Behind the Book: Papasaurus by Stephan Lomp
The Author/Illustrator: Stephan Lomp
Just in time for Fathers Day, Bright Artist (and new father) Stephan Lomp is out with Papasaurus, the sequel to the acclaimed Chronicle picture book Mamasaurus. Drawing on personal parenting experience and inspiration from his young son Elmo, Stephan’s new story with familiar characters will strike a cord with fathers of all ages looking to connect with their children through picture books.
We sat down with Stephan Lomp to see how fatherhood affected his illustration career and how he’s inspired by his son to push the boundaries of his creativity…
Papasaurus came hot off the heels of your debut author/illustrated picture book, Mamasaurus, which published with Chronicle in Spring 2016. What prompted you to return to the Dino family series and how was the creative process different from book to book?
I wanted to show that not only is the child’s relationship with its mother special, but also its relationship with the father. Mamasaurus was mainly about how a mother is generally the caring and nurturing one and Papasaurus is about the guarding and playful parent (although both can take both parts here, of course).
The creative process was a bit different for Papasaurus. I wrote and drew the first book completely before I showed it to anyone. There was some tweaking after that, but not much. The sequel, however, was created in a close collaboration with the editor and agent. It was clear from the beginning that Papasaurus should be similar in structure but with new characters and a new story.
Did fatherhood have any influence on you as you worked on Papasaurus? How does your young son like the new book?
Fatherhood did have influence on the process, because I was drawing Papasaurus when Elmo was a newborn, which was challenging. But the idea for this iteration of the story actually came to mind from time to time when Elmo and I were playing hide and seek (which he loves to play with me)!
Anne did a great job. She was the one who originally suggested a sequel and she worked closely with me to figure out what Babysaurus might be up to these days. She basically made this story happen.
Who or what inspires you most as you move forward in your illustration career?
My son Elmo is an inspiration in the sense that he reminds me of my childhood. He invents funny words and he likes to repeat things playfully. Never the same, always slightly different. Apart from him it’s books from old and new illustrators and authors. I rediscovered illustrators like Janosch, Ali Mitgutsch, Tomi Ungerer and Richard Scarry. I also love the contemporary books of Benji Davies, Oliver Jeffers and Chris Haughton.
What are you working on right now that’s particularly exciting to you?
Right now I work on another Wimmelbuch (a German word for a book with lots and lots of things in it, like Where is Waldo?). I am looking forward to also begin on a sequel to Wilfred and Olbert with Little Tiger Press, for which I have a very cool idea I don’t think has ever been done before in a children’s book, so I’m quite excited about that.
What was your favorite book you read as a child and do you look forward to reading this with your son?
I am already reading my favorite books from the past, like Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak and the books from Ali Mitgutsch and Tomi Ungerer. I’m really looking forward to reading Grandad’s Island and Stormwhale from Benji Davies, Gruffalo illustrated by Axel Scheffler, and the books by Jakob Martin Strid to him.
As an added bonus, color with Baby, Mama, and Papasaurus in this downloadable activity kit from Chronicle Books — available now!
Looking to get in touch with Stephan’s agent, Anne Moore Armstrong? Email her here!