A new twist (and Giveaway) on the Gingerbread Boy

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I am happy to share with you a new book written and illustrated by Elisa Kleven. This post is part of a blog tour and book Giveaway (information at the bottom of the post). The Horribly Hungry Gingerbread Boy is a clever retelling of the traditional folk tale of the runaway cookie, set in the author’s home town of San Francisco. I have long admired Elisa’s books and in this new one, she keeps up her reputation as the queen of multi-cultural patterned motifs. Her watercolor illustrations are so packed with color and detail that both young and old can spend many an hour pouring over them.klevenbookEach page is a carnival of activity, with street scenes and landscapes showing San Francisco’s many neighborhoods, buildings and the harbor. Families living in or visiting San Francisco will enjoy identifying the city’s many landmarks.

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The pure color palette and use of patterns is reminiscent of Persian Miniatures. And Kleven conveys a riotous energy that children will love. Copies of The Horribly Hungry Gingerbread Boy are available in bookstores and on Amazon.

To enter the GIVEAWAY, please leave a comment on this post (open to US residents only). The winner will be picked at random. Participating blogs on the tour (with more reviews and Giveaways are listed bellow:

12/6/16 :: Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)/Tara Lazar

12/7/16 :: We Bloom Here/Margaret Bloom

12/9/16 :: KidLit411/Sylvia Liu

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The fairies made me do it

Over the 7 years since I started sharing my artistic journey on this blog, I have deliberately shied away from showing anything controversial or political. I’ve been playing it safe, but not anymore. The recent American Presidential election has jolted me out of my quiet world, into the partisan struggle surrounding us. I believe that we are in the first chapters of an epic cautionary tale, which portends to be an instructional parable and test of our democracy for at least a generation.

I cannot sit back and go on as usual, trusting that it will all work out without my involvement. Those pesky fairies are ganging up and insisting that I express my thoughts and opinions through art. They know that is how I deal with distressing events that keep me awake at night. In the dark, I think about and visualize what to make and how I’m going to go about it. It helped me get through election night, when I pictured a huddled group of wee folk under a sheer black shroud. And that is how I will continue to try to comprehend what I see unfolding before us. I have always been inclined toward editorial illustration, but couldn’t figure out how to do the work quickly enough to meet professional deadlines. Now, my mind is full of ideas and I will make the time to bring as many as I can to life.

Lately, I have been thinking about the purpose of art and have come to the conclusion that artists, writers, poets, comics, cartoonists, musicians, storytellers and filmmakers have more of an important role to play in our world today than is realized. We need art to help illuminate the way to a greater human understanding. It’s a messy process, fraught with conflict, but not lacking of wit. As Oscar Wilde said, “The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.” We must keep creating art that recognizes and reflects the irony and tragedy, as well as the beauty of the society we live in. Goodness knows, there’s no shortage of material to use. I’ve already given this new movement a title: American Art – Post-election Period. You can see my contributions here. Also, a new drama troupe, The Wee Folk Players (They’re a Stitch) has formed and is adding cast members on a daily basis.

trollfreezoneAttention Please: This blog has been designated a Troll Free Zone. Civil discourse in comments is encouraged, but swearing, ranting, name calling and hate speech are not.

Now, allow me to introduce Wee Trump, whom I hoped would just go away. Alas, it looks like he’s here to stay for a while. He has a persistent nasal condition which may be permanent, but he and a lot of other people don’t seem to mind. Below are 2 portraits, from before and after Nov. 8th, 2016. Do clothes make the President? We’re sure to have interesting adventures together over the next 4 years.

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I know how much you like to see photos from behind the scenes, so here are a couple. The most challenging part for me was printing out the reference materials.

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Nasty Fairy Force deployment

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The NASTY Fairy Force is eager to take flight and follow their important humanitarian mission. This special unit has been assigned to uplift the disheartened and guard against bullying and harassment in the homeland and overseas. NASTY may look cute, but can she sting! The swarm of 25 fairies will be deployed on Saturday, Nov. 19th at 10 AM EST, in my ETSY shop. First come, first served.

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Months of preparation have led up to their readiness, with an extra push at the end to help meet this week’s emergency call for action. May the Fairy Force be with you!

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