Bestselling Children’s Book Author Sandra Boynton On Her Career And Writing Process – Forbes
Children’s book author Sandra Boynton has sold over 70 million books since her first, Hippos Go … [+]
Author and illustrator Sandra Boynton has had a long and prolific career, with over 70 million books, primarily for children, sold since her first, Hippos Go Berserk!, was published in 1977, written as part of a project while she was a student at Yale School of Drama. Boynton has since gone on to pen everything from the nonfiction Chocolate: The Consuming Passion to recent release Woodland Dance!, published by Workman this past September.
In addition to books, Boynton has designed a wide range of consumer products, including everything from aprons to baby clothes and toys, popcorn tins, puzzles, stickers, gift wrap, ties and much more. She’s also prolific in the musical world, where she’s earned a Grammy nomination for 2002 album Philadelphia Chickens (Workman), which was created with composer Michael Ford and released as part of the children’s book, which was a New York Times
bestseller and has over one million copies in print. Boynton has also had three additional albums certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. Via email, I asked Boynton about getting started in children’s books, her creative process for writing and illustrating, and the popularity of her board books.
Author and illustrator Sandra Boynton as a child posing with a candy cigarette. She has since gone … [+]
How did you initially get into writing and illustrating children’s books?
It’s been a long and winding road. I wrote and illustrated my first children’s book at age four, titled A Funny Animal. (The book hasn’t yet found a publisher visionary enough to publish a downbeat six-page book written by a four-year-old.) The entire text goes: “Once there was a funny animal. One day he had a birthday party. All the animals came. They did not like it so they left. The End.”
The existential theme of this book would re-emerge two decades later in my first published book, Hippos Go Berserk!
Hippos Go Berserk! began as a project while you were a student at the Yale School of Drama. How did the idea form …….