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Award-winning author and illustrator Dan Yaccarino returns to Ready Set Draw to teach viewers how to draw Doug from Doug Unplugged. Doug is an inquisitive little robot boy who sets off to see the world beyond his home. After drawing Doug it is a good idea to go on a walk to explore your neighborhood.
Dan is joined by KidLit TV team member, Katya Szewczuk who learns to draw Doug too. Katya is an aspiring author and illustrator. You can find Katya’s work, here.
Did you, a child, or student draw Doug using this video? Share your images with us via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter! Use the hashtag #KidLitTV on Instagram and Twitter too. We can’t wait to see what you’ve drawn!
Written and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino
Published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Doug is a robot. His parents want him to be smart, so each morning they plug him in and start the information download. After a morning spent learning facts about the city, Doug suspects he could learn even more about the city by going outside and exploring it. And so Doug … unplugs. What follows is an exciting day of adventure and discovery. Doug learns amazing things by doing and seeing and touching and listening and above all, by interacting with a new friend. Dan Yaccarino’s funny story of robot rebellion is a great reminder that sometimes the best way to learn about the world is to go out and be in it.
ABOUT DAN YACCARINO
Children the world over know Dan Yaccarino from his children’s books, Parent’s Choice Award-winning animated TV series Oswald (Nick Jr) and Emmy-winning Willa’s Wild Life (NBC and Qubo) and character designs for The Backyardigans (Nickelodeon), as well as his many illustrated toys, games, and other children’s products. His bold, stylized illustrations add wit and energy to the work of such prestigious authors as Margaret Wise Brown, Jack Prelutsky, Kevin Henkes and Patricia MacLachlan in addition to his own stories.
Dan’s internationally recognized art style has earned him a large following in Japan, exhibits in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Bologna, and a visit to the White House. Dan’s books have been translated into many languages and have inspired ebooks, children’s musicals and video adaptations. People all over the world enjoy Oswald, Dan’s animated television series about the wonderfully whimsical world of a lovable octopus, which Time magazine chose as one of the top 6 shows to watch on cable. Animation Magazine hails him as “an American original.”
Dan’s work has been recognized with a host of prestigious awards including the Bologna Ragazzi, The New York Time 10 Best Illustrated, ALA Notable and the Parents Choice Award. Over 1.5 million of his books have been sold to date.
The list below is by no means all the books being sold at the conference on Saturday and Sunday, but some of the books are limited in the amount we have ordered. Last year we ran out of Grace Lin’s WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON and with so many big names, author and illustrator combos, and new books on this list, I wanted to give everyone a chance to reserve the books they would like to purchase from the list below. This way we can try to order more for the weekend, if needed.
Please e-mail Darlene Beck Jacobson firstname.lastname@example.org with the books you would like to secure by the end of Tuesday and we will make sure they are set aside with your name on them for pick-up at the conference. All the books will be sold at regular price.
Kate DeCamillo & Harry Bliss – Louise, Adventures of a Chicken (get two autographs) Kate DiCamillo – Bink & Gollie; Two for One – Hardcover *NEW Early Sale Ame Dyckman, Dan Yaccarino BOY + BOT *New Selling last of first printing (Get two autographs) Natalie Zaman and Charlotte Bennardo Sirenz, Sirenz Back in Fashion *NEW (Get two autographs) Leeza Hernandez – Dog Gone! *NEW Early Sale Harry Bliss – Bailey at the Museum *New
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane [Paperback and hardcover]
The Magician’s Elephant [Paperback and hardcover]
Because of Winn-Dixie [Paperback and hardcover]
The Tale of Despereaux [Paperback and hardcover]
Bink & Gollie [Paperback]
Mercy Watson to the Rescue [Paperback]
Mercy Watson: Princess in Disguise [Paperback]
Mercy Watson: Something Wonky this Way Comes [Paperback]
The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo [Paperback]
All the Way to America
Diary of a Worm
Daniel Nayeri (editor)
Straw House, Wood House, Brick House, Blow
Leila Sales (editor)
Mostly Good Girls
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books
If you are not attending the conference and would like to request a signed copy of a book, you can send Darlene a request and we will get them autographed for you and ship them to your address after you have paid for the price of the book and shipping.
First Jane got sick, then I got sick, then Scott got sick. I’m waiting for the next domino to topple…waiting in my bed, all bundled up and aching, reading a little, playing that art puzzle game, which is very soothing. I wasn’t up to our usual morning read-aloud time (no Winter Holiday, alas), but we had a tall new stack of picture books come into the library the day before, a bunch of Dan Yaccarino and Bob Staake things I’d requested, Boy + Bot, (art by Yaccarino, written by Ame Dykeman), The Donut Chef (Staake), a bunch of others—go look at their sites; they have so many good books. You may recognize Dan’s art from the Oswald show, which my littles love. (Though I think possibly it’s Scott who loves it most of all.)
Rose did all the reading. Huck loves loves loves Hervé Tullet’s Press Here.
Also, she did all the dishes.
Then Rilla and I listened to a couple of chapters (somewhat abridged, I realized later) of The Wind in the Willows, magnificently narrated by Sir Derek Jacobi . I picked up this edition, a BBC Radio dramatization, on sale years ago, and we’d never listened. The voices are splendid.
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.
I got to sit down with Lin Oliver, SCBWI's Executive Director, and learn why the new Illustrator's Marketing Intensive coming up on the Friday before the full 2012 SCBWI Winter Conference isn't just going to be great - it's going to be essential.
You can register now for the Illustrator's Marketing Intensive and the whole Lucky 13th Annual SCBWI Winter Conference!
FRIENDS! We are so thrilled that the Book Maker's Dozen will be here tomorrow. Some of them spoke to us on Friday at the Marketing Intensive for Illustrators. We didn't want to give too much of it away on the blog, but we do want you to see Dan Yaccarino's fantastic trailers for one of his impeccable-as-always books, ALL THE WAY TO AMERICA!
Catch Dan Yaccarino, John Rocco, Sophie Blackall, Selina Alko, Sean Qualls, Peter Brown, John Bemelmans Marciano, Sergio Ruzzier, Brian Floca, David Gordon, Aileen Leijten and Brett Helquist on Sunday at 9:15 in the AM!
This year the book fair we hold on Saturday June 9th at the conference, provides a new opportunity. Newbery Award winning author Kate DiCamillo will be signing books on June 10th, along with her Agent/Author Holly McGhee. Their books will be on sale on Saturday and Sunday, but having Kate sign on Sunday allows everyone more time with the other authors selling books on Saturday.
Some of those authors happen to be editors and agents. I have listed the books they will be signing at the bookfair, below. If you have a favorite book that you would like to have signed, please let me know and I will give the title to the bookstore and if you want to pre-pay, we will hold it for you.
See bottom of post for tips on how to make the most of your bookfair time.
Newbery Winning Author Kate DiCamillo
Our own Ame Dyckman’s debut picture book, illustrated by the famous Dan Yaccarino.
Two Great Books Written and Illustrated by Dan Yaccarino.
Three Wonderful Books by Author/Agent Holly McGhee
Publishing Editor Margery Cuyler – Check back for other titles – Still working on list.
Two Well Reviewed New Books by Editor/Author Daniel Nayeri.<
Thanks to everyone who visited Salina Yoon’s post about her newest and most challenging novelty book, KALEIDOSCOPE. The winner of the signed copy is:
Congrations, Donna! Be on the lookout for an email from me…
Didn’t win? No worries. There’s more giveaways coming in the next two weeks. Yes, it’s a busy Spring over here! Here’s a sneaky peekie (what my five-year-old calls it):
Ame Dyckman and Dan Yaccarino’s BOY + BOT
Sarah Frances Hardy’s PUZZLED BY PINK
Carolyn Crimi and Stephanie Buscema’s PUGS IN A BUG
Ammi-Joan Paquette & Marie Letourneau’s THE TIPTOE GUIDE TO TRACKING MERMAIDS
Plus, don’t forget, if you’re not already subscribed to my blog via email, join today to be entered into a three-picture-book-prize-pack giveaway on April 1st. I’m not foolin’! Just enter your email address in the left column.
I am so absolutely thrilled that BOY + BOT releases today because I’ve been waiting for it for a long, long time.
It’s the debut picture book by my good friend, Ame Dyckman—and get this—it’s illustrated by the hugely talented Dan Yaccarino! I mean, this has got to be the best picture book EVER with an author-illustrator team just as lovable as Boy and Bot themselves.
And for this very special day, I’ve got prizes to give away! One AFFIRMATIVELY AWESOME prize pack including BOY + BOT, stickers, bookmarks, and an *exclusive* BOT keychain clip made by author-zoologist-educator-sculptor Jess Keating!
So let’s get on with the fun!
TL: So, Ame, you and I have been friends for a few years now, after meeting at NJ-SCBWI first page sessions. (I knew I had to get to know you, with your spiky pink hair and Lego bracelet.) Is that how you began your kidlit career, attending SCBWI events?
AD: *laughing* Was my hair pink back then? I don’t remember my hair color at the time (it’s blue, now), but I remember thinking, “Wow! This Tara person is funny and nice and she really knows her kidlit! I like her!” BAM! Friends!
And yes, attending SCBWI events–YAY, NJ SCBWI!–started everything for me! When I first joined, I knew I wanted to write picture books, but I didn’t know how. My first manuscripts were REALLY bad, but nobody made fun of me. Everybody was helpful. (YOU taught me how to page a PB, remember? I still have your diagram!) I went to as many events as I could—First Page Sessions, Mentoring Workshops, Networking Dinners, Annual Conferences, etc. I learned tons—still do!—and met lots of amazing industry professionals and made lots of wonderful friends. At the 2009 NJ SCBWI Annual Conference, I pitched BOY + BOT to Super Agent Scott Treimel, and he said, “I love it! Let’s work together!”
TL: I distinctly remember the 2009 conference and a certain editor making goo-goo eyes at you during lunch…but he had read your manuscript and was bonkers over BOY + BOT. I thought to myself, GO AME! You could feel the buzz about that manuscript at the event. You were in deep conversation with several agents.
So we want to know—how did this beep-worthy book idea come about?
AD: The short answer: I love robots! (I used to doodle robots instead of doing my math homework. Even in college!) The long answer: I love robots and unusual friendship stories and mirror stories always make me laugh, so I hoped mine would make other people laugh, too.
TL: So BOY + BOT is your debut and it has something like 347 starred industry reviews! Are you thrilled or what?
AD: I’m SO happy, and really grateful for all the reviewer love. Here’s hoping the little Boys (and Girls!) and Bots that Dan and I made the book for love it, too!
TL: We’re chatting on the eve of your book’s release. Will you be able to sleep tonight? It’s a little like Christmas Eve, isn’t it?
AD: It feels like Christmas Eve and Birthday Eve and Leaving-for-Disney-World-Tomorrow Eve all smooshed together! I was up until 3:45 this morning because I was so excited already! (But, I think I’d better try to
Everyone is so excited for our Ame Dyckman. Her book, BOY + Bot hit the book shelves this month and it has been greeted with rave reviews. In the very beginning, before it was touched by agent or publishers hands, Ame asked me to read her manuscript and immediately, I knew it was a winner. It was a perfect picture book, so I knew it would be snatched up and it was. It is pretty thrilling to see it written up in the NEW YORK TIMES Children’s Book Section.
I thought I would share the article written By PAMELA PAUL about BOY + BOT:
My Friend the Robot
‘Boy and Bot’ and ‘Beep and Bah’
Beyond its pointed social message about the perils of earthly overabundance and human passivity, the movie “Wall-E” made one thing clear: Being friends with a robot would be awfully fun.
Small children know this already, which is what makes two new picture books, “Boy and Bot” and “Beep and Bah,” so appealing. In “Boy and Bot,” Ame Dyckman’s sweet and playful tale, with deceptively simple gouache illustrations by Dan Yaccarino (“All the Way to America”), a nameless boy is collecting pine cones in his red wagon when he meets a robot. “Want to play?” the boy asks, to which the robot, quite naturally, replies, “Affirmative!”
Boy and robot, who looks like the Tin Man crossed with a squat red rocket ship, gambol about outside until the robot mysteriously stops functioning. Unable to revive the bot, the boy brings him home to offer him care. Later, when the boy goes to bed, the robot (easily revived, it turns out, with the flip of a switch) is shocked to find the boy now malfunctioning (asleep).
The trouble, of course, is a failure in communication, perhaps inevitable, between man and machine. But this is easily remedied, and the two friends reconvene for further play dates. Boy affixes a drawing of Bot to the refrigerator; Bot sticks a picture of Boy on his torso. Boy sips chocolate milk from a straw; Bot chugs oil from the nozzle of a can. It’s a perfectly adorable, age-appropriate friendship. And it’s simply impossible to imagine a 4-year-old boy not wanting to be friends with this book.
32 pp. Alfred A. Knopf. $16.99. (Picture book; ages 2 to 5)
In less than a week BOY + BOT’s Amazon Ranking has pushed it’s way higher and higher. It is the perfect combination of fun story and entertaining illustrations by Dan Yaccarino. You can meet both Ame and Dan at this years, NJSCBWI conference. www.regonline.com/njscbwi2012conference Hope to see you there.
I’ll go off the topic of children’s book art — just for today. You might have noticed that the blog has been left with the lights still on, but untended in recent months. Not a lot of discussion about illustration, drawing or painting has been going on here. I want to explain, rationalize and ask your [...]
For now, while Elliott is still a little guy, I think I'm going to start doing these Picture Book Saturday posts once a month, focusing on our favorites. That may mean more than just 2-3 books in each post, but that way they're all in one place and I'm not trying to write out a new post every week. If you couldn't already tell, I've been totally slacking at it.
This month, these are the ones our whole family has really been enjoying:
The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems
We love us some Mo Willems in this house! Elliott seems to really enjoy the simple illustrations and Aaron and I love how ridiculously silly the stories are. This one made us both laugh out loud! That darn pigeon is just too cute.
Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman and illustrator Dan Yaccarino
I'm not much into robots myself, but my nerdy husband loves them and I have a feeling, with a little boy in the house, I just may be seeing them around a lot. This book was great...filled with bright illustrations and a nice message about friendship and helping each other out. The amount of text was perfect--not too much and not too little-- and the adorably nerdy appearance of the little boy had me chuckling. I loved it!
Baby Bear Sees Blue by Ashley Wolf
One of the more unique color-concept books I've seen, this one is not only a lovely read, great for bedtime or just one-on-one time with your little ones, it's beautifully illustrated. Parents could do so many things with this one, spawning projects, guessing colors, etc. or just use it as a nice way to introduce the colors, as I am with E. I'll be using this as a baby shower gift in the near future!
The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
Obviously, this is an old book. I enjoyed it during MY childhood and now I'm hoping Elliott will enjoy it too. It's been around for 70 years! This copy includes a cd to read along with, one track with page turn signal
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“Swimming, swimming in my swimming pool. Some days are hot, some days cold in my swimming pool. Breast stroke, side stroke and fancy diving too…” Read more after the jump.
This childhood song has been stuck in my head ever since I read Dan Yaccarino’s book, The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau. All I can [...]
What you are witnessing here is the first trailer for Library of the Early Mind — a feature-length documentary film by Edward J. Delaney and Steven Withrow exploring children’s literature. According to its website, “The film will have its first public screening at Harvard University in October and is now being submitted to film festivals worldwide. Music is by Jason K. Nitsch.” The sheer number of talented speakers they found is impressive alone. If you can’t view it on their site, it’s also available through YouTube. Thanks to Steven Withrow for the info.
Book trailer time! Here we see what a little talent with stop animation, a fellow with a voice straight out of movie trailers, and a well chosen oboe can do for your average book. It’s Sophie Simon Solves Them All by Lisa Graff:
This one’s a little different. I guess it’s a book trailer at its heart (for Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich’s 8th Grade Superzero) but it’s also just a take on what it is to be an author. It also works as a lovely tribute to New York City (and my library makes one brief appearance, which is nice).
Selling your book is one thing. Selling yourself, another. I suppose that author/illustrators need to make a living, and school visits can be a lucrative part of that. So Dan Yaccarino had the idea to create a kind of commercial for himself. It works. It might work for other author/illustrators too. Mind you, few of us have three different television shows under our belts (three, Dan? Really?) but with a bit of creativity it isn’t hard to make something like this:
I didn’t get around to interviewing or talking to anyone at BookExpo this year. Interviews are hard. You have to come up with some kind of burning question for folks to answer. Katie Davis is better prepared than I. She went about the conference asking folks, “If you could go to the yard sale of any fictional character, whose would it be and what would you buy?” It’s worth it just to hear Scieszka say, “Katherine Schmatterson.”
*Picture book, contemporary fiction for preschoolers to kindergartners
*Two circle dogs as main characters
*Rating: Circle Dogs by Kevin Henkes is a cute book for young children–it can teach them shapes and sounds and that reading is fun!
Short, short summary:
Two dogs who like to sleep and run in circles live in a square house. This book takes you throughout their day from interacting with “their people” to running and playing in the yard to taking naps. The story is also a circle–beginning with the house and sleeping dogs and ending in the same way.
1. This is the perfect book for a preschool or kindergarten classroom during a unit on shapes. Not only does the text point out some shapes, but children can look for other shapes in Dan Yaccarino’s illustrations.
2. Who has a pet at their house? Ask children this question, and you are sure to get a lot of hands raised. Provide opportunities for children to make personal connections with the text to further comprehension by asking them if their pets act similar or different to the circle dogs.
3. The “sounds” that Kevin Henkes provides in the text of Circle Dogs makes this book a fun read aloud, and one that kids will want to read again and again.
Since I work in the main branch of New York Public Library, sometimes I get to see the occasional celebrity. Not long ago, Mario Batali was in my children’s room with a carefully assembled group of adorable munchkins for a storytime photo op (he read Green Eggs and Ham and Bee-Bim Bop, in case you’re interested). For the most part I think the kids gathered were the children of parental cooking show fans. There was one kid who caught my eye, though. Decked out in a full chef outfit, from his white hat to his smock, one five-year-old was clearly a lifelong Mario Batali disciple. When Mario asked what a particular ingredient in Bee-Bim Bop might be, the child answered with zero hesitation, “BASIL!” I think often of that young man, particularly when I read books that have to deal with cooking. If only Cooking With Henry and Elliebelly had been out when Mr. Batali came to visit. Not only could I have suggested that he read it to the kids (which would have been a blast) but I bet that boy in the audience would have been delighted beyond measure to lay his hands on this story. Author Carolyn Parkhurst takes the idea of two kids playing TV, and turns it into a universal tale of big brotherhood vs. squirmy attention-sucking little sisterhood. Complemented by Dan Yaccarino’s pitch perfect pictures, your kid won’t have to own his own garlic press to get a kick out of this delightful new offering.
You’re just in time! Before us are our hosts, Henry and Elliebelly. Henry, age five, stands behind a table announcing the name of their show as his little sister Elliebelly (age two) proclaims loudly, “Cooking! I help!” A sweet red-haired, butterfly winged spawn of little sisterdom purgatory, Elliebelly’s cute as a bug’s ear but she is two, after all. So when Henry pulls out the chef hats, Elliebelly’s the one who gets him to change to pirate hats. Some mild food related mishaps render Elliebelly’s doll Baby Anne a bit worse for the wear, but in the end the pretend food is finally done. Fortunately there are some real world waffles to finish out the show, and our two hosts sign off with us until next time.
Carolyn Parkhurst is, at this precise moment in time, better known for her adult novel The Dogs of Babel. Cooking With Henry and Elliebelly, then, marks her departure into the world of children’s literature. For a lot of adult authors making the switch, the transition can be painful. Most of the time they’ll write some madcap fantasy novel that reads like a rip-off of Roald Dahl, Lewis Carroll, or some sad combination of both. To write a picture book takes a bit more finesse. I believe it was Mem Fox who once said that “Writing a picture book is like writing ‘War and Peace’ in Haiku.” Credit where credit’s due, Parkhurst makes an admirable stab at the genre. Her bio says that she has two children of her own, and the sheer authenticity of the dialogue
I don’t know how you like to wake up on your Sunday mornings, but I for one enjoy a rousing rendition of Bjork set to eerie stop animation. Particularly if that animation involves Moomins. This is quite possibly one of the odder openings I’ve ever placed on this blog. To be fair, “comet” and “dammit” really are ideal rhymes. Just not the kind of thing you’d expect to find in a music video for a children’s film.
As for the actual film itself, you can see a trailer for it here:
I bet you save a lot of money if you don’t have to worry about flapping jaws. Dubbing’s easier too. Here’s the actual website for the film. Thanks to bookshelves of doom for the links.
If you’d like to get that song out of your ears (and, admittedly, I wouldn’t blame you), trade it in for this one. It’s the booktrailer for Gordon Titcomb’s The Last Train and a catchier little melody you will not find today.
Let us now consider the state of the modern book trailer. If you absolutely must have voiceover work done, consider doing so with professionals. The difference is distinct. Imagine how differently this video for Lesley M.M. Blume’s newest work Modern Fairies, Dwarves, Goblins, and Other Nasties would have felt if not for the singular vocal dynamics at work.
Now some actual movie movie trailers. Were you guys aware that they turned Ned Vizzini’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story into a film? This is a charming little trailer and not just because of the huge swath of cameos you can spot. To my mind, the greatest challenge of any film set in a hospital is the poor lighting. A good film makes you forget it. A bad film fails. This looks, and granted I’m just working on the trailer here, like a pretty good film.
Dan Yaccarino is an artist, writer, and producer who has created many children’s books and commercial illustrations as well as his own animated television series. He has exhibited his work in galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Rome.
Dan has written and illustrated over thirty children’s books, most notably, The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau, Every Friday and Go Go America. His bold, stylized illustrations add wit and energy to the work of such prestigious authors as Margaret Wise Brown, Jack Prelutsky, Kevin Henkes and Patricia MacLachlan in addition to his own stories.
For some reason the color pictures of his three above sketches did not come through correctly, so I have added his video of the book for you to catch a few glimpse of what it looks like in color. If Dan is around this weekend and can send the color spreads to me, I’ll put them up. In the meantime here is the video:
Dan’s work in children’s books has garnered a host of prestigious awards including AIGA, Parent’s Choice, and Child Magazine in addition to many starred reviews in Publisher’s Weekly. His picture book biography of Jacques Cousteau has been nominated for a Texas Bluebonnet Award this year, Every Friday was chosen as one of the Top Ten Best Illustrated Books by The New York Times and Trashy Town was an ALA Notable. Many of Dan’s books have been translated into foreign editions including Japanese, Korean, Italian, Spanish, and French.
Did you know that Dan is doing Ame Dyckman’s first picture book, Boy and Bot? He is just perfect for the book, which will be out in 2012. Here is Dan’s New Book:
3 Comments on Illustrator Saturday – Dan Yaccarino, last added: 9/5/2010
This year I will be teaching a workshop on Making a Book Trailer. I wanted to share with you two excellent examples of book trailers that work. They both use the beautiful artwork from their book and the sounds (music and voice) add the icing on the cake. Both trailers make you want to run out and buy the books, which is the mark of an excellent video. I don’t think either Dan or Audrey made their own trailer, but you can learn to create something just as nice to promote yourself and book.
Audrey Vernick will be at this year’s NJSCBWI conference and Dan Yaccarino is scheduled for 2012.
Dan’s book is available on March 8th. You can always buy it now and have him sign it next year at the conference.
I will spare you the trailers I have seen that don’t come close to selling a book. Better to not use a book trailer, if it will make potential buyers run for the hills.
We all love Dan Yaccarino's work. His books, his cartoons, his puzzles, his pajamas, his new line of hams available at Costco.
Dan shares examples of how he's taken his book art beyond books and gives hints on how illustrators can make that happen in their own careers.
For most things—plush toys, games, stationery—those beyond-the-book items are really only an option after a book has come out, sold well, and art licenses are picked up by different manufacturers or the publisher.
Dan says consider making your own promotional items, like at cafe press, to get the ball rolling.
We know Dan has awesome cartoons, but how do you get started in that? You attend the animation equivalent of an SCBWI conference, KidScreen Summit.
from Good Night, Mr. Night
Dan talked briefly about good self-promotion for illustrators, he thinks post cards are still a great way to get your art in front of the people that matter, cards often having a longer shelf life than an image in an email. A website and/or blog that conveys your personality is also key for illustrators. For those with books out, he recommended making your own book trailers using iMovie and royalty free assets. Simple is always best, though, let the work shine through.
from Every Friday
His number one piece of promotion advice: PROMOTE THE WORK YOU WANT TO GET.
from the forthcoming All the Way to America
What's Dan working on now? He's got a chapter book in the works, one that he's both written and illustrated. And in addition to new picture books and new TV show ideas he's got a great a new line of Yaccari
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One of the activities my two boys (ages 5 and 7) and their 2 year old cousin all love to do together is play with the play kitchen at my parents' house. There's just something about pretending to cook that appeals to kids. For a long time, before we had our own play kitchen set up in our home, it was one of the things my kids were most drawn to at children's museums and friends' houses. Come to think of it, my sister and I are four years apart and rarely played together growing up but my sister's Little Tikes kitchen was one thing that we both enjoyed.
Me and my sister, circa 1986.
Carolyn Parkhurst's Cooking with Henry and Elliebelly (illustrated by Dan Yaccarino) perfectly captures young childrens' fascination with cooking and creating. We are introduced to siblings Henry and Elliebelly via their cooking "show". Henry, the older sibling, has his own vision of how their show should proceed. As Henry tries to instruct his "viewers" in the finer points of making raspberry-peanut butter-marshmallow waffles, the toddler Elliebelly wreaks havoc and frustrates Henry with her very toddlerlike demands. First she insists she be allowed to help. Then she orders Henry to wear a pirate hat. Frustrated but undeterred, Henry gamely works around his dervish of a sister until their play is interrupted by their (offstage) mother's offer of real waffles.
One of the things I love most about this book is that the author clearly gets how kids play, and how easily older siblings become frustrated with their younger siblings. Reading the interactions between Henry and Elliebelly is a lot like listening in on my own kids as they play in one room while I'm in another. It was a nice touch to have their mother's offstage responses to their bickering presented in quote bubbles. Henry and his little sister are a bit younger than my own kids but their personalities are remarkably similar. It's not a stretch to accept that Elliebelly insists Henry wear a pirate hat while they do their "show" because I have a son who likes to wear a Batman cape while doing just about anything.
We decided to make Henry's raspberry-peanut butter-marshmallow waffles, with one caveat: we didn't follow Henry's recipe. His recipe calls for "Seventeen cups of imported flour from Kansas," and duck eggs. And that is before Elliebelly decides to add pizza and "Baby Anne" to the mix. Yeah. I think we'll stick with a more traditional approach. If you can even call raspberry-peanut butter-marshmallow waffles traditional. We whipped these up for an after school snack.
Dan Yaccarino writes about how much he loves doing school visits:
As far as I’m concerned, writing and illustrating children’s books is the greatest career in the world, but you mostly do it alone. Don’t get me wrong, there are loads of conversations going on in my studio (mostly between me and myself, until there’s an argument, then we don’t talk), but when I’m invited to speak at a school, I’M SO THERE, BABY!
People constantly say to my own 10 and 12-year old children at book events, “It must be wonderful to have a dad that makes books,” to which they respond with a limp shrug and then scurry off to a corner to read. Let’s face it, they’ve lived with my work their entire lives and heard all my corny jokes. Can we go now?
So at home, maybe I’m just Dad, but when I visit a school, I’m A ROCK STAR! I feel like it’s 1964 and I’m all 4 Beatles getting off the plane at Idlewild Airport.
The first thing I do when I get to the venue (actually an elementary school) is relax in the Green Room (the teacher’s lounge). The stadium (auditorium, library or cafeteria) is sold out (due to the fact that attending my presentation is mandatory). The audience (the students) is pumped and ready to go. I open with one of my greatest hits and they go nuts. Security (the librarian or vice principal) swoops in and the rowdy ones are taken away (to cool their heels in the Principal’s office). I press on and try to give them an experience they’ll remember for the rest of their lives (or at least until recess).
So maybe it’s not all stretch limos (mostly minivans filled with Cheerios crumbs) or an audience lifting their lighters as I sing Stairway To Heaven, but I LOVE DOING SCHOOL VISITS!
Sometimes our children need encouragement—especially when they’re feeling a little shy in a new environment. Let’s face it; sometimes we all need a little bolstering to confront new experiences. The following books may help your children do so with grace and boost their confidence. After all, offering gentle words of support can go a long way. Just ask Mr. Bear.
The Next Door Bear is the perfect book for a child who is just starting a new school or moving to a new neighborhood. When the playful children outside Emma’s new apartment are less than welcoming, she feels terribly lonely. Everything is blue in Yelchin’s painted illustrations, until Emma meets a debonair bear on the elevator. After Mr. Bear invites her to tea, Emma’s world becomes a technicolored rainbow of trees and flowers and she feels encouraged enough to try and make new friends. Together talented husband-and-wife duo Eugene Yelchin and Mary Kuryla have created a balm for children who must learn to overcome their fears. (Ages 5-8)
Dan Yaccarino recounts his big Italian family’s true immigration story in All The Way to America. His great-grandfather embarks on the great journey from Sorrento to Ellis Island with a handy shovel and these parting words of wisdom, “Work hard, but remember to enjoy life, and never forget your family.” Through four generations the shovel is industriously used in food stands and bakeries, for gardening and even to pour rock salt over snowy sidewalks. Now it resides safely perched on Yaccarino’s shelf, a proud reminder of how far his family has come and what they have achieved in their adopted home. (Ages 5-8)
Ida Lewis was known as The Bravest Woman in America when she became the first woman to receive the American Cross of Honor. Determined to become a lighthouse keeper like her father, Ida learns “to pull her weight” by observing and following his careful instructions and courageous feats. Keeping watch over the harbor, young Ida rescues a boatload of boys whose sailboat capsizes. This beautifully written (by Marissa Moss) and illustrated (by Andrea U’Ren) book will light the way for brave girls to face their fears and reach for their aspirations. (Ages 5-8)
Add these books to your collection by clicking on the book cover images.