I have something today that will spark joy in book-loving hearts—a picture book collaboration between de-clutter queen Marie Kondo and prolific author-illustrator Salina Yoon!
Introducing KIKI & JAX…
Salina, how did you feel when you were offered the co-writing and illustration gig on Marie Kondo’s first children’s book?
At first, it didn’t quite register. I’d heard of Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” because it was a bestseller for months on the NY Times list, but I had not read it. My agent was overjoyed with the idea of collaborating with her, so I knew it was something to be excited about! I started to research articles about Marie, and found that she was an international superstar—and this was BEFORE we knew anything about the upcoming series on Netflix, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo!” I happened to read about the Netflix series on the Washington Post while on vacation when our project was already in progress. My jaw dropped to the floor!
Mine would have dropped, too! (Until I realized I had to clean it up!)
How did you decide on the style of the illustrations?
I wanted to make this book extra special, so I actually tried many different styles before deciding to do the one I used. I even sketched out human girls as characters before deciding to do the animal ones in the style of Penguin and Pinecone. What ultimately made me choose this style is because I was told that Marie’s favorite book was PENGUIN AND PINECONE. If she loved that book, then I knew she also loved that art style, and my stylization of animal characters. So I reigned myself in and stayed with the Penguin art style for the Kiki and Jax book—and she loved it!
What do you hope young children (and their parents) will take away after reading this book?
I hope that both children and adults will reflect on what matters most to them in their lives-—and consider letting go of the things that get in the way of it. By letting go of the clutter that doesn’t spark joy for us, we’ll find a greater appreciation for the things we do have. Finding joy from what we already have is the best joy of all.
How adorable! The characters and colors really pop!
OK, confession time! Have you let some things go after working on this book?
You know, I’ve always been pretty tidy because my mom is EXTREMELY tidy. But it turns out I could be much tidier when I looked at my things with a different filter—the Marie Kondo filter! There was one week earlier this year that I thought Marie would be coming over to my house (this visit had to be cancelled), but the thought that Marie was going to see my home made me tidy in a hurry! I unshelved ALL of my books in my office, and filled many boxes for book donations. I kept about one third by using her method of holding each book and seeing if it sparks joy for me. Another motivation was that now, I have room to buy new books to spark even MORE joy!
I also let go of many pairs of shoes that never fit right, but felt too guilty to let go of because I hadn’t worn them enough. The KonMari method taught me that I shouldn’t hold on to things because of guilt. I should only hold on to things that spark joy! I thanked my old pairs of unfitting shoes, and donated them to Goodwill. If you’re a size 6, go look for some nearly-new pairs of shoes at Goodwill’s in San Diego! Unfortunately, I’m a size 5.
So I do practice what I preach in this book with Marie Kondo. I wholeheartedly believe in her method of tidying!
Thank you, Salina! Happy tidying! (Will you come do my house next???)
OK, one thing I know folks will never part with is one of the 3 copies of KIKI & JAX signed by Marie Kondo and Salina Yoon that Salina is giving away!
Leave one comment below to enter. Three random winners will be chosen next Tuesday, November 20th.
And yes, all the winners of previous giveaways I haven’t yet announced will also be up next Tuesday.
So get your entry in now!