Thursday, September 30, 2010

Book cover released

My publisher, Candlewick, just released the cover image of the last book I illustrated, Ladder to the Moon, written by Maya Soetoro-Ng.
This picture book will be released in Spring 2011

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Yes, it is true. Public libraries changed my life

During the American Library Association last summer, I was asked to talk about what the public libraries meant for me. I was in my way out of the convention center, and the camera man run after me and catch me by surprise (hence my face). But what is not a surprise is that when I saw the Public Library for the first time, it changed my life.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Inspiration date

My friend Jim and I have inspiration dates each month.

Among the things that don't happen in our inspiration date are the following:
  • French Kissing.
  • Rampant Gossiping.
  • Table dancing.
  • Entering illegally into other countries.
  • The hunting of animals.
  • Tequila drinking.
  • Bungee jumping.
  • Worrying.

Instead, this is what happens in our inspiration dates:
  • We meet somewhere in the bay area.
  • We visit a place where we can find inspiration.
  • Children's bookstores are some of the best places to find what we are looking for. Libraries and exhibit are too.
  • We have adopted the mission to find at least one thing that we love: a story, images with a great style, a new artist, a great book.
  • We bring our object of inspiration home. Some times we bring two or more. And some times they are not for sale.
  • At the end of our date we might have time to create something together, such as this,

And this,

Ay, Llorona from Yuyi Morales on Vimeo.

During our September inspiration date we visited one of our favorite stores, The Storyteller.
There we found artwork that we loved, such as in this book illustrated by Isol

And stories and illustrations that made us laugh

And even some shocking art coincidences.

At the end, I chose my favorite.

But what we found together was rich and hard to choose only one. Here are the books that caught our attention at our date. It was hard to leave them behind.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Looking for the banned book.

On Saturday I went to the library. I had decided to read a book I had never read before, a banned book. One feared by some and beloved by many.
My librarian, almost a kid, showed me the way. There, in isle 3B.

Among the Popol Vuh (another book that has also been object of prejudice, destruction and burning) and the guides to Toltect Wisdom.

The Qu'ran.
And at the end, the open book showed me that those who fear it and those who love it have much more in common than we realized.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A reading proposition and an invitation

The American Libray Association is doing its part; ALA and librarians across the county will protest book burning with reading the Qur'an on 9/11
I want to do my part too: this Saturday I will go to my public library, I will look for the Qur'an, and I will read it. The act will be simple, even familiar, and yet just as powerful as a book burning. Reading is a fire in itself--I very well know it, I, who has grown by its light.
Will you come too?
I will be posting my photograph reading.
So can you.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cushions and other compulsion that make my day

I have it in my calendar that if there is no pressing deadline in sight, weekends are for family and home projects. This weekend was for making cushions. I couldn't stop, I admit. But my garden loves these colors.
I blame this maniacal obsession of having to make things (anything, something, but make it!) on my mother. My sisters are afflicted too.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Forecast: blog tour with probabilities to win a book

Floating on Mama's Song written by Laura Lacamara and illustrated by Yours Truly has been released this week. To celebration begins with a blog tour and the chance to win a copy of the book. Here are the details and the schedule:

Monday, August 30 - Floating on Mama's Song synopsis, reviews:
Out of the Paintbox

Tuesday, August 31 - Interview with author, Laura Lacamara:
On Beyond Words and Pictures

Wednesday, September 1- Interview with editor, Katherine Tegen:
Tales from the Rushmore Kid

Thursday, September 2 - Interview with illustrator, Yuyi Morales:
Latin Baby Book Club

Friday, September 3 – Announcement of contest winner:
Out of the Paintbox

How to win a book? Just post a comment on any of the blogs on the tour.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Found inspiration

The days when I begin a new book are much like these: reading, reorganizing my space, looking, choosing materials and colors, ordering supplies, writing things I don't want to forget, making to-do lists, staring at the wall, daydreaming, and a lot of imagining. Mostly my job these days is to look hard and find things that make me feel in love and alive so that I can work and begin to create. Here some of wonderful things I have found:

Buildings & Vampires from Nico Casavecchia on Vimeo.

Lucky from MIE on Vimeo.

Denmark from Mark Smith on Vimeo.