Beth Gismondi

Posts tagged children's book author

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RISD XYZ Featuring Selznik, Wiesner, and Krosoczka

I graduated from Rhode Island School of Design’s Continuing Education (RISD CE) Children’s Book Certificate program a few years ago (a fantastic experience that I really need to post about at some point). One of the best perks of being an alumna of the program is that I now receive RISD’s alumni magazine, RISD XYZ. Truly, every issue is a fantastic read!

Anyway, RISD has produced a lot of reallllllly famous children’s book illustrators and tends to feature them in RISD XYZ (one of the things I love most about the magazine). This month’s issue features a great article about Brian Selznik (2008 Caldecott Medal winner), David Wiesner (1992, 2001, and 2007 Caldecott Medal winner; 1989 and 2000 Caldecott Honor winner), and Jarrett Krosoczka (future Caldecott winner, author/illustrator of the Punk Farm books and the soon-to-be-made-into-major-motion-picture-starring-Amy-Poehler Lunch Lady series). Wiesner has long been one of my illustration heroes, and Selznik and Krosoczka are quickly becoming two of my newer favorites. I really enjoyed this article because it focuses on how each illustrator got his start, how each ended up at RISD, and what impact art school made on each illustrator’s career.

I was very sad not to be able to share this perfectly-themed article on my blog, and then lo and behold!—Krosoczka linked to a web version of it on his blog. I am happy to report that a mere click on the image below will bring you straight to the article and back issues of RISD XYZ:


"Drawing Inspiration" by Francie Latour (RISD XYZ Fall 2011, via Issuu and JJK Blog).

Filed under RISD RISD CE RISD XYZ Jarrett Krosoczka Brian Selznick David Wiesner children's book illustrator children's book author caldecott


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Colbert Interviews Sendak, Hilarity Ensues

The Colbert Report aired a two-part interview with children’s book author, illustrator, and lovable curmudgeon Maurice Sendak last week. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the full interview below:


"Grim Colberty Tales with Maurice Sendak, Part 1" (via Colbert Nation)


"Grim Colberty Tales with Maurice Sendak, Part 2" (via Colbert Nation)

Amazing! That man is a national treasure.

Filed under Stephen Colbert Colbert Report Maurice Sendak children's book illustrator children's book author children's books


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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)

Read more …

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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Maurice Sendak


Maurice Sendak, photographed for the SFGate (via SFGate)

Maurice Sendak is the author and illustrator of 21 books, and has illustrated over fifty additional titles written by other authors. He is probably best known for creating Where the Wild Things Are, for which he won the Caldecott Medal in 1964. It would take a very long post even just to list all that Sendak has accomplished thus far in his career. And I may just take on that challenge another day.

Today, however, I bring you yesterday’s great Guardian interview with Sendak. Though many people may assume that Sendak is this cuddly, warm creature, he is actually (or at least appears to be) anything but. He is prickly, sarcastic, and brutally honest…which makes him a hilarious interview subject.

His thoughts on Roald Dahl? “‘The cruelty of his books is off-putting. Scary guy. I know he’s very popular but what’s nice about this guy? He’s dead, that’s what’s nice about him.’” (Wow…) Stephen King? “‘Bullshit.’” He even has an opinion on Gwyneth Paltrow: “‘I can’t stand her.’” Tell us how you really feel, Mr. Sendak!

Read the full interview here: 
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/oct/02/maurice-sendak-interview

Filed under Maurice Sendak The Guardian children's book illustrator children's book author


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In Memoriam: Ben Boos

I am writing today with some very sad news: children’s book author and illustrator Ben Boos passed away unexpectedly last week. So tragic. Ben was very young, and leaves behind a wife and four young kids. 

Ben started his career as a video game artist, working for Blizzard North on Diablo. In 2004, he realized his lifelong dream and began writing and illustrating books for children. Ben’s two books, Swords and Fantasy met with great success, and won rave reviews from critics and children alike.

Cover, Fantasy: An Artist’s Realm, written and illustrated by Ben Boos
(Candlewick, 2010)

Cover, Swords: An Artist’s Devotion, written and illustrated by Ben Boos
(Candlewick, 2008)

Ben’s work is incredibly beautiful, detailed, and interesting. I have spent hours poring over his books. It is devastating to think that Ben won’t have the chance to create anything else.

Please visit http://www.benboosmemorial.com to learn more about Ben’s life and work. Also, please consider purchasing one of his books—not only will you be getting a fantastic work of art, but you will also be helping to support his young family. (The cover images and credit lines above link to Ben’s books on Amazon.)

Filed under Ben Boos children's book illustrator children's book author