Tag Archives: Jon Klassen

Hurry and visit NOW, before the 23 of November!

The William Cannon Art Gallery is part of the Carlsbad City Library Complex. Its entrance is on the right side of the courtyard, beyond these archways.

That’s me, giving my UCSD students — past and present — a private tour of the Original Art Show at Cannon Art Gallery. I’m pointing out aspects of Carolyn Fisher’s illustration work from Weeds Find A Way by Cindy Jenson-Elliott. photo by Denise Harbison

Why? Because after November 23, 2014 , the traveling exhibit, The Original Art 2013 at the Cannon Art Gallery, in Carlsbad CA will close!

David Diaz checking out the artistry on display at The Original Art

David Diaz checking out the artistry on display at The Original Art
photo by Roxyanne Young

Don’t miss this exhibit! You’ll encounter 40 examples of the best-illustrated books of 2013, from the most talented in the field.

A highlight is the inclusion of published illustrators who happen to live in San Diego and Los Angeles, including Salina Yoon, Debbie Tilley, Andrea Zimmerman & David Clemesha, David Diaz, Janell Cannon, and Robin Preiss Glasser, to name just a few!

Salina Yoon beside her original work from Penguin and Pinecone and Found!  photo by Roxyanne Young

Salina Yoon beside her original work from Penguin and Pinecone and Found!
photo by Roxyanne Young

There’s a dedicated reading corner where you can sit and peruse the books each piece is culled from. Many of the originals include drawings, paintings, prints, etchings, and collagesa rare opportunity to fully appreciate the diversity of creativity applied to these works. Gallery curator Karen McGuire even adhered post-its to corresponding pages of each book, so that visitors can compare the printed result to its original, up-close!

Book trailers are played on a continual loop above the reading corner of the Gallery. photo by Joy Chu

There’s also a video featuring 19 trailers highlighting selected artists on display, broadcast throughout the duration of the exhibit. Don’t miss it — it’s at the reading corner! Here are just a few of the trailers you’d encounter.






IDEA: It’s not too early to order picture books for holiday gift giving! Give everyone you love a children’s picture book. It’s a bazillion times more enduring than a mere Christmas card! There’s something for everyone.

Like this one (below). Yes, Renata Liwska‘s original work is on display at The Cannon Art Gallery too!

Check out the work of Renata, and her multi-talented illustrator colleagues, at the Cannon Art Gallery, before it becomes yet another happy memory.

1775 Dove Lane
Carlsbad, CA 92011
(760) 602-202
Hours
Tuesday – Thursday: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
CLOSED MONDAYS

Illustration by Renata Lewiska; text by Nina Laden

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Kids’ Choices for Best Books!

Irma Black award, designed by Maurice Sendak

The Irma Black award, designed by Maurice Sendak

The kids have spoken!

The Irma Black Award, given by The Bank Street School,  is unusual in that children are the final judges of the winning book.  This year’s award went to Big Mean Mike, written by Michelle Knudsen and illustrated by Scott Magoon.  More than 7,500 first and second graders around the world voted  Big Mean Mike as their clear favorite.

There were three other Irma Black honor books, also chosen by kids themselves:

The Cook Prize medal, designed by Brian Floca

Children also choose The Cook Prize winners, sponsored by The Bank Street School:  The best science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) picture books published for children aged eight to ten. This year’s winner is:

The honor winners are:

Congratulations to all the winners!

2012 Best Illustrated Books, from the N.Y. Times

There’s always surprises and delights galore when perusing Best Books Lists. Here’s this year’s N.Y. Times picks, via Pamela Paul and the 2012 committee: Chris Raschka, @henryfingjames and Cathryn Mercier. Congratulations to the winners!

“Red Knit Cap Girl,” written and illustrated by Naoko Stoop (Megan Tingley/Little, Brown & Company)

“Red Knit Cap Girl,” written and illustrated by Naoko Stoop (Megan Tingley/Little, Brown & Company)

Check out Naoko Stoop’s art blog here. She also has an Etsy shop featuring her works here.

“Bear Despair,” written and illustrated by Gaëtan Dorémus (Enchanted Lion)

“Bear Despair,” written and illustrated by Gaëtan Dorémus (Enchanted Lion)

Visit Gaëtan Dorémus’ website here. His previous books were published in France. A bio appears here.

“One Times Square: A Century of Change at the Crossroads of the World,” by Joe McKendry (David R. Godine)

“One Times Square: A Century of Change at the Crossroads of the World,” by Joe McKendry (David R. Godine)

Here is Joe McKendry’s website. A bio appears here. And here is a glimpse into his Times Square timeline:

“Stephen and the Beetle,” written by Jorge Luján and illustrated by Chiara Carrer (Groundwood Books)

“Stephen and the Beetle,” written by Jorge Luján and illustrated by Chiara Carrer (Groundwood Books)

Check out Chara Carrer’s website here.

“House Held Up by Trees,” written by Ted Kooser and illustrated by Jon Klassen (Candlewick Press)

“House Held Up by Trees,” written by Ted Kooser and illustrated by Jon Klassen (Candlewick Press)

Check out selected spreads from Jon Klassen’s artwork here.

“Infinity and Me,” written by Kate Hosford and illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska (Carolrhoda Books)

“Infinity and Me,” written by Kate Hosford and illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska (Carolrhoda Books)

Check out author Kate Hosford’s behind-the-scenes story on working with the illustrator here.

“The Beetle Book,” written and illustrated by Steve Jenkins (Houghton Mifflin)

“The Beetle Book,” written and illustrated by Steve Jenkins (Houghton Mifflin)

“Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad,” written and illustrated by Henry Cole (Scholastic Press)

“Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad,” written and illustrated by Henry Cole (Scholastic Press)

“The Hueys in the New Sweater,” written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers (Philomel Books/Penguin)

“The Hueys in the New Sweater,” written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers (Philomel Books/Penguin)

A visit with Zachariah OHora

Images from "Stop Snoring, Bernard!"

Illustrator Zachariah OHora made his debut as a picture book author with Stop Snoring, Bernard (published by Henry Holt, released April 2011). His work, rendered in acrylic on Stonehenge printing paper, features strong black outlines combined with crispSociety of Illustrators logo hues of warm reds, teal, brown, black and ochre. He also provided the hand-lettered type. His work was cited a special Founder’s Award at this year’s Society of Illustrator’s Annual Original Art Show.  I was delighted when Zach agreed to visit The Countdown.

Would you tell us briefly your road to illustration? And to publication?

I always wanted to be a children’s "Stay fuzzy and hopeful"book illustrator except for a couple years after high school when I flirted with being a “fine artist,” whatever that means.

Illustration appeared to be a more realistic way to get paid to draw, plus I didn’t have any other job skills.

The road to publication was a long and circuitous route where I did everything you shouldn’t do, until I learned what I should have done. And I’m still learning.

Preliminary rough, plus final version from, "Stop Snoring, Bernard!"

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Manchester, New Hampshire, a classic depressed milltown in New England. In high school, I became obsessed with The Beats, and in emulation of my hero Jack Kerouac, I hitchhiked across the country and stayed in San Francisco for the next ten years.Another rough sketch, with final art.

I love the sound of your name. Very exotic! Would you share its roots?

The first part is a result of my parents being pseudo hippies and then going 70’s Jesus movement. As a result, I have four brothers and sisters;  all Z’s and somewhat Biblical (Zara, Zelinda, Zephaniah and Zared respectively).

My last name is a bastardization of the Irish O’Hara, someone changed it to O’Hora at Ellis island. For years, the apostrophe stumped computers. I never had dinner or car reservations, so I dropped it. Not really exotic….slightly weird though.

Did you have to go to school to learn to draw?

I always drew, If you were in Mrs. Clements 4th Grade class and you needed a Smurf or a Garfield drawn on your book cover, I was the guy.

I went to school to learn how to think and I graduated from CCA (California College of Art) with a BFA in Illustration.

Zachariah Ohora's studio

Who are your favorite illustrators, and who influenced your work?

Richard Scarry, Syd Hoff, and Margaret Bloy Graham are childhood favorites. I’m hugely influenced by Ben Shahn and Raymond Savignac, Roger Duvoisin and a lot of non-illustrator artist’s and designers.

Current children’s book illustrators who I love are Lane Smith, Marc Boutavaunt, Kevin Waldron, Sean Qualls, Calef Brown and Jon Klassen.

What are your favorite books?Richard Scarry books

This changes constantly, but at the moment; What do People do All Day? and Rabbit and his Friends by Richard ScarryEvery Friday by Dan Yaccarino; and Naked Mole Rat gets Dressed by Mo Willems. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Lane Smith and Jon Scieszka was life altering.

What art media do you use to make your pictures?

I paint in acrylics, usually on paper or wood with occasional electronic embellishments.

from "Stop Snoring, Bernard!"

Do you have any kids? Pets?

I have two sons, Oskar who is 4 and Teddy who just turned 2. I also have a cat named Teddy….don’t ask.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Hard to say (See question one above, for other job skills), but it would probably be something quasi-legal that also helped people. Like Fake Passport Maker.

What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?

I’m scared of birds, like, REALLY scared. I think my fear originated on an ill-fated day at Benson’s animal farm when I was 4 or 5. The sign said something like “Don’t stick ANYTHING into the Ostrich cage!” But I couldn’t read yet.

from "Stop Snoring, Bernard!"

Are you working on any new projects that you can tell us about?

I’m working on an Ann Wheeler book that I’m excited about; and a book that I wrote about a gorilla named Nilsson who has huge fits and his best friend, a little girl named Amelia, who patiently helps him to not throw fits. Both will be out early 2013. And I’m playing around with ideas for a follow-up to Bernard, but we’ll have to see.

Would  you point us to your web site and/or your blog?

My main illustration site is zohora.com but my blog gets a lot more updates and new stuff and that’s at zachohorastudio.blogspot.com
I have a blog for all things Stop Snoring, Bernard! related at stopsnoringbernard.com. Please come by and follow if you like!


The Original Art: Celebrating the Fine Art of Children’s Book Illustration, is on display at the Museum of American Illustration, at the Society of Illustrators, from October 26 through December 29, 2011.

Medal winners are listed here.

Click here for the complete list of illustrators whose works were selected for this year’s show.

Society of Illustrators building, in New York City

The Society of Illustrators is located at: 128 East 63rd Street
(between Park and Lexington Avenues)
New York, NY 10065
Tel: (212) 838-2560
Fax: (212) 838-2561
E-Mail: info@societyillustrators.org
Gallery Hours:
10 A.M.– 8 P.M. Tuesday
10 A.M.– 5 P.M. Wednesday – Friday
12 noon– 4 P.M. Saturday
Closed most holidays

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Cover from "Stop Snoring, Bernard!" by Zachariah Ohora

Eye candy

While we gear up for the next upcoming Countdown interview — with additional spring book title announcements sprinkled in-between — gather your friends for some eyeball inspiration from this short film by Jon Klassen and Dan Rodrigues.

An animator at Dreamworks (he worked extensively on Coraline) by day, Jon Klassen made his children’s picture illustration book debut with Cat’s Night Out.

cover from "Cat's Night Out"