When I was a kid, I used to draw all the time. In sixth grade, I had a wonderful teacher who would let me stand in the back of the room and paint all the time. Once I didn't even have to take a spelling test.
I went to a special high school for art, LaGuardia High School — you had to take a test to go there. I went to Cooper Union and got a bachelor's degree in art, and then I went to the Pratt Institute and got a Master of Fine Arts.
I've worked in a lot of art fields. I worked in advertising; I painted scenery for the opera; I was a painter and printmaker; I even taught art in high school and college. But I got to a point where I decided there was something missing — and what was missing was humor! When I was a kid, all the work that I did was funny. And I realized that the kind of art I always loved to draw was the kind you find in children's books. So I did something I had never gone to school for — I became an illustrator.
The nice thing about books is that they go out into the world. When a kid, parent, or teacher tells you how much he or she likes your book, you realize that you've given something that has become part of somone else's life.