Thursday, September 25, 2008

Henni and Her Eggs

Here are two sketches for a piece running with the story “Henni and Her Eggs,” by Peggy Nolan, in the October issue of Cricket. The story takes place during World War II in occupied Holland; this scene shows the father angry over scarcities imposed by the German army.

In the first sketch, at left, I suppose my inner casting director had in mind the idea of a sturdy, stocky Dutch farm family. It was the art director who pointed out (thanks, Karen) that the story was set in “the hunger winter” — the winter of 1944-45, which in Holland was a time of catastrophic shortages and indeed starvation. Then, while still working on the piece, I happened actually to meet a woman who had grown up in Holland during the war. As soon as I mentioned the work she told me, cheerfully, “Oh, yes. We didn’t look like this then, either.” You wouldn’t have considered her overweight, but she did look as though she ate regularly, and I suppose that was the point. S0 the family in the sketch was put on the Photoshop diet. I generally stay away from the stuff myself, but when it comes to tweaking sketches I have to admit that it can be handy.

Monday, September 15, 2008

New York is Book Country

I’ll be appearing at New York is Book Country in Central Park, New York, New York, on Sunday, September 21. I’ll be at a tent near the Naumburg Bandshell at 2:20, reading from Lightship, The Racecar Alphabet, and a bit from The Hinky-Pink. Then I’ll sign books from 2:40 until demand ceases (2:45?).

I’d tell you more about exactly where I’ll be and who else will be there and so on, but this festival seems to be running on a need-to-know basis. (Has anyone seen any publicity for it? Anywhere?) Hie thee to the bandshell, though, and hopefully all will be obvious from there. I hope I’ll see you there!

Above: Militant rats at Bethesda Terrace, near the site of this year’s book festival. From The Mayor of Central Park, by Avi.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Benvenuto a Hinky-Pink

Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 9, is the publication date proper for The Hinky-Pink. Publication dates may be anticlimactic — curtains do not rise, bells do not chime, and Amazon’s been shipping the book for a week already anyway — but it’s good nevertheless to think of the book as officially out there in the world. I hope you’ll look for it at your local library or (if the spirit moves) bookstore.


Left: Bed-making 101. Click to enlarge. More images here.