Our latest book, Trini’s Big Leap by Alexander de Wit and Beth Kephart, with illustrations by William Sulit, concerns a talented little girl who says, “I can do that,” about everything she tries at the gym. But what happens when a new activity isn’t all that easy for her? Earlier this summer we asked the co-authors and illustrator about trying new things, overcoming obstacles and fears, giving and receiving advice, and about books they loved as a kid that have stuck with them as adults. Our interview with illustrator Sulit is below.
PCB: Why is it important for kids to try new things? Why is it important for adults to try new things?
WS: Well, it’s all about learning. I think kids try new things intuitively—it’s the adults I worry about.
PCB: What is something new you've recently tried? Why did you try it?
WS: Beth and I danced on a stage in front of a bunch of people (several times). This was about as far from my comfort zone as I could get. Why did I do this? Maybe because it was a hurdle I needed to conquer, maybe because I needed a goal to work towards as I was learning a new thing, or maybe because I was just plain crazy. Probably a bit of each.
PCB: What is something you were terrible at and hated the first time you tried it but now you're good at it and enjoy it? What led to #YourBigLeap?
WS: I’m usually terrible when I start something new but I don’t hate doing it—eventually I get better. There may be some wisdom in there somewhere.
PCB: What's the best help you've ever gotten from a friend? What's the best help you've ever offered a friend?
WS: I think the most significant have been the many small and subtle gestures of friendship I’ve experienced. I feel I’ve received more than I’ve given so I need to work harder at correcting the balance.
PCB: What books from your childhood do you still think of today? Why?
WS: Probably the comics section of the Sunday paper is what I remember the most. Before I could read, I would just imagine the stories the pictures were telling.