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  • Ratha Tep

Interview with Dena Seiferling, KING MOUSE

A mouse comes upon a tiny crown in the grass. The mouse puts the crown on his head, and when a bear subsequently comes upon him and asks if he's king, the mouse responds "Yes."


Written by Cary Fagan and illustrated by Dena Seiferling

Publisher: Tundra Books (September 24, 2019)

The illustrations for King Mouse are so lushly breathtaking. What was your starting point or inspirations? DS: "Thank you! The main inspiration for the environments was the landscape that surrounds the city I live in (Treaty 7 - Calgary, Alberta). At the time King Mouse was illustrated, my kids were both very little and we would spend a lot of time exploring these areas which are a great mix of forested hills, grasslands and river valleys. It’s a place to ponder, imagine and lose yourself in - life is everywhere! I felt like it was the perfect spot to draw inspiration from and having spent so much time in this environment helped me imagine and develop the characters in a wholistic way - also lots of reference because I love taking photos out there."

For those who love KING MOUSE, can you recommend another title that you think they might also enjoy, and why? "I would recommend Bear Wants to Sing because it’s the follow up/companion book to King Mouse!"

King Mouse reads like a modern fable. Are there any other modern fables you love? "I really love Mac Barnett and John Klassen’s The Wolf, The Duck, & The Mouse. I personally appreciate a juxtaposition of dry humour and sweetness which I feel this book has. I think this story introduces children to the idea of symbiotic relationships and interconnectivity in a fun and lighthearted way and reminds us of the importance of collaboration. I like fables that don’t take themselves too seriously." "Some books that I have on my shelf that I consider classics are King Mouse by Cary Fagan and Dena Seiferling," said Daniel Miyares. What contemporary picture books do you hope will become the classics of the future? "That’s very flattering to hear. I admire Daniel Miyares's work. Midnight & Moon looks fantastic!

I was able to see some lovely media exploration and process for that book on his Tundra IG feature recently.

Hmm.. one book I have on my shelves that I think of as a future classic is The Night Gardener, by The Fan Brothers. This book, about a town who experiences something mysterious and magical, is adorable and full of heart. Their books feel timeless and this one is especially beautiful to look at. I’ll always have a copy in my library :)"

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