Children’s Illustrator Jonas Sickler

It’s no secret my love for Workman Press’ Indestructibles runs deep. I’ve mentioned them in several posts, one of which garnered the attention of Indestructibles illustrator Jonas Sickler. Obviously, getting Jonas Sickler’s attention with my blog that mostly only my grandma reads was a career high for me.

Jonas Sickler is a super talented illustrator. His illustrations have appeared in numerous children’s publications, including Cricket and Cicada magazines. Jonas’ work has also been in The Land of Nod catalog. Below are a few other facts you may not know about Jonas and some fun intel about the Indestructibles he has illustrated.

And the best news? Jonas Sickler’s books are less than $5 on Amazon!

An Interview with Jonas Sickler

How did you start writing Indestructibles?

I stumbled upon Indestructibles somewhat by chance. I had just written and illustrated a book called “Pup Says Ruff” about baby animals and some sounds they make, and I was shopping it to publishers when I came across Workman. They loved my book dummy, but had just published the mama and baby series of Indestructibles, so they didn’t want to do another round of books that was so similar. Instead, they offered me a 3-book deal for the nursery rhyme series. They gave me a very tight deadline of 2 months from sketch to finish, and when I was done, they gave me another set of 3 to do. So, while I’d like to think that I got these books based solely on my talent, luck played a major role.

Jonas gets a gold star for his multicultural twist on nursery rhymes. Old MacDonald the Peruvian farmer? Yes, please!

 

Which of your Indestructibles are you most proud of? Why?
I’m most proud of Mary Had a Little Lamb because it was the first book I had ever illustrated professionally. But more importantly, I reached way outside the box and broke all the traditional conventions associated with this rhyme. Nobody had ever thought of making Mary a black girl in an African village. The editors loved it and it set the tone for the remaining 5.
An original sketch from Mary Had a Little Lamb.
I have mad love for your multicultural illustrations. Mary Had a Little Lamb and Old MacDonald Had a Farm are my two absolute favorite Indestructibles.
The Indestructible that was the most fun to illustrate would have to be Frere Jacques. I grew up playing Candy Land and my mom was a big gingerbread house baker, too, so it was a total blast creating a world like this for a classic rhyme.
Mmm. I felt like Frere Jacques after I obliterated a Trader Joe’s Raspberry Kringle for breakfast this morning…

Have you written any other books?

I have written numerous other books and none were ever published. It’s hard to say if it was the story, the art, or the timing that was off. Some books were rhyming, some were cute, and some had the sound and imagery of Ezra Jack Keats. I still believe that I could have had several more published if I had more wind in my sales.

Well, I certainly hope you do get more published. I think it is a lot about timing… I know a great editor at Penguin I could introduce you to!

Old MacDonald original character sketch. Coincidentally, I wear just as many layers when gardening in San Francisco in the summer.

What is your favorite children’s book to read with your little ones?

I love reading an old Little Golden Book to my 7-year-old called Donald Duck, Instant Millionaire. My grandma used to read it to me every night when we’d go visit them in Wisconsin each summer for 2 weeks. She had the best story voice. I think of her every time I read it.

Grandma story time is the best. I still love Curious George because it reminds me of my grandmother. Thanks for sharing your artwork and a little bit about yourself.