Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Girl Meets Horse

By Wendy Wahman

I’ve been horse crazy all my life. I love the sight, smell and feel of horses. I love their breath on my hand and their warm, soft, velvety nostrils. I love how their square, heavy bodies balance on those table thin legs. I love their swiveling ears and their broomy tails, swishing flies from each other’s eyes. And those eyes! Oh, don’t get me started.

My husband Joe and I were watching a movie last night. A handsome actor rode in on a dapple gray and I gasped. Joe raised his eyebrows and asked, rhetorically, “It’s the horse, isn’t it.”

A Trot Down Memory Lane

In the number one spot, Brighty of the Grand Canyon. Then anything and everything by Marguerite Henry. Check out this wonderful post on Jacquelyn’s blog: The Nature Lover’s True Story of Brighty of The Grand Canyon

My sister, Sharon, and I used to pour over this book. We played a game, if you could only have one horse on this page, which would it be.
The boy’s name in The Red Pony is Jody. We named our dog, Jody. Gee, I wonder why. We also had a cat named, Pony.

Kiki! One of my all time favorites. I lived in this book.

More Horse Tails

Contemporary Favorites

Erica Silverman’s website

Where’s my horse story, you ask? Well, just hold your horses, 
I’ll be letting this little pony out of the barn real soon.

I know I left out some greats. Please jog my memory and include them to the comments!

Adding these, thanks, you guys:

Happy trails to you, until we meet again.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Why Monsters?

 by kevan atteberry

Recalling a conversation from a month or two ago, when a friend noted virtually all my published books are about or feature monsters, I decided my post today would be a self-indulgent look at the the title question and whether there is an answer to it.

A few sample titles.
I knew this of course, but I didn't think much about it. Have I been pegged as another "monster guy?" Maybe. Do I care? Not really. Okay, sometimes I think about it and wonder if I should try and write a story with humans. But you know what? I love making monsters and I'm pretty alright at it. Whether for a book or for my own chuckles, I seem to default into sketching monsters when I have my sketchbook in hand. 

For several years I did a Monster-A-Day in October creating a new, from scratch monster everyday of the month. It was an exercise in discipline and creativity. (Hopefully, I'll resume that this October.)

I've also taken to incorporating monsters into old photos. You can see more them here where I share space with Patrick Girouard who adds robots to photos.  

I can create an endearing and interesting monster much easier than I can make an endearing and interesting child. Drawing kids is challenging and laborious and I am prone to exaggerated bouts of self-criticism and doubt. But then every now and then I'll knock out a kid that looks right. A kid that I feel good about. Chances are, though, that it will be a kid with a monster.

Why monsters? Why not monsters?


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Quiet Examination of the Wonder of Being Alive

I love quiet picture books.

I love picture books in which not much happens, and yet, so much happens.

I love picture books that make me feel strong emotions, but do so almost without my noticing.

I love picture books that make me laugh through tears.

I love picture books that make me heave a big sigh, and say "Wow," a little breathlessly, when I've turned the last page.

I love a picture book whose most powerful action is the side-by-side beating of my heart and the heart of the main character.

The books I come back to again and again are each a quiet examination of the wonder of being alive. They are about the things that happen to us and around us all the time, even when we're too busy to notice. 

A quiet picture book gives us a minute to slow down, take note, feel awe, and appreciate being alive.

Happy spring everyone!