El Jardin Magico
by Carme Lemniscates
Lee: Please tell us about your Crystal-Kite winning book!
Carme: El jardín mágico is a little story for the very young where poetry and information converge with the aim of awakening children’s interest and love for nature. Chloe lives in a magic garden, but she does not know that. Most of the time she goes over her garden absent-minded. But one day, she stops and listens. She seems to hear a voice whispering in her ear: “Marvelous things happen in this garden…!” —Is the voice of the wind, inviting her to discover all those extraordinary things that continuously happen around without her notice. Things as mysterious as the transformation of caterpillars into butterflies, and as marvelous as the passing of seasons in an endless cycle of life: “From the flowers, fruits grow, and from the fruits, new seeds. And if a seed falls on the ground, with the passage of time, it will grow into a new tree; and all begins again… just magic!”
This way, like in a dream, Chloe awakens to the mysteries of the natural world and when the wind voice disappears, she decides to know as much as possible about all these amazing things. The picture book ends, with a didactic informative non-fiction section where children find easy but scientific explanations of the previous events.
As you may guess I love nature and I am constantly inspired by it. I believe we need nature to support our lives in the same way we need it to feed our spirit with its beauty and mysteries. This book says: Stop and listen, pay attention! Nature is much more interesting and magic than what it seems at first sight!
I had a great time working on this book and I am very happy with this award. It has been a great honor to receive it from SCBWI, because I admire the task that SCBWI does for authors and children’s literature, and specially so because it is an award decided upon by its members, the only peer-chosen award in our field. Thanks so much to all members and congratulations to the other award winning authors.
Lee: How long have you been involved with SCBWI, and can you share what you feel you’ve gained by being a member?
Carme: Living and working in Barcelona, I only discovered SCBWI when I was first published in the US. This happened four years ago and since then I am a fan, and a member!
As I said before, I admire the work SCBWI does for authors. From the first moment I had the support of my regional chapter coordinator in Spain. SCBWI not only provides really useful information to its members, it really also promotes their work. Thanks to the SCBWI Illustrator’ Dossier, my actual agency Full Circle Literary had notice of my work.
I experienced again this same collaborative spirit when I attended the last Winter Conference in New York, and met so many people helping and contributing to its success. To attend a SCBWI Conference is a great opportunity to know first hand the reality of our profession, to know about the industry and its professionals, to meet other authors, to exchange information and open our minds to other ways of working and creating. You can also promote your artwork participating in the Illustrator’s Portfolio Showcase.
Finally, I would like to remark that SCBWI is an international professional organization, bringing opportunities and connecting authors from all parts of the globe. I am happy to have been for the first time an author from the Spanish division selected among the 15 winners.
Lee: Do you have any advice to share with other children’s book writers and illustrators?
Carme: Well, I would say: work, work and work with joy, as well as to look at everything with curiosity, and be flexible and open to others’ opinion; and I would add do not intent to please anybody but you.
Thanks, Carme, and again, Congratulations on El jardín mágico winning the Crystal Kite Award!
You can find out more about Carme here.
Illustrate and Write On,