Books And More

An Artist at Work

Author and illustrator Lauren Castillo chats with TFK about her career and new book, Twenty Yawns

February 24, 2016
COURTESY LAUREN CASTILLO

Children’s book author and illustrator Lauren Castillo leads a workshop with kids in Parma, Michigan.

Lauren Castillo has illustrated more than 15 books for children, some of which she also wrote. She has worked on books such as The Troublemaker, City Cat, and Nana in the City. The new book Twenty Yawns, written by Jane Smiley, features Castillo’s artwork.

Castillo chatted with TFK from her home in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

TFK:

Did you always like to draw and write? 

LAUREN CASTILLO: 

I loved drawing and telling stories as a kid. I was always making art. I also loved reading picture books. My love of telling stories with words came much later. I went to college for illustration. In college, I spent a lot of time in the children’s book section of the library.

TFK:

Where do you get ideas for your books and illustrations?

CASTILLO:

I get ideas from childhood memories and life experiences. My book Nana in the City was inspired by memories I have of visiting my nana. She lived outside New York City, and every summer I would go and stay with her and we would take trips into the city. I get inspired when I travel to new locations. I also love drawing animals, especially dogs.

Lauren Castillo’s new book is called Twenty Yawns.

TWENTY YAWNS COPYRIGHT JANE SMILEY AND LAUREN CASTILLO 2016. PUBLISHED BY TWO LIONS.
Lauren Castillo’s new book is called Twenty Yawns.

TFK:

What kind of materials do you use to create your illustrations?

CASTILLO:

Most of the time I use pen, ink, and watercolors. Sometimes I throw in markers or colored paper or collage. I have a studio in my apartment where I do my work. I have a stand-up table where I paint.

TFK:

What is the best part of your job?

CASTILLO:

One of my favorite parts is being able to visit with students and share my books with them. I love doing art workshops with kids. It’s great to see what they come up with.

TFK:

What is your new book about?

CASTILLO:

Twenty Yawns is about a girl named Lucy and her parents who spend a very long day at the beach. They come home, and everyone is exhausted except for Lucy who can’t fall asleep. So she goes and collects her stuffed animals and brings them to bed. She needs all her friends with her.


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