Happy Book Birthday SPIRIT’S KEY!

SpiritsKey Invitation

Today I was able to attend Edith Cohn’s book party for her debut middle-grade novel, SPIRIT’S KEY, at Children’s Book World in West Lost Angeles. It seems a rare opportunity to have the author and artist who worked on a book living in the same city, and it was a special experience to finally meet Edith in person and celebrate this book together.

There was a great crowd, raffle prizes, a reading, and dog-bone shaped cookies–what better way to spend a Saturday afternoon?

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A packed house!

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Edith and a professional voice-over artist reading a scene from the book

20140913_150247One thing I learned from Edith was that she was asked by her publisher, FSG, what kind of  cover she wanted, and she said that she liked the cover of DOLL BONES–which is why they approached me to do the artwork for this book! I’m so glad they did.

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Andrew Arnold at MacMillan Publishers did such a fabulous job with the book design work! I’m enjoying finding all the details he used for the jacket and throughout the book. Special thanks to Andrew for choosing me to work with him on this project.

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Decorative element for the chapter openers.

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This map was a fun new challenge for me. I totally loved it.

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So sweet Edith mentions me in the acknowledgements

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Awwww . . . shucks!

Congratulations to Edith, and SPIRIT’S KEY!

To learn more about the book, visit Edith’s site: www.edithcohn.wordpress.com

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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!

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She said: 10 illo to watch_crop2

The illustrators on this list are fantastic – it’s an honor to be considered part of the company:

Aaron Becker
Christian Robinson
K.G. Campbell
Angela Doninguez
The Brothers Hilts
Theodore Taylor III
Molly Idle
Greg Pizzoli
Duncan Tonatiuh
and also
Hoda Hadadi and Birgitta Sif

 

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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A picture-book that I illustrated, THE GRUDGE KEEPER (written by the talented Mara Rockliff), was released on April 4th, 2014. It’s such an exciting moment to see the book all put together, in real life!

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Boxes of books to be signed!

Check out this wonderful interview about the writing and illustrating process with Mara and me on Peachtree Publisher’s blog, here:
The Making of The Grudge Keeper

A few peeks into the process:

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Sketches for the large cast of characters.

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Thumbnail layout of the book.


Here are a couple of the sketches paired up with the final page spreads from the book:

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Three cheers to Mara Rockliff’s wonderful story, and to Peachtree Publishers for all their amazing work bringing it to fruition!

For more info about the book, visit Peachtree Publishers online.

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Buy ‘The Grudge Keeper’ HERE

 

 

 

‘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 I can sketch them up close. They are fascinating and intelligent creatures, it’s going to be fun spending more time learning about and drawing them. When I was young, one of my favorite Disney films was DUMBO. I’m looking forward to re-watching that for inspiration! I’m trying to collect elephant reference, so please feel free to share any links to articles, photos, or videos that you come across!

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I’m also especially looking forward to working with Nancy Paulsen again — her feedback is always so incredibly thoughtful, and she’s extremely supportive of the creative process. Nancy and I have been working back and forth since the publication of MISS MAPLE’S SEEDS to nail down my next book, and have worked through several story ideas. She’s been patient with my slow pace when it comes to the writing process, and it helps me to know she understands that a great book doesn’t happen overnight. She’s both honest and encouraging (a great combination).

Nancy sent me a random email one day asking, “Have you drawn any elephants?”  I hadn’t, but was eager to give them a try! So I made this sketch in response. The wrinkles and folds are going to be so fun to develop further!

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A huge thank you to Nancy Paulsen for giving me this opportunity, and to my wonderful agent Jen Rofé for working out all the project and contract details!

 

 

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:

CODY character sample sneak peak

CODY character sample sneak peak

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Eliza Wheeler’s illustrations for Tricia Springstubb’s NOT EVEN CODY and CODY AND THE MEEN KIDS, about a brave, tender-hearted girl who’s always ready to help others out, to Elizabeth Bicknell at Candlewick, for publication in Spring 2015, by Jennifer Rofe at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
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Tricia Springstubb has created super lovable characters in the CODY books, and it’s been fun bringing them to life with the black and white chapter illustrations.

Tricia is also the author of the picture book Phoebe and Digger,  and the middle grade books Mo Wren, Lost and Found and What Happened on Fox Street. Visit Tricia here: www.triciaspringstubb.com

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Join Me: Pasadena LitFest 5/11/13

All those in the Pasadena area, please stop by to see me at the Pasadena LitFest this Saturday, 5/11/13!  I’ll be reading Miss Maple’s Seeds for the kids at 10:30, then signing at the Once Upon A Time bookstore booth.  Here are the details:

10:30-11:00am: Readings & Activities with Children’s Book Authors & Illustrators! 

Fabulous Children's Book Authors!

Authors and illustrators of gorgeous new children’s picture books will share their work with the little ones!
Bethany Barton reading This Monster Cannot Wait!
Eliza Wheeler reading Miss Maple’s Seeds
Paul Rogers, illustrator of Wynton Marsalis’s Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp! hosting a children’s art activity!
(Octavia Butler Stage)

Signing hosted afterwards at the Once Upon A Time bookstore booth:

11:15AM  Signing at the Once Upon a Time Books Booth

Bethany Barton (This Monster Cannot Wait!)
Paul Rogers (Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!)
Eliza Wheeler (Miss Maple’s Seeds)

http://litfestpasadena.org

Hope to see you there!

BOOKSTORE EVENTS

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Please join me this Saturday and Sunday at two wonderful bookstores in the Los Angeles area for story-time! I will read Miss Maple’s Seeds to the kids and have fun coloring sheets to give away. If you know anyone in the area who might be interested, please spread the word!

Saturday, April 27, 2013:
Mrs. Nelson’s Toy & Book Shop, 11:00 AM
1030 Bonita Avenue, La Verne, CA 91750, (909) 599-4558
http://www.mrsnelsons.com/event/special-story-time-eliza-wheeler

Sunday, April 28, 2013:
Pages Bookstore, 2:00 PM
904 Manhattan Ave. Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 near 9th Street (right across from Mucho’s), 310-318-0900
http://www.pagesabookstore.com/event/eliza-wheeler-kids-story-time

 

Coming Up: LA Times Festival of Books, and NYT Bestseller List

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Hey all! So in my earlier post this week, gushing over fan art by Mary Lundquist, I made a joke about selling 1 billion books. To be clear – that was very much a joke! BUT, since writing that post I found out that I made the April 28th New York Times Bestseller List for Children’s Picturebooks!!! Understandably, that new fact has turned my previous joke into something of a confusion for my family and friends. I promise I will be the first to let you know when 1 billion Miss Maple’s Seeds exist in the world! Not quite, yet.

I can’t wait to share the NYT Bestseller’s List with you when it comes out on 4/28!  

In other news, I will be at the LA Times Festival of Books this Sunday, 4/21! I’ll be signing books in the Penguin Books booth (#720) from 1:00-1:45 pm. If you’re there, please do stop by to say hi!

Book Party for Miss Maple’s Seeds!

I’m having a  book launch party for Miss Maple’s Seeds! Everyone is welcome, and I’d love to see you there!

Sunday April 7th, 5-7 pm
Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave, Los Angeles CA 90027

Coming to the party? You can pre-order your book directly from Skylight to ensure there will be enough copies at the store. And of course, I’ll sign them! Pre-order here:

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http://www.skylightbooks.com/book/9780399257926

 

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MISS MAPLE’S SEEDS
April, 2013
AGES: 3-5 years
AUTHOR: Eliza Wheeler
HARDCOVER: 32 pages
PUBLISHER: Nancy Paulsen/Penguin Books
ISBN 9780399257926

Miss Maple gathers lost seeds that haven’t yet found a place to sprout. She takes them on field trips to explore places to grow. In her cozy maple tree house, she nurtures them; keeping them safe and warm until it’s time for them to find roots of their own, and grow into the magnificent plants they’re destined to become.

AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE!  Check your local bookstore or online.
Order online from a local indie bookstore here: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780399257926

A debut novel by the late Bridget Zinn

I’m joining in to spread the word about the debut young adult novel POISON, by the late Bridget Zinn. Bridget was from my hometown, and sadly died of cancer in 2011 at age 33 before she was able to see her novel reach publication. Her family and friends are helping to promote her new book on her behalf.

I was in Jr. High when Bridget was graduating High School, so I only knew her from afar. My strongest memory of her was from when I had joined cross-country and we always watched and cheered for the high-schoolers’ races. Bridget came in far behind the pack every time with a confident smile on her face. She was a beautiful example of doing what made her happy regardless of where the rest of her peers were. That had an impact on me then, and left a lasting impression.

I can’t wait to read her book POISON (Hyperion Books), and celebrate her amazing accomplishment. http://www.bridgetzinn.com

Read the article and review in Publisher’s Weekly.