Third Graders Read Together: Meet The Author/Illustrator

Join us for this year’s Third Graders Read Together Virtual Author/Illustrator Events with Anoosha Syed and Jonathan Messinger.

Anoosha Syed, illustrator of the Monster and Boy series

Tuesday, March 7 at 9:00 AM – Join Webinar

Fun Facts about Anoosha Syed (a-Noo-sha SAY-yid)

Born in: Pakistan

Lives in: Toronto, Canada

Other places she has lived: Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, United States 

Other work: Character designer for preschool television shows, hosts a YouTube channel about illustration

Number of books illustrated: Over 25, including 3 in the Monster & Boy series

Art medium: Digital art with the Procreate app on iPad

Inspiration: “I have an animation background, so I’m very influenced by artists who are working in both the animation and illustration industries, like Mary Blair, Stevie Lewis, and Brigette Barrager. I really love animation and because of my animation background, I have that additional sense of story, and I find I end up creating more cinematic illustrations. I’m really drawn to that. Secondly, mid-century illustration influences me because those were the kinds of books I grew up with. I’m drawn to the vintage, 1950s, retro look–artists like, again, Mary Blair, M. Sasek, and the Provensens.” (Q&A With Anoosha Syed, That’s Not My Name!)


Jonathan Messinger, author of The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian series

Thursday, March 9 at 9:00 AM – Join Webinar

Fun Facts about Jonathan Messinger

Born in: Boston, Massachusetts

Lives in: Chicago, Illinois

Loves to: Play word games (everything from World to crossword puzzles to Boggle), read, run, and play games with his 8-month-old puppy

Other work: Copy director for Walgreens, executive producer for Gen-Z Media, making podcasts for kids

Previous jobs: Journalist, covering everything from government to education and writing book and movie reviews

Number of books published: Five, including four in The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian series

Age when he wrote his first story: 6 years old (first grade) – a book about fish, titled “Fish”

Inspiration: “I started the Finn Caspian podcast because my son, Griffin, loved listening to audiobooks, but there weren't a lot of podcasts for kids at the time. With the first stories, I discovered something I call the "Lego Test." If I was reading him a story I wrote and he got bored and reached for the Legos, I knew I had to change it. So then I invited him onto the podcast to serve as my "editor," so at the end of an episode, he would come on mic and tell me what he liked and (mostly) didn't like. His insight really helped make the Finn Caspian what it's become, and he was only 6 when we started.”


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