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Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Dog Days of School

Dog Days of School

In 2007, I signed on to illustrate two books for Hyperion. One was The Boy Who Cried Alien, by Marilyn Singer, and the other was called Dog Days of School, by Kelly DiPucchio. At the time, I was just getting my legs as a book illustrator and was excited to get these two projects while I start the process of learning to write my own books.

Little did I know that the seed of Everything Goes was planted a few months later, which subsequently took over my life for five years. This and other delays caused Alien and Dog Days to get pushed back a few years (!). Well, The Boy who Cried Alien came out in 2012, and Dog Days is finally coming out this June. I drew this book immediately after finishing Everything Goes and it was a dream to work on these big flat comparatively simply-composed illustrations. I only used six or seven colors for the entire book, and tried a few techniques with the art that I wasn't able to do in Everything Goes.

I received a prepublication copy of the book yesterday and my lordy it looks beautiful. I mean, okay, the drawings are alright. But Hyperion knocked the production and design out of the park on this thing. Rotem Moscovich edited and Tyler Nevins did the design and I can't think them enough. Of course, I can't think Kelly enough for writing it either, and being incredibly patient as her story sat on my shelf for nearly seven years.

Look for more on this book in the next few months, including cover sketches and how it got made. Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

I get invited to local book fairs, book stores, book festivals, and so on; and I often run into this dude named Erik. Erik is probably something like 13 years old, and Erik loves books. He writes a column for his local newspaper, The Upper Bucks County Free Press about books, and he has his own blog, called This Kid Reviews Books. Recently at one of these local book events where I run into Erik, he asked if he could interview me for his blog, and of course I said yes.

Erik's interview was published this week, and here it is.

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

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I've always always loved board books. Big thick cardboard books, ostensibly for little kids who like to chew on things. Since Everything Goes was first conceived back in 2008, I wanted there to be board books with my cars and trucks and stuff. And now, I'm vey happy to tell you, there are. In fact, there will be six before I'm done. Sadly, they're not "officially" released until the day after Christmas, but I hear that some stores and retailers have them on the shelves already, in time for the holiday.

The first is called 123 Beep Beep Beep: A Counting Book and it is what it says.

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The second book is called STOP! GO!: A Book of Opposites. This one is similarly simply-plotted.

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The next two board books, Blue Bus Red Balloon and Goodnight Trucks get more complicated, story-wise, and will be out next year sometime.

Amazon has Stop! Go! and 123 Beep Beep Beep available for preorder.

Or get it on Indiebound, which is better for the world. 123 Beep Beep Beep and Stop! Go!

Happy Holidays y'all.

Thursday, March 29th, 2012


I can tell I've been rather stupid-busy drawing new stuff, as I don't normally let an opportunity to toot my horn go un tooted. Somehow last year, sometime between Everything Goes: On Land, Everything Goes: In the Air, The Boy Who Cried Alien, and three Brownie & Pearl books, I found time to fit in an ad campaign for Rubio's Restaurants, a San Diego chain that specializes in fish tacos, among other treats. This was kind of a get-it-done-yesterday job, as most advertising is, and it came to me because of the complex Where's Waldo-style tendencies that I have.
Well I got an email last week from Lisa Schiavello, the creative director of the campaign, that the campaign won an Addy award for Red Door Interactive, the agency responsible for creating the ad and hiring me. It took a couple of days before I realized exactly what had happened. The Addys are a pretty big deal in the advertising community and it's nice to have a project that my drawings are all over recognized, and it's even nicer to have a client be that much happier about the work that was done. It never hurts to have ad agencies love you in this business.
You can read about the Addy for Red Door here, here, and here.

And a post from last September about it here.

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

The first episode of Roommates, introducing Lenny Squidenski.
First published January 20, 1987 in the North Texas Daily, Denton, Texas. These are being archived on one page here.

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.

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