hotTEAs of Children’s Literature: April Chu

April Chu began her career as an architect with a degree from the University of California, Berkeley, but decided to return to her true passion of illustrating and storytelling. She has since collaborated with authors to create picture books which have received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly along with rave reviews in The New York Times. April currently lives and works in Oakland, California.


☕ CUPPA OF CHOICE: I can’t start my day without a cup of fresh brewed coffee mixed with a big splash of half and half. With a 7 month old, a full night’s rest is rare and I need my jolt of caffeine in the morning to get myself going. I buy my coffee beans from Peerless Coffee Company. Their roasting facility is located just down the street from my house, which is both convenient and aromatic.

☕ HOT OFF THE PRESSES: In a Village by the Sea written by Muon Van (Creston Books, May 2015), Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine written by Laurie Wallmark (Creston Books, October 2015). Forthcoming books: Kate Warne, America’s First Woman Detective, written by Marissa Moss (Creston Books, Spring 2017), Down by the River written by Andy Weiner (Abrams, Spring 2018).

☕ FAVE FOODIE CHILDREN’S BOOKS: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, which is my daughter’s favorite as well, and Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola because who wouldn’t want a magic pasta pot? As a kid, I remember being slightly jealous of Big Anthony because he got to eat all those noodles!

☕ Visit April Chu’s Official Website.

☕☕ JUST ONE MORE SIP: Check out these gorgeous illustrations from In a Village by the Sea (click to enlarge).

☕☕☕ CAN’T GET ENOUGH: Check out this recent interview, “On Illustration, Art, and Picture Book Success,” at Darlene Beck-Jacobson’s blog. BTW, In a Village By the Sea just won the Northern California Book Award!! Congrats to April and Muon Van!

Copyright © 2016 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

5 thoughts on “hotTEAs of Children’s Literature: April Chu

  1. April’s a Hot-TEA indeed! Loved both of these books (and I especially enjoyed the dog character in Village). There’s a great close-up of its nose :).

    Thanks, Jama & congrats, April!!


  2. Ohhhh, so lovely, the illustrations of Ada Lovelace. The detailing of her hair is almost like a woodcut, which is just fabulous. And of course IN A VILLAGE BY THE SEA owes at least half of its charm to the wonderful illustrations that spooled the story out, bit by bit, as thoroughly as the words… this versatile artist is enough of a hotTEA that we’ll forgive her the coffee. 😉 Living down the road from that wonderful smell every morning… well, what are ya gonna do?

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    1. I’m not a coffee drinker but I must admit the smell of freshly brewed coffee is wonderful. If I lived down the street from that roasting facility and smelled it all the time, I probably couldn’t resist either. 🙂

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  3. Just love your colors of water and wave in VILLAGE. Actually I love everything you create April. Visually stunning page after page.

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