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Peter BrownDescribe your latest project.
The Curious Garden is about a boy named Liam who discovers a patch of wildflowers struggling to survive in the middle of his gray, dreary city. Liam teaches himself how to be a gardener, and under his care, the curious little garden recovers and eventually "explores" all the forgotten corners of the city.
This book was inspired by places like the "Highline," the abandoned railway on Manhattan's west side that has become overgrown with wildflowers and trees. I was fascinated by the idea that nature could spontaneously pop up in such an unlikely place. And so it got me thinking that if people truly cooperated with nature, magical things would be possible.
Dr. O'Boyle had a mythological status among his kooky clan of high-school art students. He had a PhD in literature, a Masters degree in art history, a unique talent with pencil, pen, and brush, and a strange mixture of drill-sergeant discipline and utter silliness. He nicknamed me "Rosita" as a silly form of punishment when I failed to complete a drawing of a man picking his nose.
From the time I met Doc, he was unwavering in his belief that no artistic goal was beyond my reach. While my chaotic family life spiraled around me like a hurricane, his support was an immovable anchor that kept me from getting lost in the storm. Every kid wants to be good at something. Doc convinced me I was a good artist. And so instead of thrashing around in some self-destructive rebellious phase, I drew pictures.
Offer a favorite sentence or passage from another writer.
George was fond of peeking in windows.
How did the last good book you read end up in your hands?
What is your idea of bliss?
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Why do you write books for kids?
Is there a maxim or philosophy that you live by?
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Peter Brown is a graduate of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. His Web site is www.somebrownstuff.com.