What do the Arthur and Goosebumps books have in common? Not a whole lot – besides the fact that they are beloved series for children and teens. When I heard about Marc Brown and R.L. Stine collaborating on a book, I was immediately interested to find out more.
It turns out that the authors have been friends since 2003, when they represented America at the first Russian Children’s Book Festival, but it wasn’t until 2012 when Brown brought up the idea of working together. Out of this collaboration came the book The Little Shop of Monsters, a story about a pet store where one can buy monsters. Stine recalls, “I was shocked when Marc suggested we work together…Then when he began painting monster after hilarious monster for our book, I realized they had been waiting inside him all this time. We definitely belong together in a picture book.”
I really enjoyed learning about how their process worked. This article from Publishers Weekly details how the two authors met with an editor to brainstorm ideas. Then, Stine had to work on a manuscript for children – something he found very different from his usual reading audience. Finally, when the words were completed, Brown got to work on illustrations. It was important to the authors that this wasn’t a “sweet” monster book.
As a fan of the Arthur books and television show (my sister and I watched the TV show long after we were the intended audience, and yes, I know all the words to the theme song!), I am looking forward to reading this book to my daughter. I wonder if our local library has a copy…
Who are some authors you’d like to see collaborate?