HomeBooks by AgeAges 4-8Illustration Inspiration: Christopher Silas Neal, Author-Illustrator of I Won’t Eat That

Illustration Inspiration: Christopher Silas Neal, Author-Illustrator of I Won’t Eat That

The Children’s Book Review | December 15, 2017

Christopher Silas Neal is the illustrator of Over and Under the Snow and Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt, both written by Kate Messner, and is a regular contributor to the New York Times. He is also the author-illustrator of Everyone. Christopher Silas Neal lives in Brooklyn, New York.

I make art because …

It’s always been a natural fit. As a kid, my friends played sports and I was usually the last picked on the team. And while they were playing baseball or watching football, I was making drawings, playing musical instruments, and writing story treatments for imagined movies. I’ve always been into the creative process.

My latest published book is …

I Won’t Eat That. It’s about a hungry cat who doesn’t like cat food and asks an assortment of wild animal friends—a turtle, a fox, a chimpanzee—what they eat and is totally grossed out by their answers. It’s a surprise what the Cat finally decides to eat.

Art medium used …

Pencil, gouache, acrylic, photoshop.

Artistic process …

I paint everything in black and white separations which I scan in and add color on the computer. I start with a solid shape for the silhouette, then add another separation for more texture, then another for details. I end up with a lot of colors and a ton of layers, even for the simplest picture.

I am inspired by …

Listening to creative folks talk about their process.

My favorite place to create & illustrate is …

My studio. It’s in an old Pencil Factory and I’m surrounded by other creative friends in the building.

My most used art supply or tool is …

My pencil. Whether it’s making sketches, writing a story or working on a final piece of art, I use my pencil every single day.

Illustrator idols …

Leo Lionni. His book Frederick is one of my favorites from my childhood. It’s simple, poetic and beautiful. He creates so many feelings with just a few pictures and words.

Currently working on …

A number of picture books. I’m illustrating a picture book by Jennifer Adams that re-imagines the poem How Do I Love Thee, a story by Shelley Moore Thomas called From Tree to Sea, a story called Hurry Up by Kate Dopirak and a biography of Frank Lloyd Wright by Barb Rosenstock. I have two Board Books coming out in March 2018 called Animal Shapes and Animal Colors, and I just pitched a new book idea to one of my editors so fingers crossed.

Connect with Christopher Silas Neal …

csneal.com | Instagram | Twitter | csneal.tumblr.com

I Won’t Eat That

Written and Illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal

Publisher’s Synopsis: Cat has no idea what he wants — until it’s right in front of him.

Cat is very hungry. But cat food is dry and dull and not at all yummy. So what in the world should Cat eat instead? Turtle eats worms, but worms are too wiggly. Fox eats rabbits, but rabbits are too bouncy. What everyone else loves to eat is thoroughly unappetizing to Cat. Until, by chance, the thing Cat really wants to eat appears right in front of him. What could it be? Christopher Silas Neal’s retro-style illustrations and easy-to-follow story are the perfect match for even the pickiest eaters — and the patient souls that feed them.


Ages 4-6 | Publisher: Candlewick | 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0763679095

Available Here: 

I WON’T EAT THAT. Copyright © 2017 by Christopher Silas Neal. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

Discover more picture book illustration inspiration and books like I Won’t Eat That, written and Illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal, on The Children’s Book Review by following along with our Illustration Inspiration series and articles tagged with , and .

How You Support The Children's Book Review
We may receive a small commission from purchases made via the links on this page. If you discover a book or product of interest on this page and use the links provided to make a purchase, you will help support our mission to 'Grow Readers.' Your support means we can keep delivering quality content that's available to all. Thank you!

Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

No Comments

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.