KidLit Podcast: Joyce Wan and Kathleen DeCosmo

Podcast Ep 12: Joyce Wan and Kathleen DeCosmo

Multicultural and diverse children’s books are an important part of a child’s life because they get to learn about different cultures, lifestyles and families. As supporters and sponsors of Multicultural Children’s Book Day, we have a special cooking episode of KidLit Podcast. You’ll learn about author and illustrator Joyce Wan who teamed up with social media influencer and entrepreneur Kathleen DeCosmo. There’s nothing half baked about Joyce’s scrumptious bestselling board and picture books including You Are My Cupcake and The Whale in My Swimming Pool. Kathleen folded her reusable magnetic cupcake wrappers into the mix to help create this whale of a cupcake tale.

Parents, teachers, and librarians will want to watch as Joyce walks viewers through a kawaii cupcake topper tutorial!


The Whale in My Swimming Pool

One sunny day, a little boy heads outside for a swim, but his pool is already taken . . . There’s a big whale in the water and it’s not budging The boy tries everything to get the whale to leave. Nothing seems to work. Not fetch. Not tag. Not even offering his allowance. What’s a boy to do? Luckily, he comes up with the perfect solution: he decides to chill out on a spray of water over the whale’s spout.

You Are My Cupcake

A scrumptious board book, filled with sweet terms of endearment. This bite-sized board book is an ode to all the names we call our children: cutie pie, sweet pea, peanut, pumpkin.



At the age of six Joyce Wan created her first greeting for a contest sponsored by the Art Institute of Boston. Joyce’s design won first place and twenty years later that same design inspired her to launch Wanart — a design studio featuring books, greeting cards, and accessories — after a career in architecture.

Joyce is inspired by Japanese pop culture, Scandinavian design, modern architecture, and the little things that put a smile on her face. In Joyce’s perfect world “everything would be cute, round, and chubby,” which is evident in her illustrations. Joyce is the author of several bestselling board and picture books including You Are My Cupcake and The Whale in My Swimming Pool, a Spring 2015 Junior Library Guild Selection.

Although Joyce’s parents had the equivalent of a middle school education, and her mother wasn’t able to speak English, her mother took Joyce and her siblings to the library every week. Picture books were integral to Joyce’s love of reading as she and her siblings made up stories to go along with the illustrations. Joyce counts the determination of her parents as a driving force behind her perseverance and success. “When I first started Wanart, I was working at a 9am-6pm job at an architectural firm. I spent many late night hours on my own business with only a few hours of sleep in between the two “jobs”. I did this for two years before I quit my full time job to pursue my own business full-time.”

Joyce graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University in New York City with a liberal arts degree in Architecture. Joyce teaches greeting card design and art licensing at the School of Visual Arts. The self-proclaimed night owl prefers drawing and writing in the early morning hours “when everyone’s asleep and the world is quiet.” Joyce lives in Ridgewood, New Jersey with her husband. The architect turned author and self-trained illustrator hopes to inspire people to “embrace the spirit of childhood and follow their dreams.”

Kathleen DeCosmo is a social media influencer and founder of Katie Shea Designs. Kathleen’s influence in the lifestyle category spans Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and Google+. She’s contributed to campaigns for major brands and is a Verizon Ambassador as well as a Family Circle Pin Partner. Kathleen is often called upon to help companies engage consumers in authentic conversations.

Kathleen cut her teeth in business as a textile buyer. Prior to founding Katie Shea Designs Kathleenhomeschooled her three children, directed and produced children’s and adult theater, designed costumes, and taught internationally.

Kathleen created the world’s only reusable magnetic cupcake wrapper which was featured on Good Morning America. Her company Katie Shea Designs has designed for New York Times bestselling authors, bestselling indie authors, luxury hotels worldwide, bakeries in the United States and abroad, and the general public.

Host: Rocco Staino
Executive Producer: Julie Gribble

Watch the Video for this Episode HERE!

KidLit Podcast Joyce Wan



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