Wednesday, August 27, 2008

School Library Journal

Wow, here's another lovely review! This one's from School Library Journal:

"Nonie, a young African-American girl, sits at the breakfast table with her parents and a wailing baby, sulking: "Not gonna eat my mush. /Not gonna eat it! I say./Squishy, yucky, yellow stuff/mush is baby food." She puts on her shiny black shoes, and, with her chin poked out, stomps off to live with Grandma (next door), where there's "no mushy mush or bawling babies", and where "Grandma attends when I'm talkin''". Nonie feels better as she and Grandma go to church, but when Daddy passes the collection plate, he faces a still-frowning daughter. Later, at the church picnic, her mood lightens and she allows her dad to give her a paddleboat ride. Pointing out animals, he says, "Ducklings stick with their families/Lots to learn from ducks." By day's end, Nonie has decided to return home and is greeted by her baby brother's great big smile and Momma's warm welcome. The story is told in two to four short sentences per page. The spare text deftly conveys Nonie's reactions and emotions, which are clearly reflected in Tadgell's realistic, folksy watercolors sweeping across double pages. Ultimately, this gentle story addresses the universal frustration older siblings often face at having a new baby in the family."

Thank you, SLJ!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Booklist review

It's always wonderful to have your book reviewed favorably! Here is a lovely one from Booklist:

"Nonie refuses to eat her yucky mush porridge for breakfast ("mush is baby food"), and to get away from her bawling baby brother, she runs next door to Grandma's house, where she thinks she'd like to live because she gets the attention she craves ("Grandma attends when I'm talkin'"). Then, after she goes with Grandma to church, joins the ladies' picnic, and spends time with Daddy in a boat and on the swings, she returns home to her baby brother, now smiling and reaching for her at the gate. Maybe home isn't so bad after all. True to the young kid's viewpoint, this picture book tells the displaced-sibling story with wry affection. The warm, realistic watercolor double-page spreads show Nonie's anger, jealousy, and feeling of connections with her loving African American family and in the multiracial church community. Nonie's sulks are as much fun as the final quiet embrace, when she gives the baby the little yellow duckling toy she has been clutching throughout the day."

Monday, August 11, 2008

Coloring pages for kids!

I like to make at least one for kids to color with each new book I do. For NO MUSH TODAY, I've got several ideas.

Lately, I like to print a drawing in blue - by cutting the black channel and pasting it into the Cyan. Then I ink right on top of it, then scan it in and delete the Cyan channel.

What's hard is making the art simple enough to be colored in! It's hard to tell what will be "too hard" for kids or "too easy". So I make both. I guess it also depends on the age of the kids, and how much patience they have.