march 2011
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Why April Is Not The Cruelest Month, Plus A Sneak Peak At Eric Rohmann's Next Picture Book

By Jules

7impWith apologies to T.S. Eliot, April is not the cruelest month. At least not when you celebrate it with the Academy of American Poets.

April is National Poetry Month, and--since I get inordinately excited about it every year--my Kirkus column of April 1 celebrated with three new children's poetry titles I like, including one Honorable Mention (only thusly named, because I didn't have enough space to talk about four). The column is here.

Pictured left is the 2011 National Poetry Month poster, designed by Stephen Doyle. Click here or on the image itself for more info. You will even see at that page a link to request a free poster. (Also: Check out how other children's lit bloggers will be celebrating poetry all month.)

If you missed the March 25 Kirkus column, I weighed in on Lois Lowry's newest novel for children, Bless This Mouse, illustrated by Eric Rohmann, a short novel which made me wonder about genres and labels and how, specifically, this field categorizes books with Christian content, so if you have thoughts on the matter, please go weigh in.

7Featured here is Eric's rendition of Ignatious, who "had become a church mouse quite by accident when he had foolishly crawled into the pocket of an overcoat that was draped across a chair during a lecture" and who is very old and very learned. In this particular illustration, he's telling the other mice exactly from where the word "rhododendron" comes and why exactly they're poisonous. The mice have left their church home to head outside, a great exodus, and they're being warned not to nibble the dangerous leaves.

I touched base with Eric to see what he's up to now, and just below you'll see some images he's sharing from his next picture book. Bone Dog will be released this July from Roaring Brook, and below he shares one of the prints in progress.

Eric will also be teaching in July at the 27th Annual Writers Workshop at Chautauqua. This is where, as their site states, aspiring authors and illustrators (or those already working and wanting to hone their craft) can spend a week learning from children's book and magazine editors, authors, and illustrators and work one-on-one with a publishing professional to polish and shape manuscripts--all in Chautauqua, home of the Chautauqua Institution in southwestern New York State. Eric is one in a long list of impressive 2011 faculty; check out the other instructors here. Eric also tells me he'll be teaching an illustration workshop with Floyd Cooper and others in September over at Highlights in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. This is also open to aspiring illustrators. Again, here is the link for more information about the upcoming Chautauqua workshop.

And here, as promised, is a sneak-peek at Bone Dog, and I thank Eric for sharing:


Here it is printed without color:


All artwork is (c) 2011 by Eric Rohmann and used with permission.

julesThis and many more of Jules’s adventures in books, kids’ lit and illustration can be found at the Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast blog. Visit often. You will be rewarded for doing so.




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