What interests me about clocks is that everything is hand-made, and yet to the person looking at the clock, something magical is happening that cannot be explained unless you are the clockmaker.
I think everything belongs in a certain place, for kids who feel they don't belong anywhere. A museum is an institution like a library where everything has a place, everything belongs.
I've always loved the wild rumpus in 'Where the Wild Things Are' by Maurice Sendak, because the words disappear, the pictures take up the whole page, and we move forward in the story by turning the pages.
But I'm a fairly mechanical worker - I tend not to think about themes so much as plot. I want to get the feeling right. If it's moving through tunnels, I ask myself, what is it like to move through tunnels?
I can draw pencil lines to show something is moving, but if I'm writing, I struggle with how to write it. The boy ran down the hallway? The boy ran quickly down the hallway? The boy ran down the marble hallway? I agonize over the words. So my editor works very hard. I'm lucky to have her.
A lot of people who don't write for kids think it's easy, because they think kids aren't as smart as they are, or that you have to dumb down what you would normally write for kids. But I think you have to work harder when you write for kids, to make sure every word is right, that it's there for the right reason.