ALA Annual Conference 2021

Barton’s Book About a Book At 2021 Virtual ALA Annual Conference #alaac21

Q & A With the Author

When I joined the Zoom webinar at the 2021 Virtual ALA Annual Conference it was already busy with discussion. Rachel Zugschwert, from Lerner Publishing, was taking questions from the chat of participant attendees for author Chris Barton to answer. It didn’t take me long to get caught up (with only my few minutes late entry) that we were talking about Barton’s non-fiction book, “How to Make a Book (About My Dog).”


Book About a Book
The picture book developed from author visits Barton has made to schools in the past. He frequently answered questions from students about how to make a book and about his dog, Ernie. So, he wrote a book about the two. As Baron read us the 1st page he also explained the cartoon picture of himself (that is also on the page) and that the illustrator, Sarah Horne, did a great job drawing him for exactly who he is, right down to his cowboy boots. We also viewed a page where the illustrator drew herself at the art table creating the book.


The Research Involved
Barton said the book has solid information in it, but it is also humorous. For example, a reader will find squeaky carrots throughout. As an award-winning author, Barton said he does a lot of reading and research before he even begins to write. He also uses databases, conducts interviews, and visits museums to obtain more information about what to write. When asked about the time it takes, he said that he “enjoys the journey.” One book took a few years to write, and another took 14 years to write. He also mentioned that the writing process is never the same. But I think what is the same, is that Ernie gets treats.

Rachael Zugschwert and Chris Barton answer questions from conference participants. Not to be missed, Ernie, who did get a treat at the end of the session.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

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