Brad Montague: A Lion & Dragonfly Interview
We were thrilled to feature the charming The Fantastic Bureau of Imagination among our May subscription offerings, and delighted that the author Brad Montague took a few minutes to answer our questions!
Fun Fact: Brad's wife Kristi illustrated this fabulous book!
Enjoy the interview!
What is your hometown?
We live in Henderson, Tennessee. It’s a small community with a big heart. We have a little creative studio there and get to make things with people we love.
What inspired you to become an author of children's books?
There’s nothing like experiencing a great picture book! I love how deceptively simple they can be. Some of the world’s greatest art and biggest ideas have always been shared in “children’s books”. My favorite things to write are things that are true for a 4 year old, but also applicable to a 94 year old. Few other things allow that kind of conversation!
What was the inspiration for FBI : The Fantastic Bureau of Imagination?
This book has been rattling around in my head for many years now! It grew out of a love of creating things, but being a little shy to share them. I’ve always been kind of timid when it comes to sharing things I make. Yet, ideas keep showing up for me. So, it’s almost as if there is this little organization of determined agents who keep pushing me to dream, but also do.
What is your favorite page of this book and why?
I love the spread where you get to see several different offices within the Bureau. It was so fun to create, but it took many many weeks. Fun fact! If you look closely some of the stones in the center of the building were drawn with me by our kids.
What children’s book (other than your own) are you recommending to friends at the moment?
I always *loved* books and comics when I was younger. Pretty much anything that combined pictures and words would light me up. One of my early favorites was Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff. It’s the first book I read all by myself! Fortunately by Remy Charlip is a forever favorite that makes me laugh and smile. I also love anything by William Steig, Leo Lionni, and Gym Fujikawa.
There’s *so* many wonderful new books to discover! Here are some recent ones I’ve fallen in love with:
- Courage Hats by Kate Hoefler
- Evergreen by Matthew Cordell
- Carol and the Pickle-Toad by Esme Shapiro
- All Good in the Hood by Dwayne Reed
- And… this is a graphic novel, but I *love* how it depicts kindness changing everything — even in the most challenging of environments: YOUR PAL FRED by Michael Rex
When you’re not writing, what is your favorite way to spend your time?
We love spending time together as a family dreaming up things for our community. At the moment we’re cleaning up our ‘Wonder Truck’ that allows us to do story times and other fun gatherings at our local park.
What superpower would you like to have?
FLIGHT! FLIGHT! FLIGHT! I’m so jealous of birds.
What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
I’m of the opinion that ice cream flavors are like emotions: all are valid under certain circumstances. However, if I were being forced to choose it would have chocolate chip cookie-dough in it.
What are you currently working on?
We have two new picture books to work on! Currently working through scraps of drawings and stories to create something we’re very excited about.