Happy Friday! Steve Light dropped by to chat with me about book trailers, Lucky Lazlo, shapes, picture books, school libraries, and more. I wrote the words in purple, and he wrote the words in black. Thank you, Steve!
Swap's book trailer is such an exciting way
to see my characters come alive. It is my first book trailer ever! It was done
by the great Blake Hamilton. I wish it told the whole story, it would be so
much fun to watch.
Lucky Lazlo tells the story of a boy in
love, the people behind the scenes at a theatre, a mischievous cat and theatre
superstitions. The play that is being performed is Alice in Wonderland and it
was great fun to design the characters for such a classic story. Please read
the author’s note where I list all the theatre superstitions I hid in the
Have You Seen My Monster?is a book
about a girl who loses her monster at the country fair. There are 20 shapes to
find and learn. The 20 shapes are the 20 shapes from the Montessori shape
cabinet. I used to teach at a Montessori school. I was even the storyteller
there for a few years.
boy in Have You Seen My Lunch Box? is not based on me. I very rarely misplace something, even as a kid. As a kid
I had 3 older sisters so I had to keep an eye on my stuff! I have only lost 2
fountain pens my whole life!
books are magical pieces of story--art that transport you to other worlds. They
are treasures. I am so blessed to be able to make children’s books. I knew from
a young age that I wanted to draw and make art as my life but never imagined
being able to make such beautiful creations.
libraries are safe places where you can be yourself. I used to hide in the
library to escape bullies. One librarian let me sit in the stacks and read--I
felt safe there because she did that. Another asked me what I liked. I said
drawing and then every day there were art books left in my spot.
Schu, you should have asked me about my next board book: Blackbird Yellow Sun.
I hand printed all the art for it using cardboard and printers ink. Oh, and my
new picture book that comes out next year called Builders and Breakers. That
one is all about demolition and construction……..and the green wall they build
around construction sites in the city. You know, the ones they cut holes in so
people can watch what is being built.
Hi, Kara LaReau! Thank you for
returning to Watch. Connect. Read. to celebrate the book trailer for The
Infamous Ratsos Are Not Afraid.
Kara: Thanks so much for
inviting me back, Mr. Schu!
What should everyone do
before pressing PLAY?
Kara: Have no fear — a new
Infamous Ratsos adventure is here!
What planted the seed
for The Infamous Ratsos Are Not Afraid,
the latest book in the Infamous Ratsos series?
Kara: After I wrote the first Infamous Ratsos story, I had a child
of my own — a son — and I happened to watch a documentary called The Mask You
Live In, which is all about our society’s narrow definition of masculinity, and
how boys are encouraged from an early age to adhere to that definition by withdrawing
from authentic friendships, suppressing their emotions, objectifying women, and
resolving conflicts through violence.
Learning about this “boy crisis” inspired me to come up with more
stories about the Ratso brothers and their friends, in which they encounter
(and subvert!) typical gender norms. For instance, The Infamous Ratsos Are Not Afraid is all about how it’s okay to
admit we’re afraid, and the many ways we can be brave — whether it’s
ringing the doorbell of a “haunted” house, sticking up for someone who’s being
bullied, or making new friends.
Ralphie Ratso loves
carnivals and arcade games. What’s your favorite arcade game?
Kara: I always liked the
game where you had to throw a ping pong ball at a group of fish bowls filled
with goldfish — if you got the ball in a bowl, you won the fish. Sadly, I
never won one, but I never stopped trying!
Matt Myers! What is the most fun thing about creating the illustrations for The
Infamous Ratsos series?
Matt: Sketching. Finding a good moment
in the story to pull out and bring to life. Working on the characters'
expressions to catch the right mood is the trickiest, and most rewarding part.
adjectives best describe Louie Ratso and Ralphie Ratso?
Matt: They are like real rats in that
they are curious, persistent, sneaky, and often misunderstood. Unlike real
rats, they are loyal.
Lou says you cannot have an arcade without a refreshment stand. Are we more
likely to see you standing in line at a carnival for a funnel cake or popcorn?
Matt:Funnel Cake. If I'm going to eat
carnival food, I'm going all out. But no cotton candy. Never liked that stuff.
It's like eating hair.
Congratulations on The
Infamous Ratsos being named a 2017 Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor book.
What does a Geisel citation mean to you?
Kara: I still can’t
believe it, especially considering the wonderful stories that have been named
Honor Books over the years, many of which my son and I consider our favorites. The Infamous Ratsos is in some pretty
famous and fabulous company — and that continues to be an honor for me on
Matt: It means I was right about this book! What I mean is that when I first saw the
manuscript, so before I could claim to have anything to do with the book, I
thought it was something special. I feel proud that I did a good job bringing
the story out into the visual world, but really, it was already there.
Debbie Ridpath Ohi is one of most creative and nicest people I have ever met. I'm thrilled she dropped by Watch. Connect. Read. to share the FANTASTIC book trailer for Ruby Rose, Big Bravos. Thank you, Debbie!
Hi, Mr. Schu!
I’m delighted to debut the trailer for RUBY ROSE, BIG BRAVOS, a
new Ruby Rose picture book written by Rob Sanders and illustrated by yours
truly. Our new book comes out from HarperCollins Children’s on August 29th.
I’m also excited about this trailer because I wrote the music
and I performed it on my new keyboard! Here’s a bit about my musical background, if anyone’s
curious. Also, it’s my very first book trailer project created using Adobe
Premiere Pro, a software program I am gradually learning.
RUBY ROSE, BIG BRAVOS is a fun story about a young dancer who
decides to put on her own recital. With the help of Bearishnikov, Ruby Rose
works hard to prepare, including making her own tickets, posters, invitations
and decorations - she is very excited! But then bad weather looms, and Ruby
Rose has to decide whether or not to let a thunderstorm ruin her plans.
Here’s how author Rob Sanders came up with the idea:
“The initial idea for RUBY ROSE—BIG BRAVOS came about when I was
brainstorming a best friend for Ruby. I watched an episode of Antiques Roadshow
that featured vintage teddy bears and then watched an old documentary about
Mikhail Baryshnikov. Voilà! Bearishnikov was born. His character became a wise,
silent friend who doles out great advice. I wanted the story to focus around a
dance recital—but one that could be totally of Ruby and Bearishnikov’s making.
I live in sunny Florida which is known for its summer rainy season and which is
also the lightning capital of the world, so a thunderstorm became the
antagonist in the story. Since RUBY ROSE—OFF TO SCHOOL SHE GOES included Ruby’s
mom, I wanted this story to introduce her dad. I combined all those ingredients
to create RUBY ROSE—BIG BRAVOS. And so RUBY ROSE, BIG BRAVOS was born!”
Happy Thursday! Librarians, classroom teachers, administrators, authors, illustrators, and book lovers are celebrating August 10 by sharing picture books they are excited about. Make sure you follow #pb10for10 on Twitter!
Click here to view the Pinterest board I created for #pb10for10.
Hello, Mika Song! Thank you for stopping by to share the book trailer for Tea with Oliver.
Hello, Mr. Schu! I’m so
excited to debut the trailer for Tea with Oliver with your readers. Tea
with Oliver is my author-illustrator picture book debut from HarperCollins.
It publishes in just a few days- August 8, 2017.
It’s about a
cat named Oliver who is not like other cats and really just wants to have tea
and cookies with a friend. Philbert is a shy but determined mouse who lives
under Oliver’s couch. He would love to have tea with Oliver but can’t seem to
get his attention. He tries sending him letters all kinds of different ways but
nothing seems to reach Oliver. And then one day a crazy cat party shakes things
up enough for Oliver to see his best friend is right under his couch.
decided to pursue children’s books, I found myself spending a lot of time alone
in my apartment trying to get my work noticed by agents. I was sending a lot of
letters, kind of like Philbert and talking to myself, kind of like Oliver. It
made me appreciate the people in my life. The character of Oliver is also
inspired by a close friend who likes to throw grand tea parties.
I hope this
book helps kids who are wondering about making friends especially during back
to school time and encourages all kids to look out for someone in need of a
friend. The book’s speech bubbles and dual characters make it a natural fit for
splitting into parts to be read aloud by small groups of 2 or 3 or for
partnered reading. And if that inspires a few unlikely friendships nothing
would make me happier.