Today it is my pleasure to feature one of my favorite picture book author/illustrators AMALIA HOFFMAN with her newest creation MY MONSTERPIECE. Here’s my review of this delightful book:
“MY MONSTERPIECE by Amalia Hoffman is a charming and delightful story! LOVE the color and creativity of the art and the message that a monster is in the eye of the beholder and creator. We may all see things differently, but find joy and delight in it anyway. Oh what fun it will be for little ones to make their own monsterpieces. A celebration of creativity and imagination.”
For a chance to win a copy of this delightful book, leave a comment at the end of this post. Your name will then be entered in the give-away. If you share the post on social media, I will put your name in twice.
I asked Amalia where she got the inspiration for this clever and creative story. Here’s her answer:
My inspiration for My Monsterpiece was the many years I worked with young children. I decided to create my monsters for the book with art supplies that kids actually use. Children are very free in their creative process. They love bright colors and will doodle on any torn paper, the kitchen table, wall — anything! Well, I didn’t doodle on my table or wall, but I did paint on a supermarket shopping bag, crumbled bits of paper, and even paper plates. In some illustrations, I glued on yarn, glitter, buttons and even fruit loops. Kids love to get their hands messy. So I dipped my fingers in gooey blobs of paint. It was very therapeutic. A lot of the art in the book was painted with my fingers, rather then with brushes. I also spritzed paint with a toothbrush, letting the bits of color drop where they may. I wanted each illustration to celebrate kid’s colorful art. At the end of the day, my studio was a mess but I felt liberated!
I was inspired to create a book that will be funny and entertaining but will have a non-preachy message that when we free ourselves from bias and stereotyping, our word is more colorful and we can befriend each other even if we don’t look or behave in the same way.
Apparently, I was a very temperamental child. When I got angry with my mom and dad, I used to punish them by tearing the greeting cards I created for their birthdays and anniversaries. Years later, when I visited my parents who lived in Jerusalem, I found an envelope with all the bits of torn art that my father saved. When I created My Monsterpiece, I showed the kid’s frustration by creating one spread that feature the kid’s torn monsters.
I remember that when I was about 8, I entered a contest, sponsored by a children’s magazine, to draw a scary witch. Apparently, just like the kid in my book, mine didn’t scare anyone and I didn’t win.
The book includes activities and art projects kids can easily accomplish with materials readily available like paper bags, crayons, glue, markers.
Amalia Hoffman is an author, illustrator and storyteller.Her picture book, The Brave Cyclist: The True Story of a Holocaust Hero (Capstone Publishing, 2019, illustrated by Chiara Fedele) is a Junior Library Guild Gold Selection book.All Colors (Schiffer Publishing, 2019) made the list of best board books, 2019, chosen by School Library Journal. Dreidel Day (Lerner Publishing Group, 2018) is a PJ Library book and received the PJ Library Author Incentive Award.
She is also the author/illustrator of Astro Pea (Schiffer Publishing, 2019.) Her picture book, My Monsterpiece is coming up from Yeehoo Press, March, 2021. Hanukkah Nights (Lerner Publishing Group, 2022) received the first PJ Library Incentive Award for an author and illustrator. Masha Munching is coming up from Yeehoo Press in spring 2021.
Amalia is a participating artist at ArtsWestchester, a cultural organization that pairs artists and writers with schools and community centers. She holds a Masters degree in art and art education from New York University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts with honor from Pratt Institute.
Visit Amalia at http://www.amaliahoffman.com