Julie skipped passed the billy goats and gave them her signature facial expression.
They laughed and said, Mornin’ Julie, good day to ya.
– Catherine M. Johnson
We are at it again! It’s been far too long since Catherine and I did a tandem post, pairing either drawing, paintings, or verse – or all of the above! This time Catherine suggested the animal and the gesture. Come to think of it, I think Catherine has made most of the suggestions, and I have profited from them immensely. Some have gone on to become full fledged picture book manuscripts. Fingers crossed that it happens again!
I also had to nab this painting of Catherine’s (off Instagram) to show you too. I love the colors and its sweet hugable face!
Opening: One blustery morning, when frosty winds blew, When families stayed home, and when field trips were few, The midwinter doldrums arrived at the zoo.
Synopsis: When the winter doldrums arrive at the zoo, a very small hippo and a young kangaroo decide to stage a ZooZical, to display their singing, dancing, acrobatic, and other talents to the people of Springfield.
Why I like this book: This book had me with the end papers! Simple line drawings and coarse (yet not itchy!) textures compliment such funny rhymes : Then the snakes (by mistake) tied themselves up in knots. Ocelots lost their spots.
Opening: We’re look-alike twins. That means we look like each other. That means we share everything.
Synopsis: Told from their POV, five year old twin girls, who have always shared everything, sleep in separate beds with their own blankets for the first time.
Resource/Activity: Project Linus: strives to offer comfort for children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need.
Why I like this book: I love the mother’s creative solution (isn’t that what makes a good mother – resourcefulness?!), and the simple and beautifully colored illustrations. Also one of School Library Journal’s Best Picture Books of 2011.
For more posts on Perfect Picture Books and resources visit Susanna Hill’s blog every Friday.
How thoughtful! Another writing challenge and it starts on my birthday! I shouldn’t have, but I hope I like it!
You may wonder why, if I enjoy writing so much, do I need to append at someone else’s prompting. Think of me at my desk and note the view I have of the kitchen floor and clothing strewn across stacks of kid’s schoolwork. Got the picture? Daily household tasks if avoided are rewarded with dust bunnies that leave droppings, or a laundry pile that could receive R38 on an insulation scale. Sadly I am often more motivated to tidy up than to revise a manuscript draft, again. Funny how I can procrastinate by tackling chores!
So when I am home, not driving a kid somewhere, volunteering, or digging weeds for cash, I need to exercise good discipline to write. One way to keep me writing is to join in on a challenge. The reward is in the ‘keeping’.
And it’s one more thing to keep me busy while I’m busy.
We all like to make fun, tease or pull someone’s leg. And I am a well known sucker. Yep, I fall for everything!
Hold on though, the Italians like to spin or take around. Or even give you a drink: cercare di darla a bere. Either way you may have difficulty walking a straight line afterwards!
German’s will take your arm: auf den Arm nehmen; a well-mannered jest!
The French come closer to taking you for a ride: faire marche, though you’ll have to walk! (Or hitch a ride with the Swedes: driva med nån). They might put more effort in it and play a trick on you: jouer un tour à vous which directly translated is play a turn. That could make you dizzy too!
Finally, if you’re goofing with friends in Argentina you might want to keep your hat on: Tomarle el pelo a alguien so the don’t drink your hair!
Recently I was asked to help with a logo design to launch a new business called bumcicles: cool bike seat covers for bicycle lovers.
The design work was one of the more enjoyable experiences I’ve had. The client knew quite clearly what they wanted, had a little sketch for me to work with, and could use the right language to say what was working and what wasn’t. The job was done in a matter of hours. In this particular case I could easily agree with what the client believed was a good idea as well as the aesthetic qualities of the design. Unfortunately that is not always the case.
Most of the time it has been tougher. I’ve worked weeks to find ‘the right look’, once even months. The client had no idea what he wanted, and I believe that client was not familiar with his clients! It worked out well enough in the end, but I can’t say I walked away satisfied by the experience.
Logo design may seem easy, but the simplicity is deceptive. A first impression is indelible, and a weak one can miss the mark and actually hurt a client’s business. Maybe even end it. That is a lot of responsibility! There are some guidelines to which a designer should stick, like knowing your client and knowing your client’s clients, but equally importantly for me is confidence. Confidence in my acquired and honed skills, as well as my ability to stand firm with conviction when I believe what the client likes is not necessarily right for them. A business owner may have spent a lot of time thinking of all the elements they would like represented in a logo, but I try hard to keep things as simple as possible. And if it doesn’t work alone in black and white, color can’t rescue it. Someone once wisely said that you should be able to draw it in the sand with a stick. And confidence allows me to break from the rules BECAUSE it’s what’s right! But again, it is really nice when I don’t have too!
Welcome to Design of the Picture Book! I'm Carter Higgins, and I'm a writer and librarian for kids. I spent a spectacular stint as the Children's Book Editor at <a href="http://www.designmom.com/">Design Mom</a> which I loved! You can find my column <a href="http://www.designmom.com/category/childrens-lit/">here</a>.<br /> I'm a K-6 librarian, a former-ish graphic designer, an SCBWI member, and a huge fan of words and pictures.<br /> Represented by <a href="http://www.rpcontent.com/">Rubin Pfeffer of Rubin Pfeffer Content, LLC</a>.