Friday, October 31, 2008

Ralph Macchio - Halloween week

Day 5: Vampire!
Happy Halloween! Ralph has decided to go for
something a little scary this year. He's spending the
day re-reading Bunnicula and if there is time,
he'll revisit Twilight as well.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ralp Macchio - Halloween week

Day 3: Dragon
(Ralph has been really enjoying
Tony DiTerlizzi's Kenny and the Dragon!)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ralph Macchio - Halloween week

I've been so caught up with deadlines, I've neglected to post photos of Ralph Macchio. (Our pug, not the actor.) Well, Ralph has been getting into the spirit of the Halloween season - he's been parading around in different costumes, getting a feel for them, trying to decide which one will be most perfect for Trick-or-Treating in, etc. In honor of Ralph's love for Halloween, I give you a week chuck-full of Ralph.

Day 1: Chicken


I am very proud to announce that my original works will now be represented by the R. Michelson Gallery in Northampton, MA. The R. Michelson is one of the country's preeminent dealers in original works from children's books. The annual illustration show is launching next month and if you are nearby, consider coming to the opening reception on November 16th, from 4PM to 6PM. The R. Michelson hasn't added new artists to the roster in quite a few years and this year's freshman class will include Chris Raschka, Mo Willems, Raul Colon, Ron Mazellan and myself. Already hanging on the walls of the gallery are works by the likes of Tony DiTerlizzi, Scott Fischer, Ruth Sanderson, Jane Dyer, Diane deGroat and Mordicai Gerstein - to name just a few. And also originals from my two childhood favorites (and adulthood favorites) - Maurice Sendak and Dr. Suess. Check out the full roster here.

If you are looking to purchase original works, please contact the R. Michelson Gallery directly.

Rock on!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Virtual Book Tour

Hey there readers-

You may have noticed from my events schedule that I'm staying pretty close to home this fall. Because I have been getting requests for signed books from proud grandparents, book aunts and general book lovers, I'm offering up a "Virtual Book Tour". If you are looking to get some of your holiday shopping done early, this is your chance.

Please visit to order a signed and personalized book. This page will be up until the end of November. Once the site is down, I won't be able to sign books before the holidays.

All my best,

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I recently received....

Very exciting news - I recently received, in the mail - an ARC.

No, not that kind of's what we in the publishing biz call an Advanced Reader's Copy. It's the book all abound up for reviewers, buyers and the like to read. It's not exactly how the book will look when it's pub'd, but it's pretty close. It gives information on what the publisher plans on doing for the book when it comes out - and there are some pretty exciting plans in the works! What is this book you ask? Well, some of you may have heard me talk about this book project here and there, but it's the first book in my graphic novel series. The series is called LUNCH LADY and the first book is called LUNCH LADY AND THE CYBORG SUBSTITUTE. The 2nd book in the series will pub on the same day as the 1st book - on July 28, 2009.

So what does this new book look like? Something like this:

What's that you say? It's a bit of a tease, you really can't see too much of it? AH HA! That's the point my friends, it's too early to show you more. BUT - the cover for book #1 has been floating around the Internet for some time now on various on-line book retailer websites. Because that has been out there, I will post it here.

More in due time...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

another PF tribute

Turns out it's a week full of Punk Farm tributes. I recently discovered this gem.

Thank you, Rider!!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Contest announcement!

The talented Lisa Yee just blogged about a contest that Adam Rex is blogging about on his blog. She announced that she is judging a haiku contest with Lane Smith and myself.

Are you confused? Eh - just read about Adam's contest here and go pick yourself up a copy of the hilarious and beautifully rendered Frankenstein Takes the Cake!

This will be my first,
Haiku contest as a judge,
Hope I don't let down.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Max for Punk Farm

Max doesn't want to be president, Max wants to ROCK!

Check out this rad homemade Punk Farm tribute.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sketchbook Saturday

Here are some sketches from the Annie Was Warned cover. I start with a bunch of thumbnail sketches.

annie cover sketches

Then, my editor and art director take a look at the ideas and send me in a good direction. I scan in one of the sketches and play with the color in Photoshop.

annie cover color sketch

From there, I paint the final illustration. The painting gets scanned in and text is incorporated into the design. The title from the Annie cover was hand drawn (not by me) and it glows in the dark. Creepy, ain't it?

Are you ready for Halloween?

To read in full detail about the creation of this book, head on over to

Friday, October 10, 2008

Adding to the list of blogs I heart

Had I known this blog had gone live, I would have surely added it to the list of blogs that I "heart" the other day. (Besides, seven is so constricting, I have SO many more to list! Anyhow...) The man with the original heart icon, the one, the only, Mr. Tomie dePaola now has a blog.

Check it out:

It has an impressive listing of links, especially if you're wanting to brush up on your Tomie trivia. Also, keep up-to-date on Tomie's whereabouts this fall as he tours for his amazing pop up book, Brava, Strega Nona. The blog is written by Tomie's assistant, Bob (so you know you will get some good stories), with occasional help from Tomie.

America's Funniest Home Videos

Have you ever seen this video from America's Funniest Home Videos?

Well, the other day I visited a school where the laughing baby quads are now in 3rd grade. They seem just as giggly.

And in case you were wondering - their family won the grand prize for this video. I can now check off "Meet someone who has won America's Funiest Home Videos" off of my list of things to do in life.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I am hearted

Dan Santat
was crazy enough to "heart" my blog. So it is my understanding that I must now link to him (check). And then link to 7 blogs that I also "heart".

So I will alphabetically link to the blogs of...

Holly Black
Libba Bray
Tony DiTerlizzi
Grace Lin
Mo Willems
Jane Yolen

And while I am sure this will be their umpteenth nomination, the blog of - 7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast.


Field Trip #3


This isn't so much a field trip, as I was invited out by the Adams Memorial Public Library in Latrobe, PA - but I would say that it turned into one. Because little did I know - I was headed to the hometown of Mr. Rodgers. The library has an impressive collection of old Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood merchandise from the 1960's and 1970's and another display of Mr. Rodgers' childhood puppets and high school yearbook. Tarah the librarian was nice enough to even drive me to Mr. Rodgers' original neighborhood and I saw his childhood home. Someone else live there now. How odd must that be?

Here are a few of the things that I saw.

Old merchandise:




And old possessions of Mr. Rodgers' that was donated by his family.




Friday, October 03, 2008

Come by The Carle

On Saturday, I'll be speaking at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art on a panel moderated by the one and only Jane Yolen. I'll be joining Holly Black, Rebecca Guay and Gary Lippincott for the chat. This whole shin-dig is in support of the Carle's current exhibit - "Flights Into Fantasy: The Kendra and Allan Daniel Collection of Children’s Illustration". The part starts at 1 PM. Be there!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

cool animation

Light-Paint Piano Player from Ryan Cashman on Vimeo.

This latest animation that I stumbled upon is nothing short of amazing. I discovered this via the Drawn blog and it is created by artist Ryan Cashman.

This is what Mr. Cashman wrote on his site to explain how the video was created:

"I wrote the music and recorded it first. The frames were photographed with a Canon Rebel using 20-30 second exposure time. I used a small green LED keychain light to draw each frame. Once all the positions were photographed they were strung together and synchronized to the music in After Effects."

Consider my mind blown!