Updated: Jun 10
Amalia Hoffman is a U.S.-based author, illustrator and storyteller who has written and illustrated a number of award-winning picture books.
Amalia grew up in Jerusalem, Israel and later moved to the United States where she graduated from Pratt Institute and NYU. After finishing school, she started creating window displays for prominent store windows, including Tiffany & Co. and later started her journey to writing and illustrating children's books.
Among her books are My Hands Make the World (PJ Library Publishing, 2022), Masha Munching (Yeehoo Press, 2022), and The Brave Cyclist (Capstone Publishing, 2019). The latter was illustrated by Chiara Fedele.
A fun-loving storyteller, Amalia loves to present her stories with puppets and props.
In this Q&A, we learn more about Amalia and the inspiration for her children's books.
1. What inspired you to start writing and illustrating children's books?
My inspiration to create picture books sprouted from my many years of working with young children. I noticed that kids love to experiment with art. They explore many media and like to paint on paper plates, scraps of paper, and even grocery bags. This inspired me to create illustrations with kid-friendly art techniques and supplies.
For many years, I worked as a visual merchandiser and installed very elaborate displays in store windows in New York City. While I worked on the displays inside the windows, I used to watch the children who stood on the sidewalk and gazed at my props. For them, each window display was a fairyland story. This inspired me to write and illustrate books for children.
Moreover, when I was growing up, I shared one bedroom with my two sisters. My father used to read us a bedtime story, but he was so tired that he always fell asleep, and I never knew the end of the story. When I grew up, I started writing my own books so I could always know the end of the story.
2. What are some of the most rewarding aspects of this process?
The most rewarding aspects of the process are seeing a child reading my books at a library or getting photographs of someone’s child with one of my books. Over the years, I collected many photographs of little fans.
3. What kind of feedback have you received from children and their families?
I received very enthusiastic feedback from both children and parents. When I present stories in schools, libraries, bookstores and community centers, parents will often buy my books at the request of their little ones. Older kids ask questions about the different characters in my stories and try to imitate them.
4. What do you want to tell readers with your books?
I want to tell my young readers that picture books are a fantastic source of fun & pleasure. I want to inspire them to create their own stories and not wait until they grow up to do so. I also want to let them know that their opinions and feedback are more important to me than the feedback I get from reviewers.