What’s the first book you ever made? What was the first book you ever published?

I have been making handmade books since I was a kid. In Boy Scouts I made a book on dinosaurs, which my mom helped me with. And I made a pocket field guide to insects I had collected. I also made a comic book about my pet hamster Max.

When I was 12, I created a book called “Gondwanaland” about a mysterious island full of weird and mysterious creatures. (I reminisced about it in Jon Scieszka’s Guys Write for Guys Read in 2005).

My artwork was first published in Dragon Mountain, a role-playing adventure for Dungeons & Dragons, which was released in 1993.

The first book that I wrote and illustrated was Jimmy Zangwow’s Out-of-this-World Moon Pie Adventure, which was published in 2000 from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

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Never Abandon Imagination Tony DiTerlizzi: Never abandon imagination.

Imagination is a world of possibility that exists within each of us. It is what makes us uniquely human. It is our creative fingerprint that touches and influences the world around us. Imagination is essential to art and science; to innovation and prosperity. It gives us hope, calls us to action and leads to change.

Whether it’s fairies, dragons, robots or aliens, all of my children’s book characters are siblings born of my imagination – an imagination strengthened through years of encouragement from family, teachers and friends. While so many others abandoned it during their transition from childhood to adulthood, I fiercely held onto mine, hoping for a day when I could share it to inspire the next generation of dreamers. Innovators. World changers.

Imagination empowers us to envision and create a reality of what could be. We must hold it dear, foster it and never abandon it.