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Blog: This Writing Life


  • Writer's pictureMelissa Stoller

3 Question Interview - ANN D. KOFFSKY

I'm delighted to feature my fellow #BookMeshuggenah, Ann D. Koffsky, on the blog today. Ann's most recent picture book, CREATION COLORS, is gorgeous and inspiring. And I loved learning more about Ann's mini art projects as she discussed her thoughts about stories . . . creativity . . . and connection.

STORIES – Discuss the inspiration for your ideas and stories, and share the process about your latest projects.

Right now I am working on the third book in the Kayla and Kugel picture book series—the other two were for Shabbat and Passover. This one is for Chanukah, and will be coming out in 2020.

Inspiration is a funny thing—you never know when/if/where it will strike! I got the idea for the K&K series from the dogs in my neighborhood. I noticed that every dog I was meeting had a food name! I met: Oreo, Brownie, and Peach…so I thought: what would a JEWISH dog be named? And Kugel was born.

Another time, I was lucky enough to have a vacation in Barcelona—and I saw the work of Gaudi—wow! His tiles and shapes and colors blew me away, and that led to my most recent book, Creation Colors. I was totally channeling his fascinating mosaics when I created the papercuts to illustrate that book.

CREATIVITY -- How do you showcase your creative side through writing/illustrating and other pursuits?

It sounds so trite, but I really enjoy sharing mini art projects that I create on social media. I’ve painted thirty rocks in 30 days, done a series of mini-canvases inspired by Van Gogh’s work, and others. Since they are small, they are very achievable, and Facebook makes them look huge - so it’s quite fun to just create and have a forum to share them.

CONNECTION -- How do you connect to your young readers through your writing/illustrating, and how do you stay connected to the KidLit community?

To my young readers? I like to show up places and read my books. For example, Young Israel of West Hempstead (YIWH) has a monthly park program for young families, and I’ve read there a couple of times. I’m building my following with the three year olds!

To kid lit people? Facebook! There are some great groups where I have found and get to chat with my tribe!


Ann D. Koffsky is a writer and artist. She has written or illustrated more than thirty Jewish published books, including Creation Colors, Judah Maccabee Goes to the Doctor, and the Kayla and Kugel series. She is also an editor and art director at Behrman House Publishers.

More about Creation Colors (Apples and Honey Press, 2019) - Young readers and their grown-ups will revel in the extraordinary, layered images Koffsky has created to accompany the text. This lyrical story pairs each day of Creation with a color. On the first day, God separated the crisp, strong blacks from the wintry, pale whites. On day two, God poured bubbling blues across the skies and into the watery oceans and seas….The story continues until the sixth day, which celebrates the diversity of animals and people, and ends with the seventh day when God rested. A celebration of the extraodinary creation that surround us all, this book will help young readers and their grown-ups notice and appreciate the colors and details in the world with fresh eyes.

Several of Ann's books have been PJ Library selections, and her book Noah’s Swimathon received a notable designation from the Sydney Taylor Book Awards. Ann lives in West Hempstead, NY with her husband and three children.


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