Papillon is a very fluffy kitty. So fluffy that he’s lighter than air! His owner tries to weigh him down, but Papillon just wants to fly. One particularly sunny day, he floats right out the window! Exploring the wide world is exhilarating, but it’s also a little scary. Will his new friend, a bird, be able to help him find his way home? Whimsical art and airy text come together seamlessly in this delightful debut by A. N. Kang.
Anna is an illustrator, author, and product designer based in New York City. Originally from Korea, she came to the United States with her family in 1990. She has studied at Moore College of Art and Design and Rhode Island School of Design. After working in a few design jobs, she struck out as a freelance designer 10 years ago. Her work has included designing home decor, jewelry, and even holiday displays for stores all over NYC. The Very Fluffy Kitty, Papillon is Anna’s debut children’s book.
Papillon is such a fun and creative story. Where did you get the idea?
Anna: We learn so much from our pets. My cat, the real Papillon, is not fluffy at all but well, very fat. Whenever people made mean comments about her weight, she just gracefully walked away and went about her business. Of course, she didn’t understand, but to me, she seemed wonderfully weightless, as if no opinion or judgement could weigh her down. Wouldn’t it be great to live weightlessly? I wrote a story about this life-loving, funny weightless cat, hoping it could bring a smile to many animal lovers out there.
You’ve said that creating Papillon was a long time side project. How does it feel to see it printed as a physical, finished book?
Anna: Amazing! I had the story idea for a very long time but I didn’t know how to go about publishing a book. Then I had this moment in my life where I wanted to challenge myself to do something new. So I quit my job and gave myself one year to get this book done. It wasn’t easy but everything happened very fast after that. I received many rejection emails but I didn’t take them seriously because I really believed that people would enjoy Papillon. A fortunate chain of events lead me to the right people and they helped me get this book published. I feel very grateful.
What was the most difficult part of making your goal of creating this book about Papillon a reality?
Anna: I didn’t know anything about creating a children’s book, so I learned everything by doing this book. While working with editors, I revised the story at least 10 times. I just didn’t understand the basic structure of a children’s book. It was frustrating. When I think back, I feel like I had a crash course on children’s book for dummies! It was tough but a priceless experience.