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Posts Tagged ‘picture books’

qanda

“I want to know what’s your favorite book that you have made?”

-Damian

I get this question often. And it’s not easy to answer. I have a short answer, “When I work on a book, it usually takes quite a long time to finish it, so I become attached no matter how it does or what people think of it. I like all the books I’v done.”

But my real answer is that I do have favorites – but they are favorites for different reasons.

While Earthling! was a ton of work and I’m not likely to pursue a 260 page graphic novel again, it was a big story that I wrote and illustrated. It gave me the opportunity to take my characters on a very long adventure.

The Book That Eats People was the first ‘real’ picture book I illustrated and it is so zany that I still enjoy paging through it. I wish more picture books had this weird, subversive but innocent joy to them.

And a book like The Great Thanksgiving Escape means a lot to me because it was the first picture book I wrote and drew. It was great fun working with an editor who helped craft the story so my intentions were clear.

Each of the books have some aspect that keeps them near-and-dear to me. Some books are more work, because of revisions requested or perhaps I had a hard time figuring out how to solve the narrative issues. Sometimes an editor leaves in the middle of the process or the publisher decides to to take the book in an entirely new direction. This can cause frustration and insecurity, but you have to work through it. In the long run the negatives seem to fall away and I look on each book fondly because some aspect of making it involved a new challenge for me and the book is a physical reminder of the time I spent learning to overcome difficulties and execute my ideas as best I could.

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bearandkid

Not sure why I used this quick sketch for this post, but here it is…

I will be at the Barnes & Noble store at Bridgeport in Tigard on Saturday, May 30th. I think I’ll be there at noon or 12:30. This is in support of an eduction al event. I am going to do some drawing and talk about how words and pictures can work together to create a dynamic story.

Talk to any author or illustrator and they will tell you that bookstore visits can be scary things. You honestly don’t know what will happen, if there will even be anyone there. The employees at this Barnes & Noble always make me feel welcome and I’ve always had a great time visiting the store. So if you are out-n-about on the 30th, and want one of those giant Snickerdoodle cookies from the Barnes & Noble cafe OR want to get a book, stop on by!

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It’s great when reviews of kids books show up in general media instead of just the usual periodicals and journals that specialize in children’s books. So it’s great to see a glowing review in The Washington Post for the new book I illustrated- Tommy Can’t Stop! You can click here and read it!

From the Review: “…Here, it’s okay if Tommy can’t stop: He’s got talent! Mark Fearing’s goggle-eyed characters and cartoon illustrations suit this light-hearted tale, with every page full of color and action…”

-Kathie Meizner

The Washington Post

tommy_1

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Tommy Can’t Stop is dancing off book shelves and people love it. That’s because Tim Federle created a charming story that shines a spotlight on a character we haven’t seen too often in picture books.

tommy_1

But now my attention turns to Dilly Dally Daisy. That’s the next picture book that I wrote and illustrated and it will be released in July.

daisy_pic1

So now’s your chance to preorder at Barnes & Noble or Amazon or even better your local book store! As I like to say here, buy a copy or two for yourself and a copy for everyone in your zip code.

Daisy is a character near and dear to my heart. A kid who has a hard time getting ready – for just about anything. Inspired in equal parts by my own inability to do this and my daughter and her friend who seemingly always find a way not to be ready for swim team lessons.

DillyDallyDaisy_cvrsmall

You will be hearing about this a lot more on this blog before July. Stay Tuned!

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Look – it’s a merciless marketing oriented blog post!

Well, we have Halloween on the way don’t we? So for your Halloween kid-reads I’d recommend either A Very Witchy Spelling Bee or The Book That Eats People.

 

IMG_1363

A Very Witchy Spelling Bee is for an older reader with its focus on spelling and spells. 

beware

And The Book That Eats People  – well some younger kids are scared of it, but those kids usually get eaten first.

And once we get over Halloween we have Thanksgiving and – I have a book for that!

thanksgiving_escape

 

 

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thanksgiving_escape

I updated my website with info about my next book, The Great Thanksgiving Escape, which escapes in September from dank, dark warehouses.

It’s a Thanksgiving story. I hope the title didn’t give that away.

The first review ran for it in Kirkus, and they said very nice things and I could breathe again – so I guess I can start my publicity push…which mainly focuses on me walking around town with a copy of the book under my arm and when people look at me I say – “I noticed you seem interested in my NEW book!” and I read it to them. Out loud. After all, picture books are meant to be read aloud. This does lead to some delays and frequent calls to the police, especially when I do this while I’m in line at the grocery check-out at around 5:30.

OK. That’s not true. That’s not ALL my promotional ideas. I also super glue several copies of the book to the outside of my car and I update my website and blog.

OK. Sadly enough, my main publicity idea is updating my blog and website.

And the radio ads I’m taking out for it.

 

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So I’ve been negligent in talking about what I’m working on right now. I think this is because it’s real work to me. Something I already focus on all day long (and often evenings) and when I get to my blog duties I like to get away from all that. I’d much rather talk about important stuff like National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day – which is May 15th.

TGTE_1

Cropped sample from The Great Thanksgiving Escape. Out Sept. 2014 from Candlewick Press.

But what AM I DOING?

Right at this moment I’m typing and – drinking tea. Really good Chinese Breakfast from Numi Tea. (no I wasn’t sponsored to say that – it’s just  that they make the best bagged black teas right now)

I am also finishing a picture book I wrote and illustrated for Penguin that will be out next year.  I’m also about a third of the way done with a picture book I’m illustrating for Hyperion.

 


gtg1

I’m starting to plan some marketing for the picture book I wrote and Illustrated coming out this Sept. called The Great Thanksgiving Escape, which is being released by Candlewick Press. (I just received the first two sample copies on Saturday!) This is a book inspired by Oregon in many ways. You’ll see when you read it and get to the end (So order it now! what are you waiting for!?) This is the first picture book I wrote and illustrated. I got to wear both hats. And a wig. And clown shoes.

gtg4

After that I have a bunch of exciting projects I will blab on about later, including three more picture books I am thrilled to be illustrating.

Now I need to walk the dogs, yet another of the quotidian that keep me from ‘real’ work.

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