Category Archives: videos

Watch and learn.

Re-Seussify Seuss Challenge


In case you missed it, this week’s results for School Library Journal’s Fuse #8 Re-Seussify Seuss challenge were in, and they were pretty spectacular! The mission, as set forth by children’s lit guru Betsy Bird, was to draw a spread from a Dr. Seuss book, but in the style of ANOTHER famous picture book artist. I was inspired by the fun mash-up idea, and pulled off the image of Yertle The Turtle in the style of Arnold Lobel, above.

The idea for the image itself came to me pretty easily. It’s no surprise that I love drawing turtles, and Yertle The Turtle is a family favorite. The reptile vs. amphibian factor – Yertle crossed with Frog and Toad – was amusing to me as well. In particular, I wanted to try my hand at Arnold Lobel’s style. I thought the limited palette with textured graphite would be fun, and his characters and watercolors lend themselves easily to my own style. Plus, he’s a fellow Pratt alum!

I learned a lot about Arnold Lobel’s creative process from this video with his daughter, Adrianne Lobel.  She sought to replicate her father’s paintings when she colored Arnold Lobel’s unfinished The Frogs and Toads All Sang:

I am very interested in Lobel’s use of color separations to make the Frog and Toad illustrations, and I wish I could find more on the subject. While Adrianne went with full-color in her recent interpretation, I wanted to imitate the 2-color (and black) separations by sticking to a green layer, a brown layer, and dark graphite.  I’m pleased with the result and think it was rather successful, if I do say so myself.

Now go check out Betsy’s post for the other mind-blowing creative Re-Seussification mash-ups!



There’s no doubt in my mind that Marcel The Shell With Shoes On is the best stop-motion animation video I’ve ever seen.  If you’re not familiar with this Youtube sensation, I won’t even bother to explain – just do yourself a favor and watch the film (above)!

Now, I’ve been itching to announce for awhile now that Marcel will star in his own picture book, the first from YA imprint Razorbill.  When Marcel made a video guest appearance at work, to talk about how excited he was to be part of the Penguin family, we couldn’t be more excited for him (and his creators, Jenny Slate and Dean Fleischer-Camp).

How will Marcel The Shell translate to a picture book?  I initially pictured it as a photographic Chronicle-style gift book, but turns out, the images will be traditional oil paintings instead.  Now… who is the artist going to be, I wonder??  And if you’re worried about this style of humor losing its touch without Jenny Slate’s hilarious voice, don’t be.  The press release assures us that there will be an interactive audio version to add the voice of Marcel to the reading experience.

Can’t wait for November 1 to see Marcel pulling his lint “dog” around by a hair!

“Sometimes people say that my head is too big for my body, and then I say, ‘Compared to WHAT?'”

It Gets Better

Those of you who follow me on Twitter might remember that I tweeted this a few weeks ago:  New video/book trailer from AMAZING project @itgetsbetter – watch, retweet, pledge support! #ItGetsBetter #LGBT

It was the first time that I had heard of this amazing viral movement created by Dan Savage and his husband Terry Miller, where thousands of people have spoken up via video messages to encourage gay teens to stick it out through bullying, believe in yourself, and find people in this world that support you.

Because it DOES get better – in the real world, it’s okay to be different, and there are SO many people out there that will love and accept you for who you are. I believe in this with all my heart!  While I had it easy to be born straight and female (inside and out), I think of all the people I care about who did have to carry that kind of secret with them.  And I, as with many other straight allies and creative people, remember what it’s like to grow up feeling like an outsider, picked on, or invisible.  In the real world, that ceases to matter – it only makes you stronger and more confident in who you are!

I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of Pearson, in introducing this It Gets Better video (above).  It features some of my amazing, beautiful colleagues who were brave enough to share their stories.

For more information about the It Gets Better movement, what you can do to help, and the newly-released book, see below!

Watch Videos and Pledge Support

Buy The Book

Help get the It Gets Better book in every school in America

Lutheran bishop Rev. Mark Hanson’s video and ELCA response

Full interview on NPR this week

The Trevor Project

Merry Christmas 2010!

As you may have already noticed, I’m taking a break from blogging for a couple weeks to celebrate (read: run around like crazy) during the holiday season. So while I’m too busy sledding to post, I hope you had a very merry Christmas, and see you in bright and early 2011!

Matched: Will Leave You “Breathless”

When considering the perks of working in publishing, I have only two words: free books.  Between galleys and take shelves, there’s always something to bring home. But the best part is when Penguin decides to give away a free, hot-off-the-presses title… delivered right to your desk!

I’d heard about the famous “Penguin 5”, a selection of new YA titles whose advance copies were packaged and sent to industry folks, setting them all abuzz with excitement (did I mention the power of free books?).  I’d be surprised if the above trailer and website didn’t send every teen reader of paranormal/romance/horror/dystopia/fantasy running “breathless” to the nearest bookstore.  But the book I was excited to read myself was Matched… and guess what pretty, pretty hardcover showed up on my desk in honor of its release yesterday?

I think I can accurately describe Matched as The Giver for the teen girls of 2010. Heroine Cassia Reyes is a 17-year-old member of The Society, the universal government that dictates everything from your clothes and your food, to the art you consume, your job and – of course – your mate.  Cassia receives her optimum match, and in a stroke of luck, it’s her best friend and resident blond hottie, Xander.  But in an unlucky “error”, another face comes up on her match-card as well: outsider Ky.  Ooooh snap!

Who is her true “match”?  Will knowledge lead her to buck “The Society” and realize it isn’t all that perfect?  Though the answers seem obvious, I’m a third of the way through… and I’m still enthralled.  Definitely a great YA read!

Check out the super-mysterious website for Matched, as well as a video of the author, below.

Last Video Half-Day Friday: It’s A Book!

In celebration of the final half-day Friday of the summer, I should be doing – and posting – all sorts of sunny, outdoorsy activities/videos.  But the impending hurricane vibe that’s taking over New York today has got me cancelling plans and just wanting to curl up with a good book instead.

So today, if you haven’t already heard all about Lane Smith’s newest masterpiece, watch the trailer for “It’s A Book!” (and check out an interview here).  I’ve been crazy excited about this title a lot longer than is appropriate for a new picture book, and it only increases my awe that Smith remains relevant, innovative and, as always, wacky over two decades of best-selling books.

Plus, as someone who has been spending more time on social media than at the painting desk, this book resonates – but in a light-hearted way.  I find it especially ironic that “It’s A Book!” is being promoted virally . . . wouldn’t it be hilarious if there was an app for that?

On a further digital note: I’ve been redesigning my web content this week . . . stay tuned for the launching of awesome-ness!

Video Half-Day Friday: Cute Inspiration

This week has been slow on the blog.  It’s not that I don’t have enough to write about (I always have a Sticky on my laptop filled with post ideas!), but I’m actually, finally, percolating new ideas for children’s books.

What changed? Maybe it was the fact that Daniel Pinkwater beat me to the punch with a book about the Brooklyn parrots (now that hurts), or maybe I’ve taken all the break I needed this summer and this is as refreshed as I’m gonna get.  But I’m more than ready to get back to seriously drawing/painting, and the brain is starting to storm.

Where do I get my ideas, you ask?  You know… really classy/artsy/intellectual sources.  Oh, and cute animals off the internet.

Just… no one come out with a brand-new picture book about kiwis until I finish percolating, okay?  Thanks.

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