Amicus

Friend of education. Friend for life.

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  • Readers

    AMICUS READERS

    Amicus Readers provide an inviting variety of nonfiction leveled books for K-2, serving young learners in pursuit of reading skills—just like Amicus pursues the big red ball.

  • Illustrated

    AMICUS ILLUSTRATED

    Amicus Illustrated offers fiction and nonfiction for preschool to grade 6 with highly visual information and stories that students—and our pal Amicus—are after!

  • High Interest

    AMICUS HIGH INTEREST

    Like many students, Amicus likes to pursue what's of interest to him. Amicus High Interest books serve individual interests of those in grades 2-6.

  • Ink

    AMICUS INK

    Amicus Ink features board books, picture books, and paperbacks that encourage young children to explore facts, examine ideas, and imagine new ways of understanding the world.

  • Spot

    SPOT

    Spot books pair key words with engaging images at the beginning, middle, and end—making it fun to read, spot, and learn.

  • Sequence

    SEQUENCE

    Sequence books explain the processes and timelines behind kids' favorite things. Each title connects products and knowledge step-by-step from idea, through creation and discovery, to the end user.

Creator Q&A: Who is Making a Mess?

Who is Making a Mess? celebrates diverse families. Author Maria D’Haene and illustrator Charlie Eve Ryan talked to us about creating this sweet board book.

Q: Maria, Who is Making a Mess? is your first book. What inspired you?

MD: My parents, who uttered the phrase daily raising twelve children. One of us kids was always making a mess. My other inspiration is all the families I've worked with as a social worker. I want all parents (lesbian, gay, transgender, straight, grandparents raising grandchildren) and their children to see themselves represented.

Q: This book breaks stereotypes in only a few words. Maria, how did you communicate your vision for the art?

MD: I did provide illustration notes, but boy, oh boy, Charlie Eve Ryan hit it out of the park. I was blown away by her vision and talent. I'm profoundly grateful to her and to Amicus for pairing us up.

Q: Charlie, the art carries a lot of the story in Who is Making a Mess? Was it a challenge to illustrate such a sparse text?

CER: It was a fun challenge. I knew based on editorial and author notes that this book would be family-focused with a lot of diversity and playing against common stereotypes. I wanted the sense of family and everyday struggles to come through. Life is messy. Chaos always hits when you have someplace to go—in this case it was a family picnic, which felt like a perfect setup.

Q: Maria, what is your favorite illustration?

MD: If I had to choose, I'd go with “Mama is making a mess” and “Grandpa is making a mess.” I love the nonconformity in gender roles and the diversity in families depicted.

Q: Charlie, your art creates a warm and cozy feel. How do you create this feeling in the art?

CER: Thank you. I think the looseness of the pencil strokes helps convey the softness and adds to the messiness, while the expressions and movements of the characters capture a cozy feel. The warm colors and playful patterns tie everything together.

Q: Charlie, what is your favorite illustration?

CER: One of the first pages I drew was the grandpa baking with his grandkids. There is something really endearing about that moment. The pies they bake are served at the end, so it’s a full circle experience.

Maria D'Haene author photo
Charlie Eve Ryan illustrator photo
Who is Making a Mess? book cover
Grandpa is making a mess. Sample book page.