The Boss Baby, a 32-page picture book written and illustrated by Marla Frazee was published in 2010 (S&S, Beach Lane). Since the book’s publication, more than 200,000 copies have been sold and, in 2016, Frazee followed up with a sequel, The Bossier Baby, introducing the Boss Baby’s infant sister. On March 31, 2017, the animated DreamWorks film was released with Alec Baldwin voicing the main character. Frazee’s book depicts the newborn as a tiny suit-wearing boss who dictates the household. Simon Spotlight released several movie tie-in editions—two board books, a junior novelization, and a leveled reader—and the original picture books have been labeled as the inspiration for the movie.
Christine Van Zandt: Has being part of SCBWI contributed to your career?
MARLA FRAZEE: I have a career because of SCBWI. I attended my first conference in the early 1980s; Jane Yolen was working the main desk and Trina Schart Hyman gave a keynote. I think there were 80 people in attendance. After that, I went to the national conference as often as I could afford to and I attended local Southern California conferences, too. I tried to introduce myself to the speakers, which was super hard because I felt so shy about doing it and I didn’t have much to say. But I forced myself. During those years I was also sending illustration samples to art directors and picture book projects to editors, so I would occasionally meet someone who I’d sent something to. A few of them recognized my name and told me they liked my work. Those exchanges truly kept me going. I met Linda Zuckerman, who at the time was an editor at HarperCollins, at a local conference, and she eventually became my first editor. And 25 years ago, after meeting at Illustrators Day, I became part of a critique group—which is still going strong. Continue reading