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A Month in Hawaii

I don't expect to get a lot of sympathy about this but one of the hard things about spending a month in Hawaii and working on a book is staying in to get it done. When that sun pops up every morning and the sky is bright blue with the sea twinkling in the distance it's all I can do to stop myself from jumping in the car and driving to the beach. But I've devised a plan where I pull the blinds shut and turn on the air conditioner. That way it feels just like Vancouver.  And I wake up early so I really just need to work until noon since that's when Toronto knocks off for the day.
Somehow I'm already halfway through my stay, feels like I just got here. I have been pretty busy but did manage to get some paddle boarding in which is lots of fun. I learned it's actually what surfing used to be until they got rid of the paddle and narrowed the board. So in a way I could say I was surfing... sort of. 
I also joined a great life drawing class.  After talking to a wonderful woman who attends the class (she's a great artist too... tp://www.marijcke.com/) I decided to check it out.  It takes place in the very cool Honolulu Academy of the Arts, a building I always wanted sneak into anyway. So the session was great as was the model.  They have a very nice custom here that we don't do in Vancouver. At the end of each pose everybody claps for the model. Nice.
And to round it out I'm doing yoga which is pretty amazing with the warm breezes blowing in the studio...

Posted on 15 Feb 2011 10:16 -  Category: update
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Website, Books and Travel

Time for an update. The snow is falling outside and I'm getting ready to take off to Hawaii.  Lucky guy I am. Even though I'm going to be working the whole time it will be nice to be able to knock off and jump in the water to swim with the fishies.
My main news now is my website has been updated and I love it. It has been simplified a lot and is much easier to navigate.  A few of the bells and whistles I had before have been removed.  Any day now I should have some comic/cartoons up as well.
 It looks like I'm just about done my upcoming book for Kids Can Press. I'm not sure of the release date but I will keep you posted.  It's a follow up to Follow that Map so I'm hoping it will get the same reaction and maybe get nominated for some awards as well.  The title now is Look at that Building.
My other huge project is a follow up to Why? a book I did with Owl/Maple Tree Press many years ago.  It's a doozie of a book with lots of illustration so that will keep me busy until the summer. It will be called How? It's full of questions that kids ask and is so much fun to do. I imagine I will be smarter than a 2nd grader by the time I'm done.


Posted on 22 Jan 2011 10:12 -  Category: news
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Norma Fleck Award Nominee

July 19 2010 - 10:43:54

Having gotten used to toiling away in the dark mines of children's illustration for so long it took me awhile to realize this is probably the kind of thing that should be posted here. I've recently found out that a book I illustrated and wrote has been nominated for a national award for non fiction kids books. It's called the Norma Fleck Award and it's quite an honour. If you want to check it out visit: http://tiny.cc/kpspl The book is Follow that Map, published by my good friends at Kids Can Press. I'm also getting a good reaction to the cartoons I'm emailing out. If anybody wants to be on my mailing list just write. It's once a month and hopefully provides a smile or two.


Posted on 12 Jan 2011 12:17 -  Category: news
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New Books

June 11 2010 - 13:54:19

Summer is struggling to get started here in Vancouver but I know it's just around the corner! It looks like I'll be busy with a couple of books with two of my favourite publishers - Kids Can Press and Owl. These are both sort of follow up projects to books we did before. Exciting news about 'Why?" (Maple Tree Press) as it is soon to be the 10th Anniversary. This book just keeps on selling. The latest count is 6 translations including an upcoming Arabic edition. I'm looking forward to a great project with Gumbook books where I'll be doing a book just for ipodipadmp3 players. In the meantime keeping my fingers crossed for another follow up project that I hope goes ahead... will keep you posted.


Posted on 12 Jan 2011 12:16 -  Category: news
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SCBWI presentation

May 10 2010 - 9:16:58

Well the talk went very well. We got a good turnout and the people seemed to enjoy it - even though I did rattle on for about 2.5 hours and wondered if people might be getting tired of the sound of my voice. That's gotta be some kind of record for me in terms of non stop talking. But in terms of making a presentation and being in front of people it was a big learning curve and I'm looking forward to other events. I have to say one of the highlights was meeting the people who came, some professional illustrators and some just starting out - the full range. Interesting looking at their portfolios and, in a way, seeing myself as I started so many years ago. I wanted to thank Ken Kilback at SCBWI for inviting me along to speak.


Posted on 12 Jan 2011 12:16 -  Category: news
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