Friday, September 17, 2010

SCBWI Illustrator's Day Continued


In Wednesday's post I mentioned that I would blog about the second speaker at the SCBWI Illustrator's Day at Fort Mason in San Francisco last weekend. An editor at Henry Holt/Macmillan, and with her own imprint, Christy Ottaviano loves to work on books where the author and illustrator are one. She looks for books in five different catagories: curriculum themes, milestones, genre books, biography, and humor.

Curriculum themes include history, punctuation, nature, etc. and information that is easily accessible for young kids. She leans away from traditional books that are too dry. Here are a couple of examples:

Christy loves to cater to the school library market, and tries to incorporate some sort of educational element in every book she works on. Her favorite book was The Scrambled States of America by Laurie Keller which was first published in 1998. Ten years later, Christy and Laurie came out with a sequel called The Scrambled States of America Talent Show.


Here is Keller's synopsis of her book which I found on her adorable website. (A must visit!) "At the first annual states party, (all stemming from Kansas' desire to meet some new states), Virginia and Idaho hatch a plan to swap spots so each can see another part of the country. Before the party is over, all the states decide to switch places. In the beginning, every state is happy in its new location. But soon things start to go wrong. Will the states ever unscramble and return to their proper places?"

Oh, where were these books when I was in school????

One of Christy's latest books in the milestone catagory is I'm 3! Look what I Can Do. It was released last month.


This book was written and illustrated by Maria Carluccio, who has such a fresh style. Not only is she a picture book author and illustrator, she also licenses her art on products for Target and Land of Nod. She is big into patterns which you can see on her website. Be careful, you could spend quite a bit of time browsing through this wonderful and whimsical site.

In the genre category, Christy said that truck books are very big right now. She looks for very accesible, vibrant art. In Digger Man, by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha, the spreads show the boy driving the truck, with baby in the backseat, digging a big hole for a pond or building a playground.

Christy has another book called Monkey Truck, written and illustrated by the fabulous monster lover, Michael Slack coming out in Spring 2011. She showed us a preview of the cover which was a pickup truck with a monkey face on the front end. Monkey Truck drives around the jungle and rescues animals who are in trouble. My feeling is this one is going to be a winner.

And finally, here is where Christy gets her inspiration as an editor. (And I'm sure this works for authors and illustrators as well!) Her children, trucks and then Legos, music, and books she loved as a child which include Richard Scarry's Good Night, Little Bear, Arnold Lobel's Giant John, and Bill Peet's The Caboose Who Got Loose.

Have a great weekend from the PBJ's!

4 comments:

Ride Operator said...

I'm pretty sure I can recite Digger Man by heart...one of Jack's favorites! I'll have to check out the others.

martinealison said...

Bravo et de gros bisous...

Gina Perry said...

Thanks so much for this recap! Fun to see these great books, but good publisher information to tuck away also.

Chiaki Darski said...

Thank you for posting all the info from that day!
This is going to be my notebook.

aThanks for your e-mail, too.