Beth Peck

It was during an illustration class at the School of Visual Arts I was introduced to Truman Capote's The Grass Harp, and fell in love. (Until then, the only book I had read by Capote was In Cold Blood.) Inspired and delighted by The Grass Harp, a warm, funny and sad account of Truman Capote's childhood, I went on to read his other works and discovered among them A Christmas Memory and The Thanksgiving Visitor. It was not until ten years later I was to gather the nerve as a young illustrator to make a proposal to illustrate A Christmas Memory. And so, pregnant and morning-sick I began illustrating this wonderful story, and gave birth to our daughter, Emma, soon afterward. Most recently, I have completed the illustrations for The Thanksgiving Visitor, another wonderful story about Capote and his childhood in rural Alabama in the 1930's with his eccentric and loving elderly cousin, Miss Sook.

Around the same time I was reading Capote I happened to see The Snow Goose in its film adaptation starring Richard Harris. Again, I let the images of the movie lay dormant for about ten years. Having just completed the illustrations for A Christmas Memory, I began to daydream about other stories which had an impact on me. The movie The Snow Goose came to my mind. Calling down to the Donnell's Children's Library in New York, where I was living at the time, I found The Snow Goose had been in print for almost fifty years but had never been illustrated. And so I had the wonderful opportunity to create a first-time illustrated edition of The Snow Goose in its 50th year of publication. I give special mention to these stories because I initiated their existence as illustrated editions, but I have enjoyed all the stories and images I have had the opportunity to work with.

Grandmother and the Runaway Shadow contains an introductory page which describes the immigration of Eastern European Jews to America. The author and I tell our grandmother's immigration stories. I had the pleasure of giving birth to our second daughter, Anna Rose, during the making of this book.