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I’ve been thinking a lot about visual storytelling lately. Well, I pretty much am always thinking about visual storytelling. And that’s why I was so tickled and touched by this book. Thanks to Rebecca at Sturdy for Common Things for introducing me to this lovely find!
I bought it because of that cover. I didn’t know I’d open page after page of wow.Instantly, I was drawn to the simplicity of each layout. A spare white page on the left, graced only with one line of text. And on the right, a richly colored illustration to match the text. On this very first spread, you get a clear sense of Delphine Chedru’s suggested shapes and mastery of negative space. It’s graphic and bold and beautiful.
So what does the text say?
What happens when my balloon floats up, out of the zoo . . . ?
And then, this:Rather than turning the page, you unfold it. The text is still there to remind you of the story that gurgled up out of that wonder. Do you see your red balloon?The pages that follow are just as curious, and just as surprising. It’s impossible to not create a scenario for each posed question, and then be awed by the illustrator’s solution.And to my bucket when I leave it behind on the beach . . . ?What you might not be able to see in that picture is a WANTED sign for the shark, and a tiny red fish with a sheriff’s hat leading his capture, all with that bucket that you left on the beach. Adore.
And wouldn’t it be fun to create your own pages like this? Or respond to these pictures in writing? Isn’t all creativity answering ‘What if?’What happens when my left sock slips behind the radiator . . . ?
Well?What happens to Teddy when I leave him behind . . . ?
That bird on the boing-boing horse is just too much. Makes me laugh every time.
And then, a big, huge, monster question:What happens to stories once a book is closed . . . ? This last page doesn’t unfold. This answer is up to you.
I am so under the spell of this weighty book with the lighthearted illustrations. I’m not sure how to answer that last question, and sitting with the ‘What if?’ is both challenging and satisfying, isn’t it?Want more Delphine Chedru? Me too. I found this book trailer, and although I can’t understand the words, I can read the pictures. So charmed.
I was smitten by the looks of this book at first glance. Perhaps it was a bit of that orange and blue thing, and a bit of it just being so spectacular. But first, I had to introduce myself to Monsieur Hulot, the comical character from French cinema, and the spirit and subject of this book.
His trademarks are his raincoat, umbrella, pipe, and sheer ineptitude.
So now that you are entirely delighted and heartwarmed, isn’t it the greatest news ever that a nearly wordless picture book contains this nutty dude? Yes. I know.These endpapers are reminiscent of the title graphics in the trailer as well as the movie poster, so, of course we love that.The shapes of his raincoat-suited-self-H and an umbrella-O set you up for the hysterical stories inside. This title pages sets you up for humor, heart, and charm, and the following pages do not disappoint.
Here’s what I mean.It’s a series of stories told through pictures. Two pages contain witty puzzles and a complete visual narrative. This one, French Riviera, is one of my favorites. You think Monsieur Hulot is floating underneath the waves and gallivanting with sea creatures.
But no. He’s just biking next to a fish truck.
Brilliant might be an understatement.The Crossing also had me in stitches, and reminded me a teensy bit of The Other Side. What seems to be true might not be at all!
What a treat to be surprised and delighted by this goofy guy!You’ll never guess what preceded this page.And you’ll be shocked by the conclusion of this one.
If you are a picture book writer, be sure to grab this one. It is a master class in the suspense and payoff of the page turn.
Waterloo & Trafalgar is at once spare and very much not. It’s a book about unnecessary fighting and the two stubborn sides who forget why they are even at odds. They are suspicious, bored, but always staid. Until. A snail, a bird, a different perspective. Different looks a little bit the same after all.Tallec’s goofy little men end up as a charming shout for peace. They are absurd. They are us.
Waterloo. Blue. Trafalgar. Orange. Opposites. Enemies.There they are, as far from one another on the color wheel as possible. Direct opposites. Complementary colors.
Orange and blue are a combination of dominance, because each is competing for the attention of your eye. One cool, one warm, constant attention-grabbers. Because of their stark contrast, each truly shouts.That’s why it’s a duo you see in a lot of advertising for banks, credit cards, and other Important Things. Would that Northwestern Mutual commercial be as strong if it were in a different color palette? Probably not. They want to imply strength, power, and – well, life.
And, ahem. I’m a fan of these two colors. Note my blog header and the rest of this thing’s design. Those design decisions were intentional, and since you are reading this and hanging out here with me, it might just be working.Perfect choices for Waterloo and Trafalgar, right? It wouldn’t make sense for those two ridiculous little men to be represented by closer together hues. Their orange and blues are a tenuous balance.
Besides a color scheme that works, that sings, and that smacks you in the gut, this is just a darn beautiful book. The paper is thick and rich to the touch, and some split pages inside extend the stories and heighten the division at hand.I love the die cuts on the cover – those clever windows reveal these two nuts and their telescopes at the ready. And the endpapers’ narrative is subtle as it holds the story in place. The carved out holes close up by the end, and the stream of blue and orange smash right up against each other.Still different, still far apart on that wheel. Transformed into something lovely together.
Ok, ok. One more orange and blue moment I love is the opening title sequence to the James Bond flick, Quantum of Solace.
(These titles are created by a studio whose motion design work is just spectacular, MK12. They are the creative minds behind the visuals in Stranger Than Fiction and the gorgeous end titles of The Kite Runner. By the way, notice the colors in the first minute of that one!)
And! A whole slew of orange and blueon movie posters. You won’t un-see this color palette once you start noticing it. That’s a promise prefaced with a slight apology! Here’s just one:
This summer I got to work with the fantastic folks at NorthSouth Books to create a trailer for an upcoming release by Claudia Boldt, You’re a Rude Pig, Bertie!
Bertie is definitely a rude pig, but he’s also irresistible and will endear himself to you the second he reveals his true heart. And I adore Claudia Boldt’s work – a muted and restrained palette, unexpected shapes and proportions, and a charming cast of characters.
(I wrote a teensy bit about her previous book, Odd Dog, over at Design Mom, so what a thrill to create something for a creator you admire!)
Anyway. I love the result, and hope you love it, too!
What do you think? Adorable, right? And super catchy. I guarantee that song will tag along with you the rest of the day – and you’re welcome!
P.S. – I haven’t heard from the winners of the Sassy board books. Are you out there, Olivia De Hamilton and Sara Floyd? I’ll pick new winners on Friday if I don’t hear anything. Stay tuned!
What better day for book trailers than a Saturday?
Rachel Renee Russell is no doubt one of the most successful African American MG authors today. She currently has 6 books in her popular Dork Diaries Series published by Simon and Schuster with a 7th book scheduled for release later this year. I’m not always good about reading MG books, but every time I announce another Dork Diary I want to get my hands a copy and go sit in a McDonalds and read straight through.
I have two videos for you this morning.You won’t be able to sit still while you watch the first video, a lively Dork Diaries trailer. The second is a brief introduction to the talented Rachel Renee Russell who was also interviewed here on the Graphic Novel Reporter.
Kira’s the only female in the king’s army, and the prince’s bodyguard. She’s a demon slayer and an outcast, hated by nearly everyone in her home city of Hansong. And, she’s their only hope…
Murdered kings and discovered traitors point to a demon invasion, sending Kira on the run with the young prince. He may be the savior predicted in the Dragon King Prophecy, but the missing treasure of myth may be the true key. With only the guidance of the cryptic prophecy, Kira must battle demon soldiers, evil shaman, and the Demon Lord himself to find what was once lost and raise a prince into a king.
Intrigue and mystery, ancient lore and action-packed fantasy come together in this heart-stopping first book in a trilogy.
What better day for book trailers than a Saturday?
In a fairly recent blog post, Meg Medina describes what inspired her latest book, Yaqui Delgado wants to kick your ass. Medina is the author of Aunt Tisa wants a car; The girl who could silence the wind; and Milagros, and Girl from away. A common theme in her books is women finding their strength.
Yacqui Delgado wants to kick your ass (Candlewick) releases on 26 March.
I love this trailer for The Dark by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Jon Klassen. The first time I watched it I was very impressed by the voice talent and then learned at the end that it was Neil Gaiman reading, so that explains that.
Everything works together on this trailer - the reading, the use of children to show the demographic, the fact that it's clearly a beautiful book in terms of both text and illustration, the music, and the brevity.
I've got a board on Pinterest called Trailer Park where I am collecting some of my favourite children's book trailers. Suggestions more than welcome!
Hi, everyone. It's time for a new batch of book trailers. Most of these are pretty recent though some may be a little older since I don't keep super up to date with book trailers. I have some mixed feelings about them (most are kind of cheesy) though I do like the idea of having a promo for a book. Anyway, here are a few book trailers and a couple of film trailers thrown in for good measure at the end. Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Ugh, I a so excited for Siege & Storm! Can someone please lend me their ARC?
Still have not read this series yet though it looks good and I kind of love that each book has a color theme. And emerald is one of my favorite colors.
I really like this whole campaign. The trailers look high quality and they're intriguing. Has anyone read The 5th Wave yet?
I don't have much to say about this one since I haven't read any of the books yet. I don't really love the voice over, but that's just me.
I had no idea they were going through with making another Percy Jackson movie. The first one was so bad. At least Annabeth is blonde in this one. I will probably wait to see this one on video.
Well Katniss doesn't seem too whiny in this trailer. Catching Fire was my least favorite book of the series (sorry - don't hate me!). I totally thought it was a filler book. This trailer makes it seem like it's going to have a lot more going on though so I am optimistic. And Effie promises to have some fantastic outfits.
What did you guys think? Are you looking forward to any of these releases?
What better day for book trailers than a Saturday?
About the book:
Angie is broken — by her can’t-be-bothered mother, by her high-school tormenters, and by being the only one who thinks her varsity-athlete-turned-war-hero sister is still alive. Hiding under a mountain of junk food hasn’t kept the pain (or the shouts of “crazy mad cow!”) away. Having failed to kill herself — in front of a gym full of kids — she’s back at high school just trying to make it through each day. That is, until the arrival of KC Romance, the kind of girl who doesn’t exist in Dryfalls, Ohio. A girl who is one hundred and ninety-nine percent wow! A girl who never sees her as Fat Angie, and who knows too well that the package doesn’t always match what’s inside. With an offbeat sensibility, mean girls to rival a horror classic, and characters both outrageous and touching, this darkly comic anti-romantic romance will appeal to anyone who likes entertaining and meaningful fiction. (from the publisher)
e.E Charlton-Trujillo’s previous works include Prizefighter en mi casa and Feels like home.
I’ve been looking forward to this book for a long time, mostly because that cover is SPECTAZZLING. But also cause I follow Greg Pizzoli on Twitter, where he is clever and quippy and shares things like THE ENDPAPERS. And then this is what the publisher teased us with, so I was pretty much in love with this book right away:
With perfect comic pacing, Greg Pizzoli introduces us to one funny crocodile who has one big fear: swallowing a watermelon seed. What will he do when his greatest fear is realized? Will vines sprout out his ears? Will his skin turn pink? This crocodile has a wild imagination that kids will love.
Yeah. SO INTO THAT. The Watermelon Seed hits stores TOMORROW, May 14th, so you might want to go ahead and get in line. After you meet Greg, of course.
So I’ve also been looking forward to this post for almost as long. I’m thrilled to have Greg Pizzoli in for a visit. Welcome, Greg!
I call him “Kroc”. Sometimes my editor calls him “K-Roc” or “The Krocster”. Boy, does he hate that.My background is in printmaking, and I built a silkscreen shop in my studio, which is how I generate a lot of my work. I think my preference towards limited and deliberate colors comes from the printmaking. It could be laziness, but I’m going to say printmaking.
Even the first sketches of this book were in just a few colors. It just made sense to make the whole book feel like a watermelon. Plus, he’s a crocodile, so the green is already there.
Everyone at Disney*Hyperion was very supportive of my trying out different inks and paper choices to get the feel just right. We did CMYK v. Spot color tests and there was just no comparison. I think it would be tough to get that pink, and that green with CMYK. At least for me. We tried a few different paper stocks, too. I’m super picky.
Basically you make a drawing in black and use that to make a stencil on a screen. Doesn’t matter how you make that drawing – by hand on tracing paper, with construction paper, in Photoshop – whatever you can use to get a drawing in black. Your screen, which is a frame of aluminum with a fine mesh stretched across it, is covered in photographic emulsion, and you expose the screen to light. Wherever the light hits the emulsion, it hardens and becomes water resistant.
BUT if you put your black drawing between the screen and the light source, the emulsion that is blocked by your drawing (which remember, is black, thus very light blocking-y), that emulsion stays soft. And you can wash it out with water. So everything that wasn’t blocked by your drawing is water resistant, and your drawing washes out of the screen, making a water resistant stencil in the shape of your drawing. You make one of those for each layer, or usually, color. WATERMELON was offset printed obviously, but I did a lot of screenprinting textures, etc to make it feel very printy. The spot colors definitely help there, too.
I’ve been teaching screenprinting for about 4 years at The University of the Arts in Philly. It’s where I met Brian Biggs. He took a continuing ed class I was teaching in 2009. He introduced me to my agent. I dedicated a book to him, but it hasn’t come out yet. I still owe him big time. I still teach! I love it.
Humor usually keeps me interested in whatever I’m doing.
I like to work with texture for sure, too. And shapes. Shapes, yeah, shapes are good. I know this is great interview material here. Breaking news, Greg Pizzoli “like shapes”. Today on Buzzfeed, 23 shapes Greg Pizzoli likes most.
Anyway . . . I was really into shapes and texture with THE WATERMELON SEED, and the next book I’m doing with Hyperion (NUMBER ONE SAM, Summer 2014) comes from a similar place. We’re doing spot colors for that one, too. But four this time, which opens up a lot of possibilities in terms of overlapping layers and colors.
Like most people, I like lots of stuff. I never get tired of looking at Eduardo Munoz Bachs posters. He obviously had a lot of fun making his work. A lot of people you’d suspect probably, Sendak, Ed Emberly, Tove Jansson, Charles Schultz, etc.
I’m really lucky to have so many talented buddies in the Philly area, too. I host occasional drink ‘n’ draws at my studio and Zach Ohora, Matt Phelan, Bob Shea, Tim Gough, Amy Ignatow, Brian Biggs, Lee Harper, Gene Baretta, Eric Wight, and several others have come by. It’s a good time. Sometimes we do this thing where we each draw for five minutes and then pass the paper to the right and draw on top of that drawing for five minutes, until we get all the way around the circle or run out of beer. You can imagine just how bad these things look. Joe Strummer, Iggy Pop, David Bowie. They’re my heroes.
No way! I love coffee. I think I quit for a while last year and it just floated around my online profile for a bit. I did stop drinking as much. I am down to like 2-3 cups a day which feels great for me. I was drinking like 8-10. Oh yeah. I’m nicer now.
Greg Pizzoli, people. Is he awesome or what?
So yeah. That’s pretty much my favorite thing on the internet right now. Did you catch the part where the period at the end of the sentence becomes a spotlight for good old K-Roc?! I love that detail.
The Watermelon Seed! Greg Pizzoli! Thanks for hanging out here! We love your book. And you are top notch, too.
What better day for book trailers than a Saturday?
He’s not a vampire. He’s not a werewolf. He’s something else…the Temptation.
A modern day “Ghost” from New York Times bestselling author Alisa Valdes, The Temptation is the first book in a unique supernatural trilogy about love with a truly mysterious stranger.
After crashing her car on an empty highway, Shane is miraculously saved by Travis, who walks out of nowhere. She is instantly attracted to him, and for the first time she believes in soul mates. But Travis is dead and bound by strict rules — even a kiss could destroy both their souls. And while Travis is almost impossible to refuse, Shane soon realizes that temptation is their kindest enemy.
The first book in the Kindred trilogy is fast-paced, high stakes, and utterly irresistible.
Today I have a trailer reveal for The Sons of Jude by Brandt Dodson, as well as the opportunity for you to enter for a chance to win a Kindle Fire HD!
About the Book:
When Chicago detectives Frank Campello and Andy Polanski are assigned to investigate the murder of Trina Martinez it seems like an ordinary homicide. An unfortunate young girl in the wrong place at the wrong time has been brutally murdered. But their investigation is halted by a wall of silence, a wall erected by powerful interests that will render their inquiry a lost cause.
Then they enlist the support of reporter Christy Lee – and come under immediate fire. Polanski is arrested. Campello threatened. Christy is attacked.
It’s the case that every cop gets. The one that changes his life. The one where justice is elusive and the hunter becomes the hunted.
Frank Campello and Andy Polanski are The Sons of Jude.
About the Author:
Brandt Dodson was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, which he would later choose as the setting for his Colton Parker Mystery series. Although he discovered in grade school that he wanted to be a writer, it would be another twenty-one years before he would put pen to paper.“I knew in fifth grade that I wanted to be a writer. Our teacher had given each of us a photograph which we were to use as inspiration for a short story. The particular photo I was given was of several young men playing handball in New York City. I don’t remember all of the particulars of the story now, but I do remember the thrill that writing it gave me.”
Later, while in college, one of Brandt’s professors would echo that teacher’s comment.
“But life intervened and I found myself working at a variety of jobs. I worked in the toy department of a local department store and fried chicken for a local fast food outlet. Over the course of the next several years I finished my college degree and worked for the Indianapolis office of the FBI, and served for eight years as a Naval Officer in the United States Naval Reserve. I also obtained my doctorate in Podiatric Medicine, and after completion of my surgical residency, opened my own practice. But I never forgot my first love. I wanted to write.”
During his early years in practice, Brandt began reading the work of Dean Koontz.
“I discovered Dean’s book, The Bad Place, and was completely blown away by his craftsmanship. I read something like 13 or 14 of his back list over the following two weeks. It wasn’t long after that I began to write and submit in earnest.”
Still, it would be another twelve years before Brandt was able to secure the publishing contract he so desperately desired.
“I began by writing the type of fiction that I enjoyed; I wrote edgy crime thrillers that were laced with liberal amounts of suspense. Over the years, I’ve begun to write increasingly more complex work by using broader canvases and themes.
Since securing his first contract, Brandt has continued to pen the type of stories that inspired him to write when he was a boy, and that have entertained his legions of readers.
“I love to write, and as long as others love to read, I plan on being around for a long time to come.”
Kill Bill meets Buffy in this supernatural samurai taleRileigh Martin would love to believe that adrenaline gave her the uncanny courage and strength to fend off three muggers. But it doesn’t explain her dreams of fifteenth century Japan, the incredible fighting skills she suddenly possesses, or the strange voice giving her battle tips and danger warnings. While worrying that she’s going crazy (always a reputation ruiner), Rileigh gets a visit from Kim, a handsome martial arts instructor, who tells Rileigh she’s harboring the spirit of a five-hundred-year-old samurai warrior.
Relentlessly attacked by ninjas, Rileigh has no choice but to master the katana–a deadly Japanese sword that’s also the key to her past. As the spirit grows stronger and her feelings for Kim intensify, Rileigh is torn between continuing as the girl she’s always been and embracing the warrior inside her.
“This action-packed novel has a unique and compelling plot…Fans of Carrie Asai’s Samurai Girl series will be particularly interested, but even readers who dislike supernatural story lines will enjoy this tale of modern samurais.”
~School Library Journal~
“An action packed page-turner tempered with slow-burning romance.”
Is Rileigh’s only hope for salvation to team up with her sworn enemy?
Rileigh Martin just wants to do normal teenage things, like go on romantic dates with Kim, her boyfriend and past life soul mate. Although that seems impossible when she’s the reincarnation of Senshi, a fifteenth century samurai warrior. After a ninja ambush leaves her unable to control her ki powers, Rileigh vows to get them under control before her friends lose more than their eyebrows. But when Kim leaves her for his past life betrothed and the other samurai stop talking to her, Rileigh realizes she doesn’t have any friends left to worry about.
As the ninja attacks increase, Rileigh learns that the reincarnated kunoichi, a powerful female ninja, wants to kill her in order to reclaim her destructive powers. Alone and with increasingly unstable powers, Rileigh’s only offer of help comes from Whitley, her sworn past life enemy. Rileigh knows she doesn’t stand a chance against the kunoichi by herself, but Whitley’s sudden allegiance might be hiding a much deadlier agenda.
When Cole Gibsen isn’t writing books for young adults, she can be found rocking out with her band, sewing crazy costumes for the fun of it, picking off her nail polish, or drinking milk straight from the jug — provided no one is looking.
(A shirt and 2 of the 3 items shown which include the makeup set, the book,
and Emmy Rossum's new CD)
Another lucky but not-as-lucky winner gets what's left
plus $15 in Fandango bucks to go see Beautiful Creatures the movie. Yes!
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