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Children's Book Illustrator
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|Sketches for NANA IN THE CITY; Clarion books; Coming Fall 2014|
I've just begun character studies for my next (3rd) book as author, Nana in the City
, about a boy who travels to the city to visit his nana and needs a little convincing about why the city is a good place (for a nana) to live. I'm looking forward to jumping in to final art this spring!
sketches around Union Square: 1/3/2013
|*sketch from my upcoming book, Nana in the City|
Wishing everyone a very happy
Happy Holidays from Brooklyn, friends!
Wishing you and your loved ones peace and joy this holiday season. Here's to a most wonderful new year~
I was thrilled to find out that HAPPY LIKE SOCCER has been selected for The New York Public Library's 100 Titles for Reading & Sharing 2012 list!
Thanks so much to the NYPL Committee for including our book!!
I'm really excited to be part of the group exhibition Let it Snow! at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT! The show is now open, and will run through most of the winter. If you are near Greenwich, stop by and check out the art and books. As a part of this exhibition, the museum will also be running programs for teachers, parents and kids between now and Feb. 24, 2013. Hooray for snow!
NY friends— Hope to see you at BookCourt this Saturday
! Come eat some h'orderves,
drink some wine, and jump start your holiday shopping : )
Character studies, sketches & final art from THE READER on the very awesome Seven Impossible Things blog. Many thanks to Jules Danielson for this nice post
Today is DAY 1 of a two week long blog tour for THE READER. First stop, the awesome illustration blog Pen & Oink, where I talk book making process!
Here's the full two week tour schedule, if you'd like to follow along:
Monday, November 5: Pen & Oink and A Mom’s Take
Tuesday, November 6: Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns
Wednesday, November 7: Susan Heim on Parenting
Thursday, November 8: 5 Minutes for Books
Friday, November 9: The Children’s Book Review
Monday, November 12: Media Darlings
Tuesday, November 13: Kid Lit Frenzy
Wednesday, November 14: Cracking the Cover
Thursday, November 15: Adventures in Mommydom
Friday, November 16: Momma Drama
I'm honored to have two of my books represented in this years Original Art Show
at the Society of Illustrators. Thanks so much to the awesome jury
for their selection of HAPPY LIKE SOCCER and THE READER! This Thursday evening, October 25th, is the opening reception -- probably my favorite industry event of the year. Here are the details
if you'd like to attend. Hope to see you there!!
Entertainment Weekly reviewed THE READER, and they give it an "A". Thanks so much to EW editor Abby West for such a lovely write-up!!
This Tuesday my latest book, THE READER, hit shelves. Hooray!! I've been waiting a long while for this one to come out. I had such a fantastic time illustrating Amy Hest's sweet story. And really, there is nothing I like to draw more than dogs, snowscapes, and teeny children :)
Our publishing house threw an amazing luncheon to celebrate the release of the book on Tuesday. Delicious food, wine and fantastic company. How wonderful to be able to gather together with all the people who put their hearts in to this project, and toast to the special day. It certainly isn't often I take time to celebrate my book releases. I should do it more :) When I arrived home Tuesday evening, this beautiful bouquet was waiting at my doorstep. Thank you ACP for everything you have done to make this a successful and memorable launch! ♥
And here is a fantastic review that just came in from Booklist
:"The reader" is a small boy, all bundled up for the cold conditions outside. He has a brown shaggy dog, a red sled, a small suitcase, and the snow-covered world at his fingertips. Hest's quiet, lyrical prose matches the stillness of the landscape, as she describes the reader's journey: "Up and up he climbs, tilting in the wind, pulling in the blowing storm." The little dog, who has bounded ahead, waits patiently at the top of the hill for his boy to join him. Once there ("the hill is very, very tall. The top is far, far away"), boy and dog make snow angels and a "snow dog" and snack on toast. Finally, the reader clicks open the mysterious suitcase, which contains not just any book, but "the very best book," titled Two Good Friends. Perfect. This sweet story is beautifully imagined by Castillo, as her boldly outlined, colorful characters pop against the brilliance of a total whiteout. Share this with other pint-size readers who understand the joy of reading, anytime, anyplace. —Ann Kelley, Booklist Aug 2012
On Saturday I drove down to Princeton NJ (in a mini van full of Brooklyn kidlit peeps!) to attend the 7th Annual Princeton Children's Book Festival, hosted by the Princeton Public Library. What an awesome, fun-filled day. I got to meet lots of kids and their parents, a bunch of librarians and teachers, AND several authors and illustrators whose work I've admired over the years. Ohh, and I signed a good amount of books too! And THEN, the owner of JaZams bookstore, Joanne Farrugia, graciously opened up her home to us authors and illustrators for one fantastic after-party (w/ crab cakes and champagne — yummm!) An all round success of a day, I'd say :)
|just one tiny piece of the large crowd|
|my table |
|the musical entertainment|
|another piece of the crowd|
Extra special thanks to Allison Santos, the festival coordinator, for inviting me to be a part of such a wonderful event! I love my little children's book world~
Great news! Happy Like Soccer
has been nominated for the Amelia Bloomer 2013 Project List
. What exactly is this list you ask? Here's a description straight from their blog:
We create an annual booklist of the best feminist books for young readers, ages birth through 18. We are part of the Feminist Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association.
Awesome! Thanks so much for the nomination
I also wanted to thank this handful of wonderful bloggers who had such kind things to say about our book:
"I'm using this story to validate children who might not be living with their parents and to teach other kids that all families have a different make up. What a great new book!"
"One of the most important skills for girls to learn is self-advocacy. For Sierra, the desire to join the two things she loves most – family and soccer – helps her speak up for herself. Author, Maribeth Boelts, and illustrator, Lauren Castillo, are perfectly paired in Happy Like Soccer. The inviting call and response of words and pictures bring both the light and shadows of Sierra’s story to life."
“Happy Like Soccer is a story about the joy of family support. It also shows how empowering and wonderful it can feel to figure out a solution to a problem instead of succumbing to despair."
"Sometimes words are not enough to describe beauty and excellence. That is the case with this book."
"A lovely story extolling the virtues of family and resolution, this story with its bold, seemingly simple drawing style will appeal to many children. All of those who love soccer will be absorbed while those who live in the city and know the problems of getting a spare space to play in will also read it with pleasure. "
"A celebration of a small family, an urban community and sports, this picture book glows with love."
"This is a book that should be a must on every classroom bookshelf."
"With honesty and rare subtlety, author Maribeth Boelts and illustrator Lauren Castillo portray an endearing character in a moving, uplifting story that touches on the divides children navigate every day- and remind us that everyone needs someone to cheer them on from the sidelines."
"I really liked the message in this story. It presents the challenges that a working single guardian faces in order to attend the Saturday soccer games of her niece."
"Several years ago, Maribeth (Boelts) brought together all kinds of elementary school kids, teachers, coaches, and volunteers to take part in some soccer. My first two children were born during this time (I remember running around on the field with a pregnant belly!), and the fruit from those few seasons of soccer continues to grow in the lives of many."
Hooray for Happy Like Soccer
! And thanks again to Maribeth Boelts
for writing such a fantastic, important text for children :)
Luckily I live in New York City, which made it very easy to attend the concert
and launch party for the release of The Broadway Lullaby Project
on May 7th. Over a dozen of the 26 lullabies were performed, accompanied by their illustrations on the large screen behind the performers at the Stephen Sondheim Theater. And Edie Falco was the evening's host! It was a great night of celebration, and fun to be able to rub elbows with some big deal folks in the Broadway biz. Here's a little photo recap of the evening:
Please visit the website
, and consider purchasing a CD or a hardcover book (or ebook!) to help fight breast cancer!
It's time once again for the Annual Children's Art Auction and Reception
at BookExpo America! Come out to the Jacob Javits Center tomorrow evening, June 6th, and bid on some great art — all proceeds will go to the ABFFE
(American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression). My donation this year
is a little ink and watercolor personal piece that I made for Earth Day~
Hope to see you there!
has been chosen as a 2012-2013 Alabama Camellia Children's Choice Award selection! You can find out more about the award and program right here. Thanks to the state of Alabama for including Spunky on your list :)
Bank Street College of Education has released their 2012 edition of the Best Books of the Year, and I
was very happy to find out that both SPUNKY TELLS ALL
and MELVIN AND THE BOY
made the list (age 5-9 category)!! You can read more about Bank Street College of Education, and how they choose books for their annual list, right here
. Thanks again to the fantastic committee for selecting my two titles!
I was super excited to learn that The Pennsylvania Center for the Book named MELVIN AND THE BOY a 2012 Best Children's Book for Family Literacy!
This from their website:
The Pennsylvania Center for the Book works with hundreds of children's books each year while preparing booklists, activities, and curriculum materials. Our Family Literacy Activities Web page is designed to help parents and caregivers fill each child's world with a love of books. We consider these 13 titles—a Baker's Dozen—to be the very best picture books published in 2011. They fulfill the goals of family literacy programs across the nation: to create lifelong readers and lovers of books and to start with the youngest audience—preschool children.
Huge thanks to The Pennsylvania Center for the Book for selecting Melvin
as one of their Baker's Dozen — I am so honored to be a part of this list.
Finally, a website update! There's new art and reviews from my latest couple books up in the "illustration" and "books" sections. Head over and take a peek! http://laurencastillo.com
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A few years ago my brother moved to an apartment near the north section of Central Park in Manhattan. He encountered raccoons many nights on his way home — crawling down tree trunks, or peering out of trash cans. And sometimes they'd actually follow him down the sidewalk toward his building. It was quite creepy, he said, to see glowing eyes watching as he made his way through the darkness (Around this same time, the New York Times wrote an article addressing those nervy NYC raccoons). I, of course, found the visual of my brother being followed by these guys hilarious, and so began my raccoon research — something about this needed to be in a children's book!
|~ early sketches ~|
While searching the web for raccoon inspiration I came across this hysterical video
which sparked a story idea that, after several rewrites and edits, became The Troublemaker
|~ character studies ~|
involves one rascally boy, and one very sneaky raccoon. I am working on the final art for the book right now, and cannot wait till it is out in the world next fall (Clarion Books)!