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On the list!

Dream Boats made the Canadian Children’s Book Centre Best Books for Fall 2013 list (news and accompanying photo via my publisher).

Also, a copy of the book made it all the way to Japan, where it got this very nice review.
For a lot more book reviews (fiction and non-fiction), visit the Perogies & Gyoza website.

Perogies & Gyoza: Dream Boats

Aaaand…Dream Boats was also nominated for a Cybils. Nice!

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And finally, Harper Collins is putting on a contest to illustrate Dennis Lee’s title poem of Alligator Pie. It’s Alligator Pie’s 40th anniversary. Not sure how I feel about that; I love the poem, I love the book, but I also really love Frank Newfeld’s illustrations and they were a source of endless delight to me when I was a kid. When I think of Alligator Pie, I can’t, nor do I want, to separate the words from the drawings. They are illustrations from another time – in a good way. As is the text.

On a related note, that wikipedia page on Frank Newfeld is sorely in need of some more content, and sadly, many of the out-links are broken. So in lieu of finding some images online, pick up a copy of Alligator Pie in your local children’s book store (I was pleased to see that it’s in print!). Or maybe have a helping of Garbage Delight. Or dig a little deeper and discover other book Frank Newfeld designed, illustrated, or wrote.

If you do want a little more information on Frank Newfeld, there is a write-up on him for a past GDC BC/Alcuin Society/CDOT/Canada Council/SFU event with a bit more info. I feel fortunate to have been able to attend this, especially given the great memories I have of the time I spent with his illustrations as a kid.

There are also some photographs from the event, including some photos of his artwork. Beautiful, beautiful work.

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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.

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new book beginnings ~ db

Dream Boats


Four Years and 3 Months

I published my very first blog post on this book illustration process on January 10, 2009. Exactly four years and 3 months later I have a finished, final book in my hands.

This was a very long, very exhausting journey but I am so pleased with the printed book; my publisher took a lot of care with the production, and I couldn’t be happier with the final result.

Here’s a little tour of the book, after the jump:

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new book beginnings ~ db

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We Got A Star!

This was a pleasant surprise; Dan and I got a really nice (starred) review for Dream Boats in the April 2013 edition of Quill and Quire.


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Quill and Quire review
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DB_Origami_boat_black_outlines_sm_var

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.

 

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new book beginnings ~ db

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Some excitement!

My publisher delivered this to my door.

This is not quite the final, done book, but it’s pretty close. It’s a bound digital proof, so things like the cover varnish, and the endpapers aren’t quite as they’d be in their finished form, but it’s given me a really good idea of what the book will look like in the end.

I’m really happy with the colour, and the print quality, and I’ll share a few not-quite-real-book images herebwhile I eagerly await the arrival of the very real thing.

I’m actually a little scared to look it over too closely in case I find mistakes I made. It’s kind of a given that I’ll find more than a few I-would-have-done-that-differenties or why-did-I-do-thats, but that’s all good, and part of the process and I should worry if I don’t find things I know I can do better now.

(note: there’s a bit more contrast in these photographs than what you’d see in actual book).

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new book beginnings ~ db

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Further Proof

A few weeks ago I reviewed the second round of proofs for Dream Boats, including the fold and gather (pictured above).

Printed proofs are so, so, so very important. It’s written in my contracts that I am to receive, review and sign off on proofs before the book goes to print, but the crazy thing is this is only the third book where I’ve actually received a full set of proofs to review. Sometimes I’ve recieved a page, other times nothing. Proofing is costly in time and money, so every so often it gets ‘forgotten’ with sometimes disastrous results.

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