How does one celebrate a step in the right direction towards getting a children's book published? - Go shopping at the bookstore !! There's a whole new summer crop of PB's out there just waiting to be picked- and I picked the ones I found most juicy!
"Let's do nothing!"- by Tony Fucile - Candlewick Press
Mr. Fucile- how I luv thee. He's responsible for much of the design of my favorite Pixar movie- "The Incredibles". I have long admired his way with a pencil- his "je ne sais quoi" -with the curve and the line and the way he can completely capture KIDS.
Watch the Incredibles -ignore everything but Violet- Dash - Jack Jack and the babysitter(my favorite). Look at the Art of the Incredible books- and WOW! The drawings of the kids. The boy on the tricycle. Tony Fucile is a genius with character. It's no wonder he has entered the world of children's books with such a book.
"Lets do nothing" is simply about two kids - 2 characters Frankie and Sal sitting... trying to do nothing- and the inability to keep Frankie's imagination doing nothing. The simple gorgeous drawings allow those 2 personalities to shine. These 2 boys- are as real as my own little 9 yr old neighbor Frankie- who too- can't sit quietly for long. - I really- really hope we see more books from Tony Fucile. 'Cause I'm hooked.
"If I were a jungle animal" -Tom and Amanda Ellery - Simon & Schuster
2 books by animators?- Hmmmmmmm.... someone noticing a trend!? yes.....
This book has a great classic printing look. Flat- bold great color combinations inside of thick black scratchy line. Is it china marker? Black prismacolor? hm.mmm.. I wonder. It has a loose drawing style that is pitch perfect that can only come when a hand knows.. Yes the hand can know. I think hands have sense memory- how a pencil drags across a surface- an inked brush glides around a curve. Tom Ellery has a smart hand that communicates his wife Amanda's ability to think as a kid. It's an adorable book. Like Tony Fucile's it's real - authentically 100% all KID.
"Wave" by Suzy Lee -Chronicle books
Suzy Lee is not an animator- but she could be. Animators are just people who can breathe life into drawings- that she can do.
I saw these illos on the Society of Illustrator's call for entries for their children's book show this fall.- She was the reason I went shopping. When I cracked this baby open @ B&N - I put my whole stack down to sit- and go thru it over and over.
There are no words. You turn the pages and you hear this book. You hear the seagulls - you hear the ocean coming and going. You feel the little girls- joy and wonder. (remember what the beach was like when you didn't care about sand in your butt?- it was magical) The page of the aftermath of the crashing wave is my favorite- the pause - the anticipation- will she cry?- NO!- She finds a shell! - (I still think shells are magical- nature's jewelry) - This quiet book makes a lot of noise! The water is painted amazingly... blue white and black, 3 colors and you're at the beach. Incredible. Suzy Lee- magical.
Back to work. Hope Summer's shaping up for you to be hazy, lazy and crazy!