Archive for March, 2011

Bee & Bird

Roaring Brook Press | May 2011

In anticipation of the release of Bee & Bird, I’ve created a website and a video trailer put to the 70’s hit by Can. Enjoy!

Red Wagon

Renata Liwska | Philomel 2010

It’s no secret that Renata Liwska is one of my favorite illustrators at the moment. With a follow-up book to The Quiet Book, Renata has come back with another tale with a cast of anthropomorphic characters on a magical journey in Lucy’s red wagon. Red Wagon is page after page of spry little beings—each standing upright on their hind legs dressed for that moment’s particular predicament. While we are accustomed to animals as humans, Renata’s are in a league of their own. It’s how she captures them mid-step or mid-air in their group effort to move their wagon along. However, the real life is in their eyes and precious expressions—fret, surprise, delight, confidence, and general mischief are all present in her delicate graphic marks.

Renata kindly shared a few of her Moleskine sketches and a brief note about her casting process.

“As you can see, bunny became a raccoon. Bear didn’t make the cast, raccoon got the part instead. And some scenes were shot on green screen.”

No doubt her auditions are rigorous and getting tougher.

Jungle ABC

Michael Roberts | Hyperion Book | 1998

As a fan of cut paper it should be no surprise that I love revisiting The Jungle ABC by Vanity Fair’s style director Michael Roberts. There are lots of alphabet animal books but this is in the top three. At 10 x 13 inches and 64 pages, it’s a treasure not only to find each expression of the letter but also to explore the textural nuances of each page’s scene. Each illustration is a master’s course in composition, scale, light and shadow, and color. Robert’s style takes very simple ideas like the elephant for ‘E” and renders only the trunk eating delicate foliage leaving us to only imagine the remaining beast off the page. Or the textured giraffe’s torso with the strutting native running up it’s back. The life created by his hand-cut images is an inspiration to any illustrating storyteller. This is a magical cut, torn, and pasted tour of the rich tapestry and dance of the African jungle.

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