: Mike Curato

Mike Curato's Little Elliot books are fast becoming a favorite of children and parents alike. The author and illustrator has created a little polka-dotted elephant with a big heart. Mike and Clair Frederick, president of toy manufacturer MerryMakers, join Rocco Staino to talk about the series of Little Elliot books and the soft plush products created by the toy maker.

Pat Cummings & Chuku Lee
7. Episode: Pat Cummings & Chuku Lee

Award-winning illustrator Pat Cummings and author H. Chuku Lee team up to retell a classic story, "Beauty and the Beast." Find out how Jean Cocteau's film inspired them and watch how their version of this 18th-century French classic unfolds.

Wes Moore
8. Episode: Wes Moore

In this episode, learn about "Discovering Wes Moore," the young-adult follow up to the New York Times bestseller "The Other Wes Moore," about two men with very different paths. While one is heading off to Oxford University on a scholarship, the other is sentenced to life in prison. What went wrong in the life of the other Wes Moore? "Discovering Wes Moore" is an accessible version for young readers, requested by teachers.

John Parra
9. Episode: John Parra

Have you ever wondered what life is like in the aftermath of a natural disaster? Is it possible for an individual or community to find joy in the process of rebuilding? Artist John Parra illustrated "Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans," by Phil Bildner, with a vivid and bold painting style that captures the infectious spirit and waterproof soul of sanitation worker Cornelius Washington. Learn more about Parra's work in this episode.

Mo Willems
10. Episode: Mo Willems

Host Rocco Staino catches up with Mo Willems at the preview for "The Art and Whimsy of Mo Willems," a retrospective of Willems' work at the New-York Historical Society. The author and illustrator discusses "The Thank You Book," the 25th and last book in the Elephant and Piggie series.

About the Teacher

Rocco Staino
Curiously Similar
Mike Curato
Mike Curato
Have you ever wanted to write a children’s picture book? Well, now you can! Celebrated children’s book author and illustrator Mike Curato teaches the ins and outs of writing your own picture books. From brainstorming ideas to generating a great plot and characters, you’ll learn to create a fascinating story that keeps children (and adults!) turning the page. Plus get insider tips for publishing your book.
Meet your favorite children’s book authors and illustrators and learn about their craft and writing process.
Tiffany D. Jackson
Tiffany D. Jackson
Anyone can be a writer — we’re all storytellers. It’s just a matter of sitting down and putting your stories to paper. In this nine-part class, bestselling author Tiffany D. Jackson teaches you how to write a novel, from brainstorming ideas to getting published. By the end, you’ll be well on your way to writing the next best seller!
Angela Dominguez
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Rocco Staino

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