What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Sebastian Meschenmoser and Matt Phelan

h1 April 13th, 2018 by jules

— From Matt Phelan’s Pignic


— From Sebastian Meschenmoser’s It’s Springtime, Mr. Squirrel!


Over at Kirkus today, I write about two new picture books, one about true love and the other, about turtle towns. Yep, turtle towns.

That is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about Matt Phelan’s Pignic (Greenwillow, March 2018) and Sebastian Meschenmoser’s It’s Springtime, Mr. Squirrel! (NorthSouth, February 2018). I’m following up with some art today, and Matt even sent along some preliminary artwork.



From Pignic:


Matt’s thumbnail break-down
(Click to enlarge)





Some preliminary art


Matt: “I wanted to keep this book as simple as possible. The dummy sketches [pictured above] were drawn very small, using mostly Derwent Inktense pencils and a water brush. It’s a very loose and immediate way to work,
and I tried to bring that same approach to the final illustrations.”

(Click above image to enlarge)


An illustration from the title page spread


A final spread: “It’s a perfect day for a pignic.”
(Click to enlarge spread)


Final art


Final art



From It’s Springtime, Mr. Squirrel!


“Mr. Squirrel woke up one morning to find that the world had changed!”
(Click to enlarge spread)


(Click to enlarge and see spread in its entirety)


(Click either image to see spread in its entirety)


“‘And after all, spring has only just begun.'”
(Click to enlarge spread)



* * * * * * *

IT’S SPRINGTIME, MR. SQUIRREL! Copyright © 2018 by Esslinger in Thienemann-Esslinger Verlag. English translation copyright © 2018 by NorthSouth Books, Inc. Illustrations reproduced by permission of NorthSouth Books.

PIGNIC. Copyright © 2018 by Matt Phelan. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Greenwillow Books, New York. Preliminary images reproduced by permission of Matt Phelan.

One comment to “What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Sebastian Meschenmoser and Matt Phelan”

  1. Hi Matt,

    It was great to meet you today at Roberts Elementary. I was one of the Watch Dog Dads in the library. Thank you so much for your presentations to the kids. Your work is truly fantastic! Please keep up your great work and continue to inspire the next generation of authors, illustrators, artists, actors…and so on.

    As an engineer, I recently had the opportunity to attend a trade show in Vegas called Autodesk University. It’s a show attended by 15k folks annually about engineering, design, construction and evaluation tools. One platform that I was particularly impressed with was called Mental Canvas. It’s a very interesting program developed for 3D storyboarding. I was looking into it from a proposal perspective to show potential clients how my consulting firm would solve their problem. But I couldn’t help today thinking how that platform could be a powerful tool for you as an illustrator author to create a 3D world to bring your books to life. Anyway I encourage you to check it out.

    In closing, I found your work to be extremely inspiring and I’m happy to have met you. Good luck on your journey! Take good care.


Leave a Comment

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