Meet the author of the middle grade graphic novel Snapdragon by Kat Leyh. Kat shares more about her inspiration for this book, her most memorable teachers and librarians, her favorite childhood books, and more!
When describing Snapdragon, what’s your elevator pitch?
Kat Leyh: A serious young girl and an old, so-called “witch” form an unique friendship/business partnership and share an unlikely connection neither expect.
What inspired you to write/illustrate Snapdragon?
Kat: It always saddens me to see roadkill. I imagined the character of Jacks as backwoods caretaker of the souls of roadkill. Snap soon followed and the rest of the story came to me pretty quick.
Tell us about a librarian or educator who made an impact on you.
Kat: There were a few! My geography teacher Mr. Higgins was the teacher advisor to the art club at my middle school. He was a talented artist, and encouraged my own art a lot. I owe a lot to the teachers who encouraged my drawing growing up.
Is there a book that you wish you wrote?
Kat: That’s not something I’ve considered before! I don’t think I could have done any of my favorite books better than their original authors — that’s something I like about them! They’re different from what I would do.
What is the first step in your creative process?
Kat: Daydreaming. Being bored and then starting to imagine an action scene I’d like to draw, or an interesting character…the stories sprout from there.
What was your favorite book when you were 10 years old?
Kat: I was (and am) a voracious reader. I never had just one favorite book for long. Around that age I remember being really into His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman though.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kat Leyh is a Chicago based writer and artist. She’s best known as the current co-writer and cover artist for the series Lumberjanes, and for her queer superhero webcomic Supercakes. She’s also worked as a cover artist, and back-up writer/artist for several BOOM! Studios series.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Snapdragon by Kat Leyh
Kat Leyh’s Snapdragon is a magical realist graphic novel about a young girl who befriends her town’s witch and discovers the strange magic within herself.
Snap’s town had a witch.
At least, that’s how the rumor goes. But in reality, Jacks is just a crocks-wearing, internet-savvy old lady who sells roadkill skeletons online—after doing a little ritual to put their spirits to rest. It’s creepy, sure, but Snap thinks it’s kind of cool, too.
They make a deal: Jacks will teach Snap how to take care of the baby opossums that Snap rescued, and Snap will help Jacks with her work. But as Snap starts to get to know Jacks, she realizes that Jacks may in fact have real magic—and a connection with Snap’s family’s past.
Praise for Snapdragon:
★”Sweet and fierce, this is a must-have.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★”This endearingly offbeat story emphasizes found community, the importance of love and friendship, and a fierce commitment to individuality—all powerful themes for middle-grade readers.” —Booklist, starred review
★”Full of magic and humor, this intersectional, layered tale offers joyful and affirming depictions of social outsiders and comfortably complicated families.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review