Posts tagged children's books

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It looks like Lydia Nichols has mastered her fine arts - and how! Check out these projects and more (thirteen total!) from her corner of the Good Measure MFA Thesis Exhibition at the Tyler School of Art Graphic and Interactive Design. Her colors and her facility with the printing process and layering make her work bright and crisp, and it all looks like wonderfully functional work as well. From her description of the projects:

Tyler’s program focuses heavily on authorship, so most of the projects include research, authorship, design, and illustration.

Personally, I don’t have the authority, but Lydia: you’re hired!

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There’s a lovely interview with Bob Staake over on Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. I always love seeing process evidence, and Bob has posted a lot of it over the years. One shocker from the post is that while he planned to take 43 days to complete his 2012 follow up to 2011’s Look! A Book! (not surprisingly called Look! Another Book!), it actually took him 48 days. If you have seen either of these books, you’ll be scooping your jaw off the floor along with me - that’s an incredible amount of drawing in a very short amount of time. Now I see why he is so prolific!

But the thing I’m most excited for is Staake’s new book, Bluebird, coming in April. It looks gorgeous, and the buzz makes it sound as if the story, told wordlessly, is touching and powerful as well.

And I’m sure we won’t need to wait very long for the next thing he is working on - keep up the amazing work, Bob!

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travale:

At school we are all busy putting together our portfolios to apply for co op placements this summer and one of my teachers keeps talking about ‘making art you want to get hired to do’. Well I would love to be hired to illustrate a kids book one day and man would I ever love to work on a Tolkien adaptation! 

Who knows if that will ever happen! So I decided to attempt it on my own and plan out a fake ‘golden book style’ Hobbit, inspired by the Unexpected Journey movie. These were all painted with acryla gouache on watercolour paper and the book cover was edited with some photoshop. 

I have a few more illustrations for this ‘Little Tokien book’ project on the go but homework is piling up so it might be a few weeks before I can dedicate some time to get the rest done. I’m not really sure if this is anything I can use in my looming portfolio but it was so much fun to do! There is really something nice about taking a little break now and again to rejuvenate your creativity with a personal project! 

See this post on my blog - Follow me on Twitter

Something to learn here, kids - create work that you’d WANT to get hired to do. This is smart thinking. And hopefully, this’ll get Rosemary Travale hired by Little Golden Books to illustrate one of their books. I’d certainly buy one. 

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Oliver Jeffers, butcher, baker, picture book maker.

(Source: vimeo.com)

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Watch Brian Biggs draw the cover to his next book in the Everything Goes series: Everything Goes in the Air.

(Source: vimeo.com)

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Here’s a great, hokey (in the best way) process video/book trailer for Aaron Reynolds’s and Peter Brown’s Creepy Carrots

The Creepy Carrots Zone (by Peter Brown)

via Renee Kurilla’s tweet

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I know, I know, never judge a book by its cover, especially one that isn’t actually on the book. But based on this rejected one for Skeleton Cat by Kristyn Crow with illustrations by Dan Krall, I think it’s gonna be a good one.

I know, I know, never judge a book by its cover, especially one that isn’t actually on the book. But based on this rejected one for Skeleton Cat by Kristyn Crow with illustrations by Dan Krall, I think it’s gonna be a good one.

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I first became aware of Margaret Wise Brown’s work a few years after graduation, while browsing in a New York bookshop where copies of Goodnight Moon were stacked high on a table. As I read the book for the first time, unaware of the author’s legendary status within her field (or indeed anything about her) I was forcibly struck by the realization that the quietly compelling words I was saying over in my head were poetry and, what was more, poetry of a kind I prized: accessible but not predictable, emotional but purged of sentiment, vivid but so spare that every word felt necessary. Her words seemed to be rooted in the concrete but touched by an appreciation of the elusive, the paradoxical, the mysterious. There was astonishing tenderness and authority in the voice, and something mythic in it as well. It was as though the author had just now seen the world for the first time, and had chosen to honor it by taking its true measure in words.

Leonard S. Marcus, writing about Margaret Wise Brown, from the introduction to his biography on the Goodnight Moon author, Awakened by the Moon

If there’s a better definition for the quality of writing that makes a picture book great, I’d like to hear it.

(via BookLust)

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Animation director Gene Deitch (Kim’s father) talks about his collaboration with Maurice Sendak on the official animated version of Where The Wild Things Are (as well as In The Night Kitchen) that was produced by Weston Woods during the 1970s. Storyboards, notes, video clips, and correspondance from Maurice himself make for a fascinating read for both animators and illustrators alike.

Animation director Gene Deitch (Kim’s father) talks about his collaboration with Maurice Sendak on the official animated version of Where The Wild Things Are (as well as In The Night Kitchen) that was produced by Weston Woods during the 1970s. Storyboards, notes, video clips, and correspondance from Maurice himself make for a fascinating read for both animators and illustrators alike.

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Maurice Sendak on his life and work

I posted a YouTube video earlier today of Tell Them Anything You Want, a 40-minute documentary on Maurice Sendak who died earlier today. The video has been taken down, but not before I managed to transcribe the author and illustrator’s parting thoughts on his work and life:

I did some very good books, which mostly is an isolationist form of life – doing books, doing pictures. And it’s the only true happiness I’ve ever, ever enjoyed in my life. It’s sublime to just go into another room and make pictures. It’s magic time where all your weaknesses of character, and all blemishes of personality, and whatever else torments you fades away, just doesn’t matter.

You’re doing the one thing you want to do and you do it well, and you know you do it well, and you’re happy. The whole promise is to do the work, sitting down at a drawing table, turning on the radio. And I think, “what a transcendent life this is that I’m doing everything I want to do.”

At that moment I feel like I’m a lucky man. I’m trying very hard to concentrate on what is here, what I can see, what I can smell, what I can feel – making that the important business of life. Just looking out the window at the colours that I see, reading Charles Dickens at night for an hour, little rituals I have of listening to Mozart. I’m learning how not to take myself so seriously, that what I’m working on, what I’d like to work on, it’s not earthshakingly important anymore. I am not earthshakingly important.

So what am I saying? I’m just clearing the decks for a simple death. You’re done with your work, you’re done with your life. And your life was your work.

I think what I’ve offered was different. But not because I drew better than anybody, or wrote better than anybody, but because I was more honest than anybody. And in the discussion of children, and the lives of children, and the fantasies of children, and the language of children, I said anything I wanted, because I don’t believe in children. I don’t believe in childhood. I don’t believe there’s a demarcation of “you mustn’t tell them this, you mustn’t tell them that.” You tell them anything you want. Just tell them if it’s true. If it’s true, you tell them.

I have adult thoughts in my head, experiences, but I’m never going to talk about them. I’m never going to write about that. Why is my needle stuck in childhood? I don’t know. I don’t know. I guess that’s where my heart is.

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TateShots: Maurice Sendak

(Source: youtube.com)

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RIP Maurice Sendak

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Here’s Quentin Blake demonstrating, step by step, how he makes the illustrations for his books.

It’s from this great page on his website, How I Draw, in which he describes the process a little more:

In the attempt to combine planning with an air of spontaneity I’ve employed various techniques of which the one I have found most successful, and have used for the last thirty years, makes use of a light box.

What happens next is not tracing; in fact it’s important that I can’t see the rough drawing underneath too clearly, because when I draw I try to draw as if for the first time.

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The Fantastic World of Dan Yaccarino

The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature (phew!) is currently showing the work of award-winning illustrator Dan Yaccarino. I’ve always been a big fan of Dan’s work, especially since his style transfers into animation so well (he’s created and/or designed Oswald the Octopus, The Backyardigans and Willa’s Wild Life). His children’s books are well-received internationally, with the most recent titles being The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau (above), All the Way to America: The Story of a Big Italian Family And A Little Shovel and Boy and Bot. The show will be up until the end of May.

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Henri’s Walk To Paris Now Available

Henri’s Walk To Paris, by Leonore Klein and illustrated by Saul Bass. I first mentioned this here several months back, and it’s now available. First published in 1962, this was Bass’s only children’s book that he illustrated. I’ve written up a review on my blog, if you’re curious.

The colors and spreads look amazing. Universe has done a great job in ensuring that the printing match the original edition, which, if you can believe it, was released exactly 50 years ago. (Universe also reissue M. Sasek’s This Is… Series.) Well worth the wait.

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