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Graphic, vibrant, and superfun, At Our House is an amazing counting book that tallies unconventional things such as freckles, nostrils, and the lengths of intestines. It subtly and adorably gives a sense of family and togetherness. Reading Oldham's book feels like snuggling on the couch watching cartoons. Books mentioned in this post $12.95 New Hardcover add [...]Add a Comment
Pixar animator Sanjay Patel presents the major gods and goddesses of Hinduism in a colorful and friendly form, perfect for kids interested in other cultures or mythologies. For example, previously I associated Kali with the Temple of Doom and the sacrificing of hearts, but with this book I learned that the goddess represents time and [...]Add a Comment
Describe your latest book. Days That I'll Remember: Spending Time with John Lennon and Yoko Ono is a personal memoir in which I tell the story of how my own life and the lives of John Lennon and Yoko Ono intersected over a period of 45 years. Ever since I met them in London in [...]Add a Comment
Author, Tonia Allen Gould, announces the release date of her animated and narrated children’s picture book, coming on 7/1/13 on iTunes.
Below is Illustration For Kids‘ latest postcard promo! (I put it in a vertical format for better sizing on the the blog.) Please have a visit at our group website and check out the individual illustrator websites, blogs, FB, Twitter pages, etc. Thanks!Add a Comment
In Rebecca Stead's follow-up to her 2010 Newbery Medal winner When You Reach Me, Liar and Spy introduces us to Georges (pronounced George), a seventh grader who has just moved into a brand-new Brooklyn apartment and meets Safer, a 12-year-old self-appointed spy. The quirky story and super-precocious characters make this a quick but fun read. A [...]Add a Comment
I have never laughed so much at a board book! Authors who plainly have the best tongue-in-cheek sense of humor ever present 12 words and 12 needle-felted illustrations. This is the perfect book for those who enjoy "artisanal knots" and find Portlandia to be more of a documentary. Books mentioned in this post $9.95 New Board Book add [...]Add a Comment
The Snowman is a timeless classic. Wonderfully sweet and nostalgic illustrations conjure all kinds of winterland memories and fantasies. It's wordless, so it's a lovely choice for even the littlest reader. Books mentioned in this post $17.00 New Hardcover add to wish list The Snowman Raymond BriggsRaymond Briggs 9780394839738Add a Comment
A very apt Illustration Friday prompt for this week, as the snow begins to fall. Below if my contribution. Check out the others by clicking on the link above!Add a Comment
When you write a children's book called A Rule Is to Break: A Child's Guide to Anarchy, some eyebrows inevitably get raised in your direction. As a result, people might not come to you for parenting advice, but we say they're wrong about that. For parents fearful of children run amok, our book sets off [...]Add a Comment
Perfect for the young and the young at heart, this KAPOW of a craft book has tons of projects and ideas for kids and adults with fresh and modern twists. I think of myself as somewhat crafty, but Kid Made Modern had great and inventive ideas that even I couldn't overcomplicate and could easily reproduce. Books [...]Add a Comment
Eeee! This book will fill you with an endless supply of the warm fuzzies. And, who knew, but when the title was first published in 1958 it was banned! Adorable bunnies equals controversy? Unfortunately, yes. It was banned because it supposedly encouraged interracial marriage. Sigh. Luckily times have changed (sort of), and The Rabbits' Wedding [...]Add a Comment
Say hi to Inez Haynes Gillmore. I know some of you are familiar with her, but I suspect most of you are not. She could easily be your new favorite author. She’s pretty good. But mostly what she is is versatile.
I read a book of hers the other day called Gertrude Haviland’s Divorce. It made me re-examine three of Gillmore’s other books, just because it seemed so unlikely that they all could have come from the same person. So, there’s Gertrude Haviland, a divorce novel — and please don’t try to tell me that’s not a genre, because I won’t listen — and then there’s an adorable children’s book, a fluffy romance/adventure/ghost story/paean to old furniture, and a disturbing, bloody, and terrifyingly upbeat allegorical feminist fantasy. All of them are, in their separate ways, perfect.
We’ll start with Maida’s Little Shop. It’s the most innocuous. There were fifteen Maida books, two of which are in the public domain, but although the series ran until the 1950s, it was obviously never intended to be a series at all — there wasn’t so much as a sequel for eleven years. I’ve only read Maida’s Little Shop and Maida’s Little House, but that’s enough to be glad there was a sequel, and to take the rest of the books on faith, because they’re lovely. Maida is the daughter of the kind of fictional millionaire of whom, despite the fact that he’s clearly a great guy, everyone is terrified. She’s also a bit of an invalid, only capable of walking because of a recent operation by one of those specialists who are always curing crippled fictional characters. All she needs to complete her recovery is to take a real interest in something, so when she expresses a desire to run a store, her father buys it for her. I might have liked to hear a bit more about the actual running of the shop — logistics, and the kind of financial detail you only get from Horatio Alger, and things like that — but the friendships she forms with the children in her new neighborhood are completely satisfactory. Based on Maida’s Little House, I expect the rest of the series revolves around Maida and her friends being happy and industrious in a variety of settings while her father spends vast amounts of money on them. And what more could you want?
Then there’s Angel Island. I don’t know how it was received when it was first serialized in The American Magazine, but right now it’s probably the most famous thing she wrote, because of all the feminism. I kind of wish it was even more feminist, though. Or maybe a bit less pessimistic about human nature. This is the story of five young men who are shipwrecked with a lot of dead bodies and even more supplies. After they’ve been hanging around on their new island home for a while, they discover that they’re sharing it with some winged women — conveniently, five of them. In spite of the language barrier, they begin to pair off, “Peachy” showing off for Ralph, “Chiquita” hanging out with Frank as he writes, etc. And then Ralph is like, “So, obviously the next step is to capture them and force them to marry us.” The other men are initially horrified by this, but eventually they all come round to the same point of view, at which point they trap the women in a cabin the’ve built and cut off their wings. That was a but of a surprise for me. There’s all this talk about capturing the women, and then once they’ve done it Gillmore is like, “and then they pulled out their freshly sharpened shears.”
Then the men proceed to “tame” the women. Which, you know, if it’s goingDisplay Comments Add a Comment
Happy Monday, all! Just a quick posting to thank Highlights for Children for selecting me for “Illustrator of the Month”. That was the month of February, so I’m a little late in posting this. : )
Highlights is the only magazine (rather, publishing company) I know of that expresses such great appreciation like they do to illustration, illustrators, and the illustrators that they contract. These platters and letters are just a part of their way of conveying the value they have for illustrators. The party they throw each year is amazing (I attended two years ago. Wow!), not to mention the relationship they build with their contractors. It’s got a family-feel to it all.
So thank you, Christine, Cynthia, Kelley and staff, for choosing me for the month of February! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you guys, too!
And, below, is the spread that they are talking about…”The Champion Of Quiet”, a cute story written by Tracy Stewart.
Below: A pull-out of the first spot from the spread.Add a Comment
You may remember that some time back I created this drawing, above, as the publicitiy image for Buxton Festival's production of James and the Giant Peach.
Well, they kinda liked it and asked if I would do a series of illustrations that would become the back drop for the actual prodcution. I've never done anything like that before and I thought it would be cool to see my illustrations become something bigger, so to speak.
I thought it might be interesting to blog this process, starting these are the first rough sketches. At this point I am just mapping out the drawings.
I was a Roald Dahl freak when I was young. In fact, Danny Champion of the World is still in my top ten favourite books (maybe even top 5). I have a vague memory of reading James, but I've never seen the film. I did consider watching it but decided against it in the end. I don't really want to be influenced by anything else.
I shall watch it after the event. Which will be a nice way to end a project. I'll post all ten (!) of the drawings as I complete them.
The Green Door is short and admonitory and — before I forget — by Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman. It’s also a timeslip book, which is the reason you’re hearing about it; books in which exciting adventures make young girls decide to be more boring in the future have very little appeal for me.
Letitia Hopkins is, from the start, a bit of a drip. Her Aunt Peggy seems like a pretty nice adoptive parent, and she provides Letitia with a nice home, but, as Letitia doesn’t actually like to do anything but sit still and daydream, she’s dissatisfied. She’s also really curious about the green door in the cheese-room, which doesn’t seem to exist on the other side of the wall — curious enough that one day while Aunt Peggy is out, she steals the key and opens it.
She finds herself in the time of her great-great-great grandparents, and her great-great-great grandparents are the first people she meets when she gets there — them and their three daughters, Letitia’s great-great grandmother and great-great-great aunts. They are confused by the fact that her name — Letitia Hopkins — is the same as the name of the great-great-great grandmother and also the great great grandmother (and to be honest, so am I, because surnames are generally patrilineal) but they take her in and teach her how to cook and clean and sew and things.
In another book, this would be the making of Letitia. But no, she continues to be a drip. Then she meets a young boy she went sledding with once in her own time. He too has travelled into his family’s past, although he used a book rather than a door. He finds a corresponding book in his ancestors’ house, and Letitia finds a corresponding door in hers, and then they go home and eat cake and Letitia apologizes to her aunt Peggy, who says, “Well, it was a hard lesson to learn, and I hoped to spare you from it, but perhaps it was for the best.” Implying, I guess, that the Hopkins family uses their weird time traveling door for the purpose of keeping discontented children in line. Which seems like kind of a waste.
I guess I just don’t understand why anyone would want to write a children’s book about how miserable time travel is.
Buxton Festival's production of James and the Giant Peach. This has been an interesting project to work on. It's quite different to what I'd normally do in that usually my work is all about the detail. This brief is almost opposite to that. These images will be the backdrops to the production and therefore should not distract from everything that is going on on the stage. So, with that in mind, I've tried to create them through colour and atmosphere.
This book has been in my mind ever since I started taking photographs in the '70s. It seemed to be the perfect visual exercise — seeing the everyday environment in a whole new, albeit detailed, way. Though it took me a while to finally approach this particular project, the experience has been tremendously gratifying, but [...]Add a Comment
James and Giant Peach project. These drawings will become the backdrops to the play. I find it quite difficult to not get sucked into all the details. After all, that's what I love to do.
Kate: What is the weirdest way that you have ever come up with a song? Caspar: Well, actually today I just came up with a song about a baby that tries to run away from its parents and be free. The rhythm and the key for the song came from the turn signal on a [...]Add a Comment