I didn’t win, but….


The Spectrum 21 awards were held back in May, with Gold going to Nicolas Delort’s illustration, The End of the Road, and Silver to Scott Gustafson’s Little Sambha and the Tiger with the Beautiful Purple Shoes with Crimson Soles, in the Book category. I was just really thrilled to have an illustration included as a finalist among so many fantastic works – such a nice surprise. (The winners in each category can be seen here)

I will have a few pieces published in the upcoming Spectrum 21 annual, including one featured on the table of contents page. Another nice surprise!

May news in June

A little bit of very late news here – some Dream Boats illustrations were included in the 2014 Applied Arts Photography and Illustration Awards annual in May, 2014. Six illustrations were included in the annual, and they are also on view on the Applied Arts website.

Also, Dream Boats was included in this very nice list on the Reading Rainbow blog: 15 First Picture-Book Gift Ideas for Children’s Book Week , written by Minh Le. (If you haven’t heard already, Reading Rainbow has a Kickstarter campaign on the go right now).

Reading Rainbow was a big thing on TV when I was a kid. But growing up in a TV-less house, it wasn’t a large part of my childhood (but books were, so it’s all good). However, the kids across the street had a TV so I did get tiny doses of it now and again, the result being that way back there in my brain is a little drawer containing the theme song, and hearing it now does stir up a tiny bit of nostalgia; suddenly I’m 7 again, right back there in that playroom littered with the neighbour-kids’ He-Man action figures, watching TV while eating raw hotdog wieners wrapped in kraft cheese slices.


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new book beginnings ~ db

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Dream Boats is a 2014 Recommended Read.

Dream Boats made the 2014 Canadian Toy Testing Council’s list of recommended reads for the age group 5+.

Also, this is going on until the end of November: agbd-logo

A Good Book Drive is an annual book drive to bring stories to a new generation of readers, and support kids in need of new books.

Running through the month of November, A Good Book Drive will be inspiring Vancouverites to purchase a new copy of their favorite kids’ book and deliver it to set locations throughout the city to be donated to this year’s book drive recipient.

– read more and find out how you can participate, on the A Good Book Drive website



This post is part of a series documenting my process of illustrating the picture book Dream Boats (author Dan Bar-el, pub. Simply Read Books). The entire series of posts is archived here.

View a gallery of all the work-in-progress images including first sketches, reference material, mistakes, redraws, and tests, to final art at a much larger size, here.


Shaun Tan Wins Astrid Lindgren Award

This morning, I was so happy to learn (via 7imp) ) that Shaun Tan has won the Astrid Lindgren Award prize.

I’ve been a fan of his books and his fine art for a long time and feel fortunate to have seen him speak at the Vancouver Children’s Roundtable event a couple of years ago, where he gave a fascinating and often very funny talk about his books, his work and his, at the time, work in progress on The Lost Thing animated short. At the end he was exceedingly generous with his time, speaking to everyone in the long book signing line, and autographing with little sketches.

He can paint, he can tell a story and he has appeared to have followed his own path and interests with picture books, graphic novels and books that defy regular classification – like the delightful Tales from Outer Suburbia – and that is so wonderful. An award well won.

The books are beautifully illustrated and designed. Have a look at them here, or at your local independent bookstore.
The Lost Thing animated short and The Lost Thing book, both on itunes.
Also, don’t miss Eric, a story from Tales from Outer Suburbia in slideshow format on the Guardian website.

BC Book Prizes

The BC Book Prizes are almost here – the Lieutenant Governor’s BC Book Prize Gala is on April 26th (tickets are $70 and available through the BC Book Prizes website).

To start off BC Book and Magazine Week, there is the BC Book Prizes Soirée on April 19, 7-9. It’s a free event where you’ll have a chance to meet some of the nominees. More info about this event can be found on the website as well.

Quite a few of my fellow CWILL BC members are nominees in the children’s book categories. Here is the list of the nominees. Visit the BCBP website to read about the books.

Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize

Supported by the BC Library Association
Judges: Julie Burtinshaw, Shelley Hrdlitschka and David Ward

The Alchemist’s Dream
by John Wilson
Publisher: Key Porter Books

Baboon: A Novel
by David Jones
Publisher: Annick Press

The Corps of the Bare-Boned Plane
by Polly Horvath
Publisher: Groundwood Books

For Now

by Gayle Friesen
Publisher: Kids Can Press

by Meg Tilly
Publisher: Tundra Books

Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize

Supported by Kate Walker and Company
Judges: Alison Acheson, Kathryn Shoemaker and John Wilson

The Day It All Blew Away
by Lisa Cinar
Publisher: Simply Read Books

Elf the Eagle

by Ron Smith
Illustrated by Ruth Campbell
Publisher: Oolichan Books

Jeffrey and Sloth
by Kari-Lynn Winters
Illustrated by Ben Hodson
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

by Nan Gregory
Illustrated by Luc Melanson
Publisher: Groundwood Books

A Sea-Wishing Day
by Robert Heidbreder
Illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton
Publisher: Kids Can Press