Robert’s Snow – Interview with Snowflake Illustrator Erin Eitter Kono

Great Snowflake! Great Artist! Great Cause! Great Inteview! GREAT DOOR PRIZE! Read on….

Oh my stars! That’s a beautiful snowflake!

And, in case you didn’t know, it’s up for grabs in the Robert’s Snow Auction to benefit cancer research.

Click here for information about Robert’s Snow. Click here for the auction pages for this and many other amazing snowflakes. (This snowflake is part of Auction 1)

Click here for a round-up of other illustrators being interviewed today and everyday as part of a huge multi-blog effort to publicize this worthy cause.

Erin Eitter Kono is the illustrator of this snowflake and numerous books, including the lovely Hula Lullabye and the snowy Twelve Days of Wisconsin Christmas. She has very WONDERFULLY agreed to let me offer an actual, honest-to-goodness Kono sketch as a doorprize! To qualify just email with the subject line: Kono Snow.

And now, on with the art and the interview…


Click on any of these thumbnails to see the full picture at Erin’s Website…

Tell us about your snowflake…

Cover Art for The Twelve Days of Christmas in Wisconsin

This year my snowflake’s images are from my book THE TWELVE DAYS OF WISCONSIN CHRISTMAS (Sterling 2007) which is part of a new series of Christmas books Sterling is beginning that focuses on unusual, kid-friendly facts from different States. I’ve included a representative object of each of the twelve days from the book. In the past some of the more memorable snowflakes have included a three dimensional detail, so I placed a smaller snowflake on each side of the original to help frame the objects.

When you got the invitation did you immediately know what you were going to put on the snowflake? No, but I did want to try to do something from TWELVE DAYS OF WISCONSIN because I thought it might make someone a good book/snowflake combo-Christmas gift, or maybe someone who likes the book would be inspired to donate more for the snowflake.

With your exotic name and the book “Hula Lullabye” one might think you were Hawaiian. But your bio and the book “Wisconsin Snow” make one think Midwest. What’s the story?

I was born in Wisconsin and grew up along the Mississippi river. I had always wanted to travel and see other cultures so studied Art History at University. I spent a year in England then signed up with the Airlines and saw a good part of Asia, Europe, the South Pacific, Central America, etc. There was a time I was going to Hawaii two or three times a week and so it became like a second home. HULA LULLABY was actually inspired by my best friend who is a Hula Dancer. My name comes from Marrying a Japanese American, Kirk, and keeping my maiden name as my middle.

Cece says you have great composition and design sense. That’s important. Where’d it come from?

I think that’s from all the Art History. It’s hard not to gleam something after looking at so much great Art.

We’re all kidlit lovers here. So we want some geeky stuff. Who’s at the top of your favorite illustrators list?

Maurice Sendak ,Bill Pete, David Shannon, Mark Teague, I also love Kadir Nelson, Peter Brown, and Oliver Jeffers.

Answer as many or as few of the grab bag questions as you have time/patience for:
Hardest thing to draw? feet
Favorite Wyeth (NC, Andrew or Jamie?) Christina’s World (1948) I like the Helga Paintings too…
Favorite piece of “Fine Art?”  Tough one!! I could never pick one image, and even the artist depends on my mood… I love Klimt’s landscapes, Van Gogh (who doesn’t), Late Gauguin, 14th-15th c. Sienese, Utagawa, Contemporary art I like Paul Balmer.

Best post-80s music video?
Tim Seely’s Trucker’s Lullaby.
This year’s Halloween costume?
A princess, my two year old daughter is going as a dragon, she’s going to rescue me.
And lastly, one I’ve tackled in my blog before, All-Time Greatest Kids Book Illustration? We’re looking for a single image here, not a whole book.

Where the Wild Things Are.. the spread where they’re swinging around.

Word up on that Erin! Thanks for the fun interview, the HIGHLY DESIRABLE DOOR PRIZE and for sharing this wonderful snowflake with all of us!


20 Responses

  1. Great interview … and great snowflake! It has a sundae, a fish and a chicken … three of my favorite things! I’ll have to think about bidding on this one. And I’ll definitely have to get that book.

    Random factoid: I met Helga as a child … she and her husband were friends with my parents.

  2. Well, I was born in Wisconsin, so I might just have to bid on this. That, and the fact that the snowflake is absolutely gorgeous.

    Best post-80’s music video? Please, Sam, if we ever meet, don’t ask me that one. I still like Thriller.

    Great interview.

  3. Hey, Sam, did you visit 7 Impossible this a.m.? Go check them out ….

  4. […] * Erin Eitter Kono, featured by Sam Riddleburger at his blog […]

  5. Oh Sam, you rock. And rawk. That was really fun to read. So nicely done. I love the details in your questions (“post-80s” and, especially, asking about the Wyeths).

    And now I gotta go get her books, ’cause her art looks wonderful and I’ve never seen her books.

    And seriously, people, all these great give-aways?!! I’m trying so hard to sit back graciously as coordinator of this multi-blog effort and not put my name in any hats for prints or autographed books or honest-to-goodness Kono sketches, but you all are making it hard! Really, that’s not a hint. I’m still sitting back being gracious and not entering my name, but thanks to you and other bloggers for doing stuff like that, which makes these features all the more interesting, though it’s testing my gracious-ness levels. Hoo hah!

    I have a Cece snowflake (from a previous year) up today at 7-Imp!

  6. P.S. Sara, you were born in Wisconsin? Well, you learn something new every day.

    And, Linda, you met HELGA? Do tell!

  7. […] Sam Riddleburger – Erin Eitter Kono […]

  8. This is one of the snowflakes I plan to watch during the bidding. If I can afford it, I’m going to try and hang in there, but I think this one will have a high price tag! What a cool door prize! I love prizes! The artist I’m featuring today donated a book, so head on over and enter that one. I entered yours!


  9. I love the window effect of this one!

    It is so much fun to learn a little bit about the illustrator as well. So beautiful!

  10. Actually, I just barely remember meeting her. Her husband worked with my dad for close to 30 years. When I was little, they went out to dinner together a few times. I’m sure my primary impression of her was that she took my parents away from me for a night (I was such a crybaby for my poor sitters).

    It was a bit of a scandal at my dad’s work when the paintings were released … and the media was ruthless. Poor Mr. Testorf, I felt bad for him. I have no idea what her relationship was with Andrew, so I don’t know whether a scandal was even warranted, but it didn’t take much to get people’s attention in what was then a rather staid part of Pennsylvania.

  11. So I wasn’t born in Wisconsin but I lived there for about 10 years and how on earth do you all decide which snowflakes to bid on!??!?!?! GREAT interview!

  12. […] ’80s edition, what with discussions of Jennifer Thermes’ big ’80s ‘do and Sam Riddleburger asking Erin Eitter Kono what her favorite post-’80s music video is. And just look at Henry ice skating from this […]

  13. Very fun interview! Love the questions!

    Mary Lee

  14. Great interview! My favorite answer is the Halloween costume.

  15. The snowflake is beautiful! Great interview.

  16. […] Erin Eitter Kono at Sam Riddleburger […]

  17. […] Erin Eitter Kono at Sam Riddleburger […]

  18. […] heard about Hula Lullaby when Sam Riddleburger interviewed Erin Eitter Kono for Robert’s Snow: Blogging for a Cure 2007, organized by […]

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