Archive for the ‘childrens books’ Category



Monday, April 16th, 2012


When Everything Goes was first conceived and planned, it was decided that in addition to the three picture books (On Land, In The Air, and By Sea) there would also be about a million board books – those cute little thick books made for teensy young people — and several thousand “I Can Read” books, which are smallish books written at different reading levels for not-quite-as-teensy-but-still-young kids.
So the first I Can Read books, Henry in a Jam, came out a few weeks ago. These ICR books take Henry out of the little story arcs I put him in in the picture books and extend his life somewhat. The books are written by B.B. Bourne and they’re illustrated “in the style of Brian Biggs” by Simon Abbott. When this project began HarperCollins had several illustrators try out with illustrating a spread from this story. It was really really weird to see these illustrations that all had elements from the work I did for the picture books, but not drawn by me. So Simon did a great job. He didn’t slavishly mimic what I did, and has enough of his own thing going on to make it interesting. So far I believe there are three books completed or nearly completed.

The board books, on the other hand, are drawn by me. I just finished the first two books this week — the second one about thirty minutes ago in fact — and I’m not sure exactly when they’ll be published. The first one was called 123 Beep Beep! A Counting Book and the second is called Stop! Go! A book of Opposites. From the titles you can probably guess what they’re about, right?

These first two images are from Stop! Go! The illustration with the bike is “Slow” and the 4×4 is “Dirty.” The third image is from 123 Beep Beep! and is fairly self explanatory…



Friday, April 13th, 2012

The annual Mt Airy Kids’ Literary Festival begins tonight at Big Blue Marble book store. I’ll be there tonight with my daughter for Amy Ignatow’s Popularity Papers Pizza Party, and I’ll be there in a more official way reading The Boy Who Cried Alien at 2pm on Saturday April 14.

There’s a piece in the Phila Inquirer today about this, and here’s what they say about my little part:

Brian Biggs will read The Boy Who Cried Alien, a cry-wolf story with a plot that evokes at least one Radiohead song (“Subterranean Homesick Alien”).

“Aliens have landed and nobody’s buying it,” said the book’s illustrator, whose panel-by-panel storytelling reflects his comic-book influence.

Biggs plans to have fun with the voices of the visiting aliens, the young boy – unaffectionately nicknamed Larry the Liar – and his fellow townspeople.

“It’s a big, bold-colored, funny book,” he said. “There’s gonna be a lot of laughing.”

I’m not misquoted. It will be funny. I will read in funny voices. The aliens speak foreign languages. Radiohead is a stretch, though…

Big Blue Marble is at 551 Carpenter Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19119

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

The Boy Who Cried Alien cover

Today is publication day* for The Boy Who Cried Alien, by Marilyn Singer. Illumastrated by me. Published by Hyperion. I wrote a lot about this book a while back, and I’ll write about it some more soon. Go now to Indiebound or a favorite book store and get one for you, your spouse, your parents, your siblings, and maybe your kids.


Go now and get it.

* I think it’s today. It may have been yesterday.

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

Working on the back cover for Everything Goes: In the Air yesterday. Decided to turn on all the layers in the Photoshop file at once before arranging the aircraft. Happy accident!

crash

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Seven Impossible Things screenshot

Jules Danielson wrote last fall demanding asking that I allow her to write up Everything Goes on her terrific blog called Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast (it’s an Alice in Wonderland reference). Since I believe Seven Impossible Things is about the best book blog out there, I said “duh of course.” (When I told Sacha, the fiancĂ©e about it, she said something like “Oh my God! Are you kidding me?! I love that blog!”)
It took me too long to send Jules the images and words about the book that she needed, as I’ve been a bit snowed under first from the holidays and then (as always) from working on the second Everything Goes book, which is, of course, late. But last week, appropriately over breakfast, I went through and collected a lot of sketches, thumbnails, and other images from the early stages of the book and sent them along. I’ve been hoping to put them on my own site somewhere, and may still do so, but I figured that Seven Impossible Things would be a really good place for them to live as well.
So pour another cup of coffee, chew your cornflakes, and go forth to the write-up.

Friday, January 20th, 2012

This is pretty great, and I don’t care who the narrator really is.

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

The Boy Who Cried Alien cover

The Boy Who Cried Alien is a book unlike any other book I’ve not only had the chance to illustrate, but unlike any book I’ve read before. It takes the old Boy Who Cried Wolf tale and tells it a little differently. In this one, Larry the Liar is our protagonist, and one day he sees a tooth-shaped alien spaceship crash-land into a lake near the town where he lives. Larry, as his name would imply, has a reputation for telling tall tales, so when he runs into town to announce what he’s seen, no one believes him. (Well some do, but they’re loony-toons.) So as Larry tries to figure out a way to get the townsfolk to believe him, the two aliens, brothers named Dreab and Carlig, sing songs about their problems, which include the ship having crashed, being out of gas, and getting in trouble by their dad back home. Now, here’s where things get weird. Dreab and Carlig don’t sing in regular old English. No, Marilyn Singer devised a language for them all her own, based on rearranging certain letters of the words. For instance, instead of saying “Rocket Kaput, no more gas,” they sing “Tapuk Tocker, on eorm, sag.” Do you see the pattern here?
Luckily, Marilyn also saw fit to include a translation key in the book so the reader can understand what the aliens are saying, and about halfway through Larry is given a translator helmet so that he can understand what the aliens are saying. Here are a bunch of images of the book.

The Boy Who Cried Alien

The Boy Who Cried Alien

The Boy Who Cried Alien

The Boy Who Cried Alien

The Boy Who Cried Alien

The Boy Who Cried Alien

One of my favorite things about the book was a last minute bit of inspiration by my editor, Rotem Moscovich, at Hyperion. On the case cover, which is the inside cover, under the dust cover, we re-did the title and author/illustrator credits to read in the alien-language. I’d forgotten about this when I got my hot-off-the-presses copy in the mail yesterday, and when I opened it I just cracked up.

The Boy Who Cried Alien

Some books get written, get illustrated, get published, and the whole things seems like well-oiled machinery. And then there are books like The Boy Who Cried Alien. I’m not sure exactly when Marilyn Singer wrote the manuscript, but I know I first saw the it in July of 2007. Before that, at various times, illustrators as famous and talented as Dan Santat and Adam Rex were attached to it, and three different editors helped sculpt it into the work it is now. I often think of how relieved Marilyn must be to know that it is, finally, a real book and will be out in just a couple of months.
I’ll post more about this book as we get closer to publication date, including a bunch of sketches and outtakes. Ytas Dunet!

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Betsy Bird posted her list of her favorite children’s books of 2011. She’s got a really nice list of 100 books, which includes terrific work by the likes of Lane Smith, Jon Klassen, Kevin Henkes, Patrick McDonell, Chris Rylander, and Shel Silverstein. Imagine my surprise when I clicked the link to the page and saw my book staring back at me. I’m pleased. Pleased I say.

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

PHL

Going through some photos taken in 2011. This was at Philadelphia International Airport in May, while researching the second Everything Goes book. Taken with the iPhone.

Friday, December 9th, 2011

I’ve been cranking out illustrations for the second book in the Everything Goes series for the past many weeks, and will be doing so for the next many as well. Here are some edits from two spreads in the book. Two helicopters, and one showing part of a cutaway of an airliner. Stay tuned for more.
The book will be out next September.