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Book Club for Kids is a podcast where middle school readers discuss the books they love with host Kitty Felde. The author answers questions. A celebrity reads from the book.


Who Designed the Logo?

We love our Book Club for Kids logo. And we love the talented artist who designed it: Emma Steinkellner

We thought we'd ask Emma a few questions about herself and her work.

What is it about cartoons? Why did you fall in love with them?
There's just something super special about being able to see a face or figure essentialized to its most vibrant, characteristic parts, which is what happens in a really good cartoon. I think that same cartooning process can be used to offend or hurt feelings (see any piece of anti-anyone propaganda ever) and that can make for insidious, evil cartoons, but I believe in the good power of cartoons. I think a good cartoon can spark warm feelings in someone and be very satisfying at a core level.

When did you start drawing your own cartoons?
I've always drawn but I didn't get serious about it until high school. And thankfully, the people in my life were supportive while I progressed through several circles of art hell to a point where I started illustrating things I was proud of. But I am still improving and working on it!


How would you describe your style?
I go for a warm, frothy, darling, semi-vintage style that's very informed by the illustration work I'm most attracted to. I'm very generous with color in my work. Also, I love to represent lots of different faces, races, ethnicities, bodies, and postures-that's a key point in my illustration ethos.

Emma was raised in a house full of writers and improv artists.

What's the relationship between visual art and improv?
There's a looseness, gestural quality, and open-minded attitude with which I try to approach both art and improv. I had a figure drawing teacher, John Mahoney, who encouraged me to draw with a pen instead of a pencil, trust my gut, and embrace whatever "mistakes" happen. Since then, ballpoint pens have been my chief drawing utensil and I have zero regrets! That's very yes-and. I see improv and illustration as sister arts-the principles are very transferable.


Tell us about your major at Stanford. Why did you choose it? 
I'm a Feminist Gender and Sexuality Studies major at Stanford. Gender Studies is an academic passion for me; the history, mechanics, and politics of how we think about gender and sex are and have always been fascinating to me and it just ended up sounding like a tasty major. It's a great department with a lot of crossover into other departments, so I get to learn lots in other fields.

What's your dream job? 
I want to write and illustrate fun, interesting books for children. If those books turn into TV shows and movies and those TV and movie characters turn into Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons, I won't be mad. 

What was your favorite book in middle school? Today?
I remember really liking "Gone With the Wind" and "Les Miserables," but maybe I mostly liked carrying around my big, impressive copies of "Gone With the Wind" and "Les Miserables". My favorites now are "Ragtime" and "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay".

You can find Emma at her website.