How “How to Eat Breakfast” Came to Be by Author Gene Twaronite

I thought of How to Eat Breakfast as a simple story that would be both fun and educational–I did not set out to make a rhyming picture book. But as a I wrote, the words began to play against each other, often in ways I had not expected, sometimes rhyming at the end of lines and sometimes in the middle. I created strong images throughout the story, but talented illustrator Diane Ronning made them jump off the page. That is the wonderful magic of a picture book—the way it blends words and illustrations into a new way of seeing. It is sort of like the way we hear words differently when put to music. In each case, a wholly new art form emerges.

When Diane showed me a sample drawing for How to Eat Breakfast, I was blown away by how she visualized the main character. She brought Wanda to life, and I saw things about her that even I didn’t know. In the months that followed, I smiled with joy with each new illustration and how well she captured the images I tried to convey. Ever since 1987, when I published my first children’s story in Highlights for Children, I have dreamed of writing and publishing a picture book. This is my first, and it would not have been possible without Diane.

~Gene Twaronite

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