The Floating Field: Interviews with Scott Riley and KAA Illustration

The Floating Field: How a Group of Thai Boys Built Their Own Soccer Field follows the inspiring true story of Prasit Hemmin and his friends as they find a way to play soccer on Koh Panyee, Thailand. Because their home didn’t have enough open space for them to play on, the teen boys could play only twice a month when the tide was low enough for a sandbar to serve as a field.

Inspired by the 1986 World Cup, Prasit and his friends built their own floating soccer field, unlike any other playing surface in the world. Their field’s quirks prompted some unusual rules—anyone who kicked the ball out of bounds had to jump into the ocean to retrieve it—but they also helped the players develop exceptional footwork. This celebration of ingenuity and determination is perfect for fans of stories about sports, beating seemingly impossible odds, and places and cultures not often shown in picture books.

Debut author Scott Riley and illustrators Nguyen Quang and Kim Lien join us to day to answer some questions about their inspiration and creative process!

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On Artist Shortlists and The Floating Field

By Danielle Carnito, Art Director

Making a list of possible artists for picture books is standard procedure here. We make shortlist through searching for style, through thought, through discussion, through sharing top picks with the author, through Ooohs and Aaaahs and “Wouldn’t it be great if (insert famous illustrator name) could work on this book?” We — in this case designer Viet, editor Carol, and Art Director me — spend time carefully finding and talking through the many possibilities and narrow to shortlist of artists, whom I then start reaching out to with the illustration proposal.

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