Laura Gehl is the author of nearly a dozen picture books, board books, and early readers including And Then Another Sheep Turned Up and I Got a Chicken for My Birthday. A former science editor and reading teacher, Laura lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with her husband and four children.
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
Too many to list—but a few favorites included the All of a Kind Family series, Bread and Jam for Frances, and anything by Richard Scarry or Susan Cooper.
What’s your favorite line from a book?
“I said that I thought the secret of life was obvious: be here now, love as if your whole life depended on it, find your life’s work, and try to get hold of a giant panda.”
This line is from Anne Lamott’s Hard Laughter. Not a children’s book, but a terrific book, and good advice for anyone.
Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
Again, I can’t pick just three! But for today I will say Gordon Korman, Richard Scarry, and Susan Cooper.
Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
I have loved reading books for as long as I can remember—and I am a speed-reader, so I read hundreds of books every year. For a lifelong lover of books, getting to be part of creating a book always seemed like a too-good-to-be-true kind of job. It still does! I can’t believe I get to do this important job every day.
Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
Join a critique group, write every day (but don’t give yourself a hard time about the days when you can’t manage it), and never give up.