Destination ‘Crabtree’: it’s all about the journey (and a few other things)...

by

(Disclosure: I received a review copy of this beauty.*)    Not only do I have a scrumptious picture book to talk about, I also had the added pleasure of chatting with the makers of this delight. Brothers Jon and Tucker Nichols not only made Crabtree (their debut picture book) together, but they both wrote and illustrated it. Yes. It reads like the creation of one genius mind. But it’s actually two. Published by the wonderful McSweeney’s McMullens, this book is a work of art that I’ve been tempted to cut up and paste all over my ceiling to just lie down and stare at. Luckily to avoid such sacrilege, they very thoughtfully created a dust jacket that opens out to a giant poster you can pin up. See? They really did think of everything. Crabtree is named after its...

read more

Not what they seem: playing with perception in picture books...

by

The most encouraging sign in the exploration of a form is when people really begin to think outside of its set definitions. It’s not every day you find a picture book that plays with readers’ expectations and takes them on a completely unexpected journey. Today I thought I’d talk about two books published this year that managed to do just that. Count the Monkeys is yet another example of the fabulous Mac Barnett‘s work. Anybody who is trying to be a picture book author, I think, should really do a study of his work to see just how creatively he thinks as an author. He understands that the medium is more visual, but he always comes up with witty and intelligent concepts that illustrators can then work with, which ultimately create a winning combination of both...

read more

It’s Picture Book Listmania Time! — AKA August 10 for 10 (#pb10for10)...

by

August 10 for 10 began in 2010 when Cathy Mere and Mandy Robek decided it would be a great idea, and wonderful resource, for people to share their 10 favorite picture books on the 10th of August. Cathy speaks about the history of  how the event started on her blog, and I’m sure there are going to be many, many awesome lists being put together to celebrate. And in that spirit, let me share mine. I have been waiting for an opportunity to talk about  picture books I love, so I might go into somewhat of a fervor; forgive me. I’ve decided to share two lists: one of my favorite picture books that I’ve read so far this year, and one of my top 10  picture book creators. To create a master list is near impossible because I love different picture books...

read more

Experiments in papercutting – II...

by

I’m working on an idea for a new book with paper-cut illustrations. Even though my concept is for a digital book, I like the idea of using paper-cut pictures because it gives it a more 3D feel than the flatness you sometimes get with digital art. Doing it this way, I also have the freedom to move the pieces around, like a puppeteer. It’s a little time-consuming, but entertaining process. Looks like somebody’s angry, huh? I was a little scared myself, when I finished. Poor kid! What do you think? Let’s see what comes out of it.  Stay tuned for more! P.S If you’re curious about how the first papercutting experiment went, go here....

read more