Scratching a Story— BOOK GIVE-AWAY!

The medium in which an illustration is executed has an enormous impact on the style and feel of the entire book. Claudia McGehee is an illustrator who works in scratchboard. Her finished illustrations have the look of a woodcut, or linocut print, but the process is very different. Claudia begins …

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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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The Dazzling, Amazing 104-Page Picture Book!

My last post discussed ideas to shorten the text of a picture book manuscript. But today I’m thinking about longer picture books–particularly recent nonfiction biographies which go beyond the regular 32-page format. For example, my new picture book FRIENDS FOR FREEDOM was expanded to 40 pages, and two of my upcoming pictures books are slated for 40 and 48 pages.
It seems they’re not that unusual. More and more nonfiction picture books are bumped into the 40s, often due to back matter pages which might include a myriad of items such as a bibliography, timeline, source notes, and other notes.

And then there’s JOSEPHINE: THE DAZZLING LIFE OF JOSEPHINE BAKER by Patricia Hruby Powell, a picture book biography that clocks in at 104 pages. Now that’s a BUMP! If you’ve read this award-winning book, you know the text is energetic, emotional, and exquisite. And Christian Robinson’s illustrations are outstanding.


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Just Right Endpapers

Endpapers are the first pages and the final pages of a picture book. They work much like the curtains at the open and close of a play. While many books’ endpapers are a solid color, others give the reader so much more. For instance, endpapers can create a mood. Number One …

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