Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Flying Clouds

I recently read and enjoyed Dare The Wind, from Tracey Fern and Emily Arnold McCully, a new book which tells how in 1851 Ellen Prentiss helped the clipper ship Flying Cloud make a record-setting run from New York to San Francisco — 89 days, 21 hours. I enjoyed the book because it’s a well told story, beautifully illustrated, on an interesting subject. I took a little extra pleasure from the book because a small drawing of the Flying Cloud appears in the front endpapers of Locomotive as an illustration of how one might have traveled between the East and West Coasts before the opening of the transcontinental railroad (which reduced the travel time for such a trip to about a week). (That’s the drawing from Locomotive above, based a model that I saw and photographed at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. A fantastic model; you can see it online here.) I like to think that someone, somewhere, might end up reading both Dare the Wind and Locomotive, and make the connection. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Thank you

Thank you to the Caldecott and Sibert Committee members for Monday morning’s overwhelming news, and congratulations to all the authors and illustrators whose books were recognized by the ALSC this year!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Marty McGuire Has Too Many Pets!

Marty McGuire Has Too Many Pets!, written by the funny and thoughtful Kate Messner, illustrated by me, comes out in one week from Scholastic Books. 

A synopsis: “After visiting a sanctuary for retired lab chimpanzees, Marty wants to follow in the footsteps of her idol Jane Goodall and help with their care. But “adopting a chimp” is expensive, so Marty and her third-grade pals hatch a plan to raise money by holding a talent show at school and opening a pet-sitting business in Marty’s basement. It turns out that each pet has a personality of its own, and wrangling them is much harder than Marty expected. How will Marty keep her latest great idea from going to the dogs?” 

It was great fun for me to get to spend time with Marty and friends again while illustrating this third Marty McGuire book, and I think readers will feel the same way while reading it. You can find the book at your nearest independent bookstore via Indiebound, here, and you can find it online at other bookstores, well, you know where. 

Above: Ms. Stephanie, a school librarian, introduces Marty and Annie to Lady Macbeth, a cranky hedgehog.