Julie Paschkis

Julie Paschkis

JULIE PASCHKIS won a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor for Yellow Elephant. She lives in Seattle.

Q & A

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania, outside of Philadelphia. Our house was in the woods on a small creek so we got to play outside a lot.


What is your earliest memory of writing/drawing?

I remember drawing a beautiful family of whales in crayon on my bedroom walls when I was about 3. To my surprise I was punished for that, but in general I was encouraged to draw.


What inspired you to write/illustrate your first book?

I always wanted to paint and draw in general and to illustrate books in particular. I remember the way the pictures in books got inside my whole self when I was little—I wanted to make pictures you could get inside of in that way. 


Do you use your childhood as inspiration?

I think the things I saw and felt as a child made me who I am today in most ways.


What books from your childhood have most influenced your work? What about adult titles?

I loved The Poppy Seed Cakes by Maud and Miska Petersham. Stuart Little and Charlotte (of Charlotte's Web) felt like personal friends. Garth Williams’s drawings always seemed just right. Now I think that is because they are tender without being sentimental. I loved the drawings by Barbara Cooney in Chanticleer.


What are your hobbies and interests besides reading and books? 

Because painting is so inward and sedentary I like to get out and move around. I ride my bicycle a lot. I walk my dog and vice versa. I also like to bake bread and cook. I like to have friends over and make meals that include as many colors of food as possible.


Who are a couple of your favorite author/illustrators? What is it about their work that inspires and interests you?

I love the work of Maira Kalman because her work is so true to life but she also takes freedom. After I look at her pictures I see the world through her eyes a little. Alice and Martin Provensen's illustrations always delight me, and I like the words too. Mary Azarian's prints are as satisfying as homemade bread.


What one or two words of advice would you give for young authors/illustrators?

Spend time doing what you love. The more you put into it the more you will get out of it. 



All sorts of animals flutter and hum, dance and stretch, and slither and leap their way through this joyful collection of poems in English and Spanish. Julie Paschkis’s poems and art sing...

Available 03/17/2015Pre-Order

Once there was a little boy named Neftalí who loved wild things wildly and quiet things quietly. From the moment he could talk, he surrounded himself with words. Neftalí discovered...


In the Middle Ages, people believed that insects were evil, born from mud in a process called spontaneous generation. Maria Merian was only a child, but she disagreed. She watched carefully...


In a small village in Spainlives a boy named Antoni Gaudí. His home is in Catalonia, a place of jagged mountain peaks and silvery...