mwb

Hollins University is paying tribute to one of its best-known alumnae and one of America’s most beloved children’s authors by establishing a literary award in her name.

Presented annually beginning in 2016, the Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature will recognize the author of the best text for a picture book published during the previous year. Winners will be given a $1,000 cash prize, which comes from an endowed fund created by James Rockefeller, Brown’s fiancée at the time of her death. Each recipient will also receive an engraved bronze medal as well as an invitation to accept the award and present a reading on campus during the summer session of Hollins’ graduate program in children’s literature.

Hollins will request prize nominations from children’s book publishers. Then, a three-judge panel, consisting of established picture book authors, will review the nominations and choose a winner.

“The Margaret Wise Brown Award will be one of the few children’s book awards that has a cash prize attached,” said Amanda Cockrell, director of the children’s literature program at Hollins.

Brown graduated from Hollins in 1932 and went on to write Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, and other children’s classics before she died in 1952. Hollins celebrated her life and work with a year-long Margaret Wise Brown Festival in 2011 and 2012, which featured stage and musical adaptations of her work along with readings, workshops, guest lectures, and other activities for all ages.

goodnightmoon   colorkittens   runawaybunny

The study of children’s literature as a scholarly experience was initiated at Hollins in 1973; in 1992, the graduate program in children’s literature was founded. Today, Hollins offers summer M.A. and M.F.A. programs exclusively in the study and writing of children’s literature, an M.F.A. in children’s book writing and illustrating, and a graduate-level certificate in children’s book illustration.

For more information about the Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature, visit www.hollins.edu/mwb.

mwbwriting

by Laura Gehl

kwameUnless you live in a cave (a real cave…hiding from the cold under your covers doesn’t count), you know that Kwame Alexander won the Newbery Medal on February 2nd for his book THE CROSSOVER.

On February 19th, I was lucky enough to hear Kwame speak informally in a Question & Answer session at the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, D.C.

Listening to Kwame was so inspiring that I began furiously scribbling notes, with the idea that I could share the experience with other children’s writers.

Ten things I learned (all over again!) from Kwame Alexander:

1. Kwame can’t write at home because his six-year-old daughter tries to make him dress up like a princess. So he writes at Panera instead.

My Takeaway: We all have distractions in our lives.

2. Kwame also likes to write at Panera because he can steal from those around him…a snippet of conversation, the way a man touches a woman’s cheek…

My Takeaway: You are always working as long as you are aware of the world around you. Yes, this means you can totally go to Hawaii, sit on the beach, and consider it work. (Please consult your tax advisor before writing off the trip, however.)

3. THE CROSSOVER took five years from concept to sale.

My Takeaway: Be patient. (My critique partners know that this is not exactly my strong suit.)

4. Kwame got twenty-two rejections on THE CROSSOVER and was considering self-publishing before he finally got an acceptance.

My Takeaway: Those twenty-two editors must feel like idiots. Just kidding. My real takeaway: Don’t give up. Or, as Kwame put it, “You have to say yes to yourself.”

5. When he needed to revise THE CROSSOVER, Kwame Googled “novel in verse writing coach” and then worked with his coach for months.

My Takeaway: Revision is hard. Nobody can do it alone. Also, thank goodness for Google.

6. Kwame said, “Publishers don’t know what they want until they get it.”

My Takeaway: Write what you are passionate about, not what you think editors are looking for. If your book is great, it will get published.

7. When Kwame was speaking, every single person there…from picture book writers to YA writers to nonfiction writers to illustrators…from the unpublished to the multi-award-winning…was captivated. Enthralled. The whole room crackled with excitement, and with happiness and pride for Kwame.

My Takeaway: The kidlit community is amazing, and we can all gain knowledge, inspiration, and support from one another.

8. Other Newbery winners told Kwame, “The price of a Newbery is a book,” meaning that he should give himself a break this year and just enjoy the ride.

My Takeaway: Successes can be few and far between in this business, and it is easy to immediately go from “YAY! I GOT A CONTRACT TODAY!” to “Okay, now I need to sell another book.” We should all take time to truly appreciate and enjoy every success—big and little—along the way.

9. The night before the Newbery announcement, Kwame couldn’t sleep. He drank root beer, watched TV, worried and wondered…could all of those who said THE CROSSOVER was a Newbery contender maybe, just maybe, be right? Around 3:00 am, Kwame decided to re-read the book. He found a bunch of errors and decided that his awful book could not possibly have won the award.

My Takeaway: We all doubt ourselves. Especially at 3:00 am.

10. Kwame said, “We are at our best when our passions become our jobs.”

bestquote

My Takeaway: We are incredibly lucky to be writing books for children. Who could possibly ask for a better job???

Oh…and one more thing I learned, as a bonus for those of you who read this far:

11. A year and a half ago, Kwame was selling his books from a small booth at Eastern Market in Washington D.C. (and had happily paid $100 for the privilege of selling books from that booth).

My Takeaway: Just like the boys in SAM AND DAVE DIG A HOLE don’t realize just how close they are to an enormous diamond, you never know just how close you may be to enormous success. [Refer back to #3…Be patient…and #4…Don’t give up.]

lauragehlLaura Gehl’s newest picture books are AND THEN ANOTHER SHEEP TURNED UP and HARE AND TORTOISE RACE ACROSS ISRAEL. She is also the author of ONE BIG PAIR OF UNDERWEAR, a Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book, and the PEEP AND EGG series (hatching Spring 2016). You can visit Laura online at LauraGehl.com and Facebook.com/AuthorLauraGehl.

devPetty1by Dev Petty

I wrote a whole post for this very blog some time ago about NOT writing and just thinking. I wrote about getting to the heart of your story idea in your head before you ever write a word. I believe in that process…big time. But it’s not how I wrote I DON’T WANT TO BE A FROG. That’s a different story. That’s the story of how a sort of basic story idea turned into one with legs…frog legs! In fact, it was the writing of FROG that taught me to slow down and think, to find the story thread before I started writing.

frogdevpetty

I knew I wanted to write a story all in dialogue. I wanted it to be funny. And I wanted it to be about a frog. I like frogs, it was that simple. Not much to go on, eh? Believe me, my first efforts on frog reflected just how thin the idea was. Frog went from animal to animal saying “I want to be like you…because…you’re furry (or you can fly or you can hop).” It was repetitive and a little hollow and NOTHING REALLY AT ALL HAPPENED. These are the sort of problems I usually suss out when I’m just thinking instead of writing, so I don’t usually have this situation. But there was something about the first draft I liked enough to keep at it.

froginterior

This is when I stopped and realized I needed to answer my own critical, favorite story writing question.

“What is this about?”

The answer, as written, was “A frog who wants to be a rabbit or a cat or an owl.” And after a ton of rewrites and rearranging, it wasn’t getting any better on the page. So I stopped revising. I stopped writing. As I closed the laptop and started thinking, I realized it was a little deeper. The answer really was, “This is a story about a frog who doesn’t want to be a frog.” It’s about wanting to be something other than what you are. Now THAT’S a little more interesting. When I started thinking about it that way, the story opened up and it wasn’t anymore about cats or owls, it was about nature, it was about accepting your nature.

That answer allowed me to start thinking about the frog, the good parts, the bad parts, the way we all sometimes envy things about others that we can never, and probably should never have. The story was getting deeper, but still…nothing really happened. The frog went from animal to animal saying he wanted to be them and then the book ended. You’re a frog. Get over it.

froginterior2

Confession. I’ve tried to write novels. A bunch of em. I am a Viking at writing three awesome chapters and then running out of steam, throwing the laptop across the room and eating ice cream for a while. But I do it often enough that I’ve learned a few things. Newsflash Dev, your story has to have a PLOT and not just be a rambling treatise on frog existentialism. So I decided to bring a new character in…a wolf…who would act as a bit of a therapist, a reality checker who would point out the good parts of being a frog through his own nature. Once something happened, the wolf, my story had a turn and a direction and something, albeit small, happened. I hope kids will read frog and realize that everyone has things they want to change about themselves, and that’s a totally okay, natural thing to explore. But you also sort of have to accept who you are, find the bright parts about who you are and work with what you have.

I guess the truth is, I sort of violated most of my own rules of picture book writing in the writing of the one picture book I have out there. I kind of teased a good story out of a pretty mediocre one. But that’s ok too, it taught me a lot about finding that thread. It helped me develop a process…find the thread FIRST! Remember to TELL a story and not just muse.

Since we’re talking story threads, I thought I’d put down a few tools I use to try to figure out what I’m getting at when I’m developing a story idea in my head, before I start writing.

  1. I write a poem. It’s not the kind of poem anyone would ever, ever, ever want to read. But the lack of rules in poetry allow me to explore an idea without limitations. I usually write pretty long, stream of consciousness poems about my story idea and most of it will be total garbage. But usually, when I read it through, somewhere in there is a thread I can hold onto and start crafting a story around.
  2. Imagine your story as a trailer. I’d never thought of this one until I started watching a lot of picture book trailers and working on my own, for Frog. But when you have to introduce your character, a story problem, a plot twist and a possible solution- you’ve covered a lot of story elements and it’s pretty easy to find where you need to go a little deeper.
  3. Ask yourself what your story is about. Sounds obvious, I know, but I forget to do it ALL THE TIME. And, while you’re busy talking to yourself, why not have a whole conversation?

“Dev, what is this story about?”
“Well, it’s about a frog who wants to be a cat or an owl or something else.”
“Gosh, Dev, that’s not very interesting.”
“It’s not? Crap. OK, it’s about not wanting to be a frog.”
“Getting there.”
“You’re bossy. Fine. It’s about not wanting to be what you are.”
“That’s sad.”
“Okee…it’s about accepting who you are.”
“Bingo!”
“I don’t like you.”
“I don’t like you either.”

Finally, Never throw anything away. Whether you save one giant list of picture books in Scrivener or text files or email drafts (I’m partial to that one), never give up on a story. Put it aside, let it steep, even put it in total cold storage, but don’t throw anything away. SO many of my stories come from little breadcrumbs of ideas I left myself along the way.

Dev Petty is the author of I DON’T WANT TO BE A FROG (Doubleday 2015, Illustrated by Mike Boldt) and CLAYMATES (Little Brown, 2017).  A former film effects artist, she lives in Albany, California and writes funny books for kids and immature adults. Visit her at DevPetty.com.

Do you want to be a frog? No? Do you want to own a frog? Not really? How about own a SIGNED COPY of Dev’s I DON’T WANT TO BE A FROG? Plus bookmarks? Yes? OK then, leave one comment below and a winner will be randomly selected in two weeks! Good luck!

Guess who’s gliding your way this October?

littleredglidinghood

Illustrated by the amazing Troy Cummings (of NOTEBOOK OF DOOM fame), this story is a mish-mash of fairytales set in a winter wonderland. (No, not Boston.) It’s all quite fantastically fractured, without cumbersome crutches.

Troy’s got a groovy retro style that pops with personality. I asked him a few questions about bringing Red and her pals to life.

Troy, how were you introduced to LITTLE RED and why did you choose to work on it?

My editor at Random House said she had me in mind to illustrate a fractured fairytale called LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD. The title alone made me smile. Then I read the manuscript and I shouted “YES! SIGN ME UP!” after the first few page turns.

The story was super-funny, and clever, and full of action. Drawing fairytale characters would be fun, but coming up with ice-skating wintery versions of those guys in frozen-fairytale-land? COME ON!

I really couldn’t wait to start—I filled my sketchbook with character ideas on the bus ride home.

lrgh_first_sketch

These are the first designs I cooked up. Red looks very similar to how she is in the book—although her eyes were much huger in the first draft…but she’s got her little pointy ears on her hood, and oversized head.

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The Big Bad Wolf is probably “badder” in the book. Although it looks like I had already planned on giving him that big awesome puffy shirt that accentuates his chest hair.

And I was also playing with giving each of the three pigs their own skates to match their jobs—with blades that resembled a trowel, a saw, or a scythe. But I couldn’t get it to work, so now they just have plain old skates.

jacket_thumbs

And here are all my thumbnails for my book cover ideas. I try to do a million of ‘em to see what kind of ideas I can shake out. They actually picked my secret favorite one for the real cover, which was great.

How did you decide upon the overall look for the book?

Well, it’s a winter story that takes place mostly outside—which would lend itself to white/gray/off-brown/… but it’s also a kooky fairy tale, so I wanted to sneak in as much color as I could. So I got to play and make crazy purple and yellow trees, and give the characters colorful scarves and mittens, etc.

I also tried to differentiate Little Red and the Big Bad Wolf in their designs… she’s short and blocky, he’s tall and lanky. She’s neat, he’s shaggy. She’s got big eyes, he’s got “bad guy” eyes, she’s fully dressed, he’s uh, not…etc. etc.

wolf (1)

And the other thing I tried to do was avoid warm colors, except for Little Red’s actual riding hood…in most scenes, it’s the only red thing we see—it should be brighter and bolder than anything else, hopefully drawing attention to her even when she’s a tiny skater on the horizon.

(With one exception—she takes a break at Grandma’s house in the middle of the book, so I flooded that page with warm/bold colors: the fireplace, the floorboards, and even the walls have lots of warmer colors. Then she’s back outside at the pinky-purple little piggy’s house, out in the snow…)

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How does working on an author’s story differ from working on your own?

When I write my own stories, I always start by waaaaay overcooking things. My manuscripts are too long and my words are redundant with my pictures, big-time. The writer-half of me panics that the illustrator-half is going to leave something out, so my copy ends up sounding way too descriptive, like this:

The fuzzy blue frog put on her yellow striped size 3 pajamas before hopping on her new two-wheeled bicycle, which had been colored 30% MAGENTA in Adobe Photoshop CS5.

And then when it’s time to illustrate, I realize that I could have just written:

The frog rode away.

and let the illustration do the rest of the work. I feel like I’m slooowly getting better at this, but I still haven’t totally figured it out.

I also think that when I’m illustrating my own story, I finish by drawing a picture that more or less lines up with what I was thinking when I wrote the story. THE END.

BUT!

When I illustrate someone else’s story, it becomes really fun to work with what they’ve written, and try to come up with images that “complete” the scenes/emotions/ideas they’re setting up. They author will have described characters, events, ideas and emotions, which I should support and illustrate. But the author will also _not_ describe certain events, actions, characters, etc. (on purpose!), letting me complete the scene.

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For instance, here’s a line Tara Lazar (you!) had written for LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD:

She swizzled down the river and saw a flurry of friends gathering beneath a banner.

This is all the copy needs to say—the author hasn’t spelled out exactly who has gathered beneath the banner. I get to do that! Then it’s fun to try to come up with something neat/funny that supports the text, but also has little surprises if you spend some time on it. (Who’s hanging out under the banner? Maybe Miss Muffet, bored [setting us up for the spider on page x/] Or Humpty Dumpty, walking with confidence (or nervously holding the handrail?)… Or bo-peep, distracted by something while her sheep are eyeing the exit. (etc., etc.)

I get to play around in this world the author has created, and maybe set up a few characters/events that will payoff later in the story, and (ideally) throw in little details to surprise the reader on subsequent readings.

I also think there’s this really cool thing that happens when an author and illustrator work together:

  1. The author comes up with a story, characters, and a world that I couldn’t have come up with on my own. She puts images in my head.
  2. I, in turn, draw these images and interpret her world/characters/architecture/bowls of porridge/etc., which are likely to be entirely different than what she might have envisioned. (At least, the details might be different—I should be hitting all the right notes to support the voice/tone of her manuscript.)
  3. And then: MAGIC! The difference between what the author had in mind vs. my interpretation ends up being this thing that’s, ideally, better than what either of us could have cooked up on our own… (I say “magic”, but that’s also a result of smart editing/art direction.)

This project was super, sooooper fun. I’m really happy with how it turned out, and it makes me want to work on more kooky fairytales. (Or more Tara Lazar stories!)

Thanks, Tara!

Thanks so much, Troy! You’ve done an incredible job, far better than anything I could have ever imagined! I’m one ecstatic author.

And now, the giveaway…

LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD will be released on October 27 and you can pre-order now, but…you can get a full sneak peek by winning an F&G of the book (folded and gathered galley version)!

Just leave a comment below (one per person) and you will be entered into a random drawing. You have until Feb 28th to comment; I’ll pick a winner on March 1st!

GOOD LUCK!

And stay warm out there! Especially you Boston folk!

david-michael-slater-mayby David Michael Slater

Greetings!

My name is David Michael Slater. As an author of 20+ books (for children, teens, and adults) I am always interested in new ways of reaching readers. Self-publishing has never appealed to me. I have nothing whatsoever against it, but the sky-high pile of self-published titles one must compete with is simply too daunting, especially when so many people report not wanting to take the time to sift through that pile for the gems. The traditional route is as daunting as ever, but I do not bash it either. But it is a rough go, especially with a project that seems risky in any way.

Enter Inkshares.

inkshares

My newest picture book, Hanukkah Howie vs. Santa Claus, recently launched with this newfangled “crowd-directed” publisher. Inkshares makes final decisions about projects based on pre-sales. This is a fascinating new approach that, thus far, I find extremely reasonable.

hanukkahhowie

Why?

First, I can understand Inkshare’s desire to minimize their risk by taking on properties with proven market appeal (via pre-sales). What publisher wouldn’t? The result has been my working my tail off trying to secure these pre-sales, and I must admit it’s fairly exhausting.

What’s the payoff?

How about 50% of gross revenues and a non-exclusive contract?

Hard to argue that both sides don’t benefit from such an arrangement.

HoweyCharacterThe process is simple, you approach Inkshares with your project. In my case, I came to them with the finished text and an illustrator (the awesome UK artist Andy Catling) already on board. The Inkshares team evaluates your project, and if they deem it’s potentially viable, they will guide you through the steps of setting up a project page and then a launch.

They do help with social media marketing during the funding period, but mostly it’s up to you. So far so good. We’re a week in and funding at 23%.

You can learn much more at Inkshares.com. If you are interested in my project, you can read the entire (500 word) text, see the hilarious art, and note the exceptional blurbs (like the ones below) coming in from popular and bestselling authors at HowievsSanta.com.

Good luck on your on publishing paths, wherever they may take you!

“A new holiday tradition deserves a new holiday classic read aloud, and David Michael Slater has delivered just that, right to our door, by sleigh and by Hanukkopter.”
–David Lubar, Author of Hidden Talents and Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie

Hanukkah Howie vs. Santa Claus “could bring about world peace, but only if you do your part.”
–Heeb Magazine

worldreadaloudday2015

As I was preparing this post, my daughter said, “Mommy, you always read LOUD!”

She’s right. So if you’d like a LOUDMOUTH to read to your class on World Read Aloud Day this March 4th, look no further.

I’m offering free, 20-minute Skype sessions throughout the day. I’ll read my picture book THE MONSTORE, answer questions from your students, and give everyone a sneak peek of my upcoming books, I THOUGHT THIS WAS A BEAR BOOK and LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD. I’ll also wear the jammies of your class’s choosing. (I’ve got five awesome pairs from which to choose.)

jammiechart

Kindergarten classes from Mahomet, IL tried to predict what jammies I’d wear.

If you’re interested, email me at tarawrites at yahoo dot com. Suggest a time (be sure to include your time zone so I can calculate if I’m living in the future or the past) and I’ll book you! If for some reason your school does not allow Skype, I can do a Google Hangout or Facetime, too.

I do Skype visits in my jammies--whichever kind the kids pick. This time it was ice skate jammies!

I do Skype visits in my jammies. This time it was ice skate jammies!

Not interested in me? I understand, I’m not necessarily everyone’s cup of Earl Grey. Check out Kate Messner’s list of authors who Skype for free and contact one of them instead!

Everyone should be celebrating World Read Aloud Day!

Visit LitWorld.org/wrad to learn more.

Prize announcement time!

gameshowwinner

I’ve been so forgetful lately. I think it’s all the snow freezing my brain.

So first, remember BACKHOE JOE? Lori Alexander’s debut? Yeah, I never picked a winner. It was right as I was gearing up for PiBoIdMo. So, yeah again. You understand. Finally, the winner is of Joe’s prize pack is…

LINDSAY BONILLA!

Next, the winner of Dan Krall’s SICK SIMON prize pack is…

CANTSING1! (I have your email address, so I will find you! And I can’t sing, either.)

And you’re not going to believe this one…

scrivener

During PiBoIdMo there was a Facebook group discussion about using Scrivener for writing picture books. (Some referenced Claire O’Brien’s free PB template, found here.)

I contacted Scrivener and they offered FOUR LICENSES, TWO FOR EACH PLATFORM (Mac and Windows) for me to give away to PiBoIdMo winners. AND I FORGOT TO GIVE THEM AWAY.

CRAZY, RIGHT?!

So here’s what I’m gonna do. Since I don’t know which platform each of you own, I’ll randomly select two folks now from the PiBoIdMo “winners” list. Then I’ll pick two more after the first two have been claimed.

The first two licenses go to…

LILL PLUTA

and

JUDITH WRIGHT APLIN!

I will be getting in touch with all the winners via email, so be on the lookout for my message.

Thanks again to LiteratureandLatte.com for offering these licenses and for helping me make it a freakin’ awesome Friday.

leftshark

 

by Darcy Pattison

You’ve written a picture book manuscript and now you want to know if it’s ready to send out. Here are seven crucial questions to answer.

Overall:
The first three questions focus on the overall story.

1. Topic: Is the story kid appropriate, kid appealing?

2. Language: Is the story age appropriate? Have you used interesting, fun language? Have you allowed places for kids to join in, such as a refrain to repeat?

3. Illustrations: Have you left space for the illustrator? Don’t describe every visual, but leave that to the illustrator. However, DO add things you touch, smell, taste and hear.

bearsnoreson

From BEAR SNORES ON by Karma Wilson & Jane Chapman

The next four questions focus on the structure and how well the story will lay out in a 32-page format

Instructions for these questions:  Divide your manuscript into a minimum of fourteen sections, with each section a scene in the story. The fourteen sections will roughly be equal to the number of double page spreads in a 32-page picture book. (If you have fewer than fourteen sections, it’s probably a magazine piece, not a picturebook.) Now, consider each section and answer these questions.

4. Does each section have an action to illustrate?

5. Does each section make you want to turn the page?

6. Does each section advance the story? If you take out a page, does it destroy the story?

7. Does the plot have a narrative arc with a beginning, middle and end?

If you answered, “Yes” on all these questions, then submit your story with confidence.

Not sure about any of the answers? Children’s book author Darcy Pattison and children’s book author/illustrator Leslie Helakoski will co-lead a unique workshop, PB&J: Picture Books and All That Jazz at Highlights Foundation in Honesdale, PA on April 23-26, 2015. Join them and learn how to make your story rise above the fierce competition.

Tara Lazar:

Another PiBoIdMo success story…from author-illustrator Kevan Atteberry!

Follow the link to the EMU’s Debuts site to read on and enter the BUNNIES!!! giveaway.

Originally posted on EMU's Debuts:

The talented Kevan Atteberry, author-illustrator extraordinaire, is joining us today to talk about the evolution of Declan, the exuberant monster in his new picture book, Bunnies!!!

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Welcome, Kevan!!

MG:   Who came first, Declan, or the bunnies?

KA:   The original Declan was not the Declan that lives in the book. For the past few Octobers I’ve challenged myself to create a monster a day for the whole month and post them on Facebook. Completely from scratch. On October 20, 2012, I drew this monster:

Declan1

KA:   I am pretty certain I drew the monster first. But the bunnies were an immediate addition. The comments I got on this monster were split between those who thought the monster was going to eat the bunnies and those who thought the monster was smitten with them. This intrigued me.

MG:  In relation to that, did the images come first, or the storyline, or was it…

View original 599 more words

It’s that season—the sniffling, sneezing, coughing cacophony of wintery colds. Your household may have already been hit. And, yes, it may be hit again. The germ mafia is on the loose.

So what’s a parent to do? Well, you can ensconce yourself in Purell and pull that germy Kindergartener on your lap. SICK SIMON by Dan Krall is here to delight and educate you both with disgustingly charming clarity.

sicksimon

Kids love oozing yuckiness and ridiculously-behaving characters, so you can say SICK SIMON has it all.

Simon begins his week thinking it will be the best ever! But his nose becomes a bulbous faucet of green slime. An eerie radioactive glow surrounds him as he trudges through school. His sneezes coat the classroom in a putrid fog. Kids shriek and escape in horror-movie-style terror.

Simon remains germed up as the school eventually empties, leaving Friday’s highly-anticipated kickball game with just one player—the baron of bacteria himself, Sick Simon.

Of course, the germs are THRILLED. They hail Sick Simon as their hero!

Author-illustrator Dan Krall even drew these microscopic cretins of crustiness with amazing accuracy. Just look at these guys and their real-life counterparts!

virusprotozoa giardiabacteria

germs

Being that we are obsessed with story ideas on this blog, I asked Dan what prompted his newly-released viral sensation. It was none other than his young daughter, who became a bacterial beacon as soon as she began school. (We parents know this all too well.)

I asked Dan if we could see early incarnations of his main character. Was his nose always so gross?

simon characters studies

You betcha!

GROSS is GREAT. Kids love it.

And you’ll love it, too, because SICK SIMON teaches kids how colds and viruses get around in an entertaining, silly, slimy way. You’ve got a hapless character, oozing greenish gooeyness, and grateful germs.

And, if you leave a comment below, SICK SIMON may show up on your doorstep!

Don’t worry, though–we’ll wash it off with an antibacterial wipe first. We’ll throw in a laminated poster, tissues and hand sanitizer to ensure you stay healthy, too.

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Sick Simon Poster

dankrallDan Krall is an author, illustrator, and an animator. He worked as a character designer on the popular films How to Train Your Dragon and Coraline. He was also the art director for the television shows Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated; Chowder; and Samurai Jack; as well as a Development Artist for Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, The PowerPuff Girls, and Dexter’s Laboratory. He lives with his wife and daughter in Los Angeles.

His newest book, SICK SIMON, is available now from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

 

 

 

Follow Me on Pinterest As a children's book author and mother of two, I'm pushing a stroller along the path to publication. I collect shiny doodads on the journey and share them here. You've found a kidlit treasure box.

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My Picture Books


Available now at:

Coming Soon:


Aladdin/Simon & Schuster
August 2015


Random House
October 2015

NORMAL NORMAN
illustrated by S.Britt
Sterling Children's Books
March 2016

WAY PAST BEDTIME
illustrator TBA
Aladdin/Simon & Schuster
Fall 2016

7 ATE 9: THE UNTOLD STORY
illustrated by Ross MacDonald
Disney*Hyperion
2017

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