New book sketch art

Here is a sketch from an upcoming book I am working on at the moment titled, An Annoying ABC, written by Barbara Bottner, that is being published by Knopf next year.

It is about a class of kids around kindergarten age that have  a gradual group meltdown, in alphabetical order.

It has been a tough deadline to get past, and a tough assignment – getting 26 kids to be all individuals, and consistent in age and personality, with all the running gags and clothing.

When I am drawing so many kids over the course of a year , I have an awful tendency to draw them differently each time. They’ll end up looking like slightly different ages and I put them in slightly different outfits….

But the personalities are the same. This is Baily, as in B for Baily. He doesn’t have dreads anymore (X for Xavier has the dreads now…) And you can guess his general temperament.

And this sketch also reflects my mood at the time, which makes it so much easier to  create a believable expression…

I have had a terrible blow to my writing recently. Someone I hired to do some typing for me has disappeared without a trace with several notebooks of my original handwritten work. I have tried not to think about it, but the idea of all those months (some of it goes back years) of writing makes me sick. All those stories lost. I can imagine what having a fire in your studio feels like. It feels like someone’s stolen a part of me.

Hence the moody Baily.

Art from new Book

Some more art from my forthcoming book titled, You Read To Me, I’ll Read To You, Aesop tales to read together, written by Mary Ann Hoberman. This is the Sun from “The Wind and Sun”.

This is “the Wind”…

Ed Emberley show opens in LA gallery

The landmark “Ed Emberley and Friends” gallery show opened in LA recently. It features the original work of my father, Ed Emberley, taken from his Drawing book series, and the work of various young LA artists who were inspired by Ed’s books as kids. Check out the links to the show , the opening, and the inspired artist responsible for bringing it all together – Caleb Neelon.

Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick wins 2010 Bisto Award for ‘There’!


Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick wins the Children’s Book of the Year Award 2010 from Children’s Books Ireland, known as the “Bisto Award”, for her picture book There.

At a well attended ceremony inside the elegant Hugh Lane Gallery in north Dublin, Ireland, Marie-Louise was honored not only with the top prize – the most distinguished Irish children’s book of the year – (of any kind – from picture books to novels ) but also won the Honor Award for best illustrated children’s book. The Awards were presented by well known Irish senator David Norris. Senator Norris was an entertaining and enthusiastic speaker.

Marie-Louise was presented with an engraved crystal plate as well as annual custody of the impressive (and heavy!) Bisto trophy, as well as a cash prize.

Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

It is a special honor to win such an award for a picture book from amongst such a distinguished short list selected from all Irish children’s books published this year, not just picture books –  including all early readers, chapter books and YA novels. It is a strong statement by the CBI award committee as to the value, importance and respect for the art of illustrated books for the very young.

Other honor awards presented were to Bob Burke for The Third Pig Detective Agency,  Siobhan Dowd, for The Solace of the Road, and Jane Mitchell for Chalkline.