What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week, Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Laura Ljungkvist,
Stephen Savage, Bob Staake, & Frank Viva

h1 June 30th, 2011 by jules

(Click to enlarge)

Tomorrow morning over at Kirkus, I discuss the upcoming novel (Fall 2011) from one of my favorite authors, Jack Gantos. The link will be here in the morning. {Ed. to Add on Friday: The link is here.}

Last week, I took a look at illustrators who currently have picture books out on shelves, who also did—or still continue to do—editorial illustrations. Let’s call it “The New Yorker Effect” just for fun. Well, I already did: The column is here, if you missed it last Friday. And because I love to show spreads from these picture books, I’m here today—with Frank Viva’s coffee cup in hand (pulled from a spread below)—to show lots of art. Pictured above is one of Frank’s spreads from Along a Long Road (Little, Brown, June 2011). Along a Long Road is one beautiful book. I just said the title twice. Notice? One reviewer has described these spreads as “meditative,” which is a great word for this book. And it just occurred to me the title is rather hypnotizing, too.

Each illustrator mentioned in last week’s column—Laura Ljungkvist, Stephen Savage, Bob Staake, and Frank Viva—also shares some editorial illustrations below. In one instance, we’re treated to some early picture-book sketches. (Even if you just skim this post or are thinking about skipping it altogether, at least scroll down to see Staake’s Minimalist Christmas from ’08. That’s brilliant is what that is. I wish my brain worked that way.)

And note things like Ljungkvist’s (she will stop by for an interview soon, and I’ll have to ask her how to actually pronounce that consonant-heavy name. Isn’t it fascinating just to look at?) … Where was I? Oh right. Scroll down to Ljungkvist’s “Tables for Two” editorial illustration for The New Yorker. Aha! A predecessor, I see, to her very fun Follow the Line books for children. It’s all exciting for Illustration Junkies like me and many 7-Imp readers to see how this editorial art informs their children’s book illustration — or perhaps vice versa.

Note of interest for folks in New York City: Stephen Savage tells me that he and Frank Viva will do a reading at The Powerhouse Arena on Sunday, July 10, from 4-5pm. More information is here.

Enjoy the art.

* * * Bob Staake * * *

“Weird and kooky THINGS THAT GO! Some go fast, some go slow!
Can you find the squawking crow?”

(Click to enlarge)

“MUSEUM CREATURES all escape! Lion! Tiger! Rhino! Ape!
Look and find the vampire’s cape!”

(Click to enlarge)

“ROBOTS build here one by one! Bang ’em! Clang ’em! Till they’re done.
Can you find the mini one?”

(Click to enlarge)

Spreads from Look! A Book! A Zany Seek-and-Find Adventure
(Little, Brown, February 2011)

* * * * * * *

“Rusty, dusty / hunk-of-junk car / Stinky, yucky, / smells-like-skunk car. /
Save it! Tow it! / Big repair job! / Take-a-bath-and- / rinse-with-care job!”

(Click to enlarge)

Spreads from Peter Stein’s Cars Galore
(Candlewick, March 2011)

* * * * * * *

“Indeed, with two shops on the block, both selling donuts round the clock,
Well, people asked — you might have guessed — ‘Whose donuts are the very best?'”
— From
The Donut Chef (Golden Books/Random House, 2008)
(Click to enlarge)

* * * * * * *

Some of Bob’s New Yorker Covers:

Reflection (November 17, 2008)

Minimalist Christmas (December 22 + 29, 2008)

The Wind-Up (October 23, 2006)

* * * Frank Viva * * *

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

Spreads from Along a Long Road
(Little, Brown, June 2011)

Early sketches from Along a Long Road
(Click each to enlarge)

* * * * * * *

Some of Frank’s Editorial Art:

* * * Laura Ljungkvist * * *

“Pepi the parrot lived with Peter. Peter loved space.
Every night while Peter stargazed, Pepi sang him a special space song:
Twinkle, twinkle, little stars, / Satellite, planet, galaxy, Mars. / Comet, Venus, telescope, / Jupiter, rocket, Asterope. / Saturn, Mercury, Milky Way, /
Neptune, orbit, moon, sun ray.”

(Click to enlarge)

“Soon Pepi had batches of tasty things to sing about. So his next stop was…”
(Click to enlarge)

Spreads from Pepi Sings a New Song
(Beach Lane, April 2010)

Looks like I goofed when I noted in last week’s Kirkus column that this one was released this April. Clearly, it was April of last year. Ah well. Better late than never. I did, however, finally see a copy this week of Laura’s Follow the Line to School, which will be released in July by Viking Juvenile…

* * * * * * *

“Say hello…to your friends and go to your classroom.”
(Click to enlarge)

“…to pick out a book and to hear a story…”
(Click to enlarge)

“…because it’s time for show and tell…”
(Click to enlarge)

* * * * * * *

Some of Laura’s Editorial Art for The New Yorker:

Laura: “{Above} was was my first printed piece for the magazine. I was brand new to New York, and when I came to pick up my sketches, of which they bought 23 (!), they told me that the first was running in the coming issue. They were running the sketch, and I was horrified because it wasn’t perfect.
Looking at it now, I think it’s pretty good!”

Laura: “{Above is} another that ran in the theatre section of ‘Goings-on around town.'”

Laura: “This ran for a while as a header for the restaurant section.”

* * * Stephen Savage * * *

Spreads from Where’s Walrus?
(Scholastic, February 2011)

A poster featuring the walrus

Walrus can be spotted in the book trailer, too; also being spied here is Stephen himself, as well as Betsy Bird’s reading room at NYPL, according to Stephen:

* * * * * * *

Some of Stephen’s Editorial Art:

Pieces from The New York Times; the latter is a New York Times Book Review cover with Martin Cruz Smith’s mystery thriller Three Stations as the subject.

As Stephen wrote at his blog, “I enjoyed channeling Dali’s Persistence of Memory for an article on the decline of the wristwatch for
the November issue of
The Atlantic Monthly.”

* * * * * * *

ALONG A LONG ROAD. Copyright © 2011 by Frank Viva. All images reproduced by permission of the publisher, Little, Brown, New York, as well as Viva.

LOOK! A BOOK! A ZANY SEEK-AND-FIND ADVENTURE. Copyright © 2011 by Bob Staake. Published by Little, Brown. All images reproduced by permission of Staake.

CARS GALORE! Text copyright © 2011 by Peter Stein. Illustrations copyright © 2011 by Bob Staake. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

THE DONUT CHEF. Copyright © 2008 Bob Staake. Published by Golden Books/Random House, New York. Images reproduced by permission of Staake.

PEPI SINGS A NEW SONG. Copyright © 2010 Laura Ljungkvist. Images reproduced by permission of publisher, Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster.

FOLLOW THE LINE TO SCHOOL. Copyright © 2011 Laura Ljungkvist. Published by Viking Juvenile, New York. Images reproduced by permission of Ljungkvist.

WHERE’S WALRUS? Copyright © 2011 Stephen Savage. Published by Scholastic, New York. Images reproduced by permission of Scholastic and Mr. Savage.

All editorial illustrations, sketches, etc. reproduced with permission of the illustrators.

5 comments to “What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week, Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Laura Ljungkvist,
Stephen Savage, Bob Staake, & Frank Viva”

  1. I especially love today’s art.

  2. Thanks for all the lovely eye candy!

  3. […] This June 7-Imp post featured some of Laura’s editorial art, including her “Tables for Two” illustration for The New Yorker, which was clearly a predecessor to her Follow the Line books for children. It’s interesting to note how her editorial art informs her children’s book illustration — or perhaps vice versa. “It’s natural,” she told me around the time of that post, “for an editorial illustrator to write and illustrate their own books. After ’solving your clients’ visual problems’ comes a time when you want to ’solve your own problem.’ It’s the same process; only now you’re the boss!” […]

  4. […] author’s note states that Viva, whom you may remember from last year’s stand-out Along a Long Road, based this book on his experiences aboard a Russian research vessel during a trip to the Antarctic […]

  5. […] a sort of follow up to Along a Long Road,” Frank told me, “this new book was created as a single continuous twenty-six-foot-long […]

Leave a Comment

Should you have trouble posting, please contact sevenimp_blaine@blaine.org. Thanks.