Satoshi Kitamura is the author of multiple stories in Magic Town. He was born in Tokyo, Japan and started work as a freelance illustrator in advertising. His illustrations can also be found anywhere from signage at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, to posters for the Tokyo Underground. Satoshi lived in London from 1983 to 2009, and now lives in Japan. We recently spoke to him about his work. Here’s what he had to say:
What was your favourite book, character or game when you were a child?
‘Astro Boy’ or ‘Tetsuwan Atom’ in the Japanese original title by Osamu Tezuka. Now it’s a classic comic book. It was serialized in a monthly comic magazine when I was a young boy. I loved it so much and still think it is brilliant.
When did you decide to become a writer and illustrator?
In my early 20′s when I started to illustrate picture books for Andersen Press. I think illustrating Hiawyn Oram’s text, ‘Angry Arthur’ made me an illustrator.
Where do you like to write? Do you use a computer, or hand write your stories?
In my sketch book. I write and draw at the same time when I start working on new ideas. Later I use a computer for writing. But for drawing I always use pen and paper.
What are you reading now? Do you read ebooks or book apps?
Japanese translation of ‘Vivir para contarla’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The autobiography of the great Colombian novelist.
Do you think kids experience stories differently when they read a paper book or a digital book?
Yes, probably. The experience of reading must be different if it was done with a paper bound book or on the screen. As a matter of fact, I was re-reading Tezuka’s Astro Boy, the book my brother and I bought 50 years ago yesterday. The pages were sun-tanned in brown and almost falling apart. Yet it was the same book that I read again and again when I was 7 years old!
Satoshi’s books in Magic Town include, “Igor, the Bird Who Couldn’t Sing,” “Millie’s Marvelous Hat,” “Pablo The Artist,” and “Me and My Cat.”