Behind the Scenes with Nina Crittenden

To celebrate the book birthday for The Three Little Pugs, we went behind the scenes with author/illustrator Nina Victor Crittenden.


When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer and illustrator?

I wanted to be an illustrator ever since I was a little kid, but I didn’t work up the nerve to try to become one until after I had kids of my own. My artwork is always stronger when there is a story behind it, so with the help of my agent and writing group, I am working on becoming a stronger writer, too.


How did you come up with the idea for Three Little Pugs?

We got our first pug, Gordy, eight years ago. I had the idea for the three little pugs but I didn’t have the foggiest notion how I was going to write it so I just put it in the back of my mind. After we got our second pug, Jilly, I began actively thinking about it. One day we were all driving in the car and it all kind of came together in my mind. Luckily, I had a notebook with me and my husband was driving the car, so I was able to write everything down. After a lot of revising, it eventually became a real book.


What’s your favorite part of Three Little Pugs?

What I love most of all is that the cat was neither big nor bad, he was just as sleepy as the pugs were.


What do you like to do when you’re not writing or illustrating?

I really love to knit, read, bake, go for walks, and spend time in the garden.


What was your favorite book to read as child?

When I was little, anything by Richard Scarry was my favorite. The King Who Rained by Fred Gwynne fueled my love for puns. I was also obsessed with horses, so books like King of the Wind, Five O’Clock Charlie, The Little Fellow, and The Black Stallion and the Girl were read over and over and over again.