SCBWI 2014 Summer Conference

Each year I go to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrator’s National summer conference, and each year I promise myself to type up notes and blog about the experience. And each year (up until now, huzzah!) this promise has gone un-kept. By now I’ve got a pretty good handle on how this happens — and I think other conference-goers can probably relate. This event is four straight days spent with 1200+ fellow writers, illustrators, …

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Featured as “10 children’s illustrators to watch”

I woke up to a super cool thing today . . . one of the greatest children’s book bloggers out there, Julie Danielson (of the Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast) was asked to compile a list of the “10 Children’s Illustrators to Watch” for BookPage. Guess what? She thinks I’m one of them! Woohoooo!! Thank you, Jules! She said:  The illustrators on this list are fantastic - it’s an honor to be considered part of the company: Aaron Becker Christian Robinson …

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THE GRUDGE KEEPER, released!

No one in the town of Bonnyripple ever kept a grudge. No one, that is, except old Cornelius, the Grudge Keeper. Ruffled feathers, petty snits, minor tiffs and major huffs, insults, umbrage, squabbles, dust-ups, and imbroglios–the Grudge Keeper received them all, large and small, tucking each one carefully away in his ramshackle cottage. When a fierce wind blows through Bonnyripple, the residents are forced to rescue Cornelius and deal with their various disputes . . …

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‘OUR BABY’ book announcement

I’m so excited about the announcement of a new picture-book I’ll be working on later this year with my editor for MISS MAPLE’S SEEDS, Nancy Paulsen. The story, called OUR BABY, written by Varsha Bajaj, celebrates a baby elephant’s birth. The text is so sweet, and is bound to be a great new baby gift! I’ve been paying special attention recently to photos and articles about elephants, and also got a pass for our nearby zoo so that …

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ZENO and ALYA Cover Artwork

I created artwork for the cover of a sweet and emotional middle grade novel, The Desperate Adventures of Zeno and Alya, by author Jane Kelley, released earlier this Fall. The book goes between two characters’ stories: Zeno, a newly orphaned parrot, and Alya, an 11-year old girl struggling to recover from leukemia treatments. Jane Kelley’s story is beautiful and heart-felt, and I wanted the cover artwork to convey the emotional quality of the story within.   The …

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CODY book announcement

I’m happy to be able to announce a new middle grade book series that I’ll be creating illustrations for called NOT EVEN CODY and CODY AND THE MEEN KIDS, by author Tricia Springstubb with publisher Candlewick Press. I’ve always admired the artistry of Candlewick books, and they’ve been one of the publishers I’ve hoped to work with for many years. I’m so thrilled that time has come! Here’s the official Publisher’s Marketplace announcement: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Eliza …

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Monday Inspiration

My dad is an elementary art teacher and was recently reading from a book to his students with advice from Maurice Sendak to young artists. He sent me some of the quotes, and I couldn’t help but share them here: An illustration is an enlargement, an interpretation of the text, so that the reader will comprehend the words better. As an artist, you are always serving the words. You must never illustrate exactly what is written. You …

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Inspiration this Week

Friends shared three links with me this week that were inspiring:   16 Quotes About Writing for Children (Article on Mental Floss) http://mentalfloss.com/article/51869/16-quotes-about-writing-children One that especially resonates right now is from Margaret Wise Brown: “In this modern world where activity is stressed almost to the point of mania, quietness as a childhood need is too often overlooked. Yet a child’s need for quietness is the same today as it has always been—it may even be greater—for …

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