Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Buy this cat

An original pen-and-ink and watercolor drawing of the cat from Lightship, in best surprised-by-the-foghorn style, is up for bidding now on eBay, here, as part of an auction in support of Anjellicle Cats Rescue. Anjellicle describes themselves as “a no-kill, all-volunteer, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. We are a member of the Mayor's Alliance and a New Hope Partner with the New York Animal Care & Control (ACC). For over ten years, this Hell's Kitchen shelter has been a lifeline for abandoned, stray, and neglected cats and kittens. In addition, we work closely with the ACC to pull out those who are in danger of being euthanized due to overcrowding.”

Anyone who ponies up for this watercolor will receive it signed, personalized, whatever you like. And check out the rest of the auction for art by other illustrators and a long list of New Yorker cartoonists, too.

Thanks for bidding!

IN CONCLUSION: The auction is over, and I’m happy to announce that the cat here raised a respectable chunk of change for Anjellicle Cats Rescue. Thanks to everyone who bid!

Monday, February 23, 2009


It’s not all fun and games and retrorockets when you’re researching the space race. An obituary in the Times today, here, covers the life of Konrad Dannenberg, a father of Apollo, and takes a reader into one of the more morally murky aspects of the beginnings of the American space program, Operation Paperclip, the recruitment of German rocket scientists at the end of World War II.

In the popular culture of the space race era, one can see an America both impressed by these former adversaries, and made uneasy by them. On the impressed side of the ledger, consider Werner von Braun’s stature as a major public figure and his influential series about the potential of manned space flight in Collier’s Magazine. See some of those articles here. For unease, listen to a biting song by Tom Lehrer about von Braun here, or watch Peter Seller’s darkly hilarious Dr. Strangelove here.

And, no, there are no Dr. Strangelove references in Moonshot. This is the sort of background material that does not make it into the book when you’re writing for the four-and-up crowd.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Rescue Me

THE MOST AMAZING KEITH LOUTIT VIDEO YET. (See earlier post about Loutit here.) Music! Thrills! Poetry! Flying Machines! (Note that by clicking on the four arrows in the lower right hand corner of the Vimeo window you'll get the full screen experience, which this video in particular wants. Maybe that's obvious to you but it too me a while to spot it.)

Bathtub IV from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

First Contact

Shelf Awareness, a daily e-mail newsletter for the book trade, reviews Moonshot today. As far as I know it’s the first published review of the book, and it’s a great way to start: “Floca masterfully balances poetry and science in this picture-book homage to the voyage of Apollo 11.” The review continues, “[T]he visual imagery and the pacing of the text hold the key to Floca's success,” and closes with, “Endpapers feature cutaway views of the rocket and all its stages, and offer a timeline of events; meticulous source notes make this a fine reference for youngest researchers, scientists and space fans. In these 48 pages, Floca makes an indelible impression of how those brief eight days in July, 40 years ago, changed history.” The complete review is online here. It’s a thoughtful and thorough review and I deeply appreciate it. Thanks, Shelf Awareness!

Monday, February 2, 2009


Here is the sprint to the finish line. If I had a good exhausted-collapse-at-the-finish-line drawing, I would show you that instead, but one makes do and in either case the news is the same: the 62 (sixty-two!) pencil drawings and 1 (one) map overlay that will appear in Avi’s Poppy and Ereth are finished and delivered unto HarperCollins Children’s Books. More about finishing this book — and this series — later. Right now, I’m beat!