Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tweet of the Day

My 10 year old cousin Grace has just started a book review blog. This morning she texted to tell me she reviewed Lauren Myracle's LUV YA BUNCHES. As I opend the link and the morning sleep fell from my eyes I read this jem of an opening line, "My cousin, Chad W. Beckerman, is an art director. He's not famous or anything, but he designs covers for books. " Amazing! hahaha!

It should be noted that I art directed Luv Ya Bunches But in fact Maria Middleton was the designer for the book. Ya have to fact check I don't care if you are only 10. Gawd!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Scenes from my Bulletin Board•December

This month's bulletin board features a rough jacket layout for Erica Perl and Julia Denos's DOTTY. Below that is the cover layout for Andrea Beaty and Dan Santat's ATTACK OF THE FLUFFY BUNNIES which features comics by Dan Santat. Below is a spread from DOTTY.
Back up top we have a Spot Uv Layer ( that drove me nutso) for the Jacket of THE FIZZY WHIZ KID by Maiya Williams. Below we have the paperback version of William Sleator's TEST. Below that is one another jacket layout this time for QUACKENSTEIN Hatches a Family by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and Brian T. Jones. Back up top are Christine Norrie's character sketches for Lauren Myracle's new Luv Ya Bunches book. Next to that is a piece of Kelly Murphy's art for OVER AT THE CASTLE. Just below that is a spread from OTIS & SYDNEY and the Best Birthday Ever by Laura Numeroff and Dan Andreasen. Lastly we have a sketch for the upcoming novel HEART OF A SAMURAI.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Where have I been the last couple of months?


(Visiting the set of the upcoming movie DIARY OF A WIMPY KID . . . more photos to come)





(Panel Speaker at the SCBWI Los Angeles Illustrators conference.)

Adam McCauley and I

Reviewing portfolios


Amy Bates talks to Tamar Brazis about her latest book BEAR IN THE AIR

Lee Bennett Hopkins

Daniel Kirk Signs Elf Realm and Library Mouse

Brian Selznick signs Tamar Brazis

Friday, December 04, 2009

Cicada Summer—Hardcover vs Paperback

John Hendrix

Amy June Bates


Eleven-year-old Lily has a passion for Nancy Drew stories and a secret she is keeping from those she loves. When summer brings lying, stealing, sneaky Tinny Bridges to town, Lily must be on her guard with this perceptive newcomer, or risk having her secret revealed. But Tinny won’t leave Lily alone. She takes candy from the general store and blames Lily. She tries to steal Lily’s friends and even her father’s affection. Then Tinny goes missing, and only watchful, mystery-loving Lily has any idea what happened to her. But for Lily, finding Tinny means confronting her hidden past.

The Art of Books

Here’s a link to a terrific video on the art of making books:

35 handmade books being printed and bound. A 2 month process, condensed into 5 minutes of film, and set to music Thanks Ellie).

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

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Just another day at the office. Did I mention that Iggy Pop stopped by?

He was at the ABRAMS offices to sign copies for the new book THE STOOGES

Sunday, October 11, 2009


The long dog days of summer are over! We spent much of the spring and summer working on Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days from the cover to the interior and then the intense marketing campagin. Finally we get to relax and celebrate our hard work. That is until book five . . .

But today is for celebrating. Charlie Kochman and I have been on a train since 6 am headed to my college town of Providence, Rhode Island for Jeff's first signing at the Providence Place Mall ( which was just being built when I was a sophmore). We are expecting a ton of people. It's going to be a long day. I'll be sure to post pictures ASAP.

Hope everyone enjoys the book.


#1 bestseller,
#1 bestseller,

Read today’s, October 13, 2009,


“A wildly popular series that resists easy moralizing.”

Read the entire article by clicking or copying and pasting this link: <>

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Just in, the October 2, 2009


“Everyone’s Favorite wimp is back.”

Read the entire article by clicking or copying and pasting this link:,27972,1926241,00.html

October 12, 2009, Publishers Weekly gives the series its 4th consecutive starred review!


“Kinney's gift for telling, pitch-perfect details in both his writing and art remains (such as the cursive script and cutesy content of Mom's photo album captions). No reason to think kids won't devour this book as voraciously as its predecessors.”

October 12, 2009, Book of the Day on <>

“Nods to reality add humor and depth to this title, consistent in style and substance with previous series entries, which fans new and old will savor.”


NPR’s Here and Now


ABC’s The View

More to come!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Scenes from my Bulletin Board•October

This month's bulletin board features My Life in Pink & Green Scholastic Paperback, Wimpy Kid Catalog page and ABRAMS web site banner, Hereville interior page, page 28 color proof of Mama, Is It Summer Yet?, Laura Lee Gulledge's upcoming debut graphic novel Paige by Page, Secrets of the Cicada Summer paperback cover sketch by Amy Bates, Map of ItalyVACATION!, Just Like Mama original art by Julia Gorton, Title page sketch for La Noche Buena by Angela Dominguez and lastly just because I like looking at it John Hendrix's John Brown which has received 2 starred reviews and was selected into the Society of Illustrator's Childrens Art show on October 22nd.

AMULET Spring 2010 Preview

Designed by Maria Middleton. Art Directed by Chad W. Beckerman
Photography by Jonathan Beckerman

Designed by Melissa Arnst and Chad W. Beckerman

Abrams books for Young Readers Spring 2010 Preview

Designed by Melissa Arnst
Designed by Melissa Arnst

Designed by Maria Middleton