Category Archives: Uncategorized

On Eyes, Portfolios and Postcards

On the eve of SCBWI-San Diego’s E.B. Lewis get-together, I thought it would be timely to re-post this tickler of tips. It’s dedicated to those of you who may be sharing portfolios there — or somewhere else out there! Cheers! — Joy

got story countdown

Before I begin on the above-mentioned topic, I must share a forthcoming book that caught my eye on the ALA Exhibit floor.  It  made such an impression, I went back to savor the f & g’s(folded and gathered unbound page signatures, in publisher parlance), page-by-page, at three separate intervals.

It’s all in the eyes. They are wide-open and clearly shaped. And I love how those large eyes complement and balance the graphic shapes in all of  Christian Robinson‘s illustrations.

He makes his picture book debut in Harlem’s Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills  (October 2012 from Random House).

Florence Mills was a celebrated African-American jazz singer, dancer and comedian (1896-1927). A major figure of the Harlem Renaissance, she was known for her stage presence and wide-eyed beauty. Her  talents were immortalized via songs by Duke Ellington and Fats Waller. photo of Florence Mills, "the Queen of Happiness"


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Going, Going, Gone…

. . . but it won’t be forgotten!

There’s so much to savor from The Original Art Exhibition: The Fine Art of Children’s Book Illustration, as it winds up its stay in Carlsbad, CA.

To recap, here are more trailers from the participating artists in the Show:

For me, the highlight was being able to hold up the actual book page, and compare it alongside its original. I will share some observations in future posts. Seeing them side-by-side provided meditations on the wide spectrum of art media possible, coupled with the reality of CMYK print — it’s all good stuff!

See more trailers here

Spelling and Counting in ASL…

Here’s Travis and Tian Brown, with their dad, sharing a counting moment…

Here’s a cross-reference guide, from The Gallaudet Children’s Dictionary of American Sign Language (click on either image to enlarge)



View BEA Live Streaming here!

[Dance gif © Christophe Niemann]

dance gif

You won’t want to miss this:   BEA is breaking new ground making the marquee events from this year’s show available for viewing live via the web by STREAMING. Don’t miss the best of what is happening from authors and discussions on upcoming titles at BEA in a dynamic new way; bringing the excitement and buzz of BEA to an audience beyond the physical event in NYC.

BEA Live Streaming begins Tuesday, June 5 at 8:30 am ET with BEA’s Book and Author Breakfast and continues on two live channels through the end of BEA on Thursday, June 7.

Click on the link below to view BEA Live Streaming.

You as well as your friends and colleagues can still WATCH BEA LIVE…go to

Look for these events on-line:

Author Breakfasts

The BEA Author Breakfasts are paid events and require a ticket—space is limited so reserve your spot here . . . or view it via live streaming!

Tuesday, June 5

Adult Book & Author Breakfast

8:00 am – 9:30 am
Special Events Hall
Ticket Required. See pricing page for cost.

Stephen Colbert Junot Diaz Barbara Kingsolver Jo Nesbo
Stephen Colbert
Master of Ceremonies
Re-becoming the Greatness
We Never Weren’t
Grand Central Publishing
Junot Diaz
This is How You Lose Her
Penguin Group, USA
Barbara Kingsolver
Flight Behavior
Jo Nesbo
A. A. Knopf
Walter Dean Myers

Opening Remarks
Walter Dean Myers
National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

Wednesday, June 6

Children’s Book & Author Breakfast—SOLD OUT!

8:00 am – 9:30 am
Special Events Hall
Ticket Required. The tickets for this Breakfast are sold out—catch live streaming of this event at… And follow the action on Twitter: #bea12live

click on the BEA logo for Live Streaming of events here!

click here for Live Streaming

Chris Colfer John Green Lois Lowry Kadir Nelson
Chris Colfer
Master of Ceremonies
The Land of Stories
Little Brown Books
for Young Readers
John Green
The Fault In Our Stars
Dutton/Penguin Young
Readers Group
Lois Lowry
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Kadir Nelson
I Have A Dream
Random House
Children’s Books
Jimmy Fallon

Special Appearance by Jimmy Fallon!

Grand Central Publishing

Thursday, June 7

Adult Book & Author Breakfast

8:00 am – 9:30 am
Special Events Hall
Ticket Required. See pricing page for cost.

Kirstie Alley Michael Chabon Zadie Smith J.R. Moehringer
Kirstie Alley
Master of Ceremonies
The Art of Men
(I Prefer Mine Al Dente)
Atria Books
Michael Chabon
A Novel
Zadie Smith
NW: A Novel
The Penguin Press/
Penguin Group, USA
J.R. Moehringer

APA Author Tea Returns!

APAWednesday, June 6

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Room 1E14/1E15

Hosted by the Audio Publishers Association.
Ticket Required. See pricing page for cost.

Dion Graham Debbie Macomber Lee Child Daniel Handler
Dion Graham
Noted Narrator
Master of Ceremonies
Debbie Macomber
The Inn at Rose Harbor
Random House Audio,
August ’12
Lee Child
A Wanted Man
Random House Audio,
September, ’12
Daniel Handler
(aka Lemony Snicket)
Hachette Audio

click here for Live Streaming

click the BEA logo for Live Streaming

click here for Live Streaming

More viewings plus a Traveling Show!

from "Swirl by Swirl", illustration by Beth Krommes

from "Swirl by Swirl", illustration by Beth Krommes

Holiday travel is in the air! We’ll look at more Original Art all week, culminating in a field trip to the Laguna College of Art & Design to check out the 2010 Original Art Show on display at their gallery.

from "Blue Chicken" by Deborah Freedman

from "Blue Chicken" by Deborah Freedman

In other words, you’ll savor selections from both the 2011 and 2010 shows, here at the Countdown. And if you are in the NYC area, do catch the Original Art at the Society of Illustrators.

from "The Woods" by Paul Hoppe

from "The Woods" by Paul Hoppe

If you happen to be in the southern California region, visit the lovely coastal town of Laguna Beach and check out the Original Art Traveling Show before it closes on Friday, December 16!

from "Brownie & Pearl Take a Dip" illustrated by Brian Biggs, written by Cynthia Rylant

from "Brownie & Pearl Take a Dip" illustrated by Brian Biggs, written by Cynthia Rylant

Oh, and be on the lookout for this little guy (below). We’ll have a search party (Hi Laura Murray, Mike Lowery, and Cecilia Yung) out for him here, too. . . .

from "The Gingerbread Man Loose at the School", illustrated by Mike Lowery, written by Laura Murray

"Try and catch me!"

It begins on December 15. . . .

Our next Countdown will feature Mike Austin, author/illustrator of the iPad app, A Present for Milo,” with visits from Rubin Pfeffer, literary agent; and Rick Richter, CEO of Ruckus Media Group.