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Arree Chung Loves…

Author Aree Chung

Arree Chung loves…picture books that touch the imagination and heart

I'll never forget the day that my kindergartener teacher read Where the Wild Things Are. I wanted to swing on the trees and frolic with the monsters too! Maurice Sendak unleashed the wild within me and sparked my imagination. I’ve been drawing monsters ever since. I love it when a picture book stirs the creativity inside me.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Reading Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends was a revelation. I couldn’t get enough of the stories in verse. And then I saw Shel’s stories as animated shorts on television. Shel inspired me to become an artist and I still love drawing with fountain pen and a wandering line.

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

But picture book stories can also touch your heart. I remember reading The Giving Tree; it left me feeling profoundly sad. Yet somehow, I knew there was a simple truth there. Shel also reminded me that hugs are better than wars. These simple stories helped me understand the world just a little bit better.


Today, I love how picture books still capture my imagination and give me a deeper understanding of life. I’ll never look at a cat in just one way after reading Brendan Wenzel’s They All Saw a Cat. I’ll always feel sadness and hopefulness whenever I see a City Dog running to a pond in the country to meet a friend. Mr. Tiger Goes Wild reminds me that it’s okay to be yourself and by doing so, you may inspire a few changes. And Pigeon will always remind me that humor is often found in not getting what you want.

They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown

I love picture books because you never really outgrow a great story.

Before creating his award-winning Ninja! picture book series, Arree Chung worked in the games industry as a Designer and Art Director, and found his passion for art and illustration at Pixar. Pick up his hilarious new picture book, Out!, at your local Books Inc. today!

Ninja! by Arree Chung Out! By Arree Chung

Kenard Pak loves...Richard Scarry!!

Kenard Pak Author Photo The Fog, Illustrated by Kenard Pak

Richard Scarry's Best Story Book Ever

My earliest memory of a book is my father’s technical manual. He was a steelworker for Bethlehem Steel at Sparrows Point, Maryland and had various books on welding equipment. I remember his grainy hands and the distinct smell of oil that he’d bring home with him from the plant. My second book of earliest memory is Richard Scarry’s Best Story Book Ever. This odds and ends collection from the great illustrator’s body of work was a regular on my desk. I’d go to it as a sort of how-to-guide on drawing. By this I mean tracing the cars, airplanes, and animals (you can find scrawl marks by 8 year old me in my copy).

I Am A Bunny Illustrated by Richard Scarry With the wonderful mechanics of Pip Pip Goes to London or the lovely natural homages of I am a Bunny, how can this book not inspire! There are even single page comics – my favorite is Harry the Mouse plummeting his plane into Mrs. Pig’s laundry. The pictures are classic and the writing is straightforward, but, like all great children’s books, underneath the charm is something basic and, perhaps, serious. Richard Scarry’s Best Story Book Ever is between its covers an array of observation and movement that come together as work. And it’s this cheering on to work and finish things that I adore about this book. I’m reminded that as I draw, paint, or fix the sink that I can sweat and, if lucky enough, enjoy the craft before me.


Kenard Pak is an animator and illustrator. He has worked as a visual development artist for Dreamworks, Walt Disney Feature Animation, PDI Dreamworks and Laika. Pick up Kenard’s clever and whimsical new picture book, The Fog, at your local Books Inc. today!