Kidlit County

What If…We Had a Blog Tour? (and a Real Life Tour)

We’re just days away from the release of What If…!

Samantha Berger and I are so excited for this book to finally be out in the world on April 10th. While it’s par for the course for authors and illustrators to promote their work, we also genuinely have a lot that we want to share about our experience making this book! We want to share some stories about the story. The ups! The downs! The all arounds! Join us this week as we make daily appearances on some of the best kidlit blogs out there. You will even have a chance to win a free copy of What If…

3/26 Nerdy Book Club: WHAT IF…We Told You the Story Behind the Story?

3/27 7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast: WHAT IF…Mike Curato Used Mixed Media to Make a Book?

3/28 Pragmatic Mom: WHAT IF…We Used Our Creativity to Overcome Obstacles?

3/29 Kidlit Frenzy: WHAT IF…Two Best Friends Made a Book Together?

3/30 Watch Connect Read: WHAT IF…We Revealed our New Book Trailer?

We are also happy to share that we’re hitting the road to read with you in person! Here’s a list of public events where Samantha and I will be reading, creating, and signing. We hope you’ll join us!

For more information, reviews, and to order your copy, visit my site!

 

 

Standard
Illustration Station, Kidlit County, Little Elliot's Neighborhood

The Writing Process – Author Blog Tour – Mike Curato

Hi! I’m Mike Curato, and I am so excited to be a part of this author blog tour!

Me & my work.

Me & my work.

First off, thanks to Fred Koehler for passing the baton to me. I met Fred an an SCBWI Winter Conference several years ago. We enjoyed some yummy Chinese food together and we’ve been Facebook author-illustrator compadres ever since. If you haven’t already picked up a copy of his debut book, How to Cheer Up Dad, then you’re in luck because it will make a great Father’s Day gift!

Fred

What am I currently working on?

LittleElliot_coverWell, I am busy promoting my upcoming debut title, Little Elliot Big City, and in the process of finishing up my second book in the series, Little Elliot, Big Family. The first book comes out on August 26th, and I can hardly wait! I just received my first hardcover copy, and it’s so magical having it in my hands. I keep knocking on the cover to make sure it’s real!

Little Elliot is a polka-dotted elephant living in NYC circa 1940. It’s hard being a little guy in such a big place, and I think that makes him really relatable for kids. A new friend comes along though, and life gets a lot happier, and maybe a little easier. Little Elliot will be printed in English, German, Hebrew, Mandarin, and Korean! Elliot has been a character that I’ve been developing for many years, and I’m so excited to be able to share him with the world.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Continue reading

Standard
Illustration Station, Kidlit County

Processed Magic: the Vague Art of Picture-Book Making

processMy friends and family must wonder what I do all day. Sometimes I worry that they’re sick and tired of my only update being “I’m working on the book. The deadline is end of April.” I’m sure some of them have mental images of me waking up in the morning to a big yawn, hopping into my bunny slippers, eating a muffin (aka breakfast cupcake), brushing my teeth, then sitting at my drafting table and whistling while I work all the live long day. How cute! I wish my life could be like this. I know that I am blessed to have a career doing what I love and working from home, but I wouldn’t say it’s been that easy. Continue reading

Standard
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

Standard
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:

6_thumb

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.

Standard