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Kae Nishimura's artwork
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Picture book author/illustrator Kae Nishimura was born in Aichu, Japan. As a child she devoured books and after graduating from the International Christian University in Tokyo, she decided to become a children book author. She headed overseas and studied in Dublin and Boston and at Parsons The New School for Design in New York.

She had to quit Parsons because she ran out of money and she ended up wandering New York armed with two book dummies(Dinah! and I Am Dodo) and hope. After half a year of hardship, her books were accepted by Clarion Books. Since then, she has been published both in the US and in her native Japan.

Kae currently lives in Japan with her husband and their one-year-old daughter.

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Q&A


Can you describe your typical/ideal day?

Typical day: Wake up at 6am to make breakfast and my husband’s lunchbox. My one-year-old daughter wakes up around the same time. Soon she starts to make a mess (drawing on paper and the floor). I follow after her.  At some point in the day we go for a walk and meet several local cats. We come back home and I prepare dinner while my daughter howls.  I draw/update my blog while she is sleeping.  I am exhausted at the end of the day and fall into bed.

Ideal day: Start the day with a cup of coffee and a nice muffin, sitting in the sunshine.  Think of a new book idea and sketch it out.  Draw throughout the morning and afternoon.  Take a walk around sunset. Have a peaceful dinner listening to music.  Go to sleep with a book.

Kae Nishimura and her daughter

Is Dinah! A Cat Adventure based on a real cat?

Yes, it is. She was my friend's house cat which was loved by everybody. Just like Dinah in the book, she was charmingly chubby.

There's a whimsical appeal to your stories. What comes first with you, the words or the images?
It depends. Sometimes I have an image that I want to turn into a story, and sometimes the story that I want to tell comes first.

Do you have any pets?

I used to have a dog...

Kae Nishimura with her dog

but unfortunately we do not have any pets right now since we are living in an apartment. If I lived in a house with a garden, I would love a goat so I could feed my baby her milk and a huge, kind dog to play with her.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am working on a baby good-night book. I am very excited about it since I can read to my little girl!



Posted December 2012

Kae Nishimura's photo









More on the Web:

Visit Kae's blog Dodo Days, a diary of her daughter and motherhood in words and pictures that includes news about her books and work for magazines.

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Bibliography of books available in English:

Bunny Lune
(Clarion Books, 2007)

Baby, I'm Bigger
written by Harriet Ziefert ("I'm Going to Read" series, Paw Prints, 2007)

I Am Dodo: Not a True Story
(Clarion Books, 2005)

Dinah! A Cat Adventure
(Clarion Books, 2004)

 




 


 
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