Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New site! New blog!

I've moved! Please come visit my new website and blog: ruzzier.com

Friday, February 22, 2013

The four-star constellation of the Duck!

A new star was discovered today. It's called School Library Journal, and joins Kirkus, PW, and The Horn Book in the ever brighter constellation of the Duck.

A small green duck has lost his new blue socks. He looks for them in his toy box and consults his friends the fox and the ox. He does not find them among other socks on the rocks, but his peacock friends help him find them. The short, repetitive rhyming sentences are a good fit for beginning readers, and the large trim size allows plenty of space for the watercolor and [pen] illustrations to provide clues to solve the humorous mystery. This is a whimsical delight for children whose parents clamor for phonics-based books.Laura Scott, Farmington Community Library, MI

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Booklist: "Bear and Bee is wrapped in cuteness."

Bear wakes up hungry from hibernation, and the only food source in sight is a beehive. When the bee on top of the hive offers up his honey, Bear says, “But what about the bee?” See, Bear doesn’t actually know what a bee is—it’s certainly not the creature he is talking to—and his preconceived notions about bees include that they’re “terrible monsters!” with “large teeth” and “sharp claws.” [...] These two unlikely friends [...] are charmers [...]. This story about snap judgments is wrapped in cuteness, making it just right for the pre-school set. Ann Kelley

How bees look in Bear's morbid imagination.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Maurice Sendak Community School

My friend Robin Rosenthal, talented designer and illustrator, emailed me a couple of weeks ago with some exciting yet still unofficial news regarding a new Public School in Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY. 
She, and other members of the pre-PTA, were trying to get all the necessary approvals in order to name the school after Maurice Sendak. 
Today, it's official: PS 118 will be named The Maurice Sendak Community School.
I believe this is the first school named after him (who was born in Brooklyn in 1928), and I am very curious to see how many others will follow in the next years.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Horn Book gave Duck another star!

It's Duck's third starred review after PW and Kirkus.
Bunting and Ruzzier team up again (Tweak Tweak, rev. 5/11), this time with rhyme and rhythm and imaginative illustrations that will bring inevitable comparisons to Dr. Seuss. [...] The reader or lap listener will enjoy pointing out the socks, as Ruzzier has hidden them in plain sight. The best way to experience this droll book is by reading the jaunty rhyme aloud. “I will ask my friend the fox. / ‘Have you seen my new blue socks?’” Later, Mr. Ox says, “Did you look inside your box? / Did you ask your friend the fox? / I may have seen your new blue socks— / I saw some socks down on the rocks.” It’s hard to resist, especially when the cartoon illustrations are so captivating in their absurdity. Duck’s expression is all in the eyebrows—such angst over a pair of socks has never been conveyed so well. Blues, teals, and greens are the background for the child-friendly, offbeat details Ruzzier has planted in the illustrations, including underwear, dog bones, and a painting ox. An accessible vocabulary and easy-to-sound-out words make this a perfect book for the newest reader, especially one with a grand sense of humor.  - Robin L. Smith

A sample for a new book idea

Monday, January 21, 2013

Moon, Have You Met My Mother?

There was a thread on Twitter about Karla Kuskin recently. That made me feel a bit nostalgic. I consider myself very fortunate to have met her and chatted with her. 
Here are a few pages from her big collection of poems. It was incredible to be picked as the illustrator.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Another starred review for my dear Duck!

After the starred review from Kirkus, here's another one from Publishers Weekly. It's heart-warming to see so much affection for Duck. He deserves it!

There’s something particularly upsetting about losing a brand-new possession, so it’s no wonder that Duck is feeling a little lost himself: “I’m trying not to be depressed./ Without my socks I feel undressed.” His friends—whose names also rhyme with “socks”—are sympathetic and offer tips (“I may have seen your new blue socks—/ I saw some socks down on the rocks,” says Mr. Ox). As in their 2011 collaboration, Tweak Tweak, Bunting and Ruzzier create a lightly surreal and emotionally benevolent landscape, this time introducing a hero who’s considerably more independent than the baby elephant from the earlier book. The book’s gentle takeaway—reinforced by Ruzzier’s signature offbeat aesthetic (Duck is colored soft green; Mr. Ox sits alone in a field, painting a landscape) and Bunting’s solid, conversational rhymes—is twofold. When you lose something, action is better than tantrum. And when someone you know loses something, respond with genuine helpfulness—and don’t make fun of them when it turns out that they were (ahem) wearing their beloved blue socks the entire time.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Kirkus says very nice things about Bear and Bee

My favorite line from Kirkus' review of Bear and Bee:
The correction of misconceptions has never been so much fun. 

Here's the whole review: 


When a bear wakes up hungry from his winter nap, a beehive and its honey seem to be the perfect answer to his problem—but what about the bee?
While Bear has never seen a bee, he knows they “are terrible monsters! They are big, and they have large teeth, and they have sharp claws, and they never share their honey!” He explains this to a nearby bee. (The “bees” Bear imagines are green alien-looking creatures sporting horns and curling proboscises.) But as Bee points out, one quality per spread, Bear shares all those characteristics with bees, at which point Bear dissolves into tears: He’s a bee! Bee quickly corrects Bear’s mistake and reveals what he is, lack of teeth and claws and all. And as for sharing honey…he is happy to. Short sentences with simple vocabulary and lots of repetition make this a good choice for beginning readers, who can use the illustrations’ clues to puzzle out more challenging words. Front endpapers and the dedication and copyright pages make a pleasing visual beginning to this story. Best of all, Ruzzier’s pacing is impeccable, adding to the suspense of Bear’s discovery and the sweet start of the duo’s friendship. The digitally colored pen-and-ink illustrations are simple and uncluttered, keeping the focus on the two expressive friends and making this a great choice for sharing with groups.
The correction of misconceptions has never been so much fun. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Have You Seen My New Blue Socks?

My first copy just arrived, and I like it.
Publication day is March 5th.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My new inkwell stand

My new inkwell stand, gift of my girlfriend Karen. Pretty nice!

Photo by esteemed colleague and studio mate Brian Floca.