Thursday, March 21, 2013

Current projects

By the look of things it has been some time since my last post. I am happy to say it's for a good reason. I have been very busy with work! Now is a good time to mention a couple of the new projects I am working on. The first is a sequel to the Boy's Camp chapter book I illustrated last fall which will be released in May called "Zack's Story". Each book follows the adventures of a different boy at the same summer camp. The project was started by some of the people behind the "American Girl " books including the author of the Kit Kittredge books, Valerie Tripp. The new book I am working on is called "Nate's Story" and will be released this fall. Fingers crossed their will be more for this series in the future. My contributions consist of two illustrations per chapter plus the cover. They are really fun well written stories perfect for a 7-10 year old reluctant reader. The most fun for me are the nature scenes, a favorite subject matter.

Another project I am working on is my first picture book project in three years and the first trade-picture book since "The Can Man" four years ago. I was lucky to be chosen to illustrate the great Trudy Ludwig's new book "Gifts From the Enemy". I have been working closely with the author to bring this true story to life. It's based on the autobiography of Alter Wiener, a Holocaust survivor who was separated from his family in Poland as a teen and survived four slave labor camps in Germany and a Concentration camp before WWII's end. His powerful book is called "64736: From a Number to a Name- A Holocaust Survivor's Autobiography" and has found great success since it's release in 2007. You can learn more about his book here The books success is partly due to 86 year old Alter's unwavering efforts to speak to school and libraries about his experiences during the war.

Trudy's picture book focuses on the kindness shown to Alter by a German woman factory worker and how her actions helped him survive. The best part of this project has been the chance to spend time with Alter and gather information from him to better illustrate his story. He has been very patient with all of my questions and it's been wonderful to get to know this kind man with a great sense of humor. He also plays a mean game of scrabble. Alter lives outside Portland Oregon and you should really see him give a talk if you have the opportunity. Our picture book will be released next year. Until then I have a lot more work ahead of me. Below is a photo of Trudy Ludwig, Alter Wiener and myself taken last weekend outside Portland.