Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Little Rock Nine for READ Magazine

These are two of four illustrations that I recently did for READ Magazine. The story, "Warriors Don't Cry", is about Melba Patillo - one of the Little Rock Nine - a group of African-American students that were intigrated into the all-white Little Rock High School in 1957.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Brooklyn Museum Signing

I almost forgot to mention that I will be signing copies of Dizzy, How We Are Smart, and The Poet Slave of Cuba today at The Brooklyn Museum's for their member's Holiday Sale inside the gift shop from 3-5:30pm. If you're a member drop by.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Robert's Snow: Cancer Cure Online Fundraiser!

Chances are that you are already aware of the Robert's Snow: for Cancer Cure Fundraiser. If you don't here's the deal. It's unique way to acquire original art from some of your favorite children's book illustrators and authors while helping to fight cancer. Grace Lin created the fundraiser after writing the book Robert's Snow which was inspired by her husband Robert's battle with Ewing's sarcoma. Selina and I are proud to have each contributed a snowflake for the fundraiser this year. Above is Selina's snowflake and mine can be found lower on the page under Snowflakes and Postcards. The third installment of the auction will begin this Monday December 3rd and ends Friday December 7th 5pm.The snowflakes can be seen here. In addition to our snowflakes you can also bid on snowflakes from some of our friends and other fellow illustrators:
Grace Lin, Mo Willems, Peter Brown, Meghan McCarthy, Jarrett Krosoczka, Dan Santat, Rebecca Doughty, Matt Phelan,Ashley Bryan, Rebecca Guay, Carin Berger, Kelly Murphy, Mark Teague and lots more.

Take a look and hopefully place a bid too!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New book! Before John Was a Jazz Giant

I just received the f&g's (folds and gathers) for another book I finished work on earlier this year. The book was written by the award-winning author Carole Boston Weatherford including the Caldecott Honor/ Coretta Scott King award book Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom.

This is my second book with Henry Holt and with editor, Reka Simenson. They also published Poet Slave.

Stay Tuned!

Monday, November 5, 2007


I have new prints available for sale at my website. Check it out! All prints are hi-quality giclees printed on 300lb watercolor paper and ready to be framed. Most orders ship within 2 weeks. Get your holiday gifts now!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Booklist! Top 10 Arts Books for Youth: 2007

Just when I was thinking Dizzy was old news I receive an email from a former teacher Monica Wellington telling me that Booklist has chosen Dizzy as one of it's Top 10 Arts Books for 2007.
Check it out! Here are a few images from the book.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Snowflakes and Postcards!

I just received news that Cheryl Klein from Scholastic wrote about the snowflake that I created for Robert's Snow on her blog.

Thank you Cheryl!

She recounts how she first found my work and brought it to the attention of Arthur Levine, publisher of Arthur A. Levine Books and editor of Dizzy.

Cheryl also wrote about Selina's snowflake on her blog.

Here are the two images that I had printed on postcards that Cheryl refers to in her blog.

This image is of Lauryn Hill. It also got me the contract to illustrate Powerful Words. At the time I used mostly gouache and tempera.

This image was inspired by the story of the Little Prince. It was painted mostly in oils.

Painted Pumpkins!

Happy Halloween! Isaiah and I had fun painting these guys. Isaiah mostly did the drips. Have fun!

Ghouls and Gourds - Brooklyn Botanic Garden Recap

Sunday was a beuatiful day, a bit windy and later it got cold, but I had fun meeting people and signing copies of Dizzy
and How We Are Smart. Here's me trying to reaarange my postcards and prints after a gust of wind. My son Isaiah, dressed as a dinosaur, is sacked out in the stroller next to me while his best friend Chloe (the lion) is behind me on the right.
This is Isaiah with another one of his best friends Natalia, daughter of Paul Dubois Jacobs and Jennifer Swender
who are also the authors of My Taxi Ride and My Subway Ride illustrated by Selina. Natalia is Truly Scrumptious dressed up as a doll from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ghouls and Gourds - Brooklyn Botanic Garden Oct. 28th 12-6pm

I'll be taking part in this Halloween event hosted by the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens this Sunday. Come out and get a signed copy of Dizzy or How We Are Smart. I will also have limited editions prints for sale as well as lots of free postcards. Also, appearing will be some of my other favorite Brooklyn children's book illustrators and authors:
  • R. Gregory Christie website Illustrator of Deaf Musicians · Keep Climbing Girls · Yesterday I had the Blues · Jazz Baby
  • Keith DuQuette websiteAuthor and Illustrator of Little Monkey Lost · Cock-A-Doodle Moooo!: A Mixed-Up Menagerie · They Call Me Woolly: What Animal Names Can Tell Us
  • Paul Jacobs & Jennifer Swender websiteAuthors of My Subway Ride · Aibyoyo Returns · Deaf Musicians
  • Johan Olander websiteAuthor and Illustrator of A Field Guide to Monsters: Googly-Eyed Wart Floppers, Shadow Casters, Toe Eaters, and Other Creatures

Besides us illustrator and authors there will be workshops on making recycled instruments from junk, live music including Slavic Soul Party and Audra Rox and much more fun for the whole family. Visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden website for more info.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

New Book - Phillis's Big Test

This is a book that I finished illustrations for this Summer. The book is set to come out in March 2008. It's about the poet Phillis Wheatley. She was one of the first published African American poets. Because she was young and a slave, people questioned the authenticity of her work and she was asked to present her poems before a group of scholars. Catherine Clinton is the author. Houghton Mifflin is the publisher.
This was a nice oppurtunity to illustrate a story about a young woman which up to this point I had not and Phillis Wheatley was very fun to draw.I was also drawn to the story because most of it takes place while she is on the way to her exam. It reminded me of growing up and taking long walks to and from school. I loved walking through my home town. One of the amazing things was that one could walk for 30 minutes or more and barely see another person before reaching their destination. I imagined Phillis's walk to be something like this.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Americas Award

I was in DC this past weekend to recieve the Americas Award for my illustrations in Poet Slave Of Cuba along with the author Margarita Engle. The award ceremony took place in The Library of Congress. Margarita was very appreciative and grateful to receive the original cover art as a gift from me and it was a pleasure for me to finally meet her. The book is listed for middle readers but is also an excellent read for adults. An award was also given to Jennifer Riesmeyer Elvgren and Nicole Tadgell for their book Josias, Hold the Book.
Here are a few more images from Poet Slave.
I finished work for the book in Sept/ Oct. 2006. Around the same time I finished art for Dizzy and How We Are Smart.
The book was fun to work on because no photos of Juan Francisco Manzano exist and the art was to be suggestive and poetic rather than narrative.