Author Rosemary Wells
This is your fth middle-grade title in the last four years. What appeals to you about writing for this age group?
I like writing for this age group because kids inthe fourth, fth, and sixth grades are still youngenough to have magic appeal to them and nottoo old for invention. They also have goodreading skills, so I can really talk to them.
You have talked of spending a lot of time withhorses and dogs as a child. How much of your childhood experiences inuence Ivy’s story?
I will never forget the summer of 1958, ridinghorses in the mountains of Nevada. Each daywas a discovery of wonder — antlers found in thebrush, turtle shells, rattlesnakes, drinking fromcrystal streams, and enjoying the beauty of naturehigh, high above the routine world.
Do you think young readers will identifywith Ivy?
I like to write for kids who strike out ontheir own in order to solve problems. I lovewriting for tomboys — like I was — with greatimaginations and opportunities to enrich their futures by being condent and inventive, whichIvy is.
A with the Author and the Illustrator
Illustrator Jim LaMarche
Why did you want to illustrate
Ivy Takes Care
I was honored to be offered the chance to reada new Rosemary Wells story, and ten pages intothe rst chapter I was certain I wanted to makethe art for
Ivy Takes Care.
For many years I’vegone to the Sierra Mountains to backpack andski with my family, and I was surprised thatRosemary could, from New York, create such abelievable Sierra ranch girl like Ivy. Somehowshe got it just right — Ivy is the kind of girl whowould have t right in on our backpacking trips.My wife, Toni, and I took a road trip toCarson City and camped in the Eastern Sierrasto gather the right look and feel of the landfor the pictures. If only I could add the scentof the sage in the high, dry mountain air to myillustrations.I hope I’ll get a chance to work withRosemary again!
How would you describe your style as anillustrator?
That’s a tough question for me. I don’t feel Ihave much of a style. I use the same materialsfor every book I do — watercolor paper withacrylic washes and colored pencils. Some booksare more realistic than others, but I think theyall have a connection to my love of the naturalworld. I have always been attracted to the softcolors and stunning design I see in nature.But I think of each page of art as a stage set,dramatically lit to bring out the magic of thewords on that page. I try not to get in the wayof the story with a distracting style. I want mypictures to appeal to children and adults.
Illustration copyright © 2012 by Jim LaMarche