Archive for the ‘press’ Category



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 fiancée 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 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, November 23rd, 2011


I’ve made a kajillion designs for Mudpuppy/Galison over the last several years, starting with the Air, Land & Sea puzzle that was one of the inspirations for the Everything Goes series I’m currently writing and illustrating. They recently started a new section on their website called “Illustrator Spotlight” and they decided to make me a subject of curiosity. It was a fun little interview and I encourage you all to go and buy a kajillion Mudpuppy products to give for the happy holidays this year.

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

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, 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

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.

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Another review of Everything Goes popped up last night. This one at Publisher’s Weekly. I’m a little more than thrilled to see Scarry, Handford, and Crumb all thrown out in one small paragraph. What a good start to a Monday.

Illustrator Biggs’s first solo outing launches a transportation-based series with a cartooned survey of vehicles that populate the roads and rails. Using the framing device of Henry and his father driving to pick up Henry’s mother at the train station, Biggs (the Brownie & Pearl series) creates a series of bustling landscapes full of vehicles, real and whimsical, which provide conversation fodder for father and son. Every few pages, Henry’s questions prompt Biggs to break from the journey and zero in on a specific vehicle’s components and capabilities, providing just enough detail to satisfy budding gearheads (“When you turn the key in the ignition, the battery sends a jolt of electricity to the motor that starts the car”). While it’s too early to declare Biggs the next Richard Scarry or Martin Handford, this series has plenty of potential: Biggs has a cheery cartooning style that’s reminiscent of R. Crumb and ideal for populating his oversized pages with a multitude of players and detail. With running visual jokes and mini-narratives adding to the fun, Biggs gives readers lots to take in and enjoy.

Here’s a link to the review on PW’s website.

Just a few more weeks til the book is out…

Friday, July 29th, 2011

I got a nice note last night that Kirkus has given Everything Goes: On Land a terrific review. This is the first real review that I know of and it’s a good start…

In a visual feast for fans of wheeled vehicles large and small, Biggs presents a series of high-density street scenes done in an amiably rumpled cartoon style.

Driving in from the ‘burbs to a generic metropolis, a lad and his dad gloss each big, double-page spread-” ‘Do trucks work the same way as cars?’ /
‘Many of them do. Trucks also have jobs, like cars’ “-as they glide through heavy traffic, past a construction site and under an elevated highway. They wait for fleets of bikes and motorcycles to pass and park at last near a train station to pick up Mom. Along with sparely labeled close-up or cutaway views of a car, a bicycle, a big truck, a subway station, an RV and other specimens, the author sets up the family reunion at the end with a giant double-gatefold aerial view of an entire neighborhood packed with traffic, pedestrians, local businesses and signs, each one individually distinct.

Jokey side conversations (one firefighter tells another, “There’s no fire. It’s just a cat”; his companion asks, “Should we get some milk?”) play off more serious and informative dialogue. A diagram of a car is accompanied by a disquisition on the relationship between a car battery and the motor, as well as the fact that “[a]n electric car uses batteries and electric motor. No gas!”

A glory ride for young car, truck, train, bus and trolley devotees.

You can see it here if you’re a Kirkus subscriber. If you’re not, they only give you a snippet.