"Keep working on a plan. Make no little plans. Make the biggest you can think of, and spend the rest of your life carrying it out." Harry S. Truman

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Hello everyone,

Today, I have tried to compile the remaining questions we received from the children. I have included these Q&A sessions with each school visit report whenever possible (in other words, when I received the questions and the answers on time for me to be able to publish them along with the rest of the material).  The questions that come back the most have to do with climate, what is the weather like in your part of the world, do you have snow, what kinds of food do you eat, do you have pets, etc. Below are some questions that I could not include before, and the answers : 


- Have you ever tasted milk-shake? 

Yes, we have milk shakes, here in India, we even have McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Domino Pizza, etc.

- What does your flag look like?


- Do you have tornadoes? 

The children here have never experienced a tornado, but tornadoes happen pretty much the world over.

- Do you have sheep and buffaloes? Look at some of the many animals we find in India, everywhere, including in the middle of traffic. We also have monkeys, camels, goats, dogs, etc...

- How many languages do you speak? 

That one is difficult to answer because there is not a one answer. Most educated children like the children at Vidyaranya speak at least English and Hindi, but most of them also speak Telugu, and sometimes one or two other local languages. 


Q. Were the illustrations made manually or with a machine?

A. These illustrations were made by hand. I used acrylic paints on Bristol board. I like to use acrylic paints because it is so much fun to mix the colors and they dry so quickly.

Q. What made you decide to become an illustrator?

A. I loved to draw since I was old enough to point my finger and smush a design in some spices I spilled in my mother's kitchen when I wasn't even a year old yet. I think I was very young, maybe five or six,  when I knew I wanted to create books.

Q. How long did it take you to illustrate Amadi's Snowman?

A. Generally speaking, I'm usually  given nine months to illustrate a thirty two pages book. Amadi's Snowman didn't take quite that long to do.

Q. The children in Enugu were particularly intrigued by the color of the mango that Amadi is eating, and they ask : "Why did you make the mango that Amadi is eating red?"

A. I made the mango red because the mango the boy that was posing for the picture actually had a red mango in his hand.

Q. How did you get to know the author to make this book together?

A. The publishing company actually emailed me and asked me if I would like to illustrate this story. After I read it, I told the publisher that I would be happy to be a part of this project.

Q. How did you know what Amadi's town looks like?

A. I didn't exactly know how the town would look but I knew people who had grown up near there and they told me that my drawings looked believable.

Thank you to all the children for their questions, and thank you, Dimitrea, for answering them.


Each week, we ask three trivia questions about one of the countries participating in our blog tour. For the first two weeks, we focused on Amadi's country, Nigeria.  Last week, we had one question to help us make the transition between Nigeria, in Africa, and India, and the two remaining questions focused on India, where I've now lived more than four years.

1. Mention two differences between the African elephant and the Indian Elephant? The African elephant is much bigger, and so are its ears.

2. What very famous board game has its origin in India? Chess. Snakes and Ladders also originated in India. So both responses were correct.

3. Where is located the Taj Mahal, one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage? Agra, in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

Bravo and thank you to those who sent us their answers.

And now, this week's trivia will focus on Haiti :

1. Haiti is located on the island of Hispaniola. What other country occupies the other part of the island?

2. On which day did Haiti declare its independence, thus becoming the first black republic in modern history?

3. What is the capital of Haiti?

Send us your answers at katianovet@gmail.com. At the end of the month, we'll draw a winner among the participants who gave the right responses, each week, and they'll win a prize. 


"Today a reader, tomorrow a leader." W. Fusselman


Tomorrow, we visit the blog of Nancy Sanders, author of "D is for Drinking Gourd," illustrated by the fabulously talented E. B. Lewis. And I'll publish the children's questions to the author. See you then...

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