Ending With Notes

I’m currently illustrating a picture-book biography about J.R.R. Tolkien (by Caroline McAlister, coming Winter 2017), which is the first book I’m working on that has a significant amount of back-matter, including a bibliography, author and illustrator notes. It’s often the illustrator’s job to pace the story out over 32 pages …

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Lisbeth’s Colors

The Austrian illustrator Lisbeth Zwerger is a favorite, especially among other illustrators — there are so many characteristics of her paintings that draw us in and amaze us. When I’m asked why she’s one of my favorites, I often find it hard to put into words. Lisbeth chooses to depict scenes we …

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WHERE ARE MY BOOKS?–Interview with Debbie Ohi

Some of you might know Debbie Ridpath Ohi from her illustrations in Michael Ian Black’s picture books NAKED! (2014) and I’M BORED (2012), or from her artwork donning the 2014 reissued collection of Judy Blume books.  Or you might know her from, well, just about ANYWHERE online.  I first met Debbie at the …

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These Books Give Me Courage

In Tammi Sauer’s last post, she mentioned that “The Watermelon Seed” made her want to be a better writer. Reading that simple statement led me to know immediately what I had to write about next. Don’t you love it when inspiration strikes like that? (Thanks, Tammi!) My first book, MISS …

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The 2015 Caldecott, “Beekle”

 Earlier this month, on February 2nd, the 2015 Caldecott Awards were announced. Every children’s book illustrator can count a Caldecott Medal as one of their dreams, and I feel lucky to know this year’s winner,  Dan Santat, as a local Los Angeles illustrator, for his picture-book “The Adventures of Beekle, The Unimaginary Friend“. …

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Perfect Personification: The Little House

Personification is the commonly used literary device of attaching human traits and characteristics to animals or inanimate objects. I think of personification similar to the way we think about rhyming – tricky to do well, but so wonderful when it works. Since everyday objects are not often seen as sentient or …

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