Barney Saltzberg is the author and illustrator of close to 50 books for children, including Beautiful Oops!, Arlo Needs Glasses, Andrew Drew and Drew, and the bestselling Touch and Feel Kisses series with over a million copies in print. He has received multiple awards for his work, including a 2015 Charlotte Zolotow Honor for Chengdu, the Parents Choice Gold Award, an iParenting Media Award, a Virginia Young Readers Medal, and an Oppenheim Award.
Also a singer-songwriter, Barney has recorded four albums of music for children, including; "Crazy Hair Day," "The Soccer Mom from Outer Space!" (based on his books of the same title) and “Where, Oh, Where’s My Underwear?” He has also written and produced songs for the PBS show "Arthur."
Barney travels around the country speaking about writing and illustrating and playing music and says, “My goal is to encourage everyone to find his or her own stories, songs, poetry and art!” He has been working with the United States State Department as a part of the Cultural Exchange Program and has traveled to China and Russia to speak about the creative process. Barney was born in Los Angeles where he still lives with his wife and two dogs.
Read more about Barney Saltzberg, and listen to samples of his music, on his website.
We caught up with Barney for a few minutes and here are the things we learned about him during our Q&A.
Q: What three things would we always find in your creative space/studio?
A: A TON of art supplies! A computer. Guitars.
Q: When did you know that you wanted to be an author, an illustrator, or a musician?
A: I was eight when I knew I wanted to be a musician. I’ve been playing guitar ever since. I've been a songwriter since then as well. I wanted to be an artist in high school and I didn't know I wanted to be an author until after college.
Q: What authors or illustrators have most inspired you?
A: Maurice Sendak, Peggy Rathmann, Quentin Blake, William Steig.
Q: Our festival theme this year is Twists & Turns. Which would you rather play, Twister or dominoes?
A: I would like to play Domino Twister (which is also a great name for a super hero).