Monday, December 31, 2007

Good Old-Fashioned Creepiness

'007 was a pretty sunshiney year for me. For 2008, I'm going to have a couple of opportunities to go a bit dark in my work, which is sure to be plenty of fun. But I must warn you...there may be clowns.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Peace on Earth. Good Will towards all. Not bad ideas.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Another Mishap

Once more, an unintentional yet interesting effect. Medium: suddenly leaky Prismacolor pen, paper towel smearing.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

A Bit Rummy...

As my workload begins to ease a trifle, I'll try to get back to the ol' sketchbook and, consequently, the ol' posting semi-regularly on the blog. One thing that has helped me stay sane in the past couple of months is my current obsession with reading the complete works of P.G. Wodehouse, Suuuuuper Genius. The latest was Heavy Weather, and it did not disappoint. So here's a rather quick sketch of Lord Emsworth and his prized pig, Empress of Blandings.

If you need to be further convinced of the greatness of Wodehouse, let me point you to my Favorite Blog Written by a Little Stuffed Bull. Bully's regular posts are also genius, by the by.

Good Work, People.

A big thank you to everyone who bid on a Robert's Snow snowflake (whether you won an auction or not). My unscientific observation of the bids seems to indicate the auction was successful. And now...Go, Science!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Robert's Snow Auction 3!! Bid! Win! Fight!

The third and final auction for Robert's Snow 2007 starts this MONDAY, DECEMBER 3 and ends FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7 at 5PM!!! Check out the original works of art that can be all yours... just for fighting cancer...HERE!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

NYPL's 100 Books

Where I Live by the wonderful Eileen Spinelli has made the New York Public Library's annual list of their 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

In Absentia

Sorry for the lack of posting...I've been working on next year's crop of books. I did take a tiny break to hang out and talk shop with these guys at the lobby of the Ritz Carlton (where they offer complimentary hot apple cider...thanks, Ritz!).

In other news, Auction 1 of Robert's Snow is in full swing. Go bid against me here. Auction 2 is next week, and Auction 3 (which has my snowflake) follows on December 3rd.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Interview, Doodle Raffle, and Robert's Snow

The Robert's Snow auction to raise money for cancer research is fast approaching. In the buildup, a gaggle of intrepid bloggers have been tirelessly promoting the cause by featuring participating illustrators.

Today it's my turn. Head over to A Year of Reading to learn more about me than I knew myself. PLUS, enter to WIN the sketch for the above drawing!

THEN, click forthwith to Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast to see the complete list of illustrator profiles, courtesy of the incredible organized Jules and Eisha.

AND THEN, go to the Robert's Snow site, check out all of the snowflakes, prepare to bid, and TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW.

Monday, October 29, 2007


It's been awhile since I drew something purely for the fun of it. So this weekend, in honor of Halloween, I turned my attention to a very old tale of trick or treating gone wrong. I think kids today realize that, even if it's made of gingerbread, you should never bite a house. Sadly, Hansel and Gretel were not the sharpest tacks in the toolbox.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Message from My PR Monster

In the next couple of weeks I'll be removing the chains that keep me at my drawing table and venturing out into what is commonly called the real world. This Wednesday I'll be at Borders in Wynnewood, PA for a special Very Hairy Bear storytime at 3:30 pm. Next up is the big children's book event of the season...the 16th annual Local Author and Illustrator Night at Children's Book World in scenic Haverford, PA on November 2nd! If you've been to this before, you know that you won't see more authors and illustrators crammed into one space outside of the ALA convention. It looks like the wonderful Eileen Spinelli will be there so here's a chance to get a double signed copy of Where I Live! Hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I've Always Wanted to be a Cereal Box Toy

HEY, KIDS! Now available in Specially Marked Boxes of Cheerios....a teeny tiny edition of my first picture book, The New Girl...and Me by Jacqui Robbins! Cheerios' Spoonful of Stories program makes these lil' books (printed in English and Spanish) as a way to distribute free books to kids. Pretty cool, huh? They also team up with the great First Book organization for more good work. I'm not sure how long they'll be on the shelves, but they've been spotted already.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

More Sea Sketches

From the other moleskine: A memorial on Monhegan; lines, fancy work and a pulley; even more lines; and Micah taking the rowboat out for a spin.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Landlubber Once More

Ahoy. Sorry for the lack of posting, but I've just returned from a top secret research trip to Maine. Here are a couple of sketches from my trusty watercolor moleskine. First, the fish market on Monhegan Island (try the fish chowder). Also, if you ever visit Monhegan, be sure to stop by what just might be the coziest library in the world. Next is an odd view of an aloft rowboat aboard the magnificent Lewis R. French. If you yearn to set sail on traditional tallship (and National Historic Landmark), you cannot do better than the French. Best crew in Maine.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Apparently Not Waterproof Ink

Unintentional, but interesting.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The Convenience of "Living History"

If you're working on a book about George Washington, residing in Philadelphia can be pretty handy. Just stroll down to the area around Independence Hall on a Saturday and presto: More costumed models than you can shake a souvenir Liberty Bell at. They do a good job staying in character, too.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Very Hairy Bear Arrives!

Since I can't seem to update my main website for some reason, I thought I'd plug my latest book here on the Planet Ham: Very Hairy Bear by Alice Schertle (Harcourt)! It's my first book using pastel and pencil instead of ink and watercolor. Available now at finer book emporiums.

Above is a sketch for my initial cover idea.

UPDATE: You can now read a Very Nice Review over at Seven Imp!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Illustration Friday: Captain

Capn' Shifty would prefer that you knock before entering.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Friday, August 17, 2007

Rosa Cover

Here's my first proposal for what became the cover for Rosa Farm. I really like the one or two color look of older books and I occasionally try to pitch that approach to publishers. It hasn't gone over yet, but I'll keep trying.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Robert's Snow

I am extremely happy to be participating in this year's Robert's Snow auction for cancer research. This November, you'll be able to bid on a blizzard's worth of snowflakes all hand-painted by children's book illustrators. I'll post more about the auction (and gallery show) as it approaches, but since my snowflake is at this moment heading towards the Dana-Farber Institute to make the deadline, I thought I'd give you a sneak peek.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Sunday, July 15, 2007

A Bowler and a Tie and Seven Impossible Things

Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast is always a blog worth reading, but today it's particularly nice. Super bonus points for also linking to one of the greatest cartoons ever made.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Thanks to one and all!

I just want to say thanks to all the swell people that I had the pleasure of meeting at the ALA convention. I had a sincere and total blast. Since I am a blogger of few words, I'll simply post the initial sketch of what became the cover of The Higher Power of Lucky, and direct you to the intrepid Fuse #8 for a recap of the whole shebang. She's good with the words and stuff.

Pick up a copy of the new Horn Book for a transcript of the wonderful speeches by David Wiesner and my friend Susan Patron, a class act through and through.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


I'm pleased as punch to be attending the American Librarian Association's Annual Conference in DC this weekend. On Saturday, I'll be signing copies of the upcoming Very Hairy Bear (preliminary sketch above) at the Harcourt booth from 1:30-2:30, and then I'll be at the Simon & Schuster booth from 3-4 with Newbery Medal winner Susan Patron to sign The Higher Power of Lucky. If you miss that, Susan and I will be signing Lucky again on Sunday from 11-12. Later that evening, I'll have a pretty good seat at the Newbery/Caldecott Banquet. Stop by and say howdy.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Grendel's Ma

Don't mess with her.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Another Brush Sketch and Many Thanks

Thanks to all who came out to the Books of Wonder signing yesterday! It went swimmingly well.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Book Signing in NYC!

My latest picture book was officially released yesterday: A Box Full of Kittens by Sonia Manzano. You may also know Sonia as Maria from Sesame Street. That's right, Sesame Street. Being a first generation Sesame Street kid, the thrill of illustrating this book was immense. And now I get to meet her in person. And so can you if you live anywhere near the Big Apple. Stop by Books of Wonder at noon on Sunday, June 10th, and get your book signed by both of us. Plus, there will be cupcakes! I'm also hoping that Grover shows up...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


So, I was tagged recently by Susan to fess up seven things about myself. However, I do believe my foot was touching base, so instead I'll offer seven sources of creative inspiration.

1. Buster Keaton. Not only the greatest of the silent comics, but film's purest genius. He was also the best director of the silent era. Watch The General and think about his editing, pacing, and composition. Also, it's hilarious.
2. Orson Welles. The sound era's genius. Yes, Citizen Kane is that good. Also check out his radio work..all of Welles' stuff is about rhythm. Extra genius points for his sketching abilities.
3. Charles Schulz. I grew up devouring the Peanuts on Parade books and I think Schulz has had the greatest influence on what I find funny. His drawing is superlative. Huzzah to Fantagraphics for reprinting the complete works.
4. Ernest Shepard. One of my favorite children's book illustrators. The Pooh books and The Wind in the Willows are simple perfection.
5. The Beatles. Creativity, energy, and confidence. Listen to all of A Hard Day's Night and hear four guys who know they're the best band ever. And they're right.
6. King Kong. Of course I mean the original. No other movie has the power to instantly make me a kid again. Remains one of the greatest adventure movies of all time.
7. Jim Henson. Originality and conviction. The Muppets are one of the great creations of the twentieth century. Orson Welles thought so, too. Extra genius points for Henson's drawings. There's a reason the Muppets haven't been good since he died.

Thursday, May 24, 2007