Archive for the ‘childrens books’ Category



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.

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Marta Dansie is a writer in Salt Lake City who keeps a blog called Marta Writes. I often like the stuff that Marta writes about, and today that trend continues, as she wrote about Everything Goes. There’s a swell review of the book, some lovely photos of her son Benji finding the good stuff, and a little tiny interview with me.

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

A small slew of reviews showed up today for Everything Goes, and I thought I’d share them with you. The reason for this is threefold. If you’ve read the book and you like it, then you can nod your head and know that you were cool back when. If you’ve not seen it yet, you can safely go get it now that you know it’s liked by the establishment. And if you read it but didn’t like it, you can see here clearly how wrong you are. So there.

School Library Journal
As they travel from their suburban home through busy city streets to pick up Mom at the train station, Henry and his dad observe bikes, cars and vans, motorcycles, RVs, service vehicles, and finally trains. This oversize book’s double-page cartoons bustle with visual pep. Following the busy street scenes, Dad explains a type of vehicle in depth. Henry learns basically how a motor works and what amenities an RV offers. There’s a continuing game for readers to find a bird wearing a hat. Fun and learning are ideally balanced in this engaging trek that will be revisited umpteen times before every tidbit of labeling, conversation, and oddity is discovered in this wealth of urban wheels.–Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA

Booklist
With pages crammed full of enough bumper-to-bumper street scenes to make even the most traffic- hardened commuter claustrophobic, this cheerful picture book takes a boy and his father on a crosstown trek to pick up Mom. The boy gapes out the window at all the different sorts of cars, trucks, buses, RVs, bikes, motorcycles, trams, and trains crowding the streets of a bustling city, asking Dad all about what goes into getting around. The street scenes alternate with close-ups that provide cartoony schematics that label different parts of each class of vehicle, and Dad pleasantly explains how things like car batteries and subway systems work. The bubblelike cars and Weeble-shaped people that populate Biggs’ Scarry-like compositions lend the book a kind of retro timelessness. It is busy as all get-out, but kids will be rewarded for lingering over the pages with oodles of minijokes and side stories, and they will learn enough about what is on the other side of the car window to jabber away through even the longest car rides.
— Ian Chipman

And my favorite one:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
First, the short description of the opening title in Biggs’ new Everything Goes series: a little boy and his dad leave their quiet suburban home and step into their sedan for a trip into the city.
Creeping through the insanely congested streets, the father and son converse about the types of vehicles; they pick Mom up at the train station and drive home. Now, what the fun is all about: Biggs cleverly directs the zany cartoon traffic so that each spread features a particular type of vehicle—e.g., truck, motorcycle, train, RV—in an eye-boggling array of iterations. Several models get a double-page spread cutaway-diagram treatment, with important parts (brake lever, gas tank, exhaust pipe) and goofy extras (nice socks, Miss Kitty) duly labeled. Numbers from one to one hundred are hidden within the deliciously jammed compositions; also a multitude of birds sporting hats are hidden, Waldo-style, in plain view. If this level of intricacy in the artwork isn’t sufficient, viewers can try to correlate ads with businesses throughout the book or carefully inspect motorists and pedestrians for visual gags: the panicky White Rabbit rushing for the subway, the health-food vendor with no business, the tentacled alien on the trolley. Still not enough? How about a double foldout of about a half-mile of cityscape? Once you embark on this wild interactive journey, don’t expect to get home for quite a while.
– EB

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Go here and read this.

I think it’s important, and I’m in pretty good company I think.

Here’s the text:

We are tired of hearing the picture book is in trouble, and tired of pretending it is not. And so:

WE BELIEVE

• Imitation, laziness, and timidity are poisoning a great art form.
• A picture book should be fresh, honest, piquant, and beautiful.
• Children’s books merit grown-up conversation.
• Grown-up conversation doesn’t mean asking kids to leave the room.
• We write for children, adults who read with children, and adults who simply enjoy children’s books–in that order.
• We should know our history.
• We must cease writing the same book again and again.
• We need a more robust criticism to keep us original.
• The line between author and illustrator is irrelevant.
• The line between moral and meaning is paramount.
• It is right that anything a child sees, feels, or thinks be our grist.
• Picture books are a form, not a genre.
• Good design fosters good reading.
• Picture books look best when their covers face outward.
• The tidy ending is often dishonest.
• Even books meant to put kids to sleep should give them strange dreams.

WE CONDEMN

• The term “kid-friendly.”
• Convention as crutch.
• Glossy paper as default.
• The amnesiacs who treasure unruly classics while praising the bland today.

WE PROCLAIM

• Every day we make new children—let us also make new children’s books.

Signed: Mac Barnett, Brian Biggs, Sophie Blackall, Lisa Brown, Kevin Cornell, Carson Ellis, Isol, Laurie Keller, Jon Klassen, Matthew Myers, Tao Nyeu, Sean Qualls, Aaron Renier, Adam Rex, Christian Robinson, Jon Scieszka, Dan Santat, Lemony Snicket, Erin E. Stead, Philip C. Stead, Scott Teplin, Maria Van Lieshout

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011


John Martz, who is an illustrator of great repute and heavy on the talent, wrote up a nice bit about Everything Goes on the illustration blog Drawn.ca. Check it out.

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Tomorrow, Saturday October 15, I’ll be reading and signing Everything Goes: On Land at the Doylestown Bookshop in Doylestown, PA. The fun starts at 10:30am and will last until noon. Doylestown is a great little town with plenty to do once noon comes along and I leave the building. Just before I moved to Philadelphia from San Francisco in 1999, I visited the Mercer Museum and just fell over myself to go again.
There’s also the Michener Art Museum, and Mercer’s other landmarks, the Moravian Tile Works and Fonthill.
So the point is, get on up to Bucks County and say hi.
Google Map: Doylestown Bookshop, 16 South Main St., Doylestown PA.

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Yum, cake.

Just a note to say thanks to the crew at Children’s Book World in Haverford for putting on such a nice party on Saturday for my little book. Great turn-out, and everyone there looked like they were having a good time.
Since the book came out, a lot of people have written nice notes, shouted-out on the Twitters and Facebooks, and have generally been quite nice. So thanks to you all as well.

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

If you get a chance to check out today’s Philadelphia Daily News, please turn to page 40. I strongly encourage you to not look at page 41. Just stay on page 40. Lauren McCutcheon wrote a nice piece about the book and the signing/publication party we’re having tomorrow at Children’s Book World in Haverford.
Sacha took a great picture of the paper, so here’s that, in case you can’t get your own…

Everything Goes in the Daily News

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Book!

So the book is out, and now we’re having a party. Children’s Book World down in Haverford PA is hosting a publication hoo-hah shindig jamboree on this Saturday September 24, from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. Celebrities will not be there, nor will clowns. However, I will be there and I will have a handy pen in which I can sign my name to the copy of Everything Goes that you gleefully purchase.
Bring your kids, if you have them, and bring your friends if you have them too.

Here’s the info for the shop:

Children’s Book World
17 Station Road, Haverford, PA
610.642.6274

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

There’s a really swell piece in Publisher’s Weekly about Everything Goes. Since I don’t have a nice graphic to use for the piece, I’ll post this great cutaway of an RV that is part of the collection of reference material I found on the Google Images as the interview mentions.

Here’s the link to the PW article.