Eric Velasquez's awards include the John Steptoe/Coretta Scott King Award for new talent, a Pura Belpré Award, an NAACP Image Award and a Carter G. Woodson Award. For Holiday House, he both wrote and illustrated "Looking for Bongo," and he illustrated "Ol' Clip-Clop: A Ghost Story" by Patricia C. McKissack and "New Shoes" by Susan Lynn Meyer. The son of Afro-Puerto Rican parents who encouraged music and storytelling, Velasquez grew up in Spanish Harlem, New York. As a child, he loved superheroes, comics and drawing, much like the boy in "Octopus Stew," his latest book. He teaches illustration at the Fashion Institute of Technology and lives in New York.