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Archives for November 2012

Making Picture Books: The Pictures

I don’t know exactly how I came to be an illustrator of books. Certainly much art throughout the ages has been in the form of illustration, although not necessarily in books. Since I was very little, I intended to be an artist of some sort. As I grew older, I wanted also a liberal-arts education […]

Design Matters

by Jon Scieszka Designed by Molly Leach [original print version] Design is an essential part of any picture book. It is the first aspect of a book that a reader judges. It is the framework for the text and illustration. It is the subtle weave of words and pictures that allows both to tell one […]

Picture Book, Picture Book, on the Wall…

Pictures that tell a story have been with us for a very long time. The cave painters showed us their world and their beliefs, and the Egyptians created storytelling murals in their tombs. Medieval scribes painted exquisite illustrations in their prayer books, and the painters who followed continued the storytelling on boards, walls, vases, ceilings, […]

Missed Connections: F4I [fan for illustrator]

–F4I [fan for illustrator] (Boston) I saw you from across the Paresky Center at the 2011 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards ceremony. You were accepting your honor for illustrating Pecan Pie Baby. Charmed by your watercolors, your accent, and your admission that you can’t draw bicycles, I was too shy to ask you to sign my […]

Over and Over

“Once there was a little girl who didn’t understand about time.” So, with deceptive simplicity — for who, of any age, does understand time? — did my mother, Charlotte Zolotow, begin her book Over and Over, first published in 1957. As I write these words today, Charlotte is ninety-seven and I am fifty-nine. I see […]

On holidays, busy lives, and procrastination

Oh, what has happened to us here at Calling Caldecott? Back in September, Robin and I set up a rigorous posting schedule only to find, a month later, that we were dealing with overwhelming time demands in other areas of our lives. I am amazed by Jonathan and Nina over at Heavy Medal. They must […]

Studio Views: Family Albums

Photographing children is both exhilarating and exhausting. When I’m faced with a toddler’s classic meltdown, I wonder why I base my livelihood and sense of personal success on the whims of two- and three-year-olds. I wonder how I can capture natural, appealing photos in spite of runny noses, low blood sugar, and Barney. Hey, who […]

Studio Views: My Next Medium

My favorite medium, my ideal medium, is the one I haven’t used yet. Or, maybe, it’s the one that I’m contemplating using, toying with using, in my next book, Lordy! I think to myself, Lordy!, in my next book, I’m going to CUT LOOSE! In my next book. With my next medium. See, the thing […]

Studio Views: The Sculptural Quality

Etching in a nutshell: a polished copper plate is coated with a thin layer of wax (a ground). A sharp metal stylus (an etching needle) is used to scratch lines through the ground exposing the copper. Acid eats (etches) the lines down into the plate. The etched lines are filled with ink, and, under tremendous […]

Studio Views: Tiny Pieces of Paint

I grew up behind the Iron Curtain. There was a shortage of everything (freedom most of all) — and only one kind of paper, one kind of ink, one kind of paint. I was one happy artist when I became an illustrator in the U.S.A. So many materials! I settled on oil pastels, which I […]