Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Hinky-Pink is notable!

The American Library Association’s 2009 Notable Children’s Books list is now online, here, and it’s a happy honor that The Hinky-Pink is on it. Thanks to the 2009 Notable Children’s Books Committee, and congratulations to all the week’s award winners!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I dream of Ray Harryhausen

A quick break from the mouse drawings here for some amazing films that I recently found online (via this blog). They’re the work of Mr. Keith Loutit of Sydney, Australia. Loutit uses tilt/shift photography — which plays with depth of field to create the illusion that you’re looking at a miniature or scale model — in combination with time/lapse photography; the result gives the impression that you’re watching the most insanely detailed stop/motion animation ever created. There are six films up on his Vimeo site, where you'll get a better view of these films than you can here. I can't resist posting a few of them here anyway, though. I chose the more vehicle-centric ones so that this would seem a little less wildly off-topic. More on-topic posts to come. Meanwhile, enjoy!

Bathtub II from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

The North Wind Blew South from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

Metal Heart from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Poppy’s Progress

Recent posts have been all about Moonshot and The Hinky-Pink, but the real action on the drawing board these days (and nights) continues to be Poppy and Ereth. Among the former cast members returning for this the final act is Bounder the fox, shown here both as sketch and as he’ll appear in the book. Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I haven’t gone after many blurbs over the years, but I’m happy and very genuinely honored to post word of a blurb that came in recently for Moonshot:

“Reading Moonshot gave me the feeling I was back up in space.”

Those words came in a short note from Michael Collins, BGen USAF (Ret.), Command Module Pilot of Apollo 11.

There are many people I grew to respect and find fascinating as I did the research for Moonshot, but none more than Collins, not least because of his book Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut’s Journey, a fascinating account of life as an astronaut, written with honesty, intelligence, humor, and clarity. It was a key book for me as I was trying to figure out how and if I could make a book of my own out of Apollo.

So for all those reasons the Collins blurb is meaningful. And then there’s this, too: Back in September 2006, I mailed my editor, Dick Jackson, the proposal for Moonshot just before heading down to Texas to visit family. I traveled in a state of suspense. While I was in Texas, Dick called with the good news: he liked the proposal. Just a few days later, I was still high on the news as I rode the tram at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, going from Gate A to Gate C or wherever, on my way back to New York. Then the tram door opened, and maybe it’s just that I still had Carrying the Fire on the brain — I’d been looking at it a lot while putting together the proposal — but in walked this guy who looked like Michael Collins. Who really looked like Michael Collins. And so finally I asked, and he didn’t hear me. On a tram full of people, that felt pretty awkward. So I hesitated, but then asked again, and he looked like Michael Collins because he was Michael Collins. Signs and wonders! He was on his way to Tucson. He was very gracious, and I tried not to act like a fanatic. True story.

Friday, January 2, 2009

In space no one can hear your shutter click

For your viewing pleasure, a new image archive from NASA is up online at NASA Images. I have a soft spot for the Apollo pictures, but it's hard to go wrong, even (especially?) with this picture of the crew of Apollo 11 in sombreros. That moment didn't make it into Moonshot, but you never can fit in everything.

EDIT: It’s been pointed out to me that this site has been up since the summer. What can I say? I stopped scouring for Apollo imagery in the spring, after the drawings for Moonshot were complete, so it seemed new to me when I first saw it last week. Good browsing, regardless!