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.