At the heart of the author-illustrator relationship
Since the success of architect Iggy Peck in 2007, Andrea Beaty and David Roberts have collaborated on five picture books in the ever popular Questioneers series, each celebrating the passion and perseverance of the professionally-oriented children of Blue River Creek.
Initially celebrating STEM topics such as architecture, science and engineering, the books tackled politics in Sofia Valdez, Future Prez, at the right time in 2019, and dyslexia in Aaron Slater, illustrator of this. year, and spawned a series of chapter books, toys, a stage performance and now a Netflix series produced by Obama.
Beaty’s rhyming verse is a pleasure to read aloud, but it really comes to life when paired with Roberts’ vibrant illustrations, littered with detail and Easter eggs that tie the stories together. Plus it helps, with a background in fashion Roberts has a fantastic eye for design, complementing Beaty’s words with modernist furniture, brutalist architecture, and the best dressed parents in children’s literature.
Below, I chatted with the couple about the genesis of the series, the nature of the author-illustrator relationship, and the importance of Sade.