I found this poster many years ago in a gallery in NYC.
I love it.
Now faded and wrinkly…it hangs in my studio.
Always has. Always will.
The Beast and Monsiur Racine is on top of my pile of Tomi’s books.
When I was a studying with Sendak in the mid-70’s, Maurice introduced me to Tomi’s work .
This book is dedicated to Maurice and designed by Jane Byers Bierhorst (amazing book designer who taught with Maurice).
This is the book that made me want to make picture books.
Tomi was a master of the form. It is truly a book that can be read again and again….while always discovering something new in the art. Joyful and absurd. The crowd scenes are wild and wonderful.
It’s because of Tomi, Maurice and Jane that I discovered my passion for this process of creating picture books.
It is a joy spending time with Tomi’s work. All of it. No matter how absurd…and because it is so…
Tomi’s quote is over my drawing table: “ Far out isn’t far enough”.
I imagine Tomi, Maurice and Jane…together…somewhere…”Outside Over There”…filling the “empty space” with something wonderful.
You are missed…thank you…tcp
The documentary: Far Out Isn’t Far Enough, The Tomi Ungerer (2012) is fabulous…but NOT for children!
However, the animated version of The Three Robbers IS for kids and it’s great!
Summer is here. What has she been doing?
She’s been making dummies for a book about me. Lots of them. This dummy is tiny.
It’s just 5 and 1/2 inches. What’s the big deal? Why does it take so long to make a picture book?
Somedays… she walks me to the library. She gets books. I get ear rubs and dog treats.
Happy Summer…WOOF!….from Wilbur
If you’re reading this, that means I was able…with help…to get my website out into the world and connect it with my blog.
…and Paige Kaleita, I couldn’t have done this without your help…
…And to all of those visiting this page.
I look forward to playing with my blog and being able to update my new website all by myself.
Thanks for visiting…stop back again…you never know what you might find!…tcp
Elephants shop local on Small Business Saturday…and everyday!
Here they are at their local indie bookseller.
“Do you like my earrings?” asks Elephant.
“Perfect,” says Gracie.
What fun to go to my mailbox and find these wonderful letters and drawings from students in Ms. Montemayor’s class at Gray’s Woods Elementary in Port Matilda, Pa. Thank you! I love them.
Here are answers to your questions:
“Do you like doing what you do?”
…I love doing what I do! I walk into my studio each day…turn on music…and draw and paint….or I sit in my comfy chair…with quiet all around…and write a story…and I can do all of this in my pajamas!
“Why did being an author and illustrator inspire you?’
…I love to read. I love art. I love making art and writing stories. I love watching my stories turn into picture books.
“Is it fun sending writing back and forth?”
…(to my editor) It’s a lot of work writing things over and over and sending them back and forth to my editor. However, it is rewarding. I always end up with a piece of writing that I think is much better than the one I started with.
“What do you do in your spare time?”
…Lots. I love the outdoors. I love to cook and eat. I love to garden. I swim at an indoor pool several days a week. I bike. I ski. I practice yoga. I love to go for walks and hikes in the woods. I’m waiting to hear if I will have a puppy. He will take up a lot of spare time…but he’ll like taking walks.
“What is your first book ever?”
…I made my first book ever in 2nd grade. It was about a bluebird. I gave it a red construction paper cover. I used crayons for the art. My first published book was We Wish You a Merry Christmas. It was published in 1983.
I was at a book festival this Spring. Brooke, a mom, came by with her family. She asked me if I would sign her copy of this book. It was her favorite book when she was little and now it’s a favorite with her children. Her parents gave it to her in 1989…I signed it for her…in 2015!
Math question: How many years after Brooke’s parents gave her the book did I sign the book for Brooke?
Bonus math question: How many years after the book was published did I sign the book for Brooke?
“Do you have your drawings at home?”
…Yes. They’re all over my studio. I have flat files, big long skinny drawers, filled with art. I have framed art scattered about from past exhibits. I have towers of sketchbooks.
“Do you think making books all day is fun?”
“Wut wus yor last book you wot?”
…The last book I wrote was ELEPHANT’S STORY. The last book I illustrated was TUCK-IN TIME by Carole Gerber.
“How do you publish your books?”
…I don’t actually publish them. I write the stories and draw the pictures. My publisher turns my pictures and stories into books. Farrar Straus Giroux has been the publisher for many of my books. They are part of Macmillan Publishers and are in this building in New York City. It is called the Flatiron. It is very cool. I think it’s shaped like a slice of cake. Some people think it’s shaped like a slice of cheese.
“What is the best book you wrote?”
…I haven’t made my best book yet. I’m still working on that.
“How many books have you written?”
…I wanted to have 20 books published by the time I was 40 years old. I did that. Then I stopped counting. I just keep making books. You can go to this link on my website and count my books…then you can tell me and I’ll know the next time someone asks me this question!
“Do you travel a lot?”
…I’m not sure if I travel a lot. Some people travel all the time. I travel “a bit”. I travel to visit schools. I go to New York City to meet with my publisher, see my daughter and friends…go to museums…and eat…and eat…and eat. I like to travel for fun around the country and to Europe. I like cities. I like countryside. I like to bring my sketchbook.
“Did you have eney pets when you wer a kid?”
…Yes. I had a cat named Smokey. He was gray and liked to sleep in drawers.
…and your school is called Gray’s Woods….that’s cool
I enjoyed your letters and drawings. I enjoyed meeting everyone. You have a great school. Thank you Room 81!…Keep reading…keep writing…keep drawing…tcp
*Answers to math questions.
I signed the book for Brooke 26 years after her parents gave it to her.
I signed Brooke’s book 32 years after it was published.
When a giant Bob greeted me outside the library…I knew it was going to be a fun school visit. All those spots glued on by kids at Gray’s Woods Elementary…amazing!
PATTERNED ELEPHANT LETTERS on a welcome sign!…what fun.
They noticed I love to put patterns in my books…students even made colorful little Bobs.
Thank you, Anne…for all of the time and thought put into preparing Gray’s Woods Elementary for my author visit. It’s so much fun to walk into a school and see the students excited…before I even begin a presentation…
A Great school!
Thank you all!…State College, PA knows how to take care of visiting authors!…tcp
PS..Here’s a link to the Elephant Alphabet coloring page on my website. Just click on Elephant’s Activity Kit and there are letters to color, finger puppets and more. You can download the and make patterns on Elephant’s letters …spell your name…make a word…enjoy…have fun!