Saturday, December 15, 2012

Illustration Friday | Snow

Snow - Prismacolor Black Pencil and Watercolor
Neve - Lápis preto Prismacolor e Aquarela

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Baltic in the News!

It's been almost 3 years since Baltic was first spotted floating on an ice floe on the Vistula River in Poland.  Rescued on January 25th, 2010, and adopted by the crew of the R/V Baltica, Baltic became an international celebrity (and the inspiration of my first picture book!)

What has he been up to?

Baltic's amazing story also inspired a Polish children's book, written by Barbara Gawryluk and illustrated by Iwona Cala:

And now, Baltic's story is going to be a children's play!

 Miniature City Theater has developed Baltic. A dog on an ice floe, based on Barbara Gawryluk's book.  Located in Gdansk, Miniature City Theater is one of the oldest theaters in Poland, in existence for over 65 years.

The play is for children ages 5 and up and opens on December 16th.

I wish I could go!

Illustration Friday | Stretch

Stretch -- cats do it best.
Alongamento -- os gatos sabem fazê-lo.

And done in a slightly different style.
E feito num estilo ligeiramente diferente.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Fine Art of Children's Book Illustration

Recently I had the chance to attend a fantastic webinar organized by ALA's Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) in honor of The Caldecott Medal 75th Anniversary.

This webinar, The Fine Art of Children's Book Illustration, was presented by Dilys Evans, artist, agent and founder of the Original Art, as well as author of Show and Tell: Exploring the Fine Art of Children's Book Illustration.  

Ms. Evans discussed the 10 Principles for Illustrating a Great Picture Book, and kindly allowed me to share them on my blog.  They are (drum roll, please):

1) In the Beginning is the Word -- it's essential that illustrators fall in love with the manuscript and stay true to the word, bringing their own expertise and artistry to the table.

2) Preparation is Paramount: Research, Research, Research.

3) Every Picture Must Tell a Story: A Great Cover is Where it All Begins.

4) Endpapers, Flaps and Title Pages: The Opportunity of a Lifetime -- use every space to put a picture that explains more about the characters, time or place.

5) Set the Scene Before the Story Begins.

6) The Medium is Part of the Message.

7) Working Sketches are the Stepping Stones to a Great Picture Book.

8) Art and Typeface Should be a Perfect Marriage.

9) A Great Picture Book is a Form of Dramatic Art.

10) White Space Rules!

Great stuff, right?  Get thee to a library and start looking for these principles in your favorite picture books!

PS.  Archived sessions of the webinars are available for free and unlimited viewing for members of ALSC!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Dog Doodles 2 | Rabiscos de Cães 2

Always thankful for dogs.  
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Sempre grata por cães.
Feliz Dia de Ação de Graças à todos!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Illustration Friday | Tree

Super quick brush, ink and watercolor sketch with a bunny and a bear.
You'll be seeing more of these two fun characters in the future! ;-)

Um esboço super rápido com pincel, naquim e aquarela de um coelhinho e urso.
Vocês irão rever esses personagens divertidos futuramente! ;-)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

November is Picture Book Month!

Have you heard? I bet you did -- November is Picture Book Month!  As you can see from the calendar below, every day brings a new essay by an author or illustrator on the importance of picture books.
Calendar designed and illustrated by Elizabeth O. Dulemba

There's more too.  Be sure to check out Picture Book Month at the Horn Book, where you'll find a new article about picture books every Thursday.  The first, Absorbing Pictures and What They Say written by Barbara Bader is already up.

And don't forget PiBoIdMo - Picture Book Idea Month!  Created and hosted by author Tara Lazar on her blog in 2009, it continues to grow and grow! Great guest posts, great prizes and a whole month to help you come up with ideas for picture books.  What's not to like?

Monday, October 22, 2012

My Public Library in Rio | Minha Biblioteca Pública no Rio

I'm in Rio de Janeiro, visiting my family, and decided to check my old neighborhood public library, Biblioteca Popular Municipal de Botafogo.  I was 12 when we moved to this part of Rio and this library was not far from home.

There are fewer public libraries in Brazil than in the US -- they are not as widespread or well-funded.  Collections tend to be small, but as all public libraries in the world, they play an important part in fostering a love of reading and learning.  That was certainly true for me!

Children's book publishing is growing in Brazil and it's wonderful to see so many amazing picture books by Brazilian authors and illustrators -- these are two of my favorites: Elisabeth Teixeira and Mariana Massarani.

Estou no Rio, visitando minha família e decidi ver a biblioteca pública do meu antigo bairro, Biblioteca Pública Popular Municipal de Botafogo. Tinha 12 anos quando nos mudamos para esta vizinhança do Rio, e a biblioteca não ficava longe de casa.

No Brasil não existem tantas bibliotecas públicas como nos Estados Unidos -- não são tão difundidas ou tão bem financiadas.  O número de livros é menor, mas como todas bibliotecas públicas do mundo, desempenham um papel importante na promoção do amor a leitura e ao aprendizado.  Certamente foi assim comigo!

A indústria de publicação de livros infantis continua crescendo no Brasil, e é maravilhoso ver tantos livros infantis incríveis feitos por autores e ilustradores brasileiros -- estas são duas das minhas favoritas:  Elisabeth Teixeira and Mariana Massarani.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Exhibit News: The Original Art 2012 at the Society of Illustrators

Mark your calendars, everyone!

The Original Art 2012 show at the Society of Illustrators opens on October 24th and runs until December 22nd, 2012. If you live in or near New York City or is going to be in the area, this is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to see the best in children's book illustration for 2012.

The setting is great: you can see original pieces on the wall and in print as you browse through the books for each of the selections.  This year 139 titles were chosen to be included in this very prestigious exhibit.

Local author/illustrator (and great guy!) Brian Biggs is featured again this year with two books: The Boy Who Cried Alien! (Hyperion, 2012) written by Marilyn Singer and his very own Everything Goes: In the Air (Balzer + Bray, 2012.) Very cool!

Also cool -- last year Prospect Agency's author/illustrator Joyce Wan was selected for We Belong Together (Scholastic, 2011) and this year it's Kirstie Edmund's turn: she was selected for her work in The Monster Who Lost His Mean (Henry Holt, 2012) written by Tiffany Strelitz Haber. Yay!

New York City, here I come!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Illustration Friday | Book

Hint: Fox is baking for a friend.
This is an old illustration, an idea for a story.

Dica: A raposa vai assar um bolo para um amigo.
Esta é uma ilustração antiga, uma idéia para uma estória.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Books About Picture Books

There are many books about writing and illustrating children's books -- I thought I would share with you some of my favorites.  These are books that have helped me learn a lot about the process, techniques and design involved in the creation of picture books.

Writing with Pictures by Uri Shulevitz
Illustrating Children's Books by Martin Salisbury
Illustrating Children's Picture Books by Steven Withrow

Also helpful are books in which illustrators share their experiences both in creating art and becoming professional illustrators:

Talking with Artists by Pat Cummings is a series of three books filled with personal interviews with illustrators.  Geared towards children, these volumes are just as enjoyable for adults. I first discovered them at the Children's Room in our public library (and soon got copies for myself!)

More recently, Show and Tell: Exploring the Fine Art of Children's Book Illustration by Dilys Evans is a must read, with terrific in depth chapters on 12 amazing artists, including one of my favorites, Betsy Lewin:


Do you have a favorite book too? Do share!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Illustration Friday | Lost

An oldie but goodie.  Happy Friday, everyone!

Uma antiga, mas boa illustração.  Feliz sexta-feira para todos!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Making Picture Books -- Thumbnail Sketches

A week ago today I attended a day-long event at the Rosenbach Museum & Library organized in collaboration with the SCBWI - Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter:  Making Picture Books - A workshop for children's book writers and illustrators
Adrienne Wright, Illustrator Coordinator for the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter, did a fantastic job planning this event, inspired by the Rosenbach's Maurice Sendak exhibition, From Pen to Publisher.

There were three presenters: Gene Barreta (Author/Illustrator), Kate Harrison (Senior Editor at Dial Books for Young Children) and April Ward (Art Director at Macmillan Children's Publishing Group).   

I love attending events like these -- it's a chance to meet new people passionate about children's literature, learn more about the publishing industry and the process of creating picture books.  One of the sessions focused on the value of working on thumbnails sketches, small rough drawings.  I just finished working on the thumbnails and storyboard for my second picture book, so this presentation resonated with me.   Below are a few notes from the presentation that I thought I would share:
  • Illustrators should consider taking more time at the thumbnail stage, creating 2 or 3 options for each spread, playing with the sketches, making them unique.
  • While working on thumbnails, make sure to vary the composition throughout each spread: using variation in perspective, dramatic close-ups, showing characters in distance, bird's eye view, breaking up action into panels, etc.
  • Keep an open mind and be flexible, considering all options and pushing yourself.
  • Thumbnails/storyboard help take away redundancy, and make it easier to identify what's not working.

Good stuff, right?  

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Baltic Digital Story

On February 15th this year I did a Skype visit with a group of Kindergarten and 1st Grade students at St. David's School in Raleigh, North Carolina, as part of their Book Lover's Week celebration.  It was a lot of fun!
Afterwards, the children in Mrs. Williams' Kindergarten class worked on a project inspired by Little Dog Lost: where did Baltic go after he was rescued?  Each student wrote, drew a picture and then read and recorded their story.
And the result is WONDERFUL!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Great Big Original Sock Dogs Contest!

I'm a BIG FAN of Stacey Hsu and her amazing creations at Original Sock Dogs.  Her work is beautiful and unique, and 10% of every purchase is donated to the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City.  So, so cool!

Stacey created the custom made Baltic sock dog for Little Dog Lost -- Look how great he looks!

I know!  Adorable, right? Now you have a chance to win one of her one of a kind creations.  Run to her blog and leave a comment to win!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Illustration Friday | Jump

One Lost Scarf + One Adventurous Squirrel = Fun!
Uma Echarpe Perdida + Um Esquilo Aventureiro = Divertimento!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Illustration Friday | Vocal

This is an old illustration, but I think it works for this week's topic.  I also like it because it made me think of a book I've been hearing a lot about lately -- Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain.  Being an introvert myself, I though it raised some really interesting points.  The author was the presenter at a recent Ted Talk.  It's definitely worth watching!

Esta é uma ilustração antiga, mas acho que também se adapta ao tema desta semana.  Também gosto dela porque me faz pensar num livro que tenho ouvido falar muito -- Quiet: The Power of Introverts de Susan Cain.  Eu me considero introvertida, e o livro parece muito interessante.  A autora foi a apresentadora numa recente Ted Talk.  Vale a pena assistir (pode-se colocar legendas em português)!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Blog to Follow: Chicken Lit

There's a new blog in town!  Chicken Lit: A blog for readers of stories and lovers of books, especially the ones starring chickens was created by Elizabeth, children's librarian extraordinaire at the Free Library of Philadelphia.  Elizabeth kicked off her new blog with a fantastic interview with Matt Phelan, one of my favorite author/illustrators.  And she will be posting Chicken Clips: videos featuring young children reading, singing and interacting with books and the people they love to share them with.  The first of the series is up and it's adorable! 
Check it out!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Awesome Giveaway!

Yesterday was the publication date for a new book written by the super-talented Audrey Vernick and illustrated by the amazing Kirstie Edmunds, who is also represented by my agent, Teresa Kietlinsky from Prospect Agency.

So You Want To Be A Rock Star is out and is getting wonderful reviews, and deservedly so!  Publisher's Weekly and Kirkus agree: this book rocks!

And, lucky me, I was the winner of the ROCK STAR PALOOZA SWAG GIVEAWAY promotion on Audrey's blog.  Would you like to enter a contest to win one too?  Guess what, you can!  Head over to Kami Kinard's Nerdy Chick's Blog before March 19th for your chance to win.  Rock on!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

We Give Books - Little Dog Lost Online

We Give Books - Books

Read Little Dog Lost for a great cause! Check this amazing program: read a book online and help support literacy programs all over the world!

Leia Little Dog Lost por uma grande causa! Confira esta incrível iniciativa: leia um livro online e ajude a programas de apoio a alfabetização em todo mundo!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Book Launch Party!

Last week, on Wednesday January 25th, the second anniversary of Baltic's rescue, The Free Library of Philadelphia hosted the Book Launch party for Little Dog Lost.  Just look at the wonderful cake!

It was a fantastic event: among many other guests two kindergarten classes from Russell Byers Charter School came for the book reading and party.  What a great audience!  Also attending were my agent, Teresa Kietlinski from Prospect Agency, and from Penguin Young Readers Group my editor Nancy Paulsen, art director Cecilia Yung, and book designer Marikka Tamura.  What a thrill it was to all be together on this special day!

The following day Publisher's Weekly mentioned the launch party in its In Brief: January 26!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Illustration Friday | Twirl and Forward

I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to the Olympic Games this summer!  

Não sei se você sente o mesmo, mas estou ansiosa para os Jogos Olímpicos em julho!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Pub Date is Today!

What a day! 

Little Dog Lost: The True Story of a Brave Dog Named Baltic was released today.

And....Horn Book picked it for its Review of the Week. Cynthia Leitich Smith posted an interview with me in her wonderful blog Cynsations.

I'm practically speechless.  What a great way to start the year!  Thank you all for your support and friendship.  I hope 2012 is off to a good start for you too!

By the way, if you're wondering about the cute Baltic sock dog, it was made by the talented Stacey Hsu of Original Sock Dogs.