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Incredible Moments of Pizza

The Incredible Moments of Pizza is the first in a series of children's books about food by Alani Publishing. Written by Michelle Kung and illustrated by Chanamon Ratanalert, this edutainment book follows the major moments in the history of pizza. Buy the book now!

Jiyoon Kim of Alani Publishing, an old college friend, approached me about this book after following my illustration journey on Instagram the last 5 years since graduation. While I was elated to work on my first picture book, the task was daunting, especially when she told me that the deadline was just before the holidays. This gave me only a month to complete the 13 spreads and cover illustrations. With little time to explore various styles and color palettes, I stuck with a simplified version of my most comfortable illustration style and limited hue themes for each spread. From the days of ancient Greece to present day pizza vending machines, this colorful book tells the tale of pizza and its journey through the ages. This is my first children's book to have had the honor of working on, and I learned a lot about picture book making as well as about my illustration in the process.
While I pursue a whimsical illustration style, I generally like to have a balanced element of reality to hold the concept to the ground. Much of the book was rooted in historical moments, so I made sure to do my research on proper clothing and architecture for the time period. I even had a moment where I spent all this time and research on women's fashion in the 1930s, only to realize that the spread should depict a family in the 1950s instead.
Even though the book is of an educational non-fiction nature, I was able to insert my signature touches of whimsy and easter eggs into the illustrations. These were fun extras to have that I hope bring delight to young readers to find when rereading the book.