The first three Tinyville Town books will be in stores on September. This includes two board books, I’m a Firefighter and I’m a Veterinarian, and a picture book, Tinyville Town Gets to Work. Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly have reviewed Gets to Work, and they use all the right words.
“The diverse people of Tinyville Town fill jobs with a healthy disregard for strict adherence to gender roles in this big, bright, and friendly construction tale.”
(see full Kirkus review here)
From Publisher’s Weekly:
“Biggs kicks off the Tinyville Town series, focusing on hard-working, civic-minded folks, from the police officer to the trash collectors, who share their expertise to make a city work. The visuals are more stylized than in Biggs’s Everything Goes series—while Tinyville Town is diverse, everyone has the same toylike body shape—but the mood is similarly exuberant and attentive to detail. And the can-do spirit is off the charts.”
(see full PW review here)
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.
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…
Publisher’s Weekly posted a review today of the first book in the Brownie & Pearl series, written by Cynthia Rylant. It’s a very good review and happily makes a point of mentioning Brownie’s stockings. It’s the fourth review down on this page. In case you’re wondering, Brownie & Pearl Step Out will be published in very early January.
Here is the text:
Brownie & Pearl Step Out Cynthia Rylant, illus. by Brian Biggs. S&S/Beach Lane, $12.99 (24p) ISBN 978-1-4169-8632-4\
A birthday party (“Cats are invited”) is the outing spotlighted in Newbery Medalist Rylant’s sweet snippet of a story, first in a planned series, which introduces a happy if a bit timid girl (Brownie) and her similarly sanguine cat (Pearl). As they arrive at their destination, a front stoop festooned with balloons, Brownie has second thoughts: “Uh-oh. Brownie feels shy. Maybe she’ll go home.” But Pearl leaps through the cat door, forcing the issue (“Now Brownie has to knock”). She’s warmly welcomed and enjoys games, cake, and ice cream. Short, snappy sentences (“Look! Pearl went in the kitty door!”), a bold font, and spot-on themes for this age level—birthday party, spunky pet, and the rewards of overcoming shyness—tailor this for girls just beginning to read on their own. Bubblegum pink and lime green pop from Biggs’s (the Roscoe Riley Rules series) digitally rendered cartoon art, which features such endearing flourishes as Brownie’s mismatched striped socks and floral dress, as well as the pink flowers she and Pearl wear in hair and fur. Cheerful from start to finish. Ages 3–5. (Dec.)
One Beastly Beast, the book by Garth Nix that I illustrated, got a nice review in the August 6 Publishers Weekly…
One Beastly Beast (Two Aliens, Three Inventors, Four Fantastic Tales)
Garth Nix, illus. by Brian Biggs. HarperCollins/Eos, $15.99 (176p) ISBN 978-0-06-084319-9
Successfully training his sights on a middle-grade audience, the acclaimed Nix (the Abhorsen trilogy) presents a quartet of wacky yarns set in fantasy-laced worlds and topped off with plenty of wordplay. In the first, Peter is on his way to return DVDs to the rental store when four rats dressed as pirates steal them. (â€œWe be video pirates, and those there discs will fetch us a pretty sum.â€) A crew of Navy rats escorts the boy down the sewer to â€œthe Neverworld,â€ where he helps defeat the bread-wielding pirate Blackbread. The second caper stars a bored princess, daughter of a former â€œfull-time warrior maidenâ€ and a wizard, whose quest for adventure brings her inside a â€œmagical clockwork monsterâ€ that she erroneously expects is planning to attack her kingdom. A third tale introduces a boy living in an orphanage who finally finds his parents after escaping adoption by pirates and the reach of a pair of â€œhideously squidgy, lumpy, slimy, sweaty, yellow-tentacled, bulbous-eyed aliens,â€ and the final story centers on one of 17 sisters who helps her town face a sea serpent that is damaging boats, capturing girls and turning them into â€œpenguinmaids.â€ Biggs (the Shredderman series) renders even the most monstrous creatures as ludicrous rather than gruesome in his lighthearted cartoons, laid out here with wit and a good eye for visual rhythm. Ages 7-11. (Aug.)