Beth Gismondi

Posts tagged John Rocco

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2012 Caldecott and Newbery Winners

It is an exciting day for children’s book illustrators, writers, and enthusiasts everywhere: the Caldecott and Newbery Medal and Honor winners were announced today at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting.

Taking home the Caldecott Medal for children’s book illustration was Chris Raschka, for his wordless picture book, A Ball for Daisy.

A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka 
(Schwartz & Wade, image via The Horn Book)

Caldecott honors went to Patrick McDonnell (Me…Jane), John Rocco (Blackout), and Lane Smith (Grandpa Green). It is very interesting to note that all four illustrators also wrote the books for which they won. (This doesn’t happen every year.) I am especially excited for John Rocco, as I am a big fan of his work!

Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell 
(Little, Brown, image via The Horn Book)

Blackout by John Rocco 
(Hyperion, image via Kirkus Reviews)

Grandpa Green by Lane Smith 
(Roaring Brook Press, image via The Horn Book)

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Filed under Caldecott Newbery ALA American Library Association Chris Raschka Lane Smith John Rocco Patrick McDonnell Jack Gantos Thanhhai Lai Eugene Yelchin Children's books children's book illustration children's book author

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Spotlight on: John Rocco

Cover, Moonpowder, written and illustrated by John Rocco (Disney/Hyperion 2008)

I came across a wonderful interview with author-illustrator John Rocco this morning. John’s work immediately caught my eye because it reminded me of Tony DiTerlizzi’s illustrations for The Spiderwick Chronicles. As you probably already know, Tony is one of my all-time favorite illustrators, so I felt compelled to see more of John’s art. (As it turns out, John is influenced by Tony…but I digress.) Although John shares some stylistic similarities with Tony, he has a great style all his own.

John has had quite an interesting career path. Many illustrators do, but John’s is the stuff that fairytales are made of! He landed his first book deal when he bravely handed Whoopi Goldberg a promo card during a Tony Awards after party (John was bartending). Whoopi liked his work and asked him to illustrate her children’s book manuscript. John did, and then moved to LA, where he worked as a creative director for several companies, including Disney Imagineering. Fifteen years later, John moved back to New York City. He joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and was discovered at the SCBWI annual conference (See?? It can happen!). John has illustrated five children’s books, three of which he has also written, to date.

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Filed under John Rocco children's book illustration illustrators