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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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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Illustration Station, Kidlit County, Little Elliot's Neighborhood

Little Elliot, Big City Sneak Peek!

I am so very very very excited. My friends at Henry Holt have given me the thumbs up to share some spreads from Little Elliot, Big City, which is due to hit the shelves Fall 2014! Since we have over a YEAR to wait for that, I am going to give you a periodic sneak peek every few months!

Here is today’s featured spread!!! (click to enlarge)

E Train

He was shorter than most people and had to be extra careful not to be stepped on.

This was certainly one of the most complicated spreads in the book. It took a very long time, and a lot of research! It all started with this little thumbnail:

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The book has a 1930s/40s feel, so I needed to do some research to see what the New York subway used to look like then. I visited the archives of The New York Transit Museum in downtown Brooklyn for more information. They had photographs showing what the subway has looked like throughout its 109 year old existence. It was Christmas morning for the history nerd in me, although it was actually an afternoon…in February…in a basement. STILL! Excitement all around.

We had to handle the photographs with archival gloves. I was a full-fledged researcher!

I had to handle the photographs with archival gloves. I was a full-fledged researcher!

I searched through the physical photos, while my lovely "assistant," Julia, scoured MTA's online image records.

I searched through the physical photos, while my lovely “assistant,” Julia, scoured MTA’s online image records.

So, after gathering all of my subway research and combining it with my period fashion research, I was able to make this composition:

6_comp

Add shading, scan, color, and stir: e voila! One spread made to order!

Stay tuned for more sneak peeks to come.

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