On Friday night I had the privilege to attend the Premier Event at the St. Louis County Library Headquarters, featuring R.L. Stine and Marc Brown. R.L. Stine is famous for his spooky adventure series GOOSEBUMPS. While author and artist Marc Brown is equally well known for his ARTHUR ADVENTURE books and delightful PBS television series ARTHUR.
Leave it up to these two amazing literary sensations to combine talents and produce a frightfully fun picture book for young readers, THE LITTLE SHOP OF MONSTERS. The two friends explained the beginning of their teamwork. “We should do a book together,” Marc Brown said he had suggested a few years ago. R.L. Stine countered that comment with, “I think Marc had this inner monster waiting to get out.”
Picture Book Writing Isn’t Easy
R.L. Stine told the large audience that writing a picture book was hard work. He wrote and rewrote it—six times. Then he sent a text copy to his friend and Marc proceeded to draw right on the text! Here is a picture of one of the preliminary illustrations.
Mr. Stine said that he enjoys writing “scary and funny” stories. He’s excited about the upcoming Goosebumps movie (October 16) starring Jack Black as R.L. Stine himself.
Mr. Brown described a turning point in his youth when he read his kid sister’s book, WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, and realized just how powerful pictures could be in helping tell a story. Back then, he was “a little kid with big ideas.” Those ideas eventually included creating the Arthur characters based on children and adults from his real life. His latest book is MONKEY NOT READY FOR KINDERGARTEN
The authors’ parting words for the evening were, “Life is short. Read great books!”