And here’s the cover for my new picture book, NEVER LET YOU GO.
…almost as much as I love penguins! And so why not mix, snow, penguins & love in one image?
Here’s another peek from my upcoming book, NEVER LET YOU GO. Can you tell that I really adore this little purple penguin?
I just found out that The Pirate and the Penguin is now selling in Australia, thanks to Macmillan Australia! Woot! What’s not to love about pirates & penguins in the land of Oz? Seems like a perfect fit to me! So c’mon you lovely Aussies – Christmas is just around the corner, mate!
“And, now it is your life story and it is you who play the leading role. The stage is set. The time is now. In the place, wherever you are. Each passing second, a new link in the endless chain of time. The drama of life is a continuous story. Ever new, ever changing and ever wondrous to behold.”
– from Life Story, written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton.
It’s still November, and it’s still Picture Book Month. And that’s important! You know what else is important? The Important Book, written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Leonard Weisgard. I never read this book as a kid, and I confess that when I discovered it a couple years ago, the book kinda freaked me out.
I found Leonard Weisgard’s art to be strange and a wee bit scary, and though I loved the gentle simplicity of MWB’s writing, my first thoughts were, “Well, duh – of course the important thing about rain is that it is wet! And really – there are lots of important things about rain, not just that it is wet!” But the more I read it, the more it grew on me. The Important Book is a unique and fascinating way to introduce a child to the many delightful sights and senses of the world.
It’s easy to forget as an adult that kids are new to the planet, and need a little help along the way. That’s pretty important.
If you love picture books, and if you’re lucky enough to get to create them, then Picture Book Month might be be something you’d really enjoy. So what is Picture Book Month all about? Well, the web site states:“Picture Book Month is an international literacy initiative that celebrates the print picture book during the month of November.”
November can be a pretty dreary month as the days get shorter & darker, so I think a celebration around this glorious art form is just what the doctor ordered. And I figured I’d like to do my little bit by writing about some of the picture books out there that really move and inspire me.
Now I don’t wanna get all political on this blog, but just in case you didn’t know, there was an election last night, and this guy won. I suspect that many of my friends are feeling mighty happy today. So I think it only fitting that I start off with probably one of my most favourite picture books, The Happy Day by Ruth Krauss, illustrated by Marc Simont. While reading Philip Nel’s wonderful biography of Crockett Johnson & Ruth Krauss, I found this quote, which I agree with, wholeheartedly: Susan Carr Hirschman, who ultimately had a half-century career in children’s book publishing, considers The Happy Day “one of the few perfect books for children that have ever been written.”
Lately I find myself drawn to picture books created in the 50s & 60s, and especially books with a limited choice of colours & clear, concise language. Books that truly get to ‘the heart of the matter’. For me, The Happy Day captures that sense of the joy of a beautiful moment in time more so than any other picture book I’ve ever read. Delicate black & white illustrations depict a quiet peaceful day in a wintery forest, where one by one, the animals awake and leave the comfort of their homes to enjoy the beauty of a gentle snowfall. It brings back memories of quiet days as a child, enjoying the snow, not a care in the world. I could read this book over and over. And I do. Because we all need a happy day every now and then.