5 Questions with Cece Bell


(previous interviews in this series can be found here.)

Welcome to another installment of Questions From a Kid. Today, Zoey chats with Cece Bell, author and illustrator of (among other things) the graphic novel El Deafo.

ElDeafo_NewberyCece Bell already had several picture and chapter books under her belt before El Deafo hit the shelves. Among them: the Sock Monkey series, Itty Bitty, and Rabbit and Robot. But it was El Deafo that made the biggest splash.

El Deafoin case you’re unaware, is an autobiographical graphic novel that tells the story of how Cece lost her hearing at a very young age (from meningitis), struggled to appear “normal” and fit in throughout elementary school, and ultimately discovered her own superpowered altar ego in the guise of “El Deafo.”

It’s a charming, honest, warm, and funny book that’s a pure delight for all ages. And it certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed. To name a few, it won the 2015 Newbery Honor, was a Kirkus Prize finalist, and was recently nominated for an Eisner Award.

I interviewed Cece soon after she received the Newbery Honor (so please do check that out), and she was kind enough to take some time after a recent book tour stop to be questioned by a kid.

Zoey also got a new page in her sketchbook that is just too fantastic not to share:


As always, all questions are Zoey’s. I simply prompt her with “clue words” so she can remember. (Make sure you turn on subtitles if you can’t make out Zoey’s questions.)

Thanks so much to Cece Bell for taking the time to chat with Zoey and to Morgan Dubin at Abrams Books for helping to arrange the interview!

Jamie is a publishing/book nerd who makes a living by wrangling words together into some sense of coherence. He's the founder and owner of The Roarbots and also a contributor to Syfy Wire, StarWars.com, and GeekDad. On top of that, he hosts The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, which celebrates creativity in popular culture, science, and technology by talking to a wide variety of people who contribute to it.