Meet an Author

February 1, 2019
TFK talks to Matt de la Peña. He writes children’s books.
COURTESY HEATHER WARAKSA

Matt de la Peña wrote Carmela Full of Wishes. TIME for Kids asked him some questions.

COURTESY LAURA SHIPLEY

Question: How did you become a writer?

Answer: I wrote poems when I was a child. Then I grew up and read a lot of books. I thought, “I could write a book, too.”

COURTESY MATT DE LA PENA

Q: How do you write a picture book?

A: First, I imagine the characters. I wonder how they see the world. Then I start writing.

COURTESY PAUL KENNY

Q: Where did you get the idea for Carmela Full of Wishes?

A: It was a windy day. Dandelion spores filled the air. A boy said, “Look, the sky is full of wishes.” It sounded like a poem to me.

COURTESY CRYSTAL BIRNS

Q: Who is the illustrator of Carmela Full of Wishes?

A: His name is Christian Robinson. He is a talented artist. I am always excited to see how he imagines my characters.

COURTESY CRYSTAL BIRNS

Q: What is the best part of your job?

A: I love visiting classrooms. Kids ask questions about my stories. We have fun conversations!

COURTESY CRYSTAL BIRNS

VIDEO COURTESY THE KANSAS CITY, KANSAS, PUBLIC LIBRARY