Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I Want A Pet! by Cathy Morrison

Hard to believe this year is almost over, but I've been busy and it's flown by. Here's one of the reasons I've been spending a lot of time working instead of blogging this past year - it's my first book as writer/illustrator!

Tiger Tales Books is the publisher and I really do feel honored to work with them. They cater to kiddos seven and under and in my humble opinion are the best.

So here's the cover artwork (looks strange to me not to be sharing the credit with an author) and a few of the spreads. Look for it spring 2012.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Ultimate Allergy-Free Snack Cookbook

I get the most fun jobs from Square One Publishers in NYC. This time it's illustrating the interior of The Ultimate Allergy-Free Snack Cookbook by Judi and Shari Zucker.

So many great snack ideas for happy healthy kids here. Now there's no reason to have to say "no" when your child asks for a snack. These are all healthy as well as easy to make and delicious. And while it's mainly for people with food allergies, the recipes are also sugar-free and meat-free. Vegans, diabetics and cancer survivors will enjoy these yummy snacks as well.

The only problem about illustrating this book was that I was hungry the whole time I worked on it. So I did try a few of these and they taste as good as they sound.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cat Calls, Wonderful Stories and Practical Advice from a Veteran Cat Sitter

I just received copies of Cat Calls by Jeanne Adlon and Susan Logan and couldn't be happier with how it came out. It's one thing to read through copy while illustrating a book but quite another to sit down after it's printed and really enjoy it.

There's lots of great cat-care tips but my favorite parts are Jeanne's wonderful stories about the various cats she's cared for and the famous people she's worked with and befriended over the years... who knew John Lennon and Yoko Ono were cat people? Here's a great review from Kirkus' Review with a lot more fun details.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Three Little Beavers

You know the old saying, "busy as a beaver"? Well I can relate because that's how I felt working on the illustrations for Three Little Beavers by Jean Heilprin Diehl.

Beatrix the beaver can't get a break. Her brother Bevan is an expert at building. Her sister Beverly is an amazing swimmer. Isn't there anything that Beatrix is good at?

Kids will relate to the plight of these busy little creatures as well. As Beatrix swims away, thinking nobody will care she finds herself trapped. Her siblings come to rescue her but become trapped as well. There's lots of adventures and kids will love reading and learning a lot about these busy little beavers.

Sylvan Dell Publishing also includes a creative minds section and teaching activities in the back of each of their books.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Denver's Very First County Fair!

The land was bought for a Denver County Fair in the 1800s. Suddenly that plan was interrupted by a little thing called the "Civil War" and no fair was ever launched... until this summer! It was a mixture of old fashioned fair goodness - think homemade goods, arts and crafts, carnival rides, pie eating competitons - with a twist of 21st Century sensibilities - fashion, green technology, drag queen competition, robotics, rocket building and launching, music and lots more.

So I was honored to win a First Place Blue Ribbon for Animalogy by Marianne Berkes in the illustration competition. Of course, I couldn't have done it without the help of my grandson, Konnor who posed for one of the illustrations in the book.

We're already looking forward to next year's fair.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Three Little Beavers

Hopefully you like beavers because you'll be seeing them off and on for the rest of this year. Here's a preview for you, the working cover for The Three Little Beavers, for Sylvan Dell Publishing. The type will change - I just like playing around with type placement, mainly to see if I'm leaving enough room - otherwise I tend to fill in every inch possible.

This book is by Jean Heilprin Diehl and it's a very cute, fun story about guess what? Yes, the adventures of Beverly, Bevan and Beatrix, the three little beavers. Look for it spring of 2012!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Animalogy: Animal Analogies

I was honored to be teamed up with Marianne Berkes, one of my favorite picture book authors today. She's a retired teacher and librarian who has turned her love of nature and teaching into writing. Marianne uses rhyming analogies about animals to give kids a different way to see how animals are related. . . bat is to flit as eagle is to soar; dog is to bark as lion is to roar. Comparisons include sounds, physical adaptations, behaviors, animals classes and are so fun, readers learn without even realizing it. Animals are to nature, as Animalogy is to fun!

My daughter, Andrea Brown produced the book trailer and did a great job. See Sylvan Dell Publishing's webpage for eBook preview, teaching activities, reviews and more.

Monday, June 6, 2011

One project completed, now on to the next.

I'm going to miss drawing cats, but on to the next project. Currently everything I'm working on is about animals. One picture book I'm illustrating is titled The Three Little Beavers, another fun project for Sylvan Dell Publishing. The other one is my first book as writer and illustrator. I'll have details and images coming shortly. All in all it's a nice way to spend my summer non-vacation.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cat Calls by Jeanne Adlon & Susan Logan

Mainly I work in the world of children's publishing so when I get a call from Square One Publishers to illustrate one of their books, it's always a new and exciting challenge for me. They don't do children's books but do publish wonderful books on food and cooking, parenting, health, the list goes on and on.

This time it's Cat Calls, Wonderful Stories and Practical Advice from a Veteran Cat Sitter, by Jeanne Adlon and Susan Logan. Here's a sneak peek of the art that will be used for Chapter Headings. I see it as a sort of Sex in the City tell-all about the extraordinary life of a well known cat sitter in NYC. But it's also full of valuable information and advice for cat owners. The coauthor is Susan Logan, editor of Cat Fancy Magazine and will have a foreword by Jim Davis, creator of Garfield. It's going to be such a great, fun book and I'm honored to be apart of it.

Look for it this fall!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

My interview by Simon Rose

The very talented Simon Rose, based in Calgary, Alberta in Western Canada is the author of science fiction and fantasy novels for young readers. Some of his titles include The Alchemist's Portrait, The Sorcerer's Letterbox, The Clone Conspiracy, The Doomsday Mask among others. He's also known for his dynamic author visits, workshops and presentations.

Simon celebrates all genres of children's literacy with weekly children's book author and illustrator interviews on Face Book. This week he's interviewing me.

Thanks Simon for including me in your interviews. See the entire list at Children's Authors and Illustrators on Facebook and please visit Simon Rose's website to find out more about the writing community.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Animalogy's original and revised cover

Here's a behind-the-scenes-look at the development of a book cover. The first cover was considered too hard to read from a distance by the marketing folks at Sylvan Dell Publishing. Normally when I hear the marketing department wants changes all sorts of red flags go up. But I really trust this publisher, they just know how to do things right so I was happy to work with them on cover revisions. We took one of the interior spreads and made a few adjustments and now it's our new cover for Animalogy. It actually wraps around the back which you don't see here. I think it's a stronger cover and hopefully easier to read. Most people still judge a book by its cover, don't you?

The original cover art is now moved to the title page so I'm glad that artwork will still see the light of day.