Category Archives: Illustrators
As you may have heard, 2013 marks 50 years of the beloved, mixed-up housekeeper Amelia Bedelia. Our celebration continues with this heartwarming video featuring Herman Parish, footage of Peggy Parish, illustrators Lynne Avril and Barbara Siebel Thomas, Gretchen Siebel, editor Susan Hirschman, and everyone’s favorite dressed chicken. Hear about the history and evolution of Amelia Bedelia from the people who created her and those who have continued her legacy, and reminisce about your favorite moments from the books. (Dressing the chicken? Stringing the beans? Hitting the road? It’s tough to choose, but our favorite might be the “surprise shower.”)
In case you’d like to share the video with students or others whose attention spans are more suited for brevity, here’s a shorter (but equally warm and fuzzy) version:
Don’t forget to download an Amelia Bedelia Party Kit and join the celebration! Here’s to 50 years of hilarity and delicious baked goods.
Later this week we’re heading down to one of our very favorite states, Texas, with some star authors, to exhibit at the International Reading Association Annual Conference.
Will you be in San Antonio too? If so, come visit us at HarperCollins Children’s Books Booth #3451! We’re going to be giving out oodles of galleys, teaching guides, bookmarks, and other materials– with lots aligned to the Common Core State Standards.
Here’s where you can find our authors:
SATURDAY, April 20th
2:00–3:00PM, JANE O’CONNOR, Anderson’s Booth #1003
SUNDAY, April 21st
1:00–2:00PM, WALTER DEAN MYERS, HarperCollins Children’s Books Booth #3451
1:00–2:00PM, JON SCIESZKA, Anderson’s Booth #1003
2:00–3:00PM, SEYMOUR SIMON, HarperCollins Children’s Books Booth #3451
MONDAY, April 22nd
MO WILLEMS IRA Closing Keynote:
“A Hippopotamus Wouldn’t Fit on the Page and Other Reasons that Mo Willems Writes About Pigeons”
Convention Center Exhibit Hall D
Book signing immediately following
12:00–1:00PM, MICHAEL HALL, HarperCollins Children’s Books Booth #3451
Come by our booth and say hello!
As Women’s History Month draws to a close, we wanted to be sure that you haven’t missed BRAVE GIRL: CLARA AND THE SHIRTWAIST MAKERS’ STRIKE OF 1909 by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet.
BRAVE GIRL tells the story of Clara Lemlich, a young immigrant girl who led the biggest strike of women workers in U.S. history. The book has received four (!) starred reviews and big praise in the New York Times Book Review, in which they say: “Many schoolchildren today learn about the Triangle shirtwaist factory fire, but they don’t often learn about what precipitated the disaster. Markel’s sympathetic, fact-filled and moving story of a garment worker with gumption rounds out the lesson.” And we completely agree with their compliments for Melissa Sweet’s artwork: “With her distinctive mixed-media collages, she may have surpassed herself here. And with an inspiration like Lemlich — smart, ambitious, gutsy — it’s easy to see why.”
There are so many terrific topics, themes, and curricular tie-ins in this fantastic picture book. We created an educator guide aligned to the Common Core designed to help you start the discussion, available here.
And starting next week… April is Poetry Month!
Getting ready for Poetry Month? We’ve got some brilliant activities for Jack Prelutsky and Carin Berger’s STARDINES SWIM HIGH ACROSS THE SKY, brought to you by picture book and flannelboard maven Storytime Katie. With Jack Prelutsky’s signature sense of humor and Carin Berger’s stunning collage, shadowbox, and diorama illustrations, this fantastic new poetry collection can be paired with SCRANIMALS and BEHOLD THE BOLD UMBRELLAPHANT or used on its own for a rollicking Poetry Month celebration.
Many thanks to Katie for these great activities, and happy (almost) Poetry Month to all!
From Storytime Katie:
In STARDINES SWIM HIGH ACROSS THE SKY, Jack Prelutsky and Carin Berger team up to create an unforgettable recording of sixteen brand-new species unseen by humans before! To celebrate this amazing new book from Greenwillow Books, readers are invited to try their hands at these activities.
1. Create Your Own Animal. In STARDINES, Jack Prelutsky creates animals by combining two words with at least one similar syllable. For example, a panda who plans becomes a planda. Plan + Panda = Planda. Try making your own animal! If you get stuck, you can try using two of the words in the following lists:
Panda: Fan, Land, Sand, Stand
Buffalo: Fluff, Muff, Stuff, Tough
Butterfly: Blue, Flew, Mutt, Nut
Make sure to write out the definition of your new animal. (For example, a Bluetterfly is a butterfly who only lands on blue flowers!)
2. I Spy. In Carin Berger’s collage illustrations, she includes a lot of details to demonstrate each animal’s environment and personality. Can you find all fifteen items listed below in the pictures throughout STARDINES?
Items to find: Apron, Broom, Cactus, Clock, Feather, Fork, Guitar, Mushroom, Pretzel, Red Shoes, Rocks, Sailboat, Spoon, Tuba, Umbrella
3. Collage Art. Make your own collage using a variety of paper, found objects, and creativity. You can use whatever can be glued down on a piece of paper, as long as you have permission to use it! Try using milk caps, cardboard boxes, and newspaper to make a truly Earth-friendly recycled craft.
4. Animal Discoveries. While the creatures in STARDINES may not be real, new animal species are discovered regularly in our world. Do some research about when your favorite animal was discovered and find out who was responsible for the discovery. Write a poem about how your favorite animal was discovered—be imaginative!
As Black History Month draws to a close, we’d like to celebrate the life and work of one of our most groundbreaking author/illustrators, John Steptoe.
“I am not an exception to the rule among my race of people, I am the rule. By that I mean there are a great many others like me where I come from.”
Born in Brooklyn in 1950, John’s career was filled with highlights of the highest honors: 2 Caldecott Honors, 2 Coretta Scott King Awards for Illustration, among many, many more– but above all he is remembered for his abiding passion for instilling children, especially African-American children, with pride in their identity and ancestry in a time when multicultural books were few and far between.
His first picture book, STEVIE, about an African-American child who resents and then accepts a younger foster brother, was published in 1969 when John was just 18 years old, and remains in print today.
STEVIE, by John Steptoe, ISBN: 9780064431224
John’s best-known book, MUFARO’S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS, was published to huge critical acclaim in 1988. This modern fable about pride going before the fall has been a classic for more than twenty years, the illustrations are absolutely stunning, and the research involved awakened John’s pride in his African ancestry.
MUFARO’S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS: AN AFRICAN TALE, by John Steptoe, ISBN: 9780688040451
If you follow the annual ALA Youth Media Awards, you’ll recognize John’s name from his namesake award: the John Steptoe New Talent Award, which the Coretta Scott King Task force awards annually to a new African-American writer or illustrator whose works “demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.” Quite a fitting way to honor a man whose work was a shining light blazing a trail forward.
We hope your Black History Month celebrations were fruitful this month and inspire you all year long!
The news is now far and wide, but we want to officially say– yahoo! This past weekend in Seattle at the Midwinter Meeting of the American Library Association, six of our titles were honored by awards committees and we are beyond bowled over with excitement and pride. Congratulations to all– to the authors, editors, fans, and champions of these books. Every Midwinter we are so grateful to be reminded that the community we book-people live and work within is vibrant, supportive, and very, very much alive and kicking. We are all in it together.
- Newbery Medal Winner: THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN, by Katherine Applegate. (see our previous post about IVAN here, and our discussion guide here)
- Caldecott Honor: EXTRA YARN, by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen.
- Printz Honor: DODGER, by Terry Pratchett (see a special note from Terry about Dodger here)
- Schneider Family Book Award: A DOG CALLED HOMELESS, by Sarah Lean
- Geisel Honor: PETE THE CAT AND HIS FOUR GROOVY BUTTONS, created and illustrated by James Dean, story by Eric Litwin
- Morris Award Finalist: THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST, by emily m. danforth
All of our award-winning books living together in harmony.
Newbery Committee member Susannah Richards placing IVAN’s shiny sticker!
EXTRA YARN co-editor (VP and co-publisher of Balzer + Bray) Alessandra Balzer doing the honors!
Printz Committee friends giving DODGER their love.
Congratulations to all authors and illustrators honored with 2013 awards, and the biggest and humblest of thank you’s to the awards committees for their hard work, dedication, and the countless hours they spent this past year reading and discussing books. Now we wish we could fast-forward to June and our official ALA celebrations!
Black History Month (celebrated annually in February) is almost upon us, and we have two new, stunning picture books that we hope you’ll include in your festivities.
NELSON MANDELA, written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson, published January 2013 from Katherine Tegen Books. ISBN: 9780061783746
Kadir Nelson tells the story of Mandela, a global icon, in poignant verse and glorious illustrations. It is the story of a young boy’s determination to change South Africa and of the struggles of a man who eventually became the president of his country by believing in equality for people of all colors. Readers will be inspired by Mandela’s triumph and his lifelong quest to create a more just world. Rather than portray Nelson Mandela’s life and accomplishments in a standard nonfiction prose format, the beauty and language of this lyrical prose-poem distinctively captures time, place, and the story of a remarkable figure in world history.
BRICK BY BRICK, written by Charles R. Smith, Jr., illustrated by Floyd Cooper, published January 2013 from Amistad. ISBN: 9780061920820
I’m not sure if many people know that the White House was built partially by slaves, some of whom purchased their freedom after learning a trade through this work. This non-fiction picture book collaboration by a celebrated duo is told in verse and tells a new story of a landmark we all know well. Publishing right on the heels of the 2012 Presidential election, this moving book captures the tremendous feat of building the White House, with human hands. And it celebrates those African Americans slaves who toiled to bring this grand structure to life, as noted in President Barack Obama’s inaugural address.
And check out last year’s post for a round-up of further Black History Month reading from HarperCollins Children’s Books, as well as useful links!
Even though she doesn’t look a day over 25 (and a lady need never reveal her age), believe it or not, Amelia Bedelia turns 50 years old in 2013! We’re beginning a year-long celebration of our favorite well-meaning but a little bit mixed-up heroine on January 29th– Amelia Bedelia Day! You can download a full, free party kit at www.ameliabedeliapartykit.com to host a celebration of your own– in your classroom, library, home, bookstore, backyard, barn, wherever!
Also in January, we are reissuing the original book that started it all: AMELIA BEDELIA, by Peggy Parish, with illustrations by Fritz Siebel. It features the original jacket, two-color interior artwork, and book design from the 1963 edition, but with a slightly larger trim size and truly wonderful back matter: archival photographs, sketches, pages from the original book dummy, information about Peggy and Fritz, and a terrific timeline that shows how Amelia Bedelia has grown over the years.
Celebrate with us! We’ll be having fun with Amelia all year long.
Sometimes a publishing season comes around that is so full and great that you almost can’t believe it, and Winter 2013 is one such season for us in the picture book arena. There truly is something for everyone in this winter’s happy group: sneezing pandas, biographies, non-fiction, historical fiction, poetry, collage, dioramas, monsters, farm animals, and did we mention… unbearably adorable sneezing pandas? Neil Gaiman, Adam Rex, Melissa Sweet, Jack Prelutsky, and more– the talent pool is just too deep! Look forward to upcoming posts featuring the artwork of the following books that we think are going to be “picture-perfect” additions to your classroom, library, home, and heart.
by Neil Gaiman
Illustrated by Adam Rex
Beloved storyteller Neil Gaiman and acclaimed artist Adam Rex bring us Chu, a baby panda’s whose mighty sneeze produces disastrous and hilarious results.
Great for: reading aloud, storytime! (there’s a great library scene )
Starred Review: PW
BRICK BY BRICK
by Charles R. Smith Jr.
Illustrated by Floyd Cooper
On the heels of the 2012 Presidential election comes this powerful story of the building of the White house. Coretta Scott King Award winners Charles R. Smith and Floyd Cooper capture the emotion and the toil that created this incredible structure, the home of our President. Built brick by brick, the White House was created by human hands, many of them slaves, whose hard labor created the symbol of this country.
Themes and applications: history, the United States, slavery.
by Brett Helquist
Goat has never had a single friend in his life. He doesn’t want one now. What he wants is to eat, and so he does! That is, until he stumbles upon a beautiful dandelion that stops him in his tracks. And once Goat opens his eyes to the beauty that surrounds him, he can’t help but open his heart as well.
Themes and applications: friendship, grief, the circle of life, animals, reading aloud!
by Kadir Nelson
In poignant verse and glorious illustrations, Kadir Nelson tells the story of a young boy’s determination to change South Africa and of the struggles of a man who eventually became the president of his country by believing in equality for people of all colors. Readers will be inspired by Nelson Mandela’s triumph and his lifelong quest to create a more just world.
Themes and applications: equality, justice, perseverance, Black History Month.
Two starred reviews! Kirkus, PW
by Michelle Markel
Illustrated by Melissa Sweet
The inspiring true story of Clara Lemlich, a young immigrant girl who led the biggest strike of women workers in U.S. history. Caldecott Honor and Sibert Medal winner Melissa Sweet has used a variety of techniques—oil paints, watercolor, collage—to create a truly stunning picture book.
Themes and applications: Women’s history, equality, individuality, collage.
Starred Review: PW
MONSTERS LOVE COLORS
by Mike Austin
Different-colored monsters howl, growl, and roar for more as they mix and match primary colors to make new shades and hues. We (dare we say!) see this as the heir apparent to The Color Kittens by Margaret Wise Brown.
Themes and applications: colors– primary and secondary colors, creativity, storytime!
STARDINES SWIM HIGH ACROSS THE SKY
by Jack Prelutsky
illustrated by Carin Berger
Sixteen mixed-up animal poems by poet Jack Prelutsky are paired with stunning three-dimensional collages, dioramas, and shadow boxes by Carin Berger. A faux natural history catalog of silliness, originality, and spectacular beauty.
Themes and applications: poetry, creativity, reading aloud!
TITO PUENTE, MAMBO KING
by Monica Brown
Illustrated by Rafael Lopez
A vibrant picture book biography of Tito Puente, the Mambo King. Rafael Lopez’ colorful illustrations make the story come alive.
Themes and applications: biography, music, creativity, storytime!
What do you think? Do any of these books look like ones you can use with your students, patrons, or your own kids? We’d love to know!
Even though it feels like we JUST got back from TLA (and more on that terrific show later), we’re heading to Molly’s hometown Chicago tomorrow to exhibit at the International Reading Association next week. Will you be there, too? If so, come by booth #2240 for our wonderful author signings (listed below) galleys, teaching guides, posters, bookmarks, booktalking, and friend-making.
MONDAY, APRIL 30TH:
1:00–2:00PM, Henry Cole
TUESDAY, MAY 1ST:
*9:30–12:00PM, I CAN READ GOES DIGITAL– swing by our booth Tuesday morning to take a photo with your favorite I Can Read costumed characters, see demos of I Can Read books on the iPad and Nook, and enter a sweepstakes to win your own ereader or tablet loaded with an I Can Read library!*
12:30–1:00PM, Jan Spivey Gilchrist
1:00–2:00PM, Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Peter Reynolds
2:00–2:30PM, Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campos
2:30–3:30PM, Patricia McCormick
3:30–4:00PM, Stuart Murphy
WEDNESDAY, MAY 2ND:
9:30–10:30AM, Laura Numeroff (do you like donuts? If so, make a point to come to this one!)
11:00–11:30AM, Jody Feldman
11:30AM–12:30PM, Rita Williams-Garcia
See you there!