15 Best Picture Books of 2014

This is an exciting day! It’s the day I announce my list of the Best Picture Books of 2014, just in time for you to make your holiday shopping list. You will love each and every one of these books and so will your children.  I read so many outstanding books this year, I just could not limit my list to 10 books. Each of these titles were reviewed by me during the 2014 calendar year and were published in the last quarter of 2013 or during the calendar year of 2014.

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#1 Best Picture Book of the Year

The Lion and the Bird

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Written and Illustrated by Marianne Dubuc (Enchanted Lion Books)

What Makes This the Best Picture Book of the Year and One of the Best of All Time

The Lion and the Bird is absolutely perfect in every way. It’s the only picture book I read this year that made me cry, because I was so touched by the story. When my daughter came home from college I gave it to her to read, and she cried too. The story tugs at your heart, then warms it up and enriches your soul like it’s never been enriched before.  It’s about loneliness, an unlikely friendship and love, using select few words and outstanding illustrations, with adorable little details, that are so full of emotion and charm, you just won’t know what to do with yourself. The Lion and the Bird is more than just a book.  It’s a symbol of hope and kindness and hands to readers the key to true happiness, all wrapped up in a beautiful package with a bow. There can’t be a better picture book on the planet than this one, so don’t even try to convince me otherwise.

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The Rest of the Best Picture Books in Alphabetical Order

I simply cannot rank these books in order of greatness. They are all winners in their own unique and outstanding ways.

Banjo and Ruby Red

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Written by Libby Gleeson and illustrated by Freya Blackwood (Little Hare – Hardie Grant Egmont)

What Makes This Book Outstanding

I was smitten with the oil-painted illustrations by Freya Blackwood as soon as I saw the cover of the book. She uses beautifully saturated colors along with wispy black ink outlines, resulting in the most eye-catching images. The story is about a farm dog, named Banjo, whose job it is to keep the chickens in the farm yard. Banjo clashes with the most stubborn chicken on the entire farm, Ruby Red, but something happens that turns a rivalry into a very special friendship. Banjo and Ruby Red teach us that compassion, kindness and friendship can even exist between complete opposites. The story is touching and the visual experience you get from reading this book is extraordinary.

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Read My Interview with Illustrator Freya Blackwood

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The Day I Lost My Superpowers

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 Written by Michaël Escoffier, Illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo (Enchanted Lion Books)

What Makes This Book Outstanding

My regular readers all know that Michaël Escoffier, and Kris Di Giacomo are my favorite children’s book author/illustrator team. No matter what the topic of their picture book, they deliver it with unparalleled wit, humor and charm. Kris’ endearing illustrations are irresistible.  The Day I Lost My Superpowers is written from the perspective of a very little girl with a cape and a mask (and a pacifier) who spends her days polishing her “superpowers,” that is until something goes very wrong.  Words can’t begin to properly portray the adorableness of this child and her imaginary play. The carefully chosen words are magical and the illustrations, with all their little details make the reading experience extraordinary. There isn’t a child (or adult) out there who can’t relate to this charming story.

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Read My Interview With Illustrator Kris Di Giacomo

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Fox’s Garden

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Written and illustrated by Princesse Camcam (Enchanted Lion Books)

What Makes This Book Outstanding

This story of compassion is about a fox in need who receives a kind and selfless gesture from a little boy. It’s a wordless picture book, so the reader does all the work figuring out the storyline by interpreting the illustrations. And those illustrations are exceptionally unique. Princesse Camcam creates them by using cut paper and arranging the pieces in display boxes. She then uses lights behind the paper to create brightness, shadows and depth. The illustrations make you feel as though you are right in the middle of the wintry scene yourself. The ending is pure joy, and the story is so genuine you’ll just be a better version of yourself after reading it.

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The Grudge Keeper

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Written by Mara Rockliff, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler (Peachtree Publishing)

What Makes This Book Outstanding

Imagine a town called Bonnyripple, with a “keeper of grudges.” These grudges have been written on paper and rolled up and tied, and there are oodles and oodles of them. Then imagine the chaos that can ensue from all those papers with all those grudges and all that baggage!  The message in The Grudge Keeper is larger than life. The tongue-twisting words are a pure delight to read out loud and the illustrations take you back to an earlier time, with all their eye-catching detail. The Grudge Keeper is a brilliant book and by far one of the best picture books I’ve ever read. If you’ve ever held a grudge, are holding one now or know someone who holds a grudge, then you must buy this extraordinary book. If you know a child, you should buy it for him or her too. This is a classic story that will stand the test of time.

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Read My Interview With Illustrator Eliza Wheeler

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I’m My Own Dog

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Written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein (Candlewick Press)

What Makes This Book Outstanding

The clever wit of I’m My Own Dog, combined with the darling and humorous illustrations make this stand way out among picture books. The story is told from the point of view of one very smart alec dog, who leads you to believe he is the owner of the human, rather than the human being the owner of the dog.  Creative genius and Caldecott Honor winner, David Ezra Stein has a knack to tell a story with so few, clever chosen words and uniquely wonderful illustrations. I interviewed him and was so impressed with the amount of thought and work that goes into his books. There isn’t a detail that’s been overlooked here: even the font of the text matches the playfulness of the dog. You don’t have to have a dog to love this fantastic picture book.

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Read My Interview With Author/Illustrator David Ezra Stein

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Just Right for Two

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Written by Tracey Corderoy and Illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw (Nosy Crow Books)

What Makes This Book Outstanding

Just when you’re happy to be alone, along comes a stranger who’s very different than you in every way. After you get acquainted with that stranger, well, he’s not a stranger any longer. And once he’s gone, that’s the time you really start to miss him. The message of friendship and sharing in Just Right for Two is delivered in such a gentle and heartwarming way. Rosalind Beardshaw’s illustrations are among my favorite of the year. The characters are absolutely adorable and remind me of fluffy stuffed animals that your child will want to take to bed every night. After reading Just Right for Two, we know are better off sharing with a pal or loved one than we are spending time alone with all our stuff. This is a life lesson we can all benefit from.

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Mr. Frank

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Written and illustrated by Irene Luxbacher (Groundwood Books)

What Makes This Book Outstanding

Inspired by the author’s childhood, Mr. Frank is a tribute to her dad who owned a tailor’s shop for many years up until his retirement. The wholesomeness of a Mr. Frank’s old-fashioned American business is delightfully presented. There’s something extraordinary about a man who spends his life providing an expert service to the people in his town, and does what he does so well.  Irene Luxbacher’s outstanding illustrations are a mix of pencil drawing, paint, as well as scans of photographs and textiles – including some of the fabrics her dad used in his shop. How cool is that? The colors are vibrant and you can almost feel the textures she magically creates. This feel-good story has a lovely surprise ending, leaving you with joy in your heart, wishing you were a small shop owner too.

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Mr.Wuffles

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Written and illustrated by David Wiesner (Clarion Books)

Mr. Wuffles takes humor to a whole new level. This black and white cat has a pile of toys, but he’s only interested in the tiny aliens that have landed in a spacecraft and occupied the house. And that cat is out to get them. Those aliens don’t know what hit them with that cat around, and the goings on are both hilarious and oh, so cleverly concocted. There are only a few words, plus a made up language and phenomenal, beautifully colored illustrations.  This book earned David a  Caldecott Honor, plus he is one of only two, three-time Caldecott Medalists in the history of the award. The story is so clever and original, and the experience the aliens have, who befriend insects inside the walls of the house, is uproariously funny. This almost wordless picture book has a comic strip flair to it and gives readers the chance to do the deciphering.  It’s an incredible treat to do that with illustrations as amazing as these.

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Read My Interview with David Wiesner

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Paul Meets Bernadette

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Written and illustrated by Rosy Lamb (Candlewick Press)

What Makes This Book Outstanding

The cover of Paul Meets Bernadette had me hooked. All throughout the book, every page is an artistic oil-painted masterpiece in and of itself. Oh, what I’d do to own any original illustration from that book! Author Rosy Lamb is an incredibly talented American sculptor and oil artist, living in Paris, and she was inspired one day to try her hand at her first picture book after gazing at her own goldfish bowl sitting in the middle of her art studio. Paul is a fish who swims round and round until the day he meets Bernadette, who suddenly appears in his bowl. She shows him that there’s a lot he’s missing by not taking the time to notice what’s all around him. The message is that the world can look quite different when you see it through the eyes of love. Paul Meets Bernadette is an extraordinary picture book, and my interview with author Rosy Lamb, remains my favorite of all the interviews I’ve ever done. You’ve just got to read her amazing personal story, and you’ve just got to buy this book!

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Read My Interview With Author/Illustrator Rosy Lamb

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Peggy

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Written and illustrated by Anna Walker (Clarion Books by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

What Makes This Book Outstanding

Peggy is an adorable chicken who is content sitting in her hen house day in and day out. But one day, a mighty wind takes her high in the air, outside the comfort of her home and she lands in a nearby city – a place she never would have gone to on her own. We learn through Peggy that we all must step outside our comfort zones to broaden our horizons and experience all the world has to offer. Anna Walker uses subtle humor to tell her lovely story, and her watercolor illustrations are stunning. Peggy is such a likable chicken, and what’s there not to love about a chicken named Peggy anyway? She will steal your heart and inspire you to step outside your own “hen house” and create your own unforgettable, life-changing adventure.

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Sam and Dave Dig a Hole

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Written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen (Candlewick Press)

What Makes This Book Outstanding

There’s been a lot of hullabaloo about NY Times Bestselling Sam & Dave Dig a Hole, and it’s all well deserved.  This author and illustrator team exemplifies pure creative genius. Sam and Dave are brothers who start digging in the yard to see what treasures they can find, along with their extra observant pooch. The reader knows more about what’s going on than the boys in the story, and what makes this book so outstanding is that the reader has to really pay attention in order to figure out what happens at the end. It’s incredibly clever and original and so entertaining! It really makes children think. The illustrations are so perfect for the storyline and the deadpan humor of these two masters of children’s literature is unparalleled. This is a book that will be flying off the shelves for years to come. You’ve just got to get it.

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Shh! We Have a Plan!

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Written and illustrated by Chris Haughton (Candlewick Press)

What Makes This Book Outstanding

Four characters set out to catch a bird, but their plan fails – over and over again. There’s always hope though, so one says to the others, “Shh! We have a plan!”  Chris Haughton’s keen sense of humor is beguiling and the artwork is spectacular. With blue on blue tones (except for the bird) the illustrations are unique and expressive, adding as much silly humor to the story as the words. And the surprise ending is super clever. Shh! We Have a Plan provides laugh out loud humor and has all the elements of a winning picture book. There’s simply nothing that could be changed to make this book better. It’s perfect just the way it is.

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Take Away the A

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 Written by Michaël Escoffier, Illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo (Enchanted Lion Books)

What Makes This Book Outstanding

There are alphabet books galore, but there’s none like Take Away the A. Once again, my favorite author/illustrator team creates a real winner here with this super creative way to teach children their ABCs and more. Each letter of the alphabet is presented on a two-page spread, and a short sentence presents a word with the featured letter of the alphabet subtracted. So when just one letter is taken out of a word, it transforms into an entirely new word, and the words are all humorous. This book that seems simple in its purpose is beautifully sophisticated and gets little people’s brains spinning. Kris Di Giacomo’s illustrations are darling and humorous. I don’t know how these two can repeatedly take their ideas and turn them into masterpieces, but they manage to do it every single time. Publishers Weekly agrees with me on this one, because they named it one of the Best Picture Books of the Year too.

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Read My Interview With Illustrator Kris Di Giacomo

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Quest

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Illustrated by Aaron Becker (Candlewick Press)

What Makes This Book Outstanding

Aaron Becker’s first book ever, Journey, landed him a Caldecott Honor, was a NY Times Bestseller and Best Illustrated Picture Book. This second title in his wordless picture book trilogy is just as outstanding as his first, and there’s nothing formulaic about it. Each title stands on its own. Aaron’s watercolor illustrations are truly magical – among the best you’ve ever seen. His use of color is mesmerizing and the world he creates is one where I long to be.  A boy and a girl set out to save the king, who is in great danger. The story is full of excitement, adventure and around every corner there’s a surprise. All kids can relate to child heroes and that’s what these two in the book really are. Because Quest is wordless, readers get to decide the storyline for themselves. This second book in the trilogy leaves you eager to dive into the third title, Return, when it’s out next year. Aaron is in Spain right now finishing that up as we speak.

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Read my Second Interview with Author/Illustrator Aaron Becker

Read my First Interview with Author/Illustrator Aaron Becker

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Check out my list of the Best Picture Books of 2013 here.

Gazing Through the Glass Bowl: An In-Depth Interview with Author, Painter and Sculptor Rosy Lamb

Image 9Rosy Lamb is living the life of a true artist, in her studio in Paris with its white-washed walls and tall windows that beckon the light to stream through in the most perfect of ways. She spends her days painting with oils and sculpting and has recently added writing and illustrating an extraordinary children’s book to her creative accomplishments. (Read my review of her book,  Paul Meets Bernadette here Candlewick Press).

© Copyright by Rosy Lamb – Self Portrait, oil on plaster, 2014

Rosy grew up in New Hampshire with her siblings and artist parents, attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and then moved to Paris in 2001 to realize her dream. Today she shares the fascinating journey she took to become an artist, including the fork in the road that led her to getting her first children’s book published.

Perhaps I had an unusual background, but I believe there are many paths that lead people to creative lives. Rebellion is often a powerful starting point for an artist, though it wasn’t mine, and realizing for the first time when you are 60 that you must devote your life to drawing and painting seems to me a good way to start too.

How old were you when you knew you wanted to be an artist, and did the fact that you were home schooled have anything to do with your interest in art?

From the earliest age I was more interested in drawing and painting than anything else. Sometimes I think I just didn’t realize I had any other options, as I was just doing what my parents were doing. As a homeschooler I did have lots of time to myself, which made it a lot like being in my studio now, even better because I didn’t have to wonder how to pay my own rent. My parents have always lived with artistic work at the center of their lives, and in this way they modeled to their children a precarious and unrealistic approach to life, which may also be a necessary blindness if you want to be a full-time artist.

Perhaps I had an unusual background, but I believe there are many paths that lead people to creative lives. Rebellion is often a powerful starting point for an artist, though it wasn’t mine, and realizing for the first time when you are 60 that you must devote your life to drawing and painting seems to me a good way to start too.

To sculpt something that is alive and true is so difficult, and it’s so exciting when even a little bit of life peeps through a lump of clay . . .

How did you come to choose both sculpting and painting, and do you prefer one over the other?

Image 17The work that I show is mostly painting. I do work on new sculptures, too, which if I do not exhibit, find their way into the backgrounds of my paintings.

© Copyright by Rosy Lamb – Harriet, oil on plaster, 2013

I had never sculpted until I got to art school, but somehow once I started I couldn’t stop for ten years running. To sculpt something that is alive and true is so difficult, and it’s so exciting when even a little bit of life peeps through a lump of clay, and then there is mold making, wax and metal work—the process is endless!

Several years ago I had a dream—an actual nighttime dream—that I could mix painting and sculpture by painting on plaster panels and sculpted plaster supports. This has become a wonderful source of innovation and creativity for me and I feel I still have a lot to explore in the subtle mixing of painting and sculpture.

How soon after graduating from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts did you become the assistant for the French sculptor, Jean Cardot, and how did that come about?

I graduated in 1999 and moved to Paris in the fall of 2001. I had seen two of Jean Cardot’s public sculptures on a visit to Paris in the spring of 2001. I liked his monument of Winston Churchill and I noticed that it was from the same year (2001). I met with him and showed him my work. Later that summer he invited me to come to work for him. I was ready for a change and so I packed up my life, crated up my sculpture tools, and moved to Paris to a studio at the Cité des Arts, a big artist residence in the center of Paris.

What was it like working with Cardot, and how did he influence you as an artist?

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© Copyright by Rosy Lamb – Partial Population, a Sculpture Composition, 2014

I ended up not having much time for my own work during the two years I worked for Cardot. I spent most of my time in one of his studios or at his foundry (the famous Fonderie de Coubertin, which still casts Rodin’s work), working on many small and large projects for him. It was really interesting to work at the Coubertin; they are great innovators in bronze casting techniques.

I wouldn’t say that the work I do now is much influenced by Cardot, but through him I got a taste of a certain official old-world French life: opening nights at the opera and fancy dinner parties with patrons of the arts. It was a bit embarrassing to me but also interesting, being a fly on the wall to a Parisian old-guard – who not surprisingly I have since had little to do with. It is thanks to Cardot that I have such a beautiful studio; he found it for me just before the end of my time working for him.

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© Copyright by Rosy Lamb – Rosy in her sun-drenched studio in Paris

The important thing for me is to try not to think about making a living from my work and just think about the work itself! Alas, this is easier said than done.

What would you say are the main factors that determine whether or not an artist can make a living from his or her craft?

I don’t know a good answer to that question, so I will just tell you about my experience. . .

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In the early years the only way to sustain and feed my interest in art was by working at hourly jobs, which I did right through my teens and twenties. It was important for me then to feel myself a student and not to have to show my work to anyone or to try to find any sort of market for my experiments.

© Copyright by Rosy Lamb –Jasmine in the Braemare House, oil on plaster, 79 × 63 cm, 2008

When I arrived in France, I could no longer work as a waitress. My Visa is as an “independent worker,” which allows me to sell my work and give classes in my studio, but nothing else. For three or four years I did give classes in my studio.  Little by little I began to get some portrait commissions and to show and sell my paintings. It has never been easy but I am stubborn, selfish and single-minded, and in the past when people saw that in me they sometimes gently tried to lend a hand, helping me to live my great adventure by buying a small piece or commissioning a painting. That was how it was in the beginning.

Now I feel like I hardly know or see anybody in my studio (apart from models), so finally, my work, when it is worthwhile, finds buyers and its own place in the wider world of strangers. The important thing for me is to try not to think about making a living from my work and just think about the work itself! Alas, this is easier said than done.

pmeetsb-jkt What inspired you to write a children’s book, and what was the process like finding a publisher?

I love picture books very much. William Steig (my all-time favorite), Virginia Lee Burton, Tomi Ungerer, Maurice Sendak,Wanda Gag and Margaret Wise Brown are right up there in my personal pantheon of the very greatest artists and writers. Children’s books also play a central role in the artistic culture of the family I grew up in.

I wrote Paul Meets Bernadette almost ten years ago. I knew making a proper dummy to show to publishers would take some time and somehow I never felt I could take several months off to devote to the project. But then two things happened. My husband, who loved the little story, encouraged me to take the summer of 2010 to make a dummy. Meanwhile my father, Albert Lamb*, who in recent years had begun to write and publish picture books with the illustrator, David McPhail, made an appointment for me in September with his favorite editor and publisher at Candlewick, Sarah Ketchersid.

Long story short, I worked hard all that summer on the dummy only to miss the meeting that I had been so looking forward to. I realized on the day of the appointment that my plane back to Paris from Philly was scheduled for a day earlier than I had thought! What a disaster! My father met me just as I was hopping on the bus to Philly (I was in NY for the appointment) and I gave him the dummy to bring to Sarah that afternoon. Many, many months went by and I heard nothing. I thought Sarah must have lost the dummy. It was my only copy, so I finally emailed her to ask if she could find it and return it to me. A few weeks after that she told me that in fact they wanted to publish it! It was the most wonderful and unexpected surprise.

9327107*My father’s and David McPhail’s book with Candlewick is called Tell me the Day Backwards; it’s a beautiful bedtime story about a bear cub reciting his day backwards to his mother.

 

What a terrific story about getting your book published! How did you come up with the story for Paul Meets Bernadette? Do you have goldfish of your own?

It occurred to me all at once one morning and I instantly made a simple first draft dummy that is very similar to the finished story. The day I thought of the story I decided I needed some fish to be models for Paul and Bernadette. I went and bought myself a round bowl and two goldfish and then for years and years, while the tiny dummy sat on the shelf gathering dust, a bowl of goldfish appeared in the background of my other paintings. I realized as I painted the fishbowl that a glass bowl full of water and fish reflects every color and mood in a room, which inspired me to make the finished illustrations for this book like color studies with the bowl changing color on every page. I still do have two goldfish and now my two-year-old daughter takes charge of feeding them.

I went and bought myself a round bowl and two goldfish and then for years and years, while the tiny dummy sat on the shelf gathering dust, a bowl of goldfish appeared in the background of my other paintings.

Is there any meaning behind the names you chose for the fish?

Paul is a name that sounds nice and sensitive to me and Bernadette sounds like the name of a fish who knows what’s what—but there is no special meaning.

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© Copyright by Rosy Lamb – The real Paul and Bernadette in the studio, 2014

I was inspired by the message in your story. Did you set out to write a picture book with a strong message or did it just evolve that way?

I wasn’t trying to write a book with a message—the story just seemed so funny to me. I wrote it at a time when I was realizing that the way my parents depicted the world to me as a child was just their perspective and perhaps not always true in the same way for me (I was merely 30 when this shock came). I do like the idea that after protesting that Bernadette is crazy, children might come around to seeing that from the limited perspective of the fishbowl Bernadette is neither wrong nor right, that everything we believe is true is often only so in relation to our own circumstances, our perception and our desire to know things. Also, and more importantly, it’s quite alright not to know things for certain, as it is so wonderful just to be alive and to be with one another in the beautiful colorful world. So maybe it is a book with a message—yes, I see it now! But even to me it seems like a different message on different days. And other people have found other ways of relating to the story, and I am thankful for that.

That’s the best kind of story – one that can be interpreted many ways. Can you share with us the process about Image 18how you made the illustrations for the book? (Do you start with sketches? What medium did you use and are the illustrations painted on paper or canvas?) 

The paintings for the book are done on a variety of gessoed papers. I realized midway through the book that I should have been working on the same paper from the start, but with typical messy zeal I had just been grabbing any old piece of paper from under my shoe and starting to paint. Thankfully the authorities at Candlewick determined that the texture of the paintings were so varied that textural variety would be the look and feel of the book.

I developed the ideas for each page in the dummy stage and then I did make a faint underdrawing to guide me with the more complex images as I started the finished paintings. I then painted the illustrations with oil paint, which is the most natural and comfortable medium for me.

© Copyright by Rosy Lamb – Hanna (Huckleberry Finn), oil on plaster, 100×100 cm, 2009

Is there any difference in your creative process between painting a single painting as compared to an illustration for a children’s book? 

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© Copyright by Rosy Lamb – The Long Winter with Hanna and Lilly, oil on canvas, 2010

For the first time, I looked inward to find the images, rather than out into the world around me. I consulted my memories of colors and things and tried to see what was there, what I could come up with from that image bank inside myself.

Making the paintings for Paul Meets Bernadette was new and different from the way I normally approach painting. When I paint from life, I tend to have almost no idea what will appear in the painting. I don’t make studies or even careful under-paintings. Instead I tend to paint and repaint my subject working directly from life until something feels right and alive enough to be worth leaving as is. With this method of working, no preexisting image, no photo, clip art or computer data gives me any idea of what I am aiming for.  It is a process of discovery.

Creating the paintings for Paul Meets Bernadette was also a process of discovery, but of a different sort. For the first time, I looked inward to find the images, rather than out into the world around me. I consulted my memories of colors and things and tried to see what was there, what I could come up with from that image bank inside myself. I thought of it almost as if I were making idyllic versions of things, my perfect teapot, my perfect jar of juice. And then I just let myself play with color harmonies, especially in regard to the fishbowls at the beginning of the book which are, for me, like abstract color studies.

This was also entirely new for me because I was working in collaboration with the art director, Maryellen Hanley. Each time she asked me to redo a spread I would curse her and then say to myself, “I will redo this once again just to prove her wrong,” and each time my efforts would only prove her right—the image would be so much better. It was a wonderful, eye-opening experience for me, working with Maryellen.

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© Copyright by Rosy Lamb – The artist at work in her studio

Not many people realize there is often a challenging “editing” process to illustrating as well as writing a book. Can we expect to see more picture books from you? 

I have a story now that I hope will be my next picture book. I need to finish a dummy and then I will send it to Candlewick and we shall see. I don’t expect to be prolific, but I do want to write and illustrate a few more picture books. Yes, most certainly! And I have lots of very silly ideas!

That is the answer I was hoping to hear! Rosy, your work is phenomenal and your talent awe-inspiring. Thank you so much for taking the time to give us such an insightful, honest interview and for sharing your passion with our readers. It is fascinating to learn about all the unique personal events, challenges and experiences that took place in your life and led you to write and illustrate Paul Meets Bernadette. How wonderful it must be for the REAL Paul and Bernadette to live in your studio and gaze at your glorious work, through the glass bowl.

Image 4Readers, please take the time to visit Rosy’s website and scroll through the images of her spectacular paintings and sculptures. You’ll find her contact information on the site.

Visit the Paul Meets Bernadette website here.

© Copyright – Image of Rosy Lamb Courtesy of Candlewick Press

Note: No part of the text or the images in this post may be used without permission.

Boy Meets Girl, or Rather Fish Meets Fish, Just in Time for Valentines Day

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PAUL MEETS BERNADETTE. Copyright © 2013 by Rosy Lamb. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

Paul Meets Bernadette

•    Targeted Audience: Pre-School and Lower Elementary (Ages 4-7)
•    Genre: Fiction Picture Book
•    Author/Illustrator: Rosy Lamb
•    Publisher: Candlewick Press
•    Publication Date: December 1, 2013
•    Binding: High Quality Hard Cover
•    Dimensions: 7.5″ x 9″
•    Printing: Full Color
•    Length: 40 Pages
•     Retail: $14.00
•     ISBN: 9780763661304

Go Ahead and Judge This Book By its Cover

I firmly believe in the old cliche, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” But there’s something about the cover of this particular book that led me to believe that if I opened it up, I’d be delighted.  I just love it when I’m right . .

An Enchanting Original Story perfect for Valentines Day or Any Day for That Matter

Life isn’t all that exciting for Paul, a lonely, bored goldfish who swims monotonously around in circles in his bowl all day long. One day, a new goldfish named, Bernadette drops into his bowl and suddenly everything changes. Bernadette shows Paul that there’s a great big world around him, if he’d only take the time to notice it. Together they swim from side to side and look out past the walls of the fish bowl to notice interesting objects, and with great imagination discover an exciting new world. A colorful vase of flowers becomes an enchanting forest. A teapot becomes a momma elephant. But even more than welcoming the glorious world around him he hadn’t noticed before, what Paul discovers most is Bernadette.

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PAUL MEETS BERNADETTE. Copyright © 2013 by Rosy Lamb. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

A Terrific Message + Extraordinary Illustrations = An Outstanding Picture Book (or Why You Must Read This Book)

I am quite certain Paul Meets Bernadette will fast become a highly celebrated picture book. Author/illustrator Rosy Lamb is an incredibly talented painter and sculptor, and her oil paint illustrations in this book are extraordinary, with vibrant colors and a dreamlike quality to them. Combine the visual splendor of this picture book with the subtle message of how one true love can change your life by helping you see the wonders of the world around you, and what you’ve got is a perfect picture book.

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PAUL MEETS BERNADETTE. Copyright © 2013 by Rosy Lamb. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

Read my Interview with Rosy Lamb!

Image 4About the Author

Rosy Lamb is a painter and sculptor. She grew up in New Hampshire, studied art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia and then moved to Paris to work as an assistant for the famous French sculptor, Jean Cardot. Today she lives in a studio with tall windows on a quiet street in Paris with her husband and daughter. She painted the pictures for Paul Meets Bernadette while her baby daughter slept by her side.

Watch the wonderful book trailer here!

Note: None of the images on this post may be used without permission from the publisher, Candlewick Press.