This is the blog home of #kidlitart, a live Twitter chat Thursdays at 9:00 pm Eastern, for children's book illustrators, picture book authors, author/illustrators and friends. Check back weekly to read transcripts, comment on previous chats and suggest topics for upcoming chats.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

NKH- Interview #2

You see that lovely Spingtime banner up there? That was created by the lovely Jenny Woodward. 

What? You don't recognize her? How could you not know Jenny? She's a #kidlitart regular! She's....oooh. You might her know her more like this: 

 Is that better? Right, moving on. Here's a little bit about the adorable art featured on the blog/
-What was your inspiration for the header?
 We have a lot of birds that live in/visit our backyard (when the squirrels aren’t chasing them off). I try to get outside in the mornings and watch them at the bird feeder we have close by. One morning there was a mama bird feeding her baby bird and that’s where the inspiration came from.
-What is your primary medium for the header?
Everything was done digitally in Photoshop using Kyle T Webster’s brush pack. Mostly I work in Photoshop using a Yiynova tablet but the banner was created with my laptop and mouse (what I had with me at the time).
-Are you currently working on any projects?
I’m currently doing some graphic design work and sketching ideas for the SCBWI Tomie dePaola prompt.
-Where can we find you online?
Website: (in the works)

-What are your favorite children's books?
There are sooo many! I’ll try to keep the list short :)
I’ll start with the book that got me into kidlit and back to drawing again- 
Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown.
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild (really any book by Peter Brown)
Big Plans- Bob Shea/Lane Smith
Let’s Do Nothing- Tony Fucile
Tea Party Rules- Ame Dyckman/Keith Campbell
Can I Play too- Mo Willems
The Day the Crayons Quit- Drew Dewalt/Oliver Jeffers
- What's the best advice you've received from #kidlitart?
To keep drawing even you’re having a bad day and you think everything you draw is horrible. Some days I struggle to draw and might do 20 sketches and only have one that I end up liking...but it’s one more drawing I have than if I’d been too discouraged to start at all. When you’re really having a hard time then switch to something else whether it’s cooking, sculpting, reading etc. Sometimes you need that break to get the creativity flowing again.
I think the best thing about #kidlitart is that everyone is so kind and encouraging. You couldn’t ask for a better group of people. I always leave the chat feeling energized and ready to create. There’s lots of helpful information being shared, plus you get to connect with some extremely talented, genuinely nice people.
-Great! Any favorite #kidlitart topics?
My favorite chat so far has been the postcard critique. I loved seeing everyone’s artwork, their process and learning from the critiques. I’d like to see a topic on authors/illustrators and how they got started with picture books...what that process was like and what they learned after landing and completing their first book.
Thanks so much for your contribution, Jenny! We look forward to seeing more from you in the future. If you see Jenny online, be sure you thank her for the fabulous banner!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

GUEST(s): Greg Pizzoli and Number One Sam!

This week on the #kidlitart chat we have a special guest chatter: Greg Pizzoli!  He's no stranger to the chats, as he pops in regularly. He's one of us, and we're thrilled to have him chat with everyone this week about illustrating picture books.

 Here's a little background:

Greg Pizzoli is an author, illustrator and screen printer from Philadelphia.

His first picture book, The Watermelon Seed, was published by Disney*Hyperion Books and was the 2014 recipient of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award. Greg's latest picture book, Number One Sam, received starred reviews from Publisher's Weekly, School Library Journal, and Kirkus, while the New York Times said Pizzoli's "zingy ice-pop colors and dramatically varied page compositions take home the blue ribbon."

Tasty worry wrapped in a sweet little package.
After college, Greg spent two years as a full-time volunteer in
AmeriCORPS from 2005-2006. In 2009, he received his MFA from the
University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where he now teaches

He lives in Philadelphia with his wife and two cats.

I first met Greg through his work. I saw it in the Portfolio Showcase at SCBWI LA and knew there was something special there. Since then, I've become a huge fan thanks to THE WATERMELON SEED.  (I actually yelped out loud when it was announced as the Geisel Award winner during the ALA award webcast. How often have you met the winners?!) You can see the really fun book trailer here.

You can also see Greg's work in fun places like Tattly, where you can get temporary tattoos, and Badge Bomb, where you can pick up reading badge buttons!

Now Greg has a new book out this week called NUMBER ONE SAM. Everyone, meet Sam:

It takes me down memory lane to my favorite book: GO, DOG, GO. I can't wait to see what is in store for Sam.

We asked Greg a few questions about his latest book.

1. Is Sam's story derived from a personal experience? It was at first, actually. I mean, I was never a dog. But I think it's safe to say that I, like most people, have a competitive side, and I've needed to learn how to be gracious and do the right thing.

2. What is your favorite thing about Sam? I don't know - he is fun to draw. I think if he was a real dog or person or something, his scarf might annoy me.

3. Sam struggles with not winning in the trailer. Does he want to be the best at EVERYTHING? He definitely wants to be the best at racing. I'm not sure about other stuff. I think when you align your identity with your accomplishments, it can get tricky when those accomplishments are diminished in some way. It can really disrupt your idea of who you are. I think Sam's character is just figuring that out.

4. What is Sam's favorite thing to do besides winning at the racetrack? Reading! He is a real book hound.

5. If Sam were to recommend a book, what would it be? I think he is partial to the Peanuts anthologies that Fantagraphics put out.

And even better, Greg is doing a giveaway with NUMBER ONE SAM! Here are the guidelines to enter:

1. Have a Twitter account
2. Participate in the #kidlitart chat on Thursday at 9pm EST
3. Following the chat, we will do a random drawing of the participants. The lucky winner will receive a personalized drawing of Sam like the one below.

See you Thursday night at 9pmEST on #kidlitart! Don't forget to check out tweetdeck or tweetchat.com if you want the experience streamlined.