October 2012 Archives

As a writer, words

As a writer, words are your paint. Use all the colors.
Rhys Alexander

Illustrator Resources

boy illustration.jpgThis collection is for my new illustrator friends--especially those who are just starting out.

In Print

Writing with Pictures: How to Write and Illustrate Children's Books by Uri Shulevitz

How to Write and Illustrate Children's Books and Get Them Published edited by Treld Bicknell

How to Write, Illustrate, and Design Children's Books by Frieda Gates

Illustrating Children's Books: Creating Pictures for Publication by Martin Salisbury

On the Web

The Blackwing Diaries by Jenny Lerew - follow her link to her sketchbook, too

Children's Illustration Agents composed by Phyllis Cahill

Coretta Scott King Book Awards

Directory of Children's Illustration

The Drawing Board for Illustrators

Dummies for Smarties on Yellapalooza - other good articles on this site, too

Ezra Jack Keats - looking at how he put together his picture books

Gouache Resist by Laura McGee Kvasnosky

How I developed the idea for From Head to Toe by Eric Carle

How to be a Children's Book Illustrator

How to Illustrate a Children's Book - 3 articles

How to Make a Storyboard

Mighty Art Demos - search by art medium, category, or artist's name

Picture Book Database

Starting Out: Tips for Beginning Illustrators on Yellapalooza

Temple of the Seven Golden Camels

Have any more illustration links to add? If you can't see the comment box, click on the title above then scroll down.

Thanks to Xenia from morguefile for the above image.

As a writer you

As a writer you need to be aware of what's out there, aware of the competition. Otherwise you're giving an editor a reason to reject you.
Tina Wexler, Agent

Artistic creativity is a

Artistic creativity is a whirlpool of imagination that swirls in the depths of the mind.
Robert Toth

Analyzing humor is like

Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.
E.B. White

Unexpected - The Hop

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

The Hop (Disney-Hyperion, 2012) by Sharelle Byars Moranville is a fun adventure story told in two alternating viewpoints: a kid and a TOAD!

Tad, a small toad, lives in Toadville-by-Tumbledown which is in grave danger and he's been selected to save it by kissing a human girl. Ughh. (Isn't that an interesting twist?) But not just any girl--it has to be the Queen of the Hop. His trip is quite the adventure as he follows directions and ends up in . . . no, I'm not telling you where.

Taylor's favorite place is the pond next to her grandmother's, but the property has been sold and it's going to be turned into a strip mall. What can she do to save it? And then there's the complication that her grandmother, Eve, is having chemotherapy and she can't stay with her all the time anymore, especially this time when her parents go to Reno.

Of course, our two heroes have to meet and kiss, but nothing is as you expect it will be.

There are fun illustrations by Niki Daly to add to the story. (You might want to check out more of his work here.)

Love this book--it makes me smile every time I think about it.

The author in her "questions from readers" tells how she came to name the toads. On the same page, you'll find out how Sharelle came up with "night-smacky-goo." You know you want to know...

Anything But Typical

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

anythingbt.jpgAnything But Typical (Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2010) by Nora Raleigh Baskin has a main character who is "anything but typical." 12-year-old Jason Blake is autistic kid living in a neurotypical world. "School doesn't always go very well," he says. Jason flaps his hands if excited, when he's going to say something, or if thinking. Others think he is weird. He knows he's supposed to look people in the eye, but he doesn't like to. Besides most people look the same to him. "I know no girl will ever like me," he says. But then PhoenixBird likes his stories on the Storyboard website. Maybe she can be his friend. But when they both get to go to the Storyboard conference, he's afraid once she sees him she won't like him anymore.

This story is well-told. It made me more understanding and sympathetic of those who have some strange uncontrollable habit. I think every kid should read this award winning novel. Look here at all the awards!

I love what Nora says on her site: "Most everything I write, whether it is a novel or an essay or a short story is very much a part of my life.. The world as I remember it... In other words..I rarely make anything up..mostly I pick and choose from things I've experienced or seen or done..and give them to my characters." Read about her other books on her website.

Always be a first-rate

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.
Judy Garland