Thursday, December 23, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
It's funny, I've been in Christmas mode practically all of 2010:
In January and February I created the final art for CHRISTMAS IS HERE. Looked at the printer proofs in March. Saw the F&G's (folded and gathered) in June, and a final bound copy in August! Then began a Fall season full of events promoting the book. I was also fortunate enough to be part of a wonderful fundraiser that put translated copies of CHRISTMAS IS HERE in to the hands of 300 sweet, underprivileged Romanian children . . . Pheeew! Now that's a lot of Christmas.
What will I do next year?
Here's a little trailer that I put together for the book. Hope it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy :)
Happy Christmas everyone!
Love & Blessings,
Monday, December 6, 2010
ALFIE is pretty excited. He's received a 2010 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award! ("Given to outstanding new products that enhance the lives of children.")
Here's what the committee had to say:
"A little gem of a story about a boy who wants to keep his old shoes. When his mother does not give in, Alfie announces he is going to run away. In one loving scene after another his mother makes sure that he will have everything he needs--water, a flashlight, batteries, peanut butter and crackers, his pillow and bear. Finally Alfie takes off. Though the ending is predictable, it is also reassuring. The drawings capture the youthful vitality of this spirited boy and the moments of bitter sweetness that make it both meaningful and memorable. "
Thank you for noticing ALFIE, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio!!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Also this week, Shelf Awareness reviewed Christmas Is Here on their list of 2010 favorite holiday titles. A big thank you to Shelf Awareness! Here's what they had to say:
Christmas Is Here by Lauren Castillo
(S&S, $12.99, 9781442408227/1442408227, 32 pp., ages 4-8, October 2010)
This nearly wordless picture book (with just a few lines from the King James Bible) brilliantly connects a present-day child's discovery of a Christmas pageant in progress with the very first Christmas under a star in Bethlehem. Through her ink and watercolor illustrations, Castillo creates a glow that seems to emanate from the child in the manger. Her subtle connection between the modern baby dressed in white and the long-ago baby wrapped in swaddling clothes speaks to the way a new life feels miraculous to every family.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
*Saturday: THE BROOKLYN MUSEUM CHILDREN'S BOOK FAIR:
*Saturday: BOOKS FOR ROMANIA--a holiday fundraiser party! (please please please come to this if you can!)
*Sunday: ILLUSTRATION NEXT; MICA alumni gallery exhibition:
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
CHRISTMAS IS HEREAdapted from the King James Bible and illustrated by Lauren Castillo (SSBFYR;9781442408227)Snowflakes fall on a young family watching a live nativity scene in their city neighborhood. As the boy peers into the manger, the story shifts to an ancient field underneath gentle moonglow and a brilliant star's guiding light on the holy night observed by shepherds. By literally bookending the traditional account of Jesus' birth (with text from the King James Bible) with cheery modern imagery, sans commercial trappings, Castillo underscores the connection between past and present. Sketched in thick, black line, her kind-looking figures, human and animal, convey a wealth of emotion. Ages 3–7. (Oct.)
Monday, October 25, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
p.s. I was on the jury this year! Here's a link to the post about my experience back in August~
p.p.s. ALFIE is also represented in the show, if you want to see him up close and personal :)
Monday, October 11, 2010
Family Day: Illustrators' Festival
Saturday, October 16th, 10:30am — 3pm
10 Grand Army Plaza
Brooklyn, NY 11238
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Also, School Library Journal (October edition) has just given the book its second starred review! Here it is:
CHRISTMAS IS HERE: WORDS FROM THE KING JAMES BIBLE. illus. by Lauren Castillo. unpaged. S & S. Oct. 2010. RTE $12.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-0822-7. LC 2009045979. PreS-Gr 3
The only text in this book is a few sentences from the King James Bible, and many of the ink and watercolor illustrations, in soothing tones of brown and gray with bold outlines, are wordless. They show a modern family—mom, dad, babe in arms, and dog-walking child—out for a stroll on a snowy evening, when they come across a small, outdoor Christmas pageant. As the child peers into the manger, readers are taken back in time to Bethlehem, with illustrations of sheep grazing over a dry Middle Eastern landscape as the shepherds learn of the birth of Jesus. As light from the star streams down over the holy family and shepherds leaning over the manger, the scene switches with a turn of the page back to the modern family singing carols in the snow in front of the manger. The theme—that the most basic meaning of Christmas has remained the same over the centuries—is conveyed with a warm and captivating simplicity that even the youngest child will understand. -Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
If you want to get a head start on your Christmas shopping, here's one suggestion :)
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
My two "process" cases in the Youth Wing~Awesome illustrators + friends (Paul Hoppe, Selina Alko, Sean Qualls)
(Also, the show has been receiving some very nice coverage in the press. Here's an article from Time Out NY Kids. And another from Capital New York.)
Monday, September 27, 2010
An interview I recently did with the lovely Jennifer Bertman, over at her blog From The Mixed-Up Files, is now up! If you'd like, swing on over for a peek in to my studio. And don't forget to check out all the other awesome author/illustrator interviews she's conducted! Thank you very much for having me, Jennifer!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Here's the official description of the show:
Bemelmans Marciano, features the work of 34 illustrators who live and work
in Brooklyn, from the most exciting newcomers in publishing to the legends
of the business. View more than 100 pieces of art from books such as Duck
for President, The Curious Garden, Moonpowder and Madeline and the Cats of
Rome. Also, see the work of Caldecott Medal and Coretta Scott Kind Award
winners Leo and Diane Dillon, Brian Selznick, Paul O. Zelinsky, Bryan
Collier, Pat Cummings and Brian Pinkney. Original picture book art is
displayed in the Grand Lobby. In the Youth Wing, find sketches, models,
tools and more that reveal the processes behind the works.'
I will be at the Opening Reception and the Illustrators' Festival.
Hope to see you at one or both of these fun events!
Opening ReceptionFamily Day: Illustrators' Festival
Wednesday, September 22nd, 6 — 8pm
Dweck Center Lobby
10 Grand Army Plaza
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(features readings, workshops, book signings and music)
Saturday, October 16th, 10:30am — 3pm
10 Grand Army Plaza
Brooklyn, NY 11238
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
CHRISTMAS IS HERE
Illustrated by Lauren Castillo; Adapted from The King James Bible
(SSBFYR; ISBN: 9781442408227; October 2010; Fall catalog page 24)“This touching interpretation of the Christmas story wordlessly follows a modern-day family as they journey through a snowy town in the evening to view a live Nativity scene. The family includes a baby in a white snowsuit, who provides a subtle symbolic connection to the baby in the manger in both the re-created scene and the Nativity story that follows. As an older child peeks in at the baby in the manger, the setting shifts in time and place to Bethlehem of long ago, accompanied by the traditional words from the King James Bible, before returning to the contemporary setting. Gorgeous watercolor illustrations in a subdued palette of twilight grays set off the falling snowflakes in the modern scenes, while the biblical scenes are brilliantly lit by starlight. Castillo's smudgy style infuses all with wonder.”
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
~Kiss The Book
~Picture Book of the Day
~Books For Kids Blog
~University of Delaware, Education Resource Center
~Lisa, Lisa and the Book Jam (where you can listen to a discussion with author of ALFIE, Kenneth Cadow!)
Thank you all very much! (I know Alfie just loves it when people say nice things about him)
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Monday was a very big day for me: I had the incredible honor of serving on the jury of the 30th Annual Society of Illustrators Original Art Show. About a month ago Laurent Linn, Chair of this years show, called me up to ask if I would be an alternate juror in the event that one of the others could not make it. I was honored to be asked, but doubted the fact that I'd actually be called in... Well, much to my surprise, I got the "you're in!" phone call on Sunday night. Wow. What a wonderful experience it was, and I am extremely thankful to both Laurent Linn (Chair) and Amy June Bates (Co-Chair) for having me on board! One of my fellow co-jurors, Chad Beckerman, did a great job of documenting the day over at his blog, if you'd like to see and hear a little bit about how it all went down (thanks for photographing, Chad!). This is going to be an awesome show--make sure to mark your calendars for the opening reception and awards ceremony on Thursday, October 21st!
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Christmas Is Here!!!
The first bound copies of the book arrived on my doorstep yesterday. Very exciting! But since it is still summer, I will refrain from showing wintery images...
I'll wait till AFTER Labor Day to share a few interiors :)
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I started working on a new picture book this summer, written by Maribeth Boelts, currently titled Happy Like Soccer. It's a great story, and I've been having a fun time drawing the world of main character, Sierra. It's been perfect timing, really. I got to watch many games of the World Cup WHILE drawing roughs for the book. What awesome inspiration!
And now I'm beginning the final art stage, which is always both exciting and nerve-racking. I think, no matter how many books I will have completed, there will always be initial moments of uncertainty...Them's the breaks :)
BUT, I'm looking forward to these next couple months of art-making. Nothing compares to creating a picture book...It's the greatest job in the world (if I do say so myself)!
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
I've returned to sweltering hot Brooklyn, after a very relaxing cruise vacation. I admit, it is extremely hard to get back in to work mode... BUT, I do have two exciting projects I'm looking forward to working on for the remainder of this year. One, a picture book written by the talented Maribeth Boelts. And the other a chapter book written by the highly acclaimed Ann Cameron. I'll share more about both of these later on this summer!
Now, I didn't get to do that much drawing on my trip because we weren't in one place long enough. But I did get to see a lot, and took many photos. Here's a shot of my favorite location on the trip, The El Yunque Rain Forest in Puerto Rico. Absolutely breathtaking views, and a must see if you visit Puerto Rico!Ok, now back to the [steamy] drawing board!!!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
"Picture-book shelves overflow with stories of furious young kids who protest injustice by packing up their essentials (snacks, stuffed animals) and running away, often making it only as far as the backyard before setting up camp. In his debut picture book, Cadow borrows familiar elements, but what feels fresh here is the child’s reason for leaving. Instead of sibling rivalry or the struggle to be heard, it’s young Alfie’s frustration and sorrow over his own growing up that sends him out the door. After his mother tells Alfie to part with a favorite pair of outgrown sneakers, he explodes, announces his departure plans, and assembles his supplies. His gentle, understanding mother helps and even tucks an imaginary hug into his bag. Alone in the backyard, Alfie slowly accepts that his shoes need to go, and in a warm conclusion, finds a new home for them. Young children will easily recognize Alfie’s frustrated feelings of powerlessness, as well as his fears of independence. Castillo’s expressive illustrations sensitively reinforce this tender, reassuring story’s elemental emotions." — Gillian Engberg
From The Horn Book, July/August issue:
"Alfie already has a significant list of grievances-taking baths, making his bed, eating potatoes-so when his mother wants to give away his favorite shoes just because they've gotten a little small, Alfie decides he's had enough. The headstrong emotions of a young runaway are humorously portrayed in the dialogue ("'May I give you a hug?' asked his mother. 'You may let me keep my shoes,' said Alfie") and in the art (Alfie's dignified expression as his mother helps him pack a bag). At his clever mother's suggestion, Alfie takes a lot of supplies; he can't get far with his heavy pack, and, after unloading everything in the backyard, takes off his favorite, too-tight shoes and puts them on his stuffed animal companion, Buddy Bear. With perfect timing-Alfie is just starting to feel homesick-his mom comes out with the welcome-home hug he is looking for. The subdued colors in Castillo's old-fashioned yet unsentimental illustrations highlight the red shoes and match the reassuring, low-key tone of Cadow's text. Alfie himself comes up with the solution-he realizes the shoes will always fit Buddy Bear-that ends this satisfying picture book." — JENNIFER M. BRABANDER
Friday, June 11, 2010
From Publisher's Weekly:
FSG/Foster, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-374-30202-3
"Cadow debuts with a perceptively written story about a power struggle between a mother and her small son. Alfie's mother proposes to give away his favorite red shoes--they're too small--and he responds by announcing that he's running away. The conflict unfolds in slow motion: Alfie's rebellion doesn't involve yelling or tears, and his mother honors his feelings without backing down. "May I give you a hug?" she asks, as he prepares to leave. "You may let me keep my shoes," says Alfie stiffly. "I will put a hug in your bag," she replies. Castillo's (What Happens on Wednesdays) spreads, comfortingly rendered in muted colors, are just right for Cadow's even-tempered narration. The figures are edged with soft black lines, echoing the sense that Alfie is surrounded by secure boundaries. When Alfie discovers, on his blanket out in the backyard, that his red shoes fit his teddy bear ("Those shoes will never get too small for you," he reassures Buddy Bear), readers will feel the value of the thinking Alfie's done for himself. A fine first outing for Cadow." Ages 4–8. (May)
From School Library Journal:
"K-Gr 2–There are several things Alfie doesn’t like about living in his household, but when his mom decides to give away his favorite too-small shoes, he’s had enough. “I’m going to run away,” he declares. His very accommodating mother helps him pack for the journey: flashlight, batteries, water bottle, snacks, pillow, blanket, stuffed bear, and books. When he gets as far as the backyard, however, the pack is so heavy that he empties everything out and has a picnic. And just when Alfie discovers a way to avoid parting with his shoes forever, his mom comes running with a sorely missed hug. Endpapers feature broad outline drawings of Alfie’s treasures, color visible only on his beloved red shoes. The mixed-media illustrations are large and heavily outlined in black. They depict a very determined child, hair sticking up, hands on hips, and foot tapping as he makes his ominous announcement. He prances out of the house while Mom calmly looks on, his bravado dampening only when he begins to realize what he has left behind. Youngsters will enjoy hearing the story of Alfie’s short-lived adventure along with that of another small runaway in Elissa Haden Guest’s Harriet’s Had Enough! (Candlewick, 2009)."–Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
I had such great time illustrating this text by Kenneth Cadow--it is the perfect combination of sweet and hilarious. That Alfie's got some serious attitude!
This, from Macmillan:
Alfie's mother wants to get rid of his favorite red shoes he's outgrown. So Alfie is running away. His mother points out that he might get thirsty on his trip, and she gives him a bottle of nice cold water. And a flashlight, in case it gets dark. Together, they pack everything Alfie might need. But once he is out in the wide world, Alfie discovers that some very important things can't be packed in bags. If you like, you can order a copy here, or check it out at your local bookstore. Happy reading!