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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Abrams Books for Young Readers, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 19 of 19
1. Charles Darwin's Around-the-World Adventure ~ Advance Copy!

An advance copy of my next book arrived yesterday, to my total surprise! I am absolutely thrilled with the way it turned out. (Hard to see in the photo, but there's a spot varnish on the butterflies, Charles, and the title. I totally wasn't expecting such a wonderful detail. The design geek in me is very, very happy!)

I'm feeling truly fortunate and thankful to be working with such an amazing Editor, Art Director, and the whole team at Abrams!

The book will be out in October... stay tuned for some behind-the-scenes book posts in the weeks leading up to release!

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2. Happy Birthday, Charles Darwin!

"... There are several other sources of enjoyment in a long voyage... the map of the world ceases to be a blank; it becomes a picture full of the most varied and animated pictures." –from THE VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE

Charles Darwin was born 207 years ago today, on February 12, 1809. Today is also Darwin Day– a celebration of Darwin's life and amazing contributions to the world of science. Cake for everyone!

*Art detail from CHARLES DARWIN'S AROUND-THE-WORLD ADVENTURE (Abrams 2016), coming in October!

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3. What I'm Working On Now

I haven't forgotten about you, little blog. I've just been knee-deep in revisions, and now final art (yay!) for Charles Around The World.

I'm posting a lot more frequently over on Instagram, if you'd like to follow along...

(My hairy little assistants... always good for adding hair to the watercolors...)

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4. Details, Details...

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5. Just Keep Drawing...

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6. Publishers Weekly Fall 2016 Children's Sneak Previews!

A is for Abrams! (Also, "Awesome!" And "Aw yeah!")

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7. Scenes from my Bulletin Board•October

This month's bulletin board features My Life in Pink & Green Scholastic Paperback, Wimpy Kid Catalog page and ABRAMS web site banner, Hereville interior page, page 28 color proof of Mama, Is It Summer Yet?, Laura Lee Gulledge's upcoming debut graphic novel Paige by Page, Secrets of the Cicada Summer paperback cover sketch by Amy Bates, Map of ItalyVACATION!, Just Like Mama original art by Julia Gorton, Title page sketch for La Noche Buena by Angela Dominguez and lastly just because I like looking at it John Hendrix's John Brown which has received 2 starred reviews and was selected into the Society of Illustrator's Childrens Art show on October 22nd.

1 Comments on Scenes from my Bulletin Board•October, last added: 10/7/2009
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8. February Bullentin Board

Starting at the top left: Michael Buckley's NERDS: M is for Momma's Boy the second book in the NERDS series, Barry Deutsch's Graphic Novel Hereville, David Clement Davies novel Scream of the White Bears, and the final book in David Ward's trilogy Beyond the Mask, Second row: Laura Numeroff teams up with Dan Andreasen for Otis & Sydney and the Best Birthday Ever, Kim Gordon writes Misty Gordon and the Pirate Ghosts with cover art by Gregg Call, then The WIMPY KID Movie Diary, followed by Lisa Greenwald's second novel Sweet Treat and Secret Crushes, Third Row: a sketch I made for an online banner ad for MEANWHILE a 'chose your own adventure' graphic novel by Jason Shiga and final George Bates and Nancy Raines Day's long awaited On a Windy Night picture book. All these books are due out in 2010.

6 Comments on February Bullentin Board, last added: 2/12/2010
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9. A Look Back on Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Book and the Movie by Charles Kochman

Last week the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie premiered and now there is talk of producing a second film. But how did we get here? It just seems like yesterday that we started work on the cover. Which was over 3 years ago now. The first time I ever heard anything about Diary of a Wimpy Kid was through a PW announcement informing us that Charles Kochman had acquired a book told in cartoons. It was the first time I had seen an announcement like that about a book I was going to be working on before working on it. I had yet to work with Charlie since he was an editor for the Abrams imprint and had yet to work on anything in the Children's Dept. Not knowing what lay ahead there was an air of excitement around this book from the day one. Charles Kochman took a moment last week to reflect back about the movie and how Wimpy Kid came to be.

Charles Kochman: It’s late in the afternoon on Sunday, February 26, 2006, and I’ve been working the New York Comic-Con since Friday. A young man walks up to the Abrams booth and we begin to talk about Mom’s Cancer, a Web comic we’d just published as a graphic novel that was starting to get a lot of attention. He then asks if we would ever consider an online comic that was written for younger readers. “If the material was right, sure,” I say. “I can’t see why not.” The man then hands me a 6 x 9 spiral-bound packet of eighteen pages. There’s a simple line drawing on the front and a title scrawled across the top, Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I looked down at his proposal, smiled, then looked up, the eight year old in me thinking, Why wasn’t there something like this when I was a kid? I offer encouragement, leafing through the pages, and let him know I’d be in touch after I read it and looked at his Web site. The man walks away into the crowd and, as he told me later, called his brother and said, “I just met the guy who’s going to publish my book.” Little did he know, but as I watched him walk down the aisle of the Javitz Center that afternoon, I thought the same thing.

That night I went home, ate, and sorted through my stack of swag from three days at the con. Spread out on my bed were comics, books, posters, postcards, buttons, and proposals, each in its own pile. And then I unpacked Diary of a Wimpy Kid and read the first page and started to laugh. By the time I got to page seven and the Reading Group titles Einstein as a Child and Bink Says Boo, Jeff Kinney and Greg Heffley had won me over completely.

1 Comments on A Look Back on Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Book and the Movie by Charles Kochman, last added: 3/30/2010
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10. Interview Adventure series—Julia Denos • 6

Julia Denos is the illustrator of DOTTY (FALL 2010) by Erica S. Perl. She doesn't have an imaginary friend of her own, but she does have a loyal feline friend, Serif, who is black with just one white dot on his chest. He doesn't like to wear a leash, but he follows her where ever she goes. Julia grew up in a the small Connecticut town of Cheshire. Oddly I too am from this same town.

Julia's little house in Cheshire, Connecticut (age 9 depiction).

CW: We all got our start somewhere . . . where did you go to school to learn your craft?

JD: My mom was my first teacher. She wrote songs, poetry, helped us put on plays, and encouraged creativity in every moment. We went to the Yale Art Museum often–I liked to stare at Hopper's "Rooms By the Sea"–and to the library to hunt for the books wearing Reading Rainbow stickers.

5 Comments on Interview Adventure series—Julia Denos • 6, last added: 4/23/2010
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11. Interview Adventure Series—Adam McCauley • 7

Adam McCauley enjoys illustrating, playing music, and making things. His illustrations have appeared in magazines, publications and campaigns world wide. Adam's work has been included in group shows in Osaka, San Francisco, New York, Tokyo and Nashville. He works out of his studio in the sunny Mission district in San Francisco.

Adam's clients have included Time, MTV, Apple Computer, National Geographic, Levi's, Viking, Harper Collins, Microsoft, and many others.

Adam's awards have included American Illustration, Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, Print Regional Design Annual, 3 x 3, and How Magazine.

Adam received the Society of Illustrator's Gold Medal for his illustrated monster stamp endpapers for the book "The Monsterologist:A Memoir In Rhyme" by Bobbi Katz.

CW: My goal so far with the various interviews of illustrators is to help of illustrators find there way. The following questions will be add to this underlying idea. Let's get started!

CW: How would you recommend to other illustrators to get there work published?

AM: Do the best work you can do, make it as interesting to look at and experience as it is interesting for you to do. Good work makes for good work received.


1 Comments on Interview Adventure Series—Adam McCauley • 7, last added: 5/29/2010
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12. Green Books Campaign: All in a Day by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Nikki McClure - Book Review

This review is part of the Green Books campaign. Today 200 bloggers take a stand to support books printed in an eco-friendly manner by simultaneously publishing reviews of 200 books printed on recycled or FSC-certified paper. By turning a spotlight on books printed using eco- friendly paper, we hope to raise the awareness of book buyers and encourage everyone to take the environment into consideration when purchasing books.

The campaign is organized for the second time by Eco-Libris, a green company working to make reading more sustainable. We invite you to join the discussion on "green" books and support books printed in an eco-friendly manner! A full list of participating blogs and links to their reviews is available on Eco-Libris website.

All in a Day by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Nikki McClure; Abrams Books for Young Readers (March 2009); ISBN 9780810983212; 32 pages
Book Source: Review copy from publisher

"Every bird and every tree
and every living thing
loves the promise in a day,
loves what it can bring."

Carpe diem (seize the day) is a phrase that most of us are familiar with but might not always take to heart. Each day is a gift, full of hope and promise. Cynthia Rylant reminds readers to live each day to the fullest in her book, All in a Day. She doesn't often mention particulars in her wonderful, poetic verses, but rather describes a day using broad phrases that apply to all lives and appeal to all ages.

"The past is sailing off to sea, the future's fast asleep. A day is all you have to be, it's all you get to keep."

Nikki McClure's idyllic cut paper illustrations provide the reader with imagery needed to visualize a perfect day in the life of a child. From sunrise to sunset, a little boy's life is full of simple moments outside as he takes joy in both work and play, observes nature and spends time with family. He feeds the chickens, blows dandelion seeds, cuddles in a hammock, and takes a walk through the woods. Each and every image is nature-based and full of astonishing detail. McClure is a master of cut paper art and each illustration is cut by hand from a piece of black paper.

13 Comments on Green Books Campaign: All in a Day by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Nikki McClure - Book Review, last added: 11/12/2010
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13. BYR Spring 2011 Cover Preview

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14. News!

I'm so thrilled to finally be able to share this news!

"Tamar Brazis at Abrams has bought author-illustrator Jennifer Thermes's Charles Around the World in a preempt. The picture book biography tells of Charles Darwin's adventures on the HMS Beagle, featuring maps illustrating the route of his travels and his discoveries in each location. It is scheduled for fall 2016. Marietta B. Zacker of Nancy Gallt Literary Agency brokered the deal, which includes a second book, for world English rights."
– from Publishers Weekly Rights Report: Week of September 8, 2014


(Charles Darwin is one cool dude!)

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15. Ballots for Belva

How timely is this?

Hillary wasn't first. Nor was Ferraro. Have you heard of Belva Lockwood? I had not either before reading this fabulous picture book biography.

Belva once read that a person could move mountains if he or she only had faith. Belva believed this wholeheartedly, and lived her life accordingly. Belva was born in Niagara County, New York in the year 1830. She was the daughter of a farmer, and by the time she was a 39 she had already been married, had a child, been widowed, become a teacher and gotten involved in the suffrage movement. She decided that she wanted to attend law school. In 1869, however, not many law schools wanted to admit women, and the few that did certainly did not want to grant degrees to the women who attended. If you've figured anything out about Belva by now, you know that she found a way to get her deserved degree, and to have it signed by President Ulysses S. Grant to boot!

What could be next for Belva?

After becoming the first woman to graduate from the National University Law School, she became the first woman to practice law in the federal courts. She was the first woman to argue a case before the Supreme Court. She rode her tricycle around Washington D.C. oblivious to the stares from those around her. And then in 1884, Belva became the first woman to officially run for president.

Before the ratification of the vote, Belva ran for president! And she got votes. Votes from men. 4711 to be exact. She got more votes than that, but they were thrown out, since the men doing the counting could not believe that anyone would actually vote for a woman.

I found this story not only timely, but incredibly inspiring as well. An author's note, glossary and timeline are included, which make this ripe for classroom use. Do today's kids know that the vote was taken away from women in 1787 (1807 in the case of NJ)? Author Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen has done a great job of writing a readable storyline filled with, but not laden down by, facts surrounding suffrage and the political process. Courtney A. Martin's illustrations reflect the time period, though I do wish that the cat accompanying Belva everywhere was explained! This is a book that deserves a prominent place in classroom and library alike!

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16. Lazy Little Loafers

I always give a little laugh as I walk through the hallways in my school and overhear 2nd graders reminiscing about what it was like to be in the 4s. How they yearn for rest time now. (Mind you when they were 4, you couldn't pay them to stay on their mats!) Lazy Little Loafers has captured the nostalgia of the older child and brought in some snark for good measure.

"Here's a question for you: Why don't more babies work?"

Really. Why don't they?

Our unnamed protagonist who is busily dragging her HUGE backpack filled with work, is trying to figure this out. There are lots of jobs...there are lots of babies...could it be that babies are simply lazy? Babies certainly look lazy. They are wheeled everywhere in their fancy strollers, they eat snacks and roll around. It seems like the hardest work they do is trying to walk!

Illustrator G. Brian Karas' babies are hilarious as they stick out their tongues, suck their thumbs and cavort in the park. This may not be the picture book for everyone, but older kids who appreciate sarcasm will certainly eat it up! I think my readers who loved A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever, and Chowder will love Susan Orlean's Lazy Little Loafers.

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17. The Evolution of the 3-2-3 Detective Agency Cover

in The Disappearance of Dave Warthog
By Fiona Robinson

One of my favorite books on the Fall 2009 Amulet list is 3-2-3. I have talked about evolution Michael Buckley's NERDS in dept and will soon be posting about Lauren Myracles Luv Ya Bunches but right now its time to take a look at the evolution of the 3-2-3 cover design.

First a little bit about the book
Fast-paced, full-color, and divided into short, easy-to-read chapters, this is a wonderful graphic novel for younger readers, offering a seamless transition between picture books and novels.

On the 3:23 Express to Whiska City, five unlikely friends meet and decide to form a detective agency. There is Jenny the wise donkey, Roger the gourmet dung beetle, Priscilla the theatrical penguin, Slingshot the hyperactive sloth, and Bluebell, the shy but brave rat. With little training but a lot of pluck, they set up shop in Whiska City and soon tackle their first mystery: a rash of disappearances linked to a pink poodle’s beauty salon.

A funny, clever detective story for young graphic novel fans!.

On one of Fiona's many enjoyable visits to our offices she dropped off these 2 pulp comics, AMAZING STORIES. Which I took some direct and indirect influence from. The trick was to introduce the characters in a pulp comic setting while remaining true to the Fiona's voice.
Here are three of our first attempts.

We all loved the humor an wit of Fiona's characters along the spine but how to make the type work was still and issue.

In all three of the above the title type was a problem. No matter what we tried the design forced us to put the copy in a box which just didn't seem to work. Also, it became repetitive to show all five characters along the spine and in the main image. There were to many parts, to many things going on. Below is an attempt at simplifying the above ideas.

This direction seem to click at the time. We liked it enough to present it and the other ideas at our weekly cover meeting for discussion. The conversation in the meeting turned to a confusion over why the monkey was hypnotized and whether this was the image that was best for the book. We also talked about what was more important, introducing the characters or telling the audience that this is a pulp mystery graphic novel. At the moment we were displaying all these ideas yet nothing was working 100%. So we were sent back to the drawing board.

Almost a month went by before I was able to take another go at rethinking the design Luckily we were ahead on this book so I had time to waste. But more importantly time to step back and take another look from a far.

Knowing what we needed to be on the cover helped going forward.
1. Introduce the characters
2. Pulp comic design influence
3. Simple design/Iconic Image
4. Communicating that the book is a mystery.
5. Setting up a design for a possible series if needed.

On a rainy Thursday afternoon Fiona and I sat down in my dark office and I sketched this up while listening to Fiona's ideas.

We wanted to somehow keep the circle character drawings from the first cover comps. Can any one say BACK COVER?!

Fiona's Final cover art

Back cover hand drawn text

Paperback textBack cover hand drawn text

Hardcover text

Back cover text plus illustration

A needed graphic element hinting at a mystery and an important plot point.Final cover design.

Final Paperback design
Final Hardcover with Flaps design

About the author
Fiona Robinson is the author-illustrator of The Useful Moose: A Truthful, Moose-full Tale. Publishers Weekly praised her “flair for humor tinged with heart.” Her work has been honored by the Royal Academy of Arts and been featured in many gallery shows. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

Available in two editions:
Paperback, and hardcover with jacket

80 pages, full color, 6 3⁄4 x 9 3⁄8"
PAPERBACK ISBN: 978-0-8109-7094-6
HARDCOVER ISBN: 978-0-8109-8489-9
US $9.95 CAN $12.95 PB
US $17.95 CAN $23.50 HC

1 Comments on The Evolution of the 3-2-3 Detective Agency Cover, last added: 8/6/2009
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18. STRUTS and FRETS Finished books are in!

Finish Books came in today!

New Author Jon Skovron makes some noise this November with

1 Comments on STRUTS and FRETS Finished books are in!, last added: 8/21/2009
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19. We all scream for ice cream (and books!)

FB staff take an ice cream break

FB staff take an ice cream break

A fabulous thing happened on the way to Romeoville…

Last month, I got a ride from Chicago to our First Book National Book Bank distribution in Romeoville, Illinois from my friend, Jason Wells, who is the publicity director at Abrams Books for Young Readers.  On the way, Jason mentioned that to promote the upcoming Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days book, Abrams was doing an ice cream truck tour.  By the time we arrived at the distribution, we had an idea.  Wouldn’t it be fun if the truck could make a special visit to a First Book recipient group and Abrams could provide brand new books for all the kids, as well as free ice cream?

In typical First Book fashion, Outreach Director Mitali Chakraborty worked her magic with our partners and everyone at First Book jumped on board to help.  On Thursday, August 20, approximately twenty First Book staffers arrived at the YMCA’s Anthony Bowen chapter here in Washington, DC.  Summer camp director Imani Bell and the YMCA staff introduced us to the kids:  the Jaguars (ages 5-7), the Pythons (8-9) and the Icons (10 and up).  The First Book staff members then broke up into small groups to read aloud with the younger kids and discuss books with the older ones.

Mitali, Imani and me

Mitali, Imani and me

When we brought out the boxes of new books, the kids’ eyes lit up.  They were so excited that they could each have their own books to keep!  I was particularly impressed with the extent to which the Jaguars engaged with the illustrations in the book we read together.  The First Book staff members were taking turns reading aloud when a little girl jumped in to take her turn (hey, why should the grown ups have all the read-aloud fun?) and carried the show for several pages, sounding out some challenging words like a champ.

Just then, the bright yellow Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days ice cream truck arrived, ready to serve up free frozen treats for all (my popsicle – okay, I had two – was excellent)!  And, boy, was it a perfect ice cream day: sunny and hot!  This event turned out to be the perfect way for the First Book staff to beat the heat and celebrate summer reading with some terrific kids in our own hometown.  It’s hard to say who had more fun (or who ate more popsicles) – the kids or us!

Thanks again to Abrams Books for Young Readers and Jason Wells for the inspiration!

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