Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Original art for sale

powerHouse Arena  and The Book Maker’s Dozen present The Art of the Picture Book.
New York-based children's book illustrators cooperative The Book Maker’s Dozen, which I'm proudly part of, will have original drawings and paintings from some of our picture books on display and for sale at powerHouse Arena. My piece in the show is from my book Amandina.

The show opens Friday, March 4, from 6-8 pm and will go on until May 1st.

The powerHouse Arena is in Dumbo (37 Main St. Brooklyn, NY).

Friday, February 18, 2011

Amandina on the real stage

Noemi Bresciani and her dance company Fattoria Vittadini, based in Milan, are putting up a show based on my picture book Amandina, that is about a little dog who puts up a show. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend, but if you are in Milan on Febraury 21 or in Bologna on February 28, please go see it!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ho visto una nave navigare

Beni Montresor in the late Fifties

Ho visto una nave navigare is one of the very first books I have ever touched. 

It was published in Italy by Emme Edizioni (that published many wonderful books) in 1967, same year as the American edition (Knopf), titled I Saw a Ship A-Sailing. It's Beni Montresor's interpretation of some classic nursery rhymes. In the Italian edition, there are English words and sentences here and there, which were part of the illustrations, like "Not on me! Not on me!" or "Very new shoe". As a kid I didn't understand what those English words meant, but they stayed with me forever, as did these dreamy drawings.

Lisa Siebert's Picture Book List

Lisa Siebert, originally from Goleta, California, is a nursery school teacher in  Berlin, Germany.
This is a list of her favorite picture books:

1. Kleinen Maulwurf, der wissen wollte, wer ihm auf den Kopf gemacht hat by Werner Holzwarth, illustrated by Wolf Erlbruch. Somebody did their business on the mole's head and he is determined to find out who. 
[Published in the U.S. in 2007 as The Story of the Little Mole Who Went in Search of Whodunit.]

2. Winnie Flies Again written by Valerie Thomas and illustrated by Korky Paul. Lovable Winnie keeps bumping into things while traveling on her broomstick until she discovers the reason why. Winnie the Witch is a much loved series from Britain.

3. One two three me illustrated by Nadia Budde and put into English by Jeremy Fitzler. Nadia is an illustrator who is waiting to be discovered on the other side of the ocean. This is the only gem available in English, none of her other books have been translated, as far as I know. I wish I could show you a picture but things aren't working for me that way at the moment! Her website is under construction but worth waiting for!

4. Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler are an award winning dream team (as are all of the non-American titles mentioned here) who have produced many a treasure...The Gruffalo is about a clever mouse who outwits his predators including the now famous Gruffalo of the "knobbly knees and turned out toes".

5. Tigerprince by Chen Jianghong. With breathtaking illustrations combining classical Chinese drawing with modern, western visual language, Chen Jianghong tells the moving story of a mother-son relationship between a little prince and a tigress. [This book is not available in English yet, but if you can read German or Chinese, then you are fine. S.R.]

6. Fast Food by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers. These guys create characters using fruits and vegetables and black eyed peas. My favorite is the banana airplane.

7. Une soupe au caillou  by Anaïs Vaugelade. Based on the fable. A wolf visits a hen and suggests they make stone soup. The neighbors are concerned and come to call, each bringing a vegetable to contribute. After they dine together the wolf leaves and  we wonder what he would have done if the neighbors had stayed at home.

8. Traction Man by Mini Grey.
I love the way this title celebrates children's imagination.

9. Sorry, but I have to say: anything by Mo Willems.

10. Lon Po Po by Ed Young. As with Chen Jianghong, I appreciate (and I think children also appreciate) when authors are not afraid to tackle our fears. (I like the dedication to the wolf at the beginning.)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Il bambino solo

This is the first in a series of posts about picture books from my library.

Roland Topor is one of my favorite artists ever. I even met him, when I was still a kid, in Piazzetta Reale in Milan, after the opening of a big exhibition of his work. His signature on my invitation is all messed up by that evening's raindrops.

This book I'm showing, Il bambino solo (The Lonely Boy), is the Italian edition published by the praiseworthy Milano Libri. The French original title was Le petit garçon tout seul. I don't think this book was ever published in English, but let me know if I'm wrong.

But the princess, who was shy, preferred to sit on the branches.