Studio Views

Studio Views

Thirteen picture book artists talk shop in these pieces about tools and techniques.   “Family Albums” by Margaret Miller “My Next Medium” by Chris Raschka “The Sculptural Quality” by Arthur Geisert “Tiny Pieces of Paint” by Peter Sís “Ticonderoga #2″ by Donald Crews “Pulp Painting” by Denise Fleming “Sharpie Markers to the Rescue” by Lynn […]

Whitney and Me: Confessions of a Work-for-Hire Diva

Whitney Houston

I would call it a guilty pleasure if I felt guilty. But my subscription to People magazine actually liberates me. Instead of furtively flipping pages in the checkout line, hoping to find the photos of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s baby before it’s time to unload the hummus, I have Blue Ivy Carter (seven pounds) delivered, so […]

Lunch with Lee Kingman

Lee Kingman Natti

It had been nearly five years since my last lunch with Lee Kingman Natti, but it felt like just last month. Her home in Gloucester is an oasis reflecting Lee’s lifelong involvement with artists and writers, as well as her own art. We sat looking out at the granite quarry that holds their water supply […]

An artist’s notebook

The Bird King

Seeing artists’ sketchbooks is like sneaking into their diaries. Sketchbooks give a fascinating look into secret artistic processes and reveal hidden gems that never before made it to publication. Shaun Tan’s The Bird King: an artist’s notebook (Scholastic/Levine, coming February 2013) is a treasure trove of ideas and humor, filled with fantastic, slightly creepy creatures […]

Give ‘Em Helvetica: Picture Book Type

The Stinky Cheese Man

Type — the formal language of the printed word — speaks to us in mysterious ways. It’s not always clear just what type is saying, or how our reading experience is enhanced or undermined, however subtly, by slight variations in point size (the overall dimensions of the type), or the thickness and proportions of an […]

One Crazy Road to Here: CSK Author Award Acceptance

My mother, Miss Essie, used to tell my sister, my brother, and me, “Eat every bit of food on your plate today, because you don’t know what tomorrow will bring.” Like many Americans, my siblings and 
I have an eye on the future, and we keep pushing although we’reuncertain about tomorrow. We might not know […]

Chris Raschka: The Habits of an Artist

Chris Raschka

Chris wakes up at five o’clock in the morning and prepares breakfast according to plan: Monday — eggs; Tuesday — cereal; Wednesday — oatmeal. At six thirty he wakes our son, Ingo, and after breakfast they eventually leave the house together. Ingo turns east to cross Central Park to go to school and Chris walks […]

Beautiful Bitterblue

my favorite section opener

As a big fan of Kristin Cashore’s Graceling and Fire, I was excited to review Bitterblue (Dial), the third book in her Graceling Realm, for the May/June issue of The Horn Book Magazine. I had to work from the galley, but on Monday the hardcover finally arrived in the office. With elaborate maps and illustrations […]

The e-Future

Treasure Island in multiple forms

The topic is daunting. Imagine someone coming up to Gutenberg while he was working out the kinks on his first press and asking, “So, John, where’s this printing thing going?” I’ve spent the last few years prowling in the digital space and am more or less up to speed on what’s happening now, but the […]

What Hath Harry Wrought?

Sutton bookstack

Just to get a sense of historical perspective, when I last spoke at this festival, there was no euro, no iPods, no Wikipedia, no Facebook; Pluto was still a planet; and I was still drinking. More to the point—today’s point—is that Harry Potter had yet to appear on our side of the pond. That would […]