Thursday, February 25, 2010

Check your Mobile Phone

You can now find selected images from my portfolio on your iPhone, Blackberry or other internet accessible cell phone.

And for this I have to thank Dani Jones, who figured it out and pointed the way. She posted a complete tutorial and you can follow along and create your own iPhone presence.

The key is a short code placed after the head code and keeping your images no wider than 300px and optimizing them for the web.
You simply create a new webpage with your images lined up vertically. You can see great examples on Dani's tutorial using the link above.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

CORA COOKS PANCIT, a picture book I illustrated in 2009, was reviewed in the November, 2009 issue of School Library Journal!

LAZO GILMORE, Dorina K. Cora Cooks Pancit. illus. by Kristi Valiant. unpaged. glossary. CIP. Shen's. 2009. Tr $17.95. ISBN 978-1-885008-35-0. LC 2008045836.

PreS-Gr 3--When Cora's Filipino family cooks together, she's always stuck doing the "kid jobs." Then one day when her older siblings are out and about, Cora gets her chance to bond with Mama in the kitchen. She even gets to choose her favorite dish, so the two of them make a large bowl of noodles, chicken, and vegetables called pancit. Clear expository prose explains how to perform kitchen tasks. For example, Mama tells Cora, "Open the package of rice noodles and put them in this bowl of water." Then she engages her daughter by asking her, "Do you know why we soak them?" These scenes effectively model how adults can introduce children to cooking. The simple, direct style also makes the book equally well suited as a read-aloud and for newly independent readers. The artwork nicely complements the text, as Valiant's warm hues of gold, red, and orange highlight the family's loving relationship. They also capture Cora's feelings through facial expressions. Wide eyes and smiles show the child's joy at cooking with her mother, while a downcast mouth and arched eyebrows illustrate her anxiety that her family won't like her pancit. Although this dish is unique to Cora's culture, children of all backgrounds will share her feelings at being allowed to help cook a meal for the first time. A solid choice for schools and public libraries, especially where family-based programming is popular.--Mary Landrum, Lexington Public Library, KY

More great news: CORA COOKS PANCIT is included in the annual best-of-the-year list of the Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC), called CCBC Choices 2010. Yay! The complete CCBC Choices 2010 publication featuring books published in 2009 will include annotations and recommended ages for all of the books included, as well as an author/title/subject index, and a commentary on the publishing year. It'll be available in March.

Kristi Valiant


I just opened my copy of Nikki Shoemaker's book written by Rena Jones. Lemur Troops & Critter Groups is a delight.

Nikki's illustrations are vibrant and so inventive. This is a great book for children and quite educational too. Did you know that Armadillos in number are a pack? or that many snails are a walk?

The book is available on Amazon, and what a treat it is!


My family and I has the chance to stop by and visit the Norman Rockwell museum in Stockbridge MA at the beginning of this winter season. Snow had fallen for the first time and it definitely got us all in the holiday mood. The place was filled to capacity with visitors so at some paintings, observation was 20 plus people deep. This forced me to drift off from the crowd and spend most of my time looking at some of Norman's less popular pencil studies and photograph layouts. Yet in reality these efforts are even more interesting to me then his wonderful finished pieces. How an artist comes up with their concept, and then the changes that happen to it until it's finished will always be the most fascinating part of art to me.

Snow ~ the SnowTesters

Since there are so many kinds of snow it is always great to have someone on hand for quality control.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hello Everyone
It is such a great joy and pleasure to be a part of such
a wonderfully talented group children's book illustrators.
I have visited most of you sites a few times and I am so honored to
be invited to share with you all. I have been working the last couple
of months on a book written by Tori Spelling called, "Talluah"
It will be in stores this coming fall 2010. Looking forward
to much inspiration and creativity here. Thanks so much for having me.
Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Swim Said The Mama Fishie

After reading Ginger's wonderful post this morning, I started thinking about the size of fish and what a really big pond it is out there!
I'm a little fish... but little frys grow by swimming with more experienced fish! So, I wanted to thank you all and tell you how happy I am to be invited to swim in your pond. I'll do my best to "just keep swimming!" 

BIG FISH -- little fish

Although I have always drawn, painted, illustrated, created displays, posters, paintings, classroom materials, window design, invitations, murals and more, I have only been a FULL Time illustrator for a very short time. As a classroom teacher I was a master teacher and a pretty big fish in my community. As a travel agent I enjoyed swimming in the same pond as some very big fish................. then I decided to move to another pond.

When I started illustrating full time I had no idea how large the new "pond" would be. Yes, I knew there were large numbers of illustrators, but the realization of just how many became apparent after attending my first SCBWI conference. I and many others realized we were the little fish in a very big pond.

Just to swim into that pond was an amazing experience. The BIG FISH were there, of course, and many medium sized fish, and then there were those of us that were the small fry. The Bigger Fish talked to us little fish and gave us great insight as to where to find the best fish food. They told us how to watch out for the sharks out there and those scavenger fish that would love to have us work for nothing. The Big Fish shared their successes and disappointments with us. We felt that because even they had struggled our struggles would only make us stronger and wiser. They also suggested we stay in the smaller ponds for a while so that we could grow and learn.

By and by even little fish begin to grow. They learn how to swim a bit faster and smarter and find others in the pond that share the same interests and goals. One by one they leave their little pond and begin to navigate the open waters.

Over the past 6 years I have been blessed to have known all sizes of "fish" in the community of children's illustrators and authors. The community of blogs, websites, online portfolios, groups and connections have been feeding sites for me and many of my peers.

I think we all need to thank and pay homage to the Big Fish that have been our leaders, mentors, friends, and supporters on the journey. I am still a much smaller fish in the big pond, but I am learning that I can grow if I pay attention, work hard and of course... never give up.

Thank You


Thank you for allowing me to join all the wonderful talent here on the Picture-Bookies blog site. I had seen your site a long time ago and was thrilled when Paige Keiser mentioned that you might someday be looking for new members. Thank you Paige for suggesting me.

A bit about myself: In 1988 I graduated art school and immediately opened up my own freelance studio. After devoting my efforts towards the humorous greeting card world, in the late 90's I tackled the children's book market. I was blessed when Golden Books for children offered me four titles to illustrate. This then gave me the opportunity to work with KRBY Creations and I have since had two of my own self authored/illustrated books published with them.
While working on detailed caricature illustrations, humorous (and juvenile) greeting cards and other freelance assignments, I'm currently working on a series entitled the MISHAP MONGRELS. Each anti bullying Mongrel title deals with embarrassing social issues about pants wetting, wind passing, nose picking, throwing up, lice, and so on. Currently a manuscript is being pitched to Random House and I'd be more than happy to post about it's success or failure if anyone is interested.

Once again, I'm very excited to be here and look forward to getting to know all the awesome artists represented.
My best,
Scott Nelson

Monday, February 22, 2010

Please Welcome Vanessa Brantley Newton

We are happy to welcome Vanessa Brantley Newton to the Picture Bookies Group. You will enjoy her posts and illustrations for children.

Welcome to Roberta Baird

Please Welcome Roberta Baird to the team of Picture Bookies Children's Illustrators. You will find her website and blog
both very inviting places to visit. Her icon will appear shortly on our side bar.

Lemur Troops & Critter Groups

A drove of cattle wore bells that rattle.
A leash of foxes hid under boxes.

Hey all!!!

My second book, Lemur Troops & Critter Groups is now available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & and on the 4RV Publishing web sites.

The author, Rena Jones, has put together a series of rhyming sentences that introduce animal congregations to children. The illustrations take those silly sentences a step further and put the animals in humanistic scenarios and provide humor for children and adults.

Also, visit Rena or I on Facebook and join the Critter Series fan page!

More Wonderful Welcomes!

Please join in and welcome our next two newest Picture Bookies. Scott Nelson and Paula Becker. Soon you will see their icons and links to their sites on our sidebar. Both of these wonderful illustrators have devoted their talents to children's illustrations.
The Picture Bookies Group is extremely proud that they along with Mark Hicks are now contributing members.

You can follow each of the Picture Bookies online at their personal sites and blogs as well as follow the group as a whole on TWITTER.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Please Welcome Mark Hicks

Please welcome the newest member of the Picture Bookies Group, Mark Hicks.
Mark will begin posting to the blog and let you know a little bit about himself and his illustration career which spans at least 25 years. Take time to visit his blog and hop on over to his website from there. You will be delighted with what you will find.

Among the many treasures are Children's books, Magazine illustrations, greeting cards, activities for kids and even a section for teachers.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A sneak peek

I haven't posted much lately as I have been working on a children's book for Stemmer House Publishers. This is just a little section of a larger painting... a bit of a taste of what is to come.
When the book comes out this September I will be able to share a bit more. The story is fun and allowed me to create an enormous array of characters. People from our town will perhaps recognize themselves as characters captured in this entertaining story.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Review of "Little Black Ant on Park Street"

I finally received my first sample copy of my newly illustrated book "Little Black Ant on Park Street" from Soundprints the other day.

Then I found this great review...Click here to read it!