Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Best Book Covers of 2009 Vote ALL IN A DAY!

Best Book Covers of 2009
Click Image to go to AMAZON's Voting page

I just found out that ALL IN A DAY was nominated as one of the best covers of 2009
VOTE for it ! Please . . .

It's in the Children's Section of course.


Yes, we know everyone's always told you: "Don't judge a book by its cover." But now's your chance: go ahead and judge. It's okay.

A post from the past. A Nikki McClure interview


by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Nikki McClure
(Abrams Books for Young Readers; ISBN 9780810983212; March 2009)
is shortlisted for the 2010 PNBA Book Awards, which will be announced
in early January!!!

“This lovely book illuminates all the possibilities a day offers—the opportunities and chances that won't ever come again—and also delivers a gentle message of good stewardship of our planet. Newbery Medal winner Cynthia Rylant's poetic text, alongside Nikki McClure's stunning, meticulously crafted cut-paper art, makes this picture book not only timeless but appealing to all ages, from one to one hundred.”

Click on the link for more information and the full list:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Music Video Monday—The Tallest Man on Earth

Secret Garden Video Series: The Tallest Man on Earth from hoovesontheturf on Vimeo.

The Tallest Man On Earth is in fact a handsome little Swede. Kristian Matsson records catchy, heartfelt folk under the altitudinous pseudonym. His first release, a self-titled EP, was released in 2006. His first full length, 2008’s Shallow Grave, is "ungoddamnbelievable". Below, check out the track “Pistol Dreams” from the album. Again and again.

On another note I have been missing in action from blogging lately but I promise after Turkey day I will have all new material. New Interviews, New bulletin boards, New evolution of a cover entries. But right now I must prepare myself for a food enduced coma. See you all soon.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

100 Scopenotes BLOG interview


I was just interviewed by the blog 100 Scope Notes. Travis Jonker my interviewer is an elementary school librarian since 2005, started 100 Scope Notes in the golden days of 2007.

In addition to posting children’s literature reviews here, Travis also periodically straightens his tie and reviews for School Library Journal, and has been a judge for the Cybils Awards.

He lives in Michigan.

Hope you enjoy the interview it was a lot of fun to do.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Interview Adventure series—Chad W. Beckerman

Marci Hersel: What are your responsibilities as Art Director for Abrams Books for Young readers and Amulet Books?

CW: I oversee the design, direction, and visual develop-
ment of books for these two imprints, as well as de-
signing and re-branding of the new ABRAMS logo.
I, along with the editors, think about which illustra-
tors out there are doing work that excites us and
offers the correct emotional response to the text.
Once an author and illustrator have been matched
up, I will go over sketches with the illustrator and
offer direction on how to better their work. At
of their work by offering understanding, encour-
agement, advice, honesty, excitement, and loads
of jokes.

I am also responsible for the design and direction of
the books from cover to interior — and yes, even
the back cover. I try my best to make the book look
as entertaining as possible so it becomes more entic-
ing for a reader to pick up.

Marci Hersel: What advice can you give illustrators trying to break into the business?

CW: Treat breaking into the business less like a dream
and more like a job with goals and responsibilities.
What I mean by this is if you are serious about be-
coming an illustrator you have to work at it like
your life depends on it.
My first goal would be to get a website or blog to
showcase your work. Try not to showcase too many
styles as this might confuse the art director and
make them wonder what style is truly yours. Sec-
ond, try and do a drawing a day or every other day
to keep yourself focused on your dream as well as
enhance your skills. Think of yourself as an athlete
who needs to work out before they can be at the top
of their game. It’s hard but you’ll look great for the
summer! Third, get yourself out there by any means
possible, mailing cards, e-mails, Facebook, Twitter,
etc., be inventive!

A word to the wise: if you find your way into talking
directly with an editor or art director and they don’t
respond, don’t keep calling or e-mailing, chances are
they are busy. If your work is what they are looking
for they will call.

Fourth, I cannot say this enough, do your research.
Take a trip to your local bookstore, Barnes &
Noble or Borders. Take a look at what they are posting up on
their walls and ask yourself, why? What looks like it
is selling? Don’t try to copy what is selling but look
deeper. Is it a book with animals, a book about a sin-
gle character? How is the book laid out? Who is the
publisher? These details will help you fine-tune your
own art, and your search for the publishing house
that will best match with your work. Lastly, I will
repeat my second piece of advice, draw, draw, draw!

Marci Hersel: How do you find illustrators for your projects? Are you open to hiring new talent?

I find illustrators numerous ways. For example:
• Illustrator reps.
• Artists’ websites.
• The Society of Illustrators, Illustrator annuals.
• Illustrator mailers.
• Student portfolio reviews.
• Other illustrator recommendations.
• Searching illustrators’ links to other illustrators.
I am always looking for new talent. One of the rewarding parts of my job
is finding new illustrators and giving them a stage to show off their talents.•

Monday, November 02, 2009

STRUTS & FRETS video Blog

Told in a voice that's honest, urgent, and hilarious, Struts & Frets will resonate not only with teenage musicians but with anyone who ever sat up all night listening to a favorite album, wondering if theyd ever find their place in the world.

Music is in Sammy's blood. His grandfather was a jazz musician, and Sammys indie rock band could be huge one day—if they don't self-destruct first. Winning the upcoming Battle of the Bands would justify all the bands compromises and reassure Sammy that his life's dream could become a reality. But practices are hard to schedule when Sammys grandfather is sick and getting worse, his mother is too busy to help either of them, and his best friend may want to be his girlfriend.

When everything in Sammys life seems to be headed for major catastrophe, will his music be enough to keep him together?

Find out more at:

Music Video Monday

Zak Laughed is a 15 year old French musician who recently released the album The Last Memories of My Old House. I listened to it from beginning to end on this at work and I’m hooked. Thanks again to