I’m in one of my let’s-shine-the-spotlight-on-a-new-author/illustrator moods today, so I invited newcomer Johanna Wright over. I’m taken with her debut picture book, The Secret Circus (Roaring Brook Press, March 2009). You know how when you were a kid and the notion of miniature, underground, secret worlds was just about the coolest thing ever? Yes? Or was it just me?
Well, The Secret Circus is all about a world so shh-shh-secret that only the mice can find it. And it’s in sparkly Paris, no less, so it’s even better. A tiny circus. With tiny acrobats. Mice acrobats. Who tame big ol’ cats. In fact, that’s the spread opening this post, “the scariest page in The Secret Circus,” Johanna told me. “The mouse audience looks quite worried.”
Here they are eating their giant popcorn, which Johanna says she’d also like to do:
This is a great bed-time choice, as lots of reviewers have already enthusiastically pointed out (“a quiet, comforting debut, best shared snuggled close together,” wrote Kirkus — or, as the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books pointed out, it’s also a good classroom read-aloud for a quiet moment). I am kicking myself right now for having forgotten to bring my library copy of the title with me (I’m away-from-home blogging today), which I was going to use to provide captions for some of the spreads from the book Johanna is sharing today. Ah well. I’ll add those later. Let’s get to what Johanna sent, including some sneak-peek art from future projects.
Johannna was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon; studied in Olympia, Washington; moved to New York post-graduation; and now lives in Portland, Oregon. For a fun read, I recommend this page of Johanna’s site, in which you learn a bit more about her background, as well as 1) whether she eats enough vegetables, 2) her puppetry studies, 3) her cross-country bus trips, 4) her gig as a one-time Macy’s elf, 5) public urination charges in New York City (not hers), 6) how the fabulous Brian Floca was once her teacher, and 7) how she met agent James Proimos. Oh, and how it takes a lot of coffee sometimes to keep her focused. (I get that. I do.)
Thanks to Johanna for stopping by for an…um, it’s very clearly almost noon, so I thank her for stopping by for a brunch visit.
(to be released by Roaring Brook Press this August).
and scheduled to be released by Dial in Summer 2011.
and scheduled to be published by Roaring Brook Press in Spring 2011.
All artwork courtesy of Johanna Wright. All rights reserved.