I love Picture Book trailers. Here's a cute one for you.
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I love Picture Book trailers. Here's a cute one for you.
Morning, folks. We’re beginning this Sunday morn with stuff that’s good for the soul. How often have you said to yourself, “I’d love to own some original art from illustrator Matthew Cordell but I’m too busy spending all my cash on children’s literacy foundations”? Well, fear not! Now you can do both. In celebration of their book Special Delivery, Messrs. Cordell and Philip Stead are going to hold a raffle for five pieces of awesome art. You win by donating money to good causes. The details are here and the video here:
Next up, the American Hogwarts. I mean, it is if by “Hogwarts” you’re referring to a well-established university setting with a clear cut amazing children’s collection, staff, program schedule, and more. Princeton finally decided to create a little trailer for the Cotsen Children’s Library, and I have to say I’m stunned. First off, there’s my girl Dana Sheridan killing it with the storytimes. Then there’s the just wide range of services they provide. And the furniture, dear GOD the furniture!! I’m fascinated by the Cotsen Critix program too since bookclubs for 9-12 year-olds are my weakness. Wish I lived closer to it! Here’s more background information and here’s the trailer:
Someday I shall teach a course on the art of the book trailer. In it I will show all the different myriad styles and techniques one can utilize when coming up with your very own. And always assuming that I remember, I shall include this simple, lovely trailer for The Mystery Hat by Rune Brandt Bennicke and Jakob Hjort Jensen . Sometimes it’s all in the soundtrack, folks.
There go Scieszka and Biggs. I’ve suspected for years that they were in the pocket of Big Audiobook but never had the proof . . . until now!!
Seriously, though, I’m-a wanting that crazy white wig.
So this year we are seeing not one but TWO different early chapter book series about Latino girls. This is a good thing since the running tally before 2015 was . . . um . . . yeah, it was zero. Zero series in total. The first is the Emma Is On the Air series by Ida Siegal and illustrated by Karla Pena. The second is the Sofia Martinez series by Jacqueline Jules, illustrated by Kim Smith. But only one of these (as of this post) has a book trailer:
It’s not a children’s book. It’s not even a YA novel. It’s (*gasp* *shudder*) an adult book . . . but its book trailer is adorable. I can resist it, not at all.
Thanks to Alison Morris for the link.
I had not yet taken the time to see the trailer for the Lena Dunham/Hilary Knight documentary. Nothing too surprising to see here, but it’s certainly a very clear cut case of a famous person attempting to shine their light on someone they admire who might not be a household name (though Eloise certainly is).
Thanks to educating alice for the link.
And I’m not feeling too creative on the off-topic video of the day. And when the going gets tough, the tough links to cat/dog videos. So goes the world. So goes the world.Display Comments Add a Comment
When actress Lena Dunham started talking in the news about how she wanted to turn Catherine Called Birdy into a film, I was intrigued. And apparently she’s not a fly-by-night children’s book lover either. All her tattoos are children’s literature inspired. Hearing this I figured she’d have the usual suspects. Eloise, sure. And she does have some normal ones like Ferdinand the bull and Olivia. But then she starts talking about her Little Golden Book tat (for Pals). The kicker, however, is the Fair Weather by Richard Peck tattoo. I think I’m safe in saying that this may well be the only Fair Weather tattoo in the history of the world. Now she’s created a documentary on Hilary Knight called It’s Me, Hilary. Some additional info:
Thanks to Michael Patrick Hearn for the link.
And now a lovely little video in tribute of my workplace. I do love that main branch. It would be awfully nice if a video like this was made of each of the branches as well. We have 86+ but boy would it be cool.
The art of the book trailer, and I would call it an art, requires a certain level of absurdity. After all, we’re talking about a video medium celebrating a literary one (by extension, my Video Sunday series is a regular exercise in peculiarity). So when a trailer comes along that is purposefully absurd and sets the correct tone (music, voiceover, visuals, etc.) it is worth highlighting. Behold Night Circus by Etienne Delessert. It works, man. It works.
Full credit to Travis Jonker for locating this next one. In case you missed it, it’s Dr. Seuss and how he created Green Eggs and Ham.
And while it’s not really off-topic, let’s just end with a cheery video of Lori Prince and I reacting to Yuyi Morales’ Pura Belpre win. This is pretty typical for both of us, I’d say.Display Comments Add a Comment
In preparation for an upcoming 4-week club for kids that I'll be hosting, I created a book trailer for A Dog Called Homeless, winner of the 2013 Middle Grade Schneider Family Book Award, The Schneider Family Book Awards "honor an author or illustrator for the artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences."
A Dog Called Homeless is written by Sarah Lean and published by Harper Collins. I hope you enjoy it.
2014 marked a distinct increase in attention spent on children’s books with diverse characters. However, this is not to say that all books with diverse characters got the same amount of attention. Take, for example, Saving Baby Doe by Danette Vigilante. It was one of the only middle grade books in 2014 to sport a Latino boy protagonist (go on . . . name me two others in 2014). It had great writing as well, so why has almost no one talked about it? NYPL put it on their 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing list and recently our local station NY1 interviewed Staten Island resident Ms. Vigilante about the book in our Stapleton branch. Watch carefully and you may see me in my cameo role as “New York Public Library” itself.
You better watch out, you better not cry. You better not pout, I’m telling you why. 90-SECOND NEWBERY FILM FESTIVAL IS COMING TO TOWN!!! You can see the full listing of where the festival is headed here. In the meantime, here’s one of the new videos. Is it bad that it actually scared me? It’s a bunch of kids doing The Graveyard Book (The Dance Macabray as kickline = inspired) but I had the same reaction to it that I had to Shaun of the Dead. I honestly found parts of it (the sleer) scary. I is wimp!!
Maybe I’ve been reading The Lorax to my kiddo too much but you know what this is, don’t you?
It’s a Thneed! Thanks to Aunt Judy for the video.
Have you seen the latest trailer for a new version of The Little Prince? For the first 30 seconds or so of this you’re going to be confused, possibly angry. Stick with it. Please.
Beats Bob Fosse as The Snake, anyway. Then again, points docked for not having any Gene Wilder. (Fun Fact: Most movies are docked points for this very reason)
No no no no no. Not allowed. I call foul. Illustrators have enough talent as it is. They are NOT allowed to also be excellent authors and even if they happen to be precisely that they are NOT allowed to have pitch perfect voices that can read selections from their books with all the vocal skills of the highest paid celebrity. Back you go, Chris Riddell. Ply your magic dulcet tones elsewhere.
At this point there are too many fantastic 2015 picture books out there to tell you about. Thank goodness some of them make book trailers, then. For example, have you heard about Kathi Appelt’s fabulous When Otis Courted Mama, illustrated by Jill McElmurry? If not then remedy is at hand:
Now another trailer. As blurbs go, “This book smells great” may be my pick of the week.
And for the off-topic video of the day, it’s a Swing vs. Hip Hop dance off from Montreal. As my friend Marci put it, “the first swing round is sort of meh but it gets better.”
Thanks to Marci for the link.Display Comments Add a Comment
Don’t miss this exhibit! You’ll encounter 40 examples of the best-illustrated books of 2013, from the most talented in the field.
A highlight is the inclusion of published illustrators who happen to live in San Diego and Los Angeles, including Salina Yoon, Debbie Tilley, Andrea Zimmerman & David Clemesha, David Diaz, Janell Cannon, and Robin Preiss Glasser, to name just a few!
There’s a dedicated reading corner where you can sit and peruse the books each piece is culled from. Many of the originals include drawings, paintings, prints, etchings, and collages — a rare opportunity to fully appreciate the diversity of creativity applied to these works. Gallery curator Karen McGuire even adhered post-its to corresponding pages of each book, so that visitors can compare the printed result to its original, up-close!
There’s also a video featuring 19 trailers highlighting selected artists on display, broadcast throughout the duration of the exhibit. Don’t miss it — it’s at the reading corner! Here are just a few of the trailers you’d encounter.
IDEA: It’s not too early to order picture books for holiday gift giving! Give everyone you love a children’s picture book. It’s a bazillion times more enduring than a mere Christmas card! There’s something for everyone.
Like this one (below). Yes, Renata Liwska‘s original work is on display at The Cannon Art Gallery too!
Check out the work of Renata, and her multi-talented illustrator colleagues, at the Cannon Art Gallery, before it becomes yet another happy memory.
1775 Dove Lane
Carlsbad, CA 92011
Tuesday – Thursday: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Howdy, folks. I have news for you. Did you have any idea that a children’s literature online show called KidLit TV was in the works? Nor did I until I stopped by Roxie Munroe’s studio the other day. She informed me that man-about-town Rocco Staino had been by with an honest-to-goodness film crew to talk to her about this new series. Calling itself, “The video resource for the greater kidlit community” it’s launching this fall. Here’s the first video so far:
Okay. I admit it. I’m a sucker for cute kids. Thank goodness they don’t do many lemonade stands in my neighborhood or I’d be without a dime in my pocket. So when I saw this video about the Dr. Seuss Wants You! Indiegogo campaign, I was hooked. These gals are trying to raise funds so that their school library can have its very own librarian. Resist their cuteness if you can!
Thanks to AL Direct for the link.
You know what I love? Shakespeare. You know what I love even more than Shakespeare? Graphic novels. You know what I love even more than Shakespeare and graphic novels? Book trailers. Now all three of the things I love have combined in this trailer for The Stratford Zoo Presents MacBeth. I have read and loved the book (Lady MacBeth as a spotted animal = brilliance). Originally premiering on Watch. Connect. Read., do be so good as to enjoy it.
Many of you have probably seen this but the IKEA BookBook ad is rather charming.
Which, in turn, is not too dissimilar from this faux Amazon Prime Air Launch ad.
Thanks to Michael Stusser for the link.
Ooo. Lisa Von Drasek! Now that she’s moved to Minnesota (I am not even kidding when I say how envious I am) I don’t get to see her around and about anymore. Fortunately somebody out there (U of M, presumably) did this kickin’ recording of her conversation with Kate DiCamillo. For those of you more familiar with Kate, come for the DiCamillo, stay for the Von Drasek.
By the way, this is the first I’ve ever heard of IFLA. Anyone else out there feel as out of it as me?
Good old Ed Spicer. Not only does he come out for every book signing I do in Michigan but he records my blabberings and puts them online. This recent posting went up in conjunction with Wild Things but was filmed several years ago. If you’re interested in me with the talkety talk, enjoy.
As for today’s Off-Topic Video, I am thoroughly indebted to Dan Santat. It’s the final ceremony of Star Wars done without the soundtrack. As my friend Dan McCoy said of it, “Over and above the comedy, this actually let me see Star Wars with new eyes, for the first time in decades, which is amazing.”
Many thanks to Dan Santat for the vid.
Today I am pleased as punch to premiere the brand spankin’ new book trailer for Dan Yaccarino’s middel grade novel debut Zorgoochi Intergalactic Pizza: Delivery of Doom (say that five times fast – I dare you). The video captures humor, pathos, and angry mushrooms. In other words, everything that makes life worth living.
EnjoyDisplay Comments Add a Comment
The exciting news this week was that I got to host a couple panels regarding Banned Books (it being the week of ‘em and all). The first was at the Brooklyn Book Festival with David Levithan, Francesca Lia Block, and Lauren Myracle. I then cannibalized my own questions and used them in this, a Google+ Hangout alongside Lauren Oliver, Lev Grossman, and Lexa Hillyer. My sole objection: You cannot see my awesome shoes.
And yes. The Google offices do have free food, copious couches, and massage rooms hither and thither.
Speaking of the Brooklyn Book Festival, I was pleased as punch to see Catherine Jinks speaking there, live and in person. She mentioned this video which, through utter and total coincidence, I’d seen on my own a couple days before. Alfred. Is. Perfect. Look at his fingernails!
And speaking of awesome book trailers . . .
And yeah. Your book trailer might be awesome. But did yours ever have a snappy theme song? I’m just so pleased that our own Gregory K. (he of Gotta Book and The Happy Accident) is debuting his middle grade this year. Spoiler Alert: It’s good.
And…. okay. So, maybe I’m a pushover. Obviously this isn’t my usual video. But I just sorta liked the feel of this little paper studio and the kiddos who help out. The narrator I can live without (would that Mimi had narrated the whole thing herself) but I like the kids and I like the product. So sue.
And for the off-topic video of the day . . . was there any question what I’d go with? This video works better when you know beforehand that the father is trying to distract his daughter from the “scary” fireworks outside.
I also like the fact that he clearly did her hair that night.Add a Comment
All right. Me stuff off the bat. I was recently asked to moderate a panel of authors for the Children’s Media Association. The panel consisted of Ame Dyckman, Joanne Levy, Katherine Longshore, Elisa Ludwig, Lynda Mullaly Hunt, and Sarvenaz Tash. During the course of the evening it was suggested that we perform a Giant Dance party. Joanne was kind enough to edit the footage and the results . . . well, here you go. I’m the one in the middle, for the record.
In other news, NYPL recently turned my Children’s Literary Salon that featured Leonard Marcus talking about the current NYPL exhibit The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter as interviewed by Jenny Brown into a Google+ Hangout. Here is the gist of it. You’ll probably want to start watching after the 5 minute mark. Unless you like watching empty chairs. In which case, go crazy.
It’s worth it for the info on the ivory umbrella handle info alone.
And since I’m on a roll with the NYPL events, any interest in hearing Leonard Marcus interview Judy Blume and Eric Carle at the same time? Hit the 9:50 mark on this l’il ole video and it’s all yours.
Okay. Now it’s time to acknowledge that Halloween is nigh. Scaredy Squirrel created a PSA / book trailer. Pretty good, though I’m amused that Scaredy is still drilling home the fear of apples. In the history of man I’m pretty darn sure no one ever actually put a razorblade in a fruit. That was a myth. Ah well. Scaredy wouldn’t care. It’s still a potential threat.
In other book trailer news, this one’s pretty cute. Let’s hear it for effective Flash animation paired with music that bloody gets caught in your brain.
And speaking of earworm music . . .
And for our off-topic video of the day, technically this is a GIF and not a video but I figure if it moves and slows down my computer’s operating system, that’s close enough for me. Et voila:
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Took me a couple minutes to get into this one, but once I remembered the premise it helped. This is basically The Wizard of Oz redone with pop songs. A lot of which, sad to say, I have never heard of. Fortunately I could at least recognize the weird genius of the line, “You’re just a lion on the cold hard ground” from Taylor Swift’s “Trouble”. I’m not completely out of it. Plus you should check out The Wizard himself. A more badass Wiz I’ve yet to see.
Thanks to Marci for the link.
Next up, I’m just a tiny bit mad that there was a trailer for Boxers & Saints out there that was THIS GOOD and yet it took me roughly six months to discover it on my own. Your required watching of the day:
Um . . . may I work for Chronicle now? Please? I mean seriously . . . pretty please? No, honestly. I would work for you. Make me an offer. This video? I want to go to there.
The sole fault that I can find is that they do not properly credit everyone by name at the end. That is a mistake. I want to know who these folks are.
The Scholastic Reading Club blog Book Box Daily has a tendency to produce adorable videos. None so adorable as this, though. Here we have my friend Lori. Short of showing you puppies romping on a field, I could not display anything quite as cute. Particularly when she involves her siblings in her readings.
Finally, our off-topic video. I confess that had Stephany Aulenback not posted this on her blog Crooked House I probably would never have heard of artist Grace Weston at all. This might as well be called “Grace Weston: The artist you’d actually like to meet and hang out with for long periods of time”. Stephany says she has a “Mr Roger’s Neighborhood and Hieronymous Bosch” sensibility, and I see that but for me she’s filling the gap that The Far Side left in our hearts when Gary Larson fled the scene.
“. . . and then the laundry gets destroyed by ash!” *laughs hysterically*
Awesome. Thank you, Stephany for the link.
I am pleased as punch to announce that here at A Fuse #8 Production today we are showing off the world premiere of the book trailer of Ice Dogs, the upcoming 2014 middle grade novel by Terry Lynn Johnson. Created by Bookcandy, this trailer has everything I love in it. Live action (I’ve REALLY been enjoying the ones I’ve been seeing this year), dogs, and live action dogs. I am a woman of simple tastes.
Enjoy!Display Comments Add a Comment
Shout-out to my buddy Haddon Kime. The man wrote the music and lyrics for a new musical version of The Snow Queen now playing at the San Jose Repertory Theatre with dreams of Broadway. Years ago he created the opening music and words for my now long dead podcast. It’s great seeing his star on the rise. This past Christmas we discussed various children’s versions of the Hans Christian Andersen tale, including this year’s by Bagram Ibatoulline (which he hadn’t seen) and Breadcrumbs (which he thinks is brilliant). This is a tiny look at the production but I do love that in this Steampunky SQ the little robber girl gets to sing a punk rock song. Awesome. She has always been my favorite character anyway.
Small children standing on chairs. If book trailers need anything more than this, I don’t want to hear about it. Here we have fantastic MG author N.D. Wilson’s daughter reading his self-published (and, if I hear correctly, soon to be professionally published) picture book Hello, Ninja.
Of course I can’t link to a video by N.D. Wilson without thinking of that AMAZING one he created years ago for the first Ashtown Burials book. I was reminded of that video when I saw this recent one for Cragbridge Hall: The Inventor’s Secret by Chad Morris. Many of us only DREAM of having a trailer of this caliber for our own titles:
With the advent of Saving Mr. Banks, some of you may be curious about the real P.L. Travers. Fortunately it looks as if the documentary P.L. Travers: The Real Mary Poppins is available through YouTube. Here’s the first part:
And for today’s off-topic video, special thanks to Gregory K for this one. It looks like the world’s most ambitious flashmob. It’s not. The amount of attention paid to facial hair should have given that much away.
Loved the live chicken.Display Comments Add a Comment
Some weeks can go by without a single solitary interesting video in sight. Other weeks, you drown in brilliance. This week inclines far more towards the latter than the former.
I could not lead off today with anything other than the latest bit of Bookie Woogie brilliance. You keened to their 90-second rendition of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. You hooted to their Black Cauldron encapsulation. And you had to rewire your jaw after it smashed to the floor after seeing their Frog and Toad Together video. Now behold the wonder that is . . . Charlotte’s Web!!!
Naturally this was created for James Kennedy’s 90-Second Newbery Film Festival. Those of you in the Chicago area will want to reserve your (free) seats for the February 1st screening here. If nothing else I urge you to check out the posters that Aaron Zenz created in conjunction with this.
Aw, shoot. I know for a fact I never put THIS 90-Second Newbery video up either (you see what happens when you try to post just one?). This is my favorite, bar none, version of The Giver. If I were a producer on a comedy show I would hire this kid NOW NOW NOW.
From this awesomeness we now turn to the ultimate delight. Self-deprecation. Marc Tyler Nobleman had a brilliant notion. He was watching Jimmy Kimmel Live! and saw the bit where celebrities read insulting tweets about themselves. It gave him an idea – what if children’s authors did the same with bad Amazon reviews? Though my temptation is to post all three videos here, I’m going to be a good pooky and only post one. If you would like to see the other two (which are just as good and feature just loads of famous folks) go to Marc’s blog right here. Here’s part one:
In book trailer news, or rather live-action book trailer news, Lorie Ann Grover’s YA novel Firstborn is coming out and the trailer looks pretty darn strong. To the point, well shot, the works. Love the brevity of it. Well played, folks.
If you like your trailers a little more nonfiction picture booky, try on for size this one for Patricia Hruby Powell’s Josephine about you-know-who:
The only cool video I could NOT find this week was something appropriately off-topic. So here’s a cat failing a jump. The internet, if nothing else, is good for a couple of these. Plus the cat’s clearly okay at the end.
Book trailer AS FÉRIAS DO PEQUENO URSO Benjamin Chaud from Orfeu Negro on Vimeo.
Thank you to Three Books a Night!
Time to up the bar. Years ago N.D. Wilson made what has to be the most ambitious book trailer created by an author I ever did see (it was for The Ashtown Burials and if you missed it you can watch it here and see what I mean). Now, after copious Florida research trips where he shot this footage, Wilson returns. Think the narrator on this is Morgan Freeman? Think again. It’s Wilson himself and this is a beautiful glimpse of the book. Tell me you don’t want to read it right now now now.
Thanks to Heather Wilson for the heads up.
In other book trailer news, Dan Santat released his picture book trailer for Beekle. It’s sort of Santat by way of Shaun Tan.
I regret that I don’t remember where I was first alerted to this. It’s just the cast members of the Harry Potter films talking about their favorite lines, but boy it’s fun.
In other news, I am shocked an appalled that I didn’t know about this Aaron Becker Caldecott thank you film until I was alerted to it by 100 Scope Notes. This is brilliant! But then, would you expect anything less?
Thanks to Travis Jonker for the link.
This next video is on the serious side of things. There was a recent benefit at NYPL for something called an Ideas Box. The concept is relatively simple. Librarians Without Borders paired with UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) to create these little boxes that adapt into furniture and contain internet hook-ups, tablets, books, and more. Two videos give you a sense of what I’m talking about. The first shows how you put them together.
The second shows their practical use:
And here’s the official explanation:
Since 2012, Libraries without Borders has partnered with UNHCR and creator Philippe Starck to create an innovate device that will deliver access to information for people emerging from humanitarian crises. Refugees have immediate pressing needs for food, shelter, health care and clothing. Once these priorities have been met, they need a way to forge social ties, rebuild an informed civil society, and develop resilience for the struggles that lay ahead. Too often, the tools needed for this vital work are lacking. The Ideas Box fills this void, giving people who have been thrown into chaos the means to read, write, create and communicate. By providing access to the Internet, books, educational resources, theatre, and films, the Ideas Box empowers individuals and communities to begin to reconstruct what has been lost.
Finally, the off-topic video was going to be that Christopher Walken supercut of him dancing in all his films. Unfortunately it looks like it’s been removed. So instead, I’ll just give you a video that will lead you to waste your ENTIRE DAY. Do you know Postmodern Jukebox? If not, do NOT click on that link or you’ll be listening to clever recuts of popular songs all the ding dang day long. Fitting that I show their video of 2013′s hits then:
Just sorta makes me happy. I’m working on a theory that the tambourine players is a being from another world.
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I dare you not to have some emotional response to the music for this trailer - to say nothing of the artwork or the book's idea.
I'm still working my way through all the books I picked up at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Lulu's Mysterious Mission is the third installment in this illustrated, chapter book series. I don't know why I never got around to reading the first two, but I'm making it up with a booktalk and a book trailer. Enjoy!
Viorst, Judith. 2014. Lulu's Mysterious Mission. New York: Atheneum.
(Advance Reader Copy supplied by publisher - artwork not final)
Eeny meeny miney mo,
That babysitter’s got to go.
Sooner, not later,
Fast, not slow.
That babysitter's got to go.
Well, I am pleased to announce today’s Book Trailer Premiere, particularly since it is unlike every other book trailer I’ve ever put up. Credit that to the subject matter, really. Chris Raschka is one of those rare author/illustrators that can get away with presenting the hard subjects, particularly when it comes to jazz legends. Didn’t think anyone could do something with Thelonious Monk? Wrong. Felt like John Coltrane was bit out of a 5-year-old’s reach? Think again. But the subject of today’s video is more ambitious by far. If, like myself, you were not aware of Sun Ra, prepare to be schooled thoroughly. It’s The Cosmobiography of Sun Ra: The Sound of Joy is Enlightening and it’s hitting shelves May 13th. Get just a sliver of a taste here:
As Kirkus called it, “Unequivocally stellar.” Thanks to the folks at Candlewick for the premiere.Display Comments Add a Comment
Here we are in the glory of spring. With all the beauty just ah-popping outdoors, what better time to sequester ourselves inside to watch mad videos about children’s literature related affairs?
So first and foremost, you may have seen me make mention of the fact that I had a podcasting-related Children’s Literary Salon last weekend. My Lit Salons are monthly gatherings of children’s literature enthusiasts who come to the main branch of NYPL to watch me finagle different topics out of incredibly interesting people. People often ask me to record these, but at this time there is no place online for such talks to live. Happily, that problem was solved recently when Katie Davis (Brain Burps About Books) , John Sellers (PW KidsCast), and Matthew Winner (Let’s Get Busy) came over and Matthew recorded the whole dang thing. This is, insofar as I know, the very FIRST time a moderated event has covered this particular topic (children’s literature podcasts). With that in mind, enjoy!
“John Newbery ate every single book he ever read”. That was going to be my subtitle for today’s blog post. I may still have to use it at some point because it’s one of the highlights of this James Kennedy / Libba Bray interaction at the recent 90-Second Newbery show here in NYC. For years, I’ve been sitting on my laurels with my Randolph Caldecott music video. Now I’ve been royally trumped and it’s all thanks to the song “What Would John Newbery Do?” I can’t top this.
And now, with the approach of the Children’s Book Week Awards, time to break out the big guns. And these, ladies and gents, are some SERIOUSLY big guns!
Turns out the CBC collected a whole CHUNK of these videos and they’re just out there! Like this one starring two of my favorite author/illustrators, Amy Ignatow and Brian Biggs. You must be SURE to stick around for the ghost of David Wiesner. And it backs up my theory that every person in my generation has one rap song memorized. Mine’s “Shoop”.
Nice use of “Rock Lobster” too.
We’re about three days away from El día del niño, otherwise known as the day of the child. Unfamiliar with Dia? Not anymore. Here’s a quickie recap for those of you who are curious:
Día means “day” in Spanish. In 1996, author Pat Mora learned about the Mexican tradition of celebrating April 30th as El día del niño, the day of the child. Pat thought, “We have Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Yes! We need kids’ day too, but I want to connect all children with bookjoy, the pleasure of reading.” Pat was enthusiastically assisted to start this community-based, family literacy initiative by REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking. El día de los niños, El día de los libros/Children’s Day, Book Day, also known as Día, is a daily commitment to link all children to books, languages and cultures, day by day, día por día. Many resources and an annual registry are available at the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). Every year, across the country, libraries, schools, and community organizations, etc. plan culminating book fiestas creating April Children’s Day, Book Day celebrations that unite communities.
Interested in participating? It’s not too late. Best of all, here’s a video from previous years of what folks have done in their libraries. Viva Dia!
We’ve sort of an embarrassment of riches this year in terms of trans boy picture books (see the 7-Imp recap of this very thing here). Now one of those books, Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress, has a book trailer that hits on the tone about right. Let’s put it up on the big board!
Thanks to Fred Horler for the link.
This next one is a fictional tie-in to a nonfiction subject. Which is to say, a CCSS dream. I’m not usually on board with rhyming picture books, but this one actually gets away with it!
And for the off-topic video of the day, we all love Neil deGrasse Tyson. This is the video of him slowed down ever so slightly. He loves it. Shows it at his talks sometimes.
And for fun, you can watch the original here:Add a Comment
by Greg Pizzoli
published 2014 by Disney-Hyperion
I’m honored and thrilled to have Greg Pizzoli back to the blog this week. About a year ago we talked about Kroc and The Watermelon Seed, and in the many weeks since, that thing (and Greg!) won the Geisel Award! My kindergarteners call him ‘the BURRRRPPP man’ which I’m pretty sure is the highest praise any mere mortal can achieve.
But today! Today is the birthday of Greg’s latest and greatest, Number One Sam. This is my favorite tweet about it:(And side note, you should follow Matt Roeser at Candlewick cause he has impeccable taste and eyeballs.)
And this (!) is the trailer:
Your spot color. Wow! Can you talk about why such a stripped-down design with a limited color palette is such a powerful visual device?
To be honest, I’m not sure. But, I think it comes down
to working from an intention, and just having a plan, or restrictions
set in place from the beginning. You can’t just grab another color
from somewhere – when it comes time to make final art, we’ve done
rounds of pantone tests and paper tests, and the limitations and
possibilities are in place, so nothing is casual. Maybe it makes you
consider things in a way that is unique to working in that way?
I know for me, if I’m doing a book that is printed in a limited color
palette, it can feel restrictive in one sense, but there is a real
freedom within the limitations, if you know what I mean. There’s not
endless guessing the way there might be with a CMYK book. Obviously we
do lots of tests and make sure we get the base colors right for the
book, but once that is done, I can start carving out the drawings and
not worry too much about the colors, because we’ve done so much work
on the front end. It’s a challenge I enjoy.
Why do you think your stories are best suited to the form of the picture
book. What can you do in this form that you might not be able to in another?
This is a tough one, Carter. Boy, I come to your blog looking to have
a good time, maybe show a video or something, and you slam me with
this “why picture books” stuff. Sheesh. “Gotcha blogging” right here.
But that’s fine, I’ll play along.
I’m kidding, of course. But, it is a tough one. I guess it’s not all
that complicated for me. I’ve always loved picture books and I think
it’s because there are so many possible ways to solve the problem of
telling a story with text and images. It’s a cliche I think, but you
really can do anything in a picture book. But here again, I like the
restrictions. As much as I might complain to my editor that I “just
need one more spread” to tell the story, it’s actually nice to have a
structure where you have to fit a complete world, with a character, a
problem, and (maybe?) a solution to that problem in only 40 (or so)
There’s something about how deliberate every decision has to be
that is super appealing to me. I’ve been working on writing a longer
thing recently, a series, and it’s not as though I’m not deliberate
when working on it, but I’ll admit that it feels as though not as much
is hinging on each line or picture in the same way. With picture
books, you don’t have room for anything to feel arbitrary. I like
Also, I thought you might want to see these. Sam started out as a
print of a weird dog (top) and then I made a print of another
(cuter) dog, and he kept coming up in my sketchbooks until he became
Number One Sam (bottom).
What do you think are the most important considerations when creating a book trailer?
How do you think through compressing an already spare narrative into a short
animation? Are there aspects to animation you wish you had access to in
picture book art or vice versa? (I guess mostly I’m curious about how book
trailers share storytelling space with picture books and what they can do
differently. Does that make sense?!)
Ya know, it’s a complicated thing this book trailer business. I am
really happy with the two we’ve done so far, but I definitely can’t
take all the credit. Jimmy Simpson, directed and animated both the
trailer for The Watermelon Seed and for Number One Sam, and he is
pretty incredible to work with. Both times we started working, I had
already finished the book, and I had a very basic sense of what I
wanted the trailer to be, but he figures out all of the transitions
and added all of the touches that make them work as well as I think
they do. For example, the “wink” shot from the Number One Sam trailer –
that’s all Jimmy. And of course, he does all of the animation.
I draw the stuff, which is somewhat complicated because you have to
keep everything separated, meaning draw the arm on a different layer
from the body, and the hand on a different layer than the arm, and the
ear on it’s own layer, etc. Basically everything needs to move
independently of everything else, but my characters are pretty simple,
so it’s not too big a deal.
And the music is key. My buddy Christopher Sean Powell composed the
music special for both trailers. What a talent, right? He plays in the
band Man Man, and has his solo music project called Spaceship Aloha,
and was a part of a pretty seminal band from these parts called Need
New Body. I’m thrilled we get to work together on this stuff.
But, to your actual question, I see the trailer and the book as
completely separate things. They have their own pacing, and their own
objectives. With the book, you want everything to feel complete, and
have an emotional pay off of some kind. And you have the narrative arc
to keep things together. With the trailer, it’s more of a tease. You
don’t want to give it all away. And I guess our objective is to just
make them fun and unique.
Book trailers have become more popular, and there is a sort of
template for how they are done that we have tried to stay away from.
We just want them to feel different enough to maybe stand out. It’s a
super small community in some ways, and my book trailers certainly
aren’t racking up millions of views or anything, but we enjoy making
them for their own sake, partly I think because we all just like
working together. If other people dig them, and check out the book on
top of that, that’s icing.
What types of trophies do you have lining your shelves? What kind do you
wish you had? Side note: What would a book called Number One Greg be about?
Beyond my published books, which I kind of think of as trophies in a
way, there are a couple. Last year when I finished the art for Number
One Sam, my editor Rotem sent me a trophy that I keep on my bookcase.
And recently I was looking through some old family photos and found a
first place ribbon that I had won for a school wide art contest in
the 1st grade. My family moved around a ton when I was little, so the
actual winning piece was lost. I remember it though! It was a big
piece of yellow poster board with a marker drawing of outer space.
Need a little dose of positivity and acceptance today? We’re here to help you out!
Watch this trailer for PETE THE CAT AND THE NEW GUY, which is on sale today. We guarantee it’ll make you feel groovy!
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“Keep walking along and singing your song. Because it’s all good.”Add a Comment