Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Book Trailer Premiere: Henny

Henny was so excited about today's book trailer premiere that she bought a special dress for the occasion. Doesn't she look magnificent?  

I doubt Henny wants me to keep you waiting one second longer, so please go ahead and press play. I think you're really going to love her book trailer.  

Elizabeth Rose Stanton, the author-illustrator who recorded Henny's story, dropped by Watch. Connect. Read. to finish my sentences. We chatted about Henny (of course), art history, architecture, reading, writing, and doodling. I wrote the words in red, and Elizabeth (with Henny's help) wrote the words in black. Thank you, Elizabeth and Henny! Happy book birthday to both of you! 

Henny tells the story of a little chicken born with arms!  Henny worries about being different—but the world of possibilities opens up to her after a simple useful moment, and her imagination takes flight.   As Neil Gaiman said, …”individuals change their world over and over, individuals make the future, and they do it by imagining that things can be different.”   A chicken with arms!  Imagine the possibilities! :)   

Henny’s illustrations are rendered in watercolor and pencil on paper. There’s not a digital bone in her body.  I have a somewhat traditional style, and I love the juxtaposition of rendering a quirky story in a traditional way…kind of like having an irreverent old grandmother ;)     

Art history and architecture are what I studied in my “past life.”  Art history is all about pictures, and architecture is all about building—perfect training for building picture books!
Click here to view Elizabeth's sketchbook. 
My sketchbook … oh—you mean my sketchbookS!  I work in at least three or four at a time, usually of varying sizes.  My current sketchbooks are made up of bound watercolor paper.  I can sketch in paint, and doodlenoodle through ideas. Filling them up is very satisfying. 

If you visited my studio you’d have to come down to the basement.  I call it the trench.  It’s long and narrow and it's where I do battle with my projects.  It’s usually messy.

Picture books are magical things.  They’re sideways doors to other places.  They’re rabbit holes we can safely tumble down while grabbing on to the most interesting and incredible things along the way.  They’re golden ladders to climb straight up to the moon and the stars, and beyond!  They light up both sides of the brain. They are awesome.  

Reading is (off the top of my head): powerful, fun, safe, cool, smart, inspiring, amusing, mighty, . . . I could go on and on.  It is everything. 

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me about procrastidoodling!  I tend to put things off—most often by doodling, so I call it procrastidoodling. Come to think of it, when I noodle through an idea by doodling, while putting off something else I really should be doing, I’m really procrastidoodlenoodling!  It’s quite a powerful tool.  It’s how I thought up HENNY.  Best of all, it’s not just for artists—anyone can do it!  Try it (but only after you try saying it five times—fast)! 

Thank you, Mr. Schu, for asking me to finish your sentences.  It’s been fun!! (Thank you!)

Elizabeth Rose Stanton is giving away a signed copy of Henny

Rules for the Giveaway

1. It will run from 1/7 to 11:59 p.m. on 1/9. 

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward. 

Borrow Henny from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops


  1. Oh Henny! Today is the day! Looking forward to my copies, one for me, one for my grandchildren, one for the local library!

  2. Lovely book trailer. Can't wait to see this book.

  3. We love Henny! Great interview and the trailer is as sweet as Henny - and Beth, aka Elizabeth Rose Stanton.

  4. I LOOOOOOVE Henny! I already have my copy. I also think Elizabeth Rose Stanton is the coolest! Love the book trailer and great interview!

  5. So unbelievably cute! Henny is my heroine!

  6. Hooray for Henny! She's a spunky chick!

  7. Next time I am up at the family farm I will gather round the chickens and we'll have story time.

  8. Elizabeth is a fine example of an artist who does NOT quite until she gets it right. Now, Henny is ready to take flight...errr....rather, to walk into our hearts off the PUBLISHED PAGE! YIPPEEEE! Anita

  9. I think I need to own this book. "Imagine the possibilities" is a mantra of mine.

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  11. Thanks for all the great comments!

  12. Great sentence finishing! Love the trailer :) My copy of Henny is on its way!