Meet the Author
Mike Curato is an illustrator who loves small treasures. He has illustrated many books for children and is the author and illustrator of Little Elliot, Big City; Little Elliot, Big Family; Little Elliot, Big Fun; and Little Elliot, Fall Friends. You can find him on any given day walking around the city, eating a cupcake (or thinking about it).
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A Q&A with Mike Curato
Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
I try to look for stories in my own life that I am passionate about and that others can relate to. Little Elliot, Big City is partially based on a true story! When I was very young, my mother sent me into the deli on an errand. However, the counter was so high, and I was so short. Nobody noticed me! All of the adults cut me in line, until one gentleman saw me and helped get the clerk's attention. We all feel unnoticed at times, young and old alike, and friendship and perspective help us get through tough times. The second book, Little Elliot, Big Family, picks up on Big City's friendship theme and takes it a little further. My family means so much to me, but for a long time I lived far from home and did not get to see them often. Some of my friends in my new home became my chosen family, people who were like brothers and sisters to me. This is what Little Elliot experiences in the second book along with Mouse and Mouse's great big family!
What medium do you use to create the artwork?
I draw all of my work by hand with pencil and paper. Then, I scan it in and color it with an art program called Photoshop. For a more in depth explanation, you can check out my process on my blog.
Do you love cupcakes as much as Little Elliot does?
Oh, I DO! People often ask me what my favorite cupcake is, and I have to say that it is impossible to choose! There are too many good flavors, so I choose depending on how my sweet tooth is feeling that particular day. I also want to say that while Little Elliot and I love cupcakes, we like lots of other foods too, including vegetables! Try brussel sprouts. They are like polka dots for your plate!
What’s the best feedback you’ve gotten from a reader?
Just like cupcakes, it's hard to choose just one! I get lots of kind words from people who relate to how small Elliot is, or people who love old New York, and yes, people who appreciate baked goods. I love seeing kids draw their own pictures and write their own stories featuring Little Elliot.
How many Little Elliot books will there be?
There are more Little Elliot books in the works, so keep an eye out for more little adventures!