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The second Jasper John Dooley book LEFT BEHIND by Caroline Adderson and illustrated by me is now out and about with a STARRED REVIEW from Kirkus
After Jasper John Dooley's beloved Nan goes on vacation without him, he goes pththth.
It feels just like when the air leaked out of his beach ball. At school the next day, he writes a story about a snake that gets stepped on a lot. The story is so long that it needs staples, but he accidentally staples it to his stomach. That eventually somehow necessitates a full 28 Band-Aids, since it just keeps feeling like the air is escaping from his sad body, possibly through the staple holes. Jasper and best friend Ori, who is given to prefacing his statements with, “The thing is...” (a phrase that neatly captures his amiable take on the world), try to build a cruise ship out of leftover lumber, not altogether a success. Ori gets a bit bossy. A final trial comes when Jasper gets to bring home the class hamster for the weekend but accidentally loses it in his house. As in Jasper's first outing (Star of the Week, 2012), nothing truly compelling happens, but the concerns of this early grade schooler are so aptly, charmingly and amusingly depicted that it's impossible not to be both captivated and compelled. Clanton's simple black-and-white illustrations feature skinny bodies, oversized heads—and lots of smiles.
Early chapter book or read-aloud, this effort will leave its audience with lots of smiles, too. (Fiction. 5-8)
I find it funny that the second book got a starred review when the first was called STAR OF THE WEEK and did not. Either way both are very well written stories and a good choice for boys who are just starting to read chapter books (girls too!). I'm now in the midst of working on the third book, which just happens to be my favorite of the lot so far.
I'm loving bamboo pens! I'm still not very good with them but I really enjoy the dynamic lines.
I'm loving my new watercolor sketchbook, but haven't had much time for it recently. I'm working on final artwork for one of my picture books that will come out in the Fall . . . MO'S MUSTACHE. MOre to come about that soon-ish. Have a great weekend! - Ben
I got a new watercolor sketchbook for Christmas. It is almost entirely filled. I think I might be getting watercolor sketchbooks from now on.
When I took this sketchbook into Kids Club (before and after school program that I go to for a couple hours each day) all the kids seemed to particularly like these potato/plant people. Now if only I could come up with a great story idea for these guys.
More unicorns to come in future posts as I also got a big 30+ lb. sketchbook for Christmas and I've been drawing oodles of unicorns. Until then . . . thanks for stopping by!
So true! And I thought I drew a lot. So cool to peek through the oodles of sketchbooks of the super talented Renata Liwska.
We made personal crests/shields this morning at Kids Club. Here is mine! :)
When I first got my ipad the other year I bought oodles of drawing apps and then found that I didn't really enjoy using them that much (I prefer paper and pen). But there is one drawing app I'm quite a fan of even though it has fewer options than apps like Sketch Club or SketchBook and that is Paper (53). At first I didn't like it that much because it was hard to undo stuff and there are not any layer options AND worst of all you have to pay extra for different options. Now, however, I really appreciate the limits of the app because it feels much more like a sketchbook (you have to just go with your mistakes and you can even flip through it like a sketchbook and choose different sketchbook covers). Anywho, here are some doodles I did on it last night and this morning . . .
Often when Kelsey (my wife) and I have friends and family over we tape a large sheet of butcher paper to the dinner table and jars with oodles of crayons. I love seeing what everyone creates, but unfortunately I sometimes kinda take over.
Yes, that is a narwhal with wings and a bow tie. And that jellyfish is wearing a crown.
I like this one. I think he belongs in the Weasley family. These next ones are by Kelsey.
I really like the drawings of kids Kelsey has been doing lately. I think Kelsey was just experimenting with arm and hand styles but you'll notice the boy saying 'hi ben' has an extra arm. I wish I had an extra arm!
For some reason I really enjoy doodling guys with earrings and interesting hair. I might be a bit jealous. I could never pull the look off.
Mark Fearing is the illustrator of two of my favorite picture books THE BOOK THAT EATS PEOPLE by John Perry (BTW that book is COMPLETELY AMAZING and pretty much one of the TOP 10 READ ALOUDS EVER) and THE THREE LITTLE ALIENS AND THE BIG BAD ROBOT by Margaret McNamara (pen name of Brenda Bowen). Now Mark is making his children's book writing/illustrating debut with a completely out-of-this-world graphic novel called EARTHLING!.
I wish this book had been around when I was a kid (I would have become a reader much sooner), but am really thrilled that it is around now. The moment I got the book I read it from front to back and have already reread a couple times.
Mark was kind enough to answer some questions about the book and about some other awesomeness too:
Ben: What planet do you come from? Mark: I've been told Earth. But often I have my doubts. Mars is a fascinating planet which I have used in quite a few stories I have written, so maybe I'm from there originally. Ben: How did you come up with the awesomeness that is Earthling!?
Mark: Earthling! was
Ahoy! Just want to let you know . . . MAX HAS A FISH
by the super-funny Wiley Blevins and illustrated by ME! (I changed my name to 'ME!') comes out tomorrow!
This was an incredibly fun book to work on. The story is wonderfully simple (this post probably has as many words in it as the book does) and silly.
Max loves his pet fish--it can swim, eat, and even blow bubbles. But Max is disappointed to learn that his fish can't dance. Whatever will Max do? Find out by getting this fun and fast-paced Level 1 story! $3.99 (yes, just $3.99 for this much awesomeness)
Below are a couple of my favorite illos from the book. More to come!
I'm planning on posting some process sketches and other stuff about the book soon.
Cheers! - Ben
It appears that I'm a wee bit into trumpets and loud blasts of sound right now. Also, lots of creepy-cute stuff recently . . . inspired by the film Princess Mononoke and my excitement for the next Tim Burton film, the animated version of Frankenweenie.
Old men . . . so much fun to draw. Speaking of which, have you seen David Mackintosh's new book THE FRANK SHOW
? Picture book perfection.
Happy Saturday! Cheers! - Ben
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In celebration of the release of Max Has a Fish, I'M DOING A GIVEAWAY!!