Author Ky Garvey and illustrator Amy Calautti have certainly set the wheels in motion with their fun and lively picture book, Easy Peasy, which has been rolling its way into hands, hearts and roller rinks since its release. Today, we are gifted this exciting pleasure to chat with the talented creators of this joyous celebration of dads and daughters and learning a new skill. Thanks, ladies! 🙂
Congratulations, Ky and Amy, on the release of your gorgeously vibrant, rockin’ and rollin’ new picture book, Easy Peasy!
Ky, can you please share a bit about where the idea for this story came from.
K.G.: Easy Peasy is partly inspired by my son who loved his little mini skateboard so much he used to take it to bed at night like a teddy bear. I also took inspiration from the fun I had when my Dad used to take me roller skating on Saturday mornings.
I love that your main character, Ruby, is so persistent in her efforts to learn to skate independently. How did you develop her character? Is she based on anyone you know?
K.G.: Based a little bit on me. I always wanted to be grown up before I was actually grown up! I wanted to babysit like the girls in The Babysitters’ Club and solve mysteries like Trixie Belden.
I also love that Dad is so patient in giving Ruby space and a supportive outlet to practise her skating skills. Do either of you have any personal stories (helpful or disastrous!) about teaching your own children something new?
K.G.: My parenting story has been a little bit different from what I expected. Both my boys have ASD and I needed to learn that they sometimes think differently from me. I had to learn patience and understand that sometimes I needed to let go of the reigns and understand that sometimes I needed to let other people teach them and nurture them. That can be very frustrating to figure out that you aren’t always the best person to teach your kids something.
Amy, what was the process like to develop your bright and vivacious look and feel of this story? What media do you use?
A.C.: Hi, hello! Firstly, I hand draw all the outline of the illustrations and then I scan in my hand drawings to my laptop so I can colour digitally, then I decide on a colour palette. For Easy Peasy, I wanted a bright colour palette, so I looked at pantone colours. BUT… I don’t use pantone colours because my publisher prints in CMYK, so I find the hex codes for the pantone colour I like and find the closest CMYK colour and that is how I get my colours so vivid. I also collage in patterns and textures that I make using real items or special effects into some of my illustrations. For example, all the wibbly wobbly glitter rainbows are a set of stripes that get warped, then I add a glitter texture as the base of the rainbow; once that is done, I make the rainbow a semi-transparent layer, then add and a gradient to finish off.
Ky, how do you feel about the way Amy has brought your story to life? What is your favourite aspect about her work?
K.G.: Amy has brought Easy Peasy to life in a way I never dreamt of. It couldn’t be more perfect. She has added texture and context with her illustrations in such a clever way. Of course, the little duck is my favourite addition!
What are your favourite spreads from Easy Peasy?
K.G.: My favourite is of Ruby, Dad and the Duck all skating together.
Fun questions –
Roller skates or roller blades?
A.C.: I’m an 80’s kid, so rollerblades were cool back then.
Wheels, air or feet?
A.C.: Feet, these days I like to do yoga or an exercise/dance class but I’m really uncoordinated as I have dyspraxia and even though I’m not naturally good at dancing, it helps me improve even though it takes me a while to learn. It’s a bit of a laugh too.
Discos or libraries?
K.G.: Can I have a disco library?
Cupcakes or doughnuts?
K.G.: Cupcakes for the win!
Anything else you’d like to share about yourselves or your journey with Easy Peasy?
A big thank you to all the wonderful supporters of Easy Peasy! I am so grateful to everyone who has been reviewing, sharing or requesting copies to be in your local libraries or bookshops. Every little bit helps.
Thank you for rolling on by, Ky and Amy! 😊
Easy Peasy is available for purchase at: EK Books
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