Mothers of Creation

Read authors& and artists& reflections on how their moms inspired their success.
Feb 06, 2013

Ever wonder how your favorite authors and illustrators got to where they are today? Not surprisingly, having a supportive mother can set the stage for literary and artistic success. Happy Mother's Day to moms who instill a passion for art and words.

  • Avi, author of Nothing But the Truth and Newbery Medal winner Crispin: The Cross of Lead
    "Every night I was read to. Every Friday we were taken to the library. I always received at least one book for my birthday. I have a few of them yet. Early on, I had my own collection of books. I loved to read. Still do."
  • Natalie Babbitt, author of Tuck Everlasting
    "During my childhood, I spent most of my time drawing and reading fairy tales and myths. My mother, an amateur landscape and portrait painter, gave me art lessons. She always made sure I had enough paper, paint, pencils, and encouragement."
  • Joseph Bruchac, author of A Boy Called Slow
    "I was raised by my grandparents, who had a little general store. My grandmother, Marion Dunham Bowman, was a graduate of Albany Law School. Although she never did practice law, she kept the house filled with books. It's because of her that I was always reading."
  • Andrew Clements, author of Frindle
    "I think the reason I'm a writer is because first, I was a reader. I loved to read. I read a lot of adventure stories and mystery books, and I have wonderful memories of my mom reading picture books aloud to me. I learned that words are powerful."
  • Kathryn Lasky, author of Newbery Honor Book Sugaring Time
    "My mom turned around and said, ‘Kathryn, you should be a writer.' When my mom said that, I thought, ‘Wow, maybe I will be.’”
  • Jon J Muth, author of Zen Shorts and award-winning illustrator
    "Growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, I drew and drew and drew and drew, and painted. Drawing was my way of making things exist that didn't exist. And writing became a way to have my drawings interact. My mother was an art teacher, and she took me to visit museums all over the United States."
  • Joan Lowery Nixon, author of The Shadowmaker
    "My mother told me that at the age of 2, I would come to her and say, 'Write this down. I have a poem.'"
  • Roland Smith, author of Jaguar and Thunder Cave
    "When I was 5, my parents got me an old manual typewriter for Christmas, and it was my favorite possession. I spent hours in my room clacking away. Even before I knew how to read, I always loved books. I used to go down to my parents' library, pull books off the shelf and sniff them. I just loved the smell of books for some reason, and this hasn't diminished."
  • Miriam Stone, author of At the End of Words: A Daughter's Memoir
    "Through writing, I was able to come to terms with many of the conflicts in my life as well as to begin to heal. It also gave me the opportunity to create a memorial to my mother through words and ideas. Literature was extremely important to her, and I think that there is no tribute to her more fitting than a work of literature written in her honor."
Raising Kids