Varda Livney

Varda Livney grew up in the United States and now lives with her family on Kibbutz Gezer, between the baseball field and the dairy barn. She can hear the crack of the bat and smell the cows while she draws. She has illustrated 10 children’s books, including one she also authored.


What was your favorite book when you were a child?

I loved the book “Nothing Ever Happens on My Block”, By Ellen Raskin (1966 Atheneum). It is a book with boring text about a child named Chester Filbert talking about his boring neighborhood, while behind him there is a TON of wild action happening in the illustrations. I spent hours looking at that book as a child. Brilliant.

What’s your favorite line from a book?

and it was still hot. (Where the Wild Things Are)

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

Maurice Sendak, Todd Parr, Richard Scarry, Sandra Boynton. Ok, that’s four, there are hundreds I left out.

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

Like many a budding artist, I drew a mural on my bedroom wall when I was 7, without asking permission. When asked why I did it, I replied that THAT is what illustrators do. So it wasn’t really a decision, it’s just what I was. Besides which, being a physicist or mathematician was not an option. Luckily, my parents let me finish the mural, so the supportive environment was a factor as well.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

Put on your thickest skin (there WILL be rejection) and don’t let anything or anyone squeeze the joy of art-ing out of you.