The artist for Gus in the Big City and I have a long history together. Simon Kono and I met for the first time in 4th grade in Vermont. We hit it off immediately…I admired his amazing art skills, and he appreciated my strange sense of humor. We also enjoyed playing video games.
Despite our bowl haircuts and questionable fashion choices, we spent a good deal of our childhood together…riding bikes, exploring the woods, and being late for school together.
In our early teens we started a band, appropriately called SPAZ. Me on the drums and Simon on guitar, playing through a speaker the size and sound quality of a tin can.
Through the years we always stayed in touch, despite never living in the same city. That is, until I moved to New York City, where he had been living for the last 12 years.
I told him, I’ve got this idea for a children’s book about a fly in New York City. His response was perfect. He said, “Well, how about you write the book first and then we’ll talk.” Right! Makes sense! Three years later, here we are with our new book, Gus in the Big City and I couldn’t be more grateful to Simon for his friendship and his amazing art skills!