Ann Rousseau Smith - Children's Author and Poet
Publications
 
Magazines
 
  • "I Jump," Hopscotch for Girls, June/July, 2008
  • "Apple Strudel, Apple Pie," Hopscotch for Girls, August/September, 2008
  • Numerous haiku, Berry Blue Haiku (digital magazine), June, 2010; September, 2010; December, 2010
 
Anthologies
 
Hamsters, Shells, and Spelling Bees: School Poems
Hamsters, Shells, and Spelling Bees: School Poems
"Buzz"

Edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Illustrated by Sachiko Yoshikawa
I Can Read! 2/HarperCollins, 2008
ISBN 978-0-06-074112-9
Sharing the Seasons: A Book of Poems
Sharing the Seasons: A Book of Poems
"Summer Moon"

Edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Illustrated by David Diaz
Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2010
ISBN 978-1-4169-0210-2
Dizzy Dinosaurs: Silly Dino Poems
Dizzy Dinosaurs: Silly Dino Poems
"Dino School Bus"

Edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Illustrated by Barry Gott
I Can Read! 2/HarperCollins, 2011
ISBN 978-0-06-135839-5 (hc)
ISBN 978-0-06-135841-8 (pb)
Interview

What did you most like to do when you were a child?
 
I loved riding my bicycle everywhere: school, a friend’s house, the local market. I enjoyed visiting museums, especially the ones with outside street performers. The mimes were my favorite. They moved in an imaginary space that seemed so real.
 
What books influenced you the most when you were growing up?
 
HARRY THE DIRTY DOG by Gene Zion, BLUEBERRIES FOR SAL by Robert McCloskey, and SURPRISE IN THE TREE by Sara Asheron. I loved that little yellow kitten! Nancy Drew Mysteries were a favorite. I was able to borrow many of the books from the series from a neighbor across the street.
 
Did you write stories or poetry growing up?
 
I wrote and illustrated a story when I was eight or nine. It was about a young girl on a school field trip who encounters giants masquerading as mountains, a tiny person two inches tall, and a mermaid at the beach. I turned the whole story into a dream at the end, which is very disappointing to my older self! With a friend, I also created shadow movies using hand painted “cells” for scenes and a projector made by my friend’s father.
 
When you went to college, were you already pursuing a writing career or a career in illustrating?
 
I studied graphic design at California State University, Northridge. While completing my bachelor’s degree, I took a children’s literature class, for fun. I loved that class. I believe that was my first inspiration to work in the children’s book field. I slowly pursued my interest in illustrating and then later in writing.
 
What was your first job when you graduated from college?
 
My first job was graphic designer for an apparel label company, creating clothing labels for the garment industry. We designed “miniature masterpieces,” as my art director called our mock ups for customer approval. On a label, the artist has to communicate a great deal in a small amount of space. Hey, that sounds like poetry!
 
What are the topics of some of your stories and poems?
 
Topics for my published work include jumping, apples, bees, the moon, silly dinosaurs, and the seasons. Unpublished topics include circus performers, tea parties, giraffes, zoo animals, tide pool creatures, ceiling fans, rollercoasters, siblings, and the Thanksgiving holiday.
 
What kinds of things inspire you to write?
 
Trees blowing in the wind, a spider protecting her egg sack at the top of a sunflower, family gatherings, trips to the beach, visits to the library, and walks through the park. Basically everything!
 
Do you enjoy researching or do you prefer working totally from your imagination?
 
I enjoy researching topics I’m interested in: circus performers, tea ceremonies, insects, and weather patterns, to name a few. Knowledge found through the library or the internet enriches my own observations and imaginings. I also read poetry by other poets to learn from and be inspired by. My favorite poets include Roald Dahl, Jack Prelutsky, Jane Yolen, Douglas Florian, Valerie Worth, Ralph Fletcher, Nikki Grimes, Marilyn Singer, and Joyce Sidman, plus so many more!
 
Do you write every day or do you have set hours that you work?
 
I do not write every day or at a specific time, but mornings are usually more productive for me. I usually write or read or research for two hours, several days a week. If I can allot a three to four hour stretch of time, that’s the best. As with anything, the more time you put in, such as time and energy, the more you take away, improved writing skill and completed poems to be shared with young readers.
 

 
 
 
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