Kidlit County, Little Elliot's Neighborhood

Little Elliot, Big Country!

Well, here’s what I was working on for half of 2016, and just finished 2 weeks ago. Little Elliot, Big Country comes out on August 29th!

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IT’S AUTUMN in the Big City! Little Elliot and Mouse love the hustle and bustle of the city streets. But sometimes it feels like there are too many people, too many noises―just too much! The best friends decide to get out of town for a vacation in the countryside. There, they’ll discover the sights and smells of autumn in the country. Everything is more fun when shared with a friend!

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 You can pre-order from your local bookstore,
or any of these online retailers:

amazon-button barnes-and-noble-button indiebound-button

 

 

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Illustration Station, Kidlit County, Little Elliot's Neighborhood

Little Elliot, BIG FAMILY REVEAL!

I’m so excited to share the cover of Little Elliot, Big Family with you! I’m very proud of this book, and I can’t wait for you to read the whole thing!

LittleElliot.Jacket3-lores-797x1024When Mouse heads off to a family reunion, Little Elliot decides to go for a walk. As he explores each busy street, he sees families in all shapes and sizes. In a city of millions, Little Elliot feels very much alone–until he finds he has a family of his own!

You can read Elliot’s new story on October 6, 2015. I know, it’s such a long ways to wait! But if you want even more sneak peeks of the interior, head on over to these friends’ blogs:

Kidlit Frenzy 

Librarian in Cute Shoes

Read, Write, Reflect

Sharp Reads

Watch. Connect. Read.

 

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Illustration Station, Kidlit County, Little Elliot's Neighborhood

Little Elliot, Big City Cover & Release Date!

Hello Readers!

Some of you may have already heard that Little Elliot, Big City has been slated for release on August 26, 2014 with Henry Holt Books for Young Readers (Macmillan). I just received news that I can finally share the cover with you!!!

LittleElliot_coverFor all of you typophiles out there, I did indeed do all of the lettering myself. For the New York history nerds, the building on the top right is the once famous Hotel Astor, which was torn down in the sixties. People may also recognize a certain bakery on Prince street in the lower right, which has made an appearance in my work before.

I just reviewed the second round of proofs last week. Cross fingers that the next round will be the last, and then–TO PRINT! Though the book is still months away from being sold in stores, just sharing this image with you is a huge milestone for me. Things are happening!!!

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Designland

(Re)Design: King Lear

For my next (Re)Design challenge, I set about redesigning the cover of one of my favorite plays, King Lear. There have been many cover designs over the years, but I wanted to create one that was more personal (and I wanted an excuse to play around with some custom type!).

Various Lear Covers. Image from PBS.com

Old, but not so wise, Lear decides to divide his kingdom among his daughters and their husbands, leaving nothing for himself but his title. You probably wouldn’t have to of read it to know that it doesn’t end well.

Considering the theme of division within the story, I thought that cut paper would be an appropriate medium. The cover was inspired by the tempest in which Lear goes mad, which is ironically when he starts making the most sense. While I was working on it, I also realized the parallel that the imagery had with the Tower card from the Tarot deck, in which a bolt of lightning strikes a turret. It represents unexpected upheavals that go against what was commonly believed. In this case, Lear believed he could take an early retirement and have his children do the work of keeping his kingdom in order, and in the end he triggered a series of events that brought down his entire house.

I started by sketching thumbnails of the overall look. Then I taped down some Strathmore drawing paper to the cutting board, and taped a sheet of tracing paper on top of it. I sketched out how I wanted all the type to look. Then I used an xacto knife to cut away all the negative space. I rolled up pieces of drafting tape and stuck them all over the back of the cutout, then mounted it to a piece of bristol board.

DSC_0001I scanned this piece and masked out the color background. I also scanned some pencil sketches I created for the ground and a cloud.

processThe “William Shakespeare” text was created in Illustrator using Futura, then converted to outlines and placed in the Photoshop file. Finally, I added some texture, a vignette and a border. Here is the finished piece:

Lear

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Illustration Station

SCBWI Bulletin Cover & Interview

I had the honor and privilege of making the cover art for The Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators May/June bulletin! I even got interviewed like a famous person! Unfortunately, only members can view the bulletin, but they’ve allowed me to repost the interview. If you are a children’s writer or illustrator, I highly recommend joining!

Ricky Raccoon in Space! Just another casual day...

Ricky Raccoon in Space! Just another casual day…

ABOUT THE COVER

A Chat with May/June 2013 Cover Illustrator Mike Curato

by Sherrill Kushner

MICHAEL CURATO, WINNER of the 2012 SCBWI Winter Conference Portfolio Showcase, was born in Nanuet, New York. He earned his B.A. in illustration from Syracuse University, worked as a graphic designer for Microsoft and Amazon, led an in-house creative team

for Geocaching.com, and is cofounder of Queer Getting Married, a website for gay couples to create customized wedding invitations. Henry Holt Books for Young Readers signed him on for a three-book series starring his Little Elliot, starting fall 2014. In 2010, he illustrated Amy Jones’ Mabel McNabb and the Most Boring Day Ever.

SCBWI: What were you like as a kid? MIKE CURATO: I was obsessed with drawing and wrote my own stories. My first book was an illustrated cookbook with such culinary classics as “PB&J Sandwich”. After begging my mother not to send me back to pee-wee basketball, she enrolled me in art class. Continue reading

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