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I Like to Read Books
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Liza Donnelly

Inside
THE END OF THE RAINBOW: An I Like to Read® Book
A Conversation with the Creator


Q: Liza, please tell us about your new book, THE END OF THE RAINBOW: An I Like to Read® Book.
A: THE END OF THE RAINBOW is about a little girl’s curiosity and her love for adventure.

Q: In the story, a girl, her cat and several friends go on a search to find what lies at the end of a rainbow. Where did you get your inspiration for this story?
A: I have always been a lover of animals, and so I wanted to write a story about a little girl who had the same passion. Now as an adult, I love adventure, love to travel and meet new people. I was very shy as a little girl, so perhaps I am making up for lost time. I want young girls, particularly, to embrace curiosity and to be bold and adventurous.

Q: What do you hope readers will learn from this story?
A: I hope that readers realize that it is good to be curious, have dreams and hopes, but that it is the journey that is important. And that we can be friends with all sorts of creatures, each of whom may have different interests—yet we can still have fun. In a bit of a disguised way, I see this as a book about diversity and friendship.

Q: You've had success as a New Yorker cartoonist for many years. How did you transition into writing children's books?
A: I have been a cartoonist for The New Yorker my entire career, and did a series of children's books in the 1980s and 1990s, so in a way I am returning to children's books—very happily so! Writing books for early readers is not unlike doing a single panel cartoon. The imagery is very important and has to work seamlessly with the words. And I love doing books that show a lot of expression in the characters, much like my cartoons.

Q: If you could reach the end of a rainbow, what would you hope to find?
A: I actually have never thought about that! I think the journey is the important thing. Perhaps, if I had to answer, I would say the end of the rainbow for me would be another fun adventure.

Q: What made you decide to become an author and illustrator?
A: Writing for children is very rewarding because I know how excited little ones get about books. If I can open their eyes to a new idea or give them a few moments of fun—all which hopefully lead them to become lifelong readers—then it makes me feel wonderful. And I think cartoon drawings are a great way to connect visually with children, so I am thrilled to be able to use my drawing to that end.

Q: What advice would you give to young authors/illustrators?
A: Keep writing and drawing, and don't get discouraged when you don't succeed with your first manuscript. I wrote THE END OF THE RAINBOW fifteen years ago and was grateful that Holiday House wanted to publish it as soon as they read it! Sometimes it's about timing and finding an editor who understands your vision and voice. Don't give up!

About the Author/Illustrator

Liza Donnelly is a writer and award-winning cartoonist with The New Yorker Magazine and is resident cartoonist for CBS News. Her drawings and writing can also be seen in The New York Times, Medium, Forbes, Politico and other major publications.

Donnelly is the creator of a new digital visual reporting/editorial cartooning called live-drawing. She was the first cartoonist to be granted access on-location to live draw the Academy Awards; she has also live drawn the Grammys, Tonys, the 2016 Democratic Convention and more. Her innovative approach to reporting and commenting on events has been covered by CBS News, NBC News, Ad Week, USAToday, Watch Magazine and People Magazine.

Donnelly travels extensively, and has received several international awards for her editorial cartoons. An accomplished public speaker, she has been a cultural envoy for the US State Department, traveling the world to speak about freedom of speech and women’s rights. Donnelly’s TED talk was translated into 38 languages and viewed over one million times. Along with her husband Michael Maslin, she was profiled on CBS Sunday Morning, has she has been a guest on numerous podcasts, television and radio shows, and has been interviewed for many publications. Donnelly is the recipient of an honorary PhD from University of Connecticut and taught at Vassar College and The School of Visual Arts in NYC. She is the author/editor of eighteen books; her latest book, Women On Men, was a finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor. Donnelly is a charter member of the international project, Cartooning for Peace. She lives in New York.

Books by Liza Donnelly

The End of the Rainbow: An I Like to Read® Book Level E, Reinforced
The End of the Rainbow: An I Like to Read® Book Level E, Paperback
A Hippo in Our Yard, Reinforced
A Hippo in Our Yard: I Like to Read® Book Level F, Paperback