Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Over the summer, I gave a quick sneak peek at some exciting new books I was working on, but that seems like ages ago! Well, the last of our ISO copies arrived yesterday, and I'm just so excited I had to share. In the box was the brand-new, 4-book set I've been dying to see on my desk . . . Return to Titanic.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Monday, December 5, 2011
Friday, December 2, 2011
Tomorrow (Dec.3rd) is the 2nd annual Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day, have you heard about it? It's purpose is to not only support independent booksellers, but to give children the opportunity to spend time in a bookstore around the holidays. It's so easy to shop online, something I am very guilty of! But the experience of browsing through the shelves and hand selecting titles is so special.
I honestly wish that we didn't even need to have a specific day to reinforce the importance of this kind of experience, every day should be bookstore day! But it's nice to have a yearly reminder, especially around the holidays.
Will you be taking the child/children in your life to a bookstore tomorrow? If you are interested, this website has a list of the participating bookstores through out the country.
Monday, November 28, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Friday, November 4, 2011
In our latest edition of posts about music to work to, we get a look at the many musical moods of art director Bob Lentz. Who knows why Metallica unlocks his creative blocks? It just does. Read on:
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Last week, the 2011 AASL conference (American Association of School Librarians) came to Minneapolis.What a crazy week it was! I worked at the Capstone booth the last day of the show during our book giveaway, and oh my, librarians really love our books — the line was roughly 150 people long!
But the real highlight for me was meeting the author of the Kylie Jean books, Marci Peschke. She came up from Texas for the show, and it's always so fun to meet the author of a series that I've worked on. I love to hear about their process and find out more details about the books (like there really is a Kylie Jean and a dog named Ugly Brother!). Check out Marci's jean jacket and pink cowboy boots. Aren't they fabulous?! So nice to meet you, Marci!
Monday, October 31, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
For some specific sections of the story:
The ending of Book 3, I listened to Widor’s Toccata from his 5th Organ Symphony. Turn out the lights and listen to this at night! It sounds like something swirling and rising and soaring into the heavens. Inspiring and triumphant. Perfect for the action at the end of the final chapter.
For the encroaching battle in that same book, I listened to the weird, war-like song O Fortune! from the eerie and dramatic Carmina Burana by Orff.
And when I was writing the chase scene at the end of Book 1, I put on John Williams’ soundtrack for The Empire Strikes Back and selected The Asteroid Field. One of the coolest, most exciting pieces of music ever written, not to mention that it’s pure fun. You can see the asteroids rolling toward you, or in this case, the giant trolls at your heels! Run!
Friday, October 21, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
In the Picture Book-Preschool category, Crabby Pants by our very own Julie Gassman won a Gold! Roger the cat shouldn't be so crabby now that he has that gold medal.
In the Juvenile Fiction-Early Reader /1st Chapter Books category, Kylie Jean Blueberry Queen by Marci Peschke won a Gold! I think Miss Kylie Jean would be mighty pleased.
And last, but certainly not least, in the Pre-Teen Fiction-Historical/Cultural category, A Time For War, from our Bloodlines series, won a Silver. This set is amazing!
Congrats to all of the winners!
Thursday, October 13, 2011
This season, I had these sort of experiences while designing Fairieground, a series co-written by Beth and me. I've never had to design anything I've written before. This was a first, and it was definitely a challenge. It took many drafts, many hours of research, and many trials and errors. Yet, Beth and I are very proud with the outcome. It was a joint effort. Odessa Sawyer, our super talented illustrator, influenced the design and the book narratives with her gorgeous realistic illustrations.
The books come out this spring, but here is a little sneak peak of what the fairies in the Willow Forest are hiding from all of us. Enjoy!
Monday, October 10, 2011
Below is a letter from a struggling reader to a librarian about Michael Dahl’s Library of Doom and Dragonblood books. And this is why working for a children’s book publisher is an incredible job!
Dear Mrs. Grigsby,
Thank you for helping me find some interesting books now I know that reading can be fun now!!! Now when I go in the library, I know what to pick out now. I found three fantasy books. When I go home I can read it to my little brother now and when he gets to middle school he'll want to read books a lot too. I'm learning a lot from the books I got from the library. Every one in my class loves their books!!! You lighten my life now it was dark when I hated reading. Like they say out with the old and in with the new!! For this I say thank you.
Friday, October 7, 2011
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
For many, fall means football. While personally, I am not a really a fan of the sport, Kylie Jean certainly is! In one of her new adventures, she is on a quest to prove that she is THE #1 fan. We love Kylie Jean because she is so positive and never gives up. I think young readers will love her too. The next four books in the Kylie Jean series will be out this winter. Go Team!
Monday, October 3, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
That thought brought me back to my childhood. I was an introvert, but yet I loved to tell stories and draw them out. I wanted to be able to tell the story more accurately to help other people get it. When I grew bigger, I started talking to my friends about what I’d dreamed the night before. I would paint scenes and color with pencils for hours, softly so there wouldn’t be any lines on the paper. I didn’t wanted people to get distracted by the lines, but to take the scene fully in. Then at age 17 I started to write. I had a stack of white paper under my bed and I would turn my light on right after my parents went to bed. My pages were fully handwritten, and my friends would borrow them to read the next day so that we could decide where the story was going from there on.
That was me as a kid and now that I think of it, that’s exactly me now. This year I got an amazing opportunity. I’m an art director, so my responsibility is the look and feel of the books, but yet, one of the people I look up to when it comes to writing, asked me if I would co-write something with her.
Beth and I came up with a super cool concept while having tea in our afternoon break. A hi-low series for girls. A story about two best friends, girls who are opposites. They fight over a boy, and one wishes the other away. We hammered out all of the details over cups of tea and coffee. And that is how Fairieground was born 9 months ago.
Beth and I have been writing, editing, art directing and designing these books together. They have some of the best parts of both of us mixed and entwined together for kids to enjoy for years to come.
Here is the cover of one of the four books, all illustrated by Odessa Sawyer. Sincerely, I would say childhood and adulthood have gone full circle. What is your story?
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
While it's still technically summer, the days are getting shorter and the weather cooler. Kids are back in school and the lazy days of summer seem to already be long behind us. It's getting to be the perfect weather for a cozy cardigan, a mug full of hot chocolate, and a good book. Here are a few appropriate titles as we transition into the next season and say our last goodbyes to summer.
Whenever I think of fall, apples are one of the first things that comes to mind. This graphic novel tells the story of Johnny Appleseed in a new and interesting way.
In Katie Woo's world, jumping into a pile of leaves is part of a perfect day. Learn about the other things that make Katie really happy in this sweet little book.