Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Barnes & Noble book signing!

This [Black] Friday, Nov. 26th @ 2pm, I am going to be signing CHRISTMAS IS HERE at Barnes & Noble in my home town of Bel Air, Md. If you live in the area, I hope you'll come by and say hello. I'm pretty excited—it's shaping up to be a reunion of sorts!
Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Books of Wonder

Tomorrow is November Picture Book Bonanza @ Books of Wonder! I'll be there presenting and signing CHRISTMAS IS HERE, along with a handful of other exciting authors and illustrators, from 1-3 pm. Would love to see you there!

Friday, November 19, 2010

A couple more nice reviews!

Blogger and fellow illustrator Sarah Jane did a very nice write-up of CHRISTMAS IS HERE on her website this week. If you'd like to check it out, head on over to her lovely site. I also encourage you to spend some time looking at her wonderful work. Thanks so much for the post, Sarah! (the above photo is of Sarah's son. Adorable!)

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

"Holiday High Notes"

Thank you Horn Book for including CHRISTMAS IS HERE on your annual list of recommended holiday books! Here's the very nice review from their Nov/Dec magazine issue:

Christmas Is Here

words from the King James Bible; illus. by Lauren Castillo
10/10 978-1-4424-0822-7 $12.99

Over three wordless spreads, a young child walks with his family through their neighborhood to take in a live Nativity scene. The third spread brings us up close to view the boy looking thoughtfully into the manger at a sleeping Christ child. As the biblical story begins (“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field”), readers are transported to the setting of the first Christmas. The seemingly incongruous pairing — formal Bible verses and Castillo’s child-friendly illustrations — works beautifully, with subdued colors and unfussy compositions making the archaic text more accessible. As the Nativity story comes to an end, the pictures gently carry readers to the present, but the spirit of that long-ago miracle remains in the air, evoking the real meaning of Christmas.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Weekend FULL of fun events!

So! This Saturday and Sunday are filled with fun book and art-related events that I'll be a part of: One in Brooklyn, one in Manhattan, and one in Baltimore! Below are the flyers for all three events (just click on each for all the details). Hope to see you at at least one of the following!


*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

I'm so excited!

CHRISTMAS IS HERE has received its 3rd starred review! Can't quite believe it...Thank you Publishers Weekly!

Adapted 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.)