Every year the NJ-SCBWI conference holds a Juried Art Show for illustrators. Back in 2013, the theme was “Down the Rabbit Hole”. I strolled the exhibit and stopped in my tracks at this image:
How marvelous is this? It immediately reminded me of Jill Barklem’s Brambly Hedge series, with field mice living in homes carved into the trees.
These bunnies were so busy in every room of their carrot cave, so much motion and expression and general giggly cuteness. Just delightful. The illustration made me smile. I took note of the illustrator’s name, Jason Kirschner, and vowed to seek him out that weekend.
I’m always looking for talented new illustrators. After all, an illustrator makes my words and characters come alive. They make me look good. I want the best artists to break into the business so that one day I might be able to work with them.
I’d like to think that Jason and I hit it off. We became friends. (Note: I did fall at his feet. Literally. But quite by accident.) He won the Juried Art Show in the unpublished category and became noted as an up-and-comer. He soon landed an agent. And I am so pleased that his debut picture book, MR. PARTICULAR, will be published next month…and that he’s chosen to premiere the trailer right here, right now!
Picky kids everywhere, rejoice! Your choosy champion is swinging into action–as long as there’s nothing sticky or gooey in sight. In Jason’s hilarious debut, this discriminating daredevil wants to save the day, but he’s got a few rules and restrictions to work around first. Any kid who pushes peas around his plate is gonna relate.
The story is funny and soaked to the core with truths about particular kids. We all know them and their demands. Why it took so long to recognize them in a picture book, I’ll never know. But, luckily, MR. PARTICULAR was a 2013 PiBoIdMo idea!
Here’s the proof:
The other interesting thing about Jason, besides being a former Art Director for Late Night with David Letterman, is that he has twins. And those twins provided the voice-overs for the trailer. I decided to ask the talent a few questions…
Mr. Particular is one persnickety person. How did you prepare for this challenging role?
[Abe]: I am already persnickety, so I didn’t have to do any preparing.
Your fans will want to know, as twins, are you anything alike? Who is the more particular of the pair?
[Syd]: Abraham is more particular and some similarities are that we both like to go swimming and we both love pizza and ice cream cake and finally we both LOVE Harry Potter.
Why do you recommend kids and parents read Mr. Particular?
[Syd]: Parents might want to relate Mr. Particular to their kids and kids might want to read Mr. Particular because there are some funny parts and some exciting parts which makes it more fun to read.
[Abe]: The parents might want to read Mr. Particular to their kids so that they can teach them that it is okay to be particular.
Congratulations on MR. PARTICULAR, Jason, and on having such smart and funny kiddos.
Everyone, be on the lookout for this particular picture book on May 10th from Sterling!