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.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
Friday, September 9, 2011
Library Bound welcomes guest blogger, author Jill Kalz
It was about pfans and pfriends—the pfolks who already knew and loved my strange old farmer, Cap, and those who were meeting him for the very first time.
On August 29, my picture book Farmer Cap (Pfeffernut County series; Capstone) made its Minnesota State Fair debut in the Alphabet Forest, a place where letters danced and dangled between tall trees; books bloomed, ready to be picked and read aloud by families escaping the Midway mayhem and all kinds of greasy goodness on a stick; and little and big kids sported paper crowns and celebrated literacy with a hip, hip, HUZZAH!
I may have been the featured author in the Forest that day, but, really, it was Cap’s show. I was the roadie, carting a tub of 400 Farmer Cap heads-on-sticks I’d assembled (400 heads + 400 wooden sticks + 800 squares of adhesive goo), 400 colorable “Pfollow me to Pfeffernut!” stickers, and seven-dozen washable markers. And I was more than happy to stand by and watch Cap shine. He may be an odd duck, with his flip flops, shorts, and feathered alpine hat, but fairgoers welcomed him without hesitation. It wasn’t just “Minnesota nice” at work, either. The nearly 125,000 people who walked through the gates that day represented all parts of the country—and the world. One Farmer Cap head was adopted by a woman from Alaska; two more now have new homes in Japan.
Dorks, wimpy kids, and nerds crowd today’s children’s literature bestseller lists, and I think that’s one reason why readers have a soft spot for Cap. He’s a grown-up version of a dork/wimpy kid/nerd! Kids who feel different, like they don’t quite fit in, can identify with Cap on some level and accept their own quirks, or, alternatively, say, “Hey, at least I’m not as goofy as THAT guy!” For other readers, I think it’s about the magic and mystery of his story. Whatever the reasons, it was fun to watch people connect.Four Minnesota authors before me and eight more after me found old fans and new friends during the state fair run this year, thanks to Alphabet Forest creator Debra Frasier. And it’s safe to say, we all had a pfantastic time!