Interview with Melissa Guion, Author and Illustrator of Baby Penguins Everywhere!


Welcome to author and illustrator Melissa Guion.  Melissa has recently released her first picture book, Baby Penguins Everywhere!

Melissa Guion grew up in West Caldwell, NJ, and Baltimore, MD.
Melissa has been a dishwasher, a photographer, a Macy’s sales clerk, and a Vice President. She was once paid $10 to remove a dead possum from the garage of a United States Supreme Court nominee. She is relieved to now be an author/illustrator.

Her debut picture book Baby Penguins Everywhere! (Philomel) was selected for the 2012 Original Art by the Society of Illustrators.

Interview with Melissa:

What is your favorite season and why?
I’ve always loved fall. I don’t like intense heat, so when the temperature starts to drop I’m relieved and happy. I love the early weeks of fall when you can still swim but the nights are cold and the air smells good. (New York City summers are so smelly!) And even though I don’t go to school any more, I still think of fall as when things start happening. There’s energy in the air. It’s when my mental year begins.

What is your favorite thing about writing for children?
Playing for a living and sharing my work with kids. Those are two things, but I can’t choose, they’re different. I just did my first school visit, where I read to 125 girls between the ages of three and eight, in a single morning. I loved hearing what they had to say afterwards. One girl announced, “When I grow up, I’m going to be a penguin!” I couldn’t be happier for her.


Is there anything about writing that you find particularly challenging?
As an author/illustrator, I find thumbnailing a new picture book extremely challenging. There’s a lot of struggle involved in finding the book’s basic structure. Making up the story (the first part) and creating the art (the last part) are a lot more fun. I’m working on a new book right now, and I wish I could go out for a walk and tell it to thumbnail itself before I get home.
When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
When I was five or six? As soon as I could read, I wanted to write.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I don’t have free time lately, because my career is finally taking off. I feel I need to make hay while the sun shines. But if I had some, I’d travel, I’d play music, and I’d help my daughter remodel her guinea pigs’ house. She has big plans involving ramps and sleeping platforms.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Black raspberry.

What do you love the most about children’s books?
Like kids, they can be anything they want to be.


About the Book:

Baby Penguins Everywhere! by Melissa Guion
Can there be such a thing as too many adorable penguins?

One day a penguin sees a most unusual sight: a hat floating in the icy water. Even more unusual? Out of the hat pops a baby penguin. But not just one baby penguin . . . or even two. But a third, and a fourth, and on and on!

At first the mama penguin is happy for the company. Until she realizes that taking care of a family is very hard, very tiring work, and what she could really use is just a moment alone. Yet as newcomer Melissa Guion reminds us in her adorable debut picture book, alone time is all well and good, but, it’s together time that’s best of all.

Perfect for any mama penguin with a family, or classroom, full of mischievous little ones.

Reading level: Ages 2 and up
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Philomel (December 6, 2012)


In case you missed it yesterday, Philomel Publishing is giving away a printed copy of Baby Penguins Everywhere! to one lucky winner!  Use the rafflecopter below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  • Reply
    melissa guion
    February 12, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Thanks for having me over to your blog, Dena!

  • Reply
    Adriana (BooksOnHerMind)
    February 12, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Hahaha! I love the reaction of the author and that one little girl that wanted to be a penguin when they grew up. Great interview 😀

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