Contact Stephen about visiting your school!

News and Events
Art
Kids' Stuff
Archives
Links

Tag: children’s books

MY BIG LIST OF FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK ILLUSTRATORS IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER: PART 4

09.27.13

Here’s the fourth installment of my favorite picture book illustrators. Click here for Part 1, here for Part 2, and here for Part 3.

Taro Gomi

013_thumb[4]

Lydia Monks

whatladybird_2

Gaetan Doremus

beardespair8

Oliver Jeffers

gallery-oliver-jeffers-th-007

Roger Duvoisin

659086906_d96d9eda00

Arnold Lobel

Frog_Toad

Jeanne Bendick

$T2eC16R,!)8E9s4l7c1!BR+dMhT!mQ~~60_35

Art Seiden

DinoCome2Town

Marc Boutavant

boutavant_lge_1

James Marshall

george-and-martha-illustration-james-marshall

Comments... »
news & events | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

MY BIG LIST OF FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK ILLUSTRATORS IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER: PART 3

09.13.13

Here’s the third installment of my favorite picture book illustrators. Click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2.

Marla Frazee

Stars7._V161792644_

Ezra Jack Keats

628x471

James Flora

james_flora_cow_sneezed

Jon Klassen

size500_prints_JonKlassen_ExtraYarn(Page11)_main

Hyewon Yum

6a0120a5874544970c01347fb5ac6a970c-800wi

Bill Peet

1904Sample

David Small

One-Cool-Friend-Inside-e1330543071615-500x385

Dan Yaccarino

520120208203654001_t607

Valeria Petrone

aaa

Mo Willems

elephantandpiggie

Mercer Mayer

7029115129_06e9145637_z

Dr.Seuss

006954

Comments... »
news & events | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

MY BIG LIST OF FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK ILLUSTRATORS IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER: PART 2

09.07.13

Here is the second installment of my favorite picture book illustrators. Click on the link to check out PART 1.

Emma Dodd

i_love_bugs

Richard Scarry

Richard_Scarry_s_What_do_people_do_all_day

Tove Jansson

mumin

Maurice Sendak

sendak_cerealbabykeller

Gustaf Tengren

2900253481_2a68ac8925

Peggy Rathmann

RathmannMinutes

Bob Shea

new socks

Stephen Savage

Wheres-Walrus-300x300

Istvan Banyai

Otherside2.post_

Aurelius Battaglia

3264924805_6e696b6a76_z

Jeff Newman

Hippo-No-Rhino_04

4 Comments »
news & events | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

MY BIG LIST OF FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK ILLUSTRATORS IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER: PART 1

08.17.13

I love children’s book art and have a large collection of picture books from my favorite artists. I keep them in my studio and look through them often. I was recently asked what my favorite children’s book artists were, and like most times when I’m put on the spot, I froze. My mind went blank. So, I created a list of over fifty children’s book artists that I love, and this is the first part of a five part blog post.

Mary Blair

4623938842_a6db0ebe64_b

Yara Kono

297555_2111451117315_164643282_n

Bob Staake

514Jmzx5YaL._SX260_

Dan Krall

images

Crockett Johnson

haroldpurple

Bernard Most

BFDVL3FX_full.png

Valeri Gorbachev

where the apple pie1

Leo Timmers

images-1

Neal Layton

1423106458

Antoinette Portis

images-2

Who are your favorite children’s book artists?

7 Comments »
news & events | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

SUMMERTIME PHOTO FUN! Libraries, Bookstores, and Trolleys! Oh, My! SLIDESHOW!

07.30.13

1Photo on 7-29-13 at 4.27 PM

Early in the Summer I had a wonderful time visiting Shoreview Public Library. I just received this fabulous Thank You card from Librarian extraodinaire, Angela Miller

1Photo on 7-29-13 at 4.28 PM #2

Here are some photos of the event!

1Photo on 7-29-13 at 4.28 PM

WOW!

Photo on 7-30-13 at 11.28 AM

There were even dinosaur lollipops!

IMG_1519

I went down to Virginia to see my niece graduate from high school and did an event at the crazy-awesome Givens Books. This is me and my brother outside Givens Books. He was super helpful in getting in contact with Mr. Givens.

IMG_1526

Here’s the check-out counter at Givens Books!

IMG_1528

The Three Triceratops felt right at home!

IMG_1535

Awesome Jack and the Beanstalk!

IMG_1551

Kazoo along!

IMG_1556

Signing books with two awesome kids!

IMG_1554

Passing out bookmarks and stickers.

IMG_1557

Signing.

IMG_1567

Me and my fabulous wife Trisha Speed Shaskan, who is responsible for all these great photos at Givens Books. We both fell in love with the store.

IMG_1565

Me, Mr. Givens, and his daughter.

IMG_1672

I visited Chapter 2 Books in Hudson WI.

IMG_1680

Reading A DOG IS A DOG.

IMG_1681

Reading A DOG IS A DOG.

IMG_1686

A lot of family came out to see me. Thanks to the Jacot clan that stormed the bookstore!

IMG_1694

Best action photo! Once again thanks to Trisha for taking great photos!

IMG_1921

Check out the new slippers! A big thank you to Kari Pearson for taking all these awesome photos. It was 93 degrees out and I was there for over three hours doing three different readings.

IMG_1927

Stomp like a dinosaur!

IMG_1930

Reading THE THREE TRICERATOPS TUFF.

IMG_1937

Singing songs!

IMG_1942

Playing kazoos!

IMG_1946

It’s always great to see friends on board!

IMG_1950

Thanks Monica, Harlo, and Levi!

IMG_1961

Playing some toddler tunes.

IMG_1964

Reading THE THREE TRICERATOPS TUFF.

IMG_1972

Reading THE THREE TRICERATOPS TUFF!

IMG_1963

The fabulous Pamela Klinger-Horn showed up with her mother in-law!







Comments... »
news & events | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Star-Nosed Moles and Super Sleuths!

04.23.13

Here’s some new art for stories that my wife Trisha Speed Shaskan and I are collaborating on!

Two Rock Star-Nosed Moles!

Two Rock Star-Nosed Moles!

Kit rocks the drums and Buzz shreds on guitar!

Kit rocks the drums and Buzz shreds on guitar!

Q and Ray Elm Tree elementary's Super Sleuths!

Q and Ray Elm Tree elementary’s Super Sleuths!

Super Sleuth Badges!

Super Sleuth Badges!

Ray likes to eat stinky cheese and onion sandwiches. Q can smell him a mile away.

Ray likes to eat stinky cheese and onion sandwiches. Q can smell him a mile away.

The Amazing Mustela, magician and main suspect!

The Amazing Mustela, magician and main suspect!

2 Comments »
art | , , , , , , , , , , ,

NEXT BIG THING: BLOG TOUR

04.11.13

Last week I was tagged by the fantastically funny Erin Soderberg whose latest book THE QUIRKS: Welcome to Normal comes out June 4,2013!

1. What is the working title of your next book?

The Three Triceratops Tuff. It’s out now!

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

I’m an early childhood educator. Kids are always giving me ideas for books. Most of then publishers wouldn’t touch. Kids would love them, but not parents. The Three Triceratops Tuff was an exception.

Three four year-old boys in my class loved hearing the story of the The Three Billy Goats Gruff. We had been reading the Paul Galdone picture book in class a lot. These same three kids loved dinosaurs. Put two and two together. The kids started pretending to be different dinosaurs while playing out the story of the three goats. I thought that was pure genius!

I quickly figured out how that idea could work as a picture book. A triceratops would make a great goat because of its horns, a T-rex would make a great troll, and a valley would replace the bridge. The first draft of the story was a very close retelling of the original tale but with dinosaurs. Several drafts and dummies later, with the help of my fabulous editor, Andrea Welch, I was able push the personalities of the individual dinosaurs and shape the story to have a different meaning.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

The Three Triceratops Tuff is a picture book for 3 – 8 year-olds. It is also a retelling of a classic folk tale. Most importantly it falls under the “dinosaur” genre.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Stanley Tuff (the youngest Tuff brother) would be played by Eddie Deezen. Rufus Tuff (the middle Tuff brother) would be played by Bradley Bolke, the voice of Chumley on Tennessee Tuxedo. Bob Tuff (the largest Tuff brother) would be played by Clint Eastwood (before the empty chair incident). And the T-rex would be played by John Waters. I actually had John Waters in mind the entire time I was writing The Three Triceratops Tuff. I almost gave the T-rex a little mustache.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

The Three Triceratops Tuff is a cretaceous retelling of the Three Billy Goats Gruff.

6. Who is publishing your book?

The wonderfully fabulous Beach Lane Books!

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I had this idea mulling around for at least 5 years before I sat down to write the story. The first draft only took me a couple of weeks to actually write.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Of course there are the numerous retellings of The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Paul Galdone’s version is one of my favorites. There are also several dinosaur retellings of fairytales like Dinorella by Pamela Duncan Edwards and more recently Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Those three four year-olds.

10. What else about the book might piqué the reader’s interest?

As I started revisions of the story a new story popped up. This was the story of the dinosaurs in the background. The story became more global and less focused purely on the brother Tuff’s problem with the T-rex. I started to think of the T-rex as a horrible dictator who was starving the people and killing them. The herbivores (all the dinosaurs in the background are herbivores) became the oppressed 99% and the T-rex was the cruel 1% hoarding all the food/wealth. The whole time I was working on these revisions the Arab Spring was happening, Occupy had begun, and there were protests in Wisconsin. These events played heavily into the development of the final story.

a1.TTT1pp4-5

Now I’ll tag a couple of my favorite authors (and friends) who have books coming out soon — check their blogs next week for their answers!:

Trisha Speed Shaskan’s Truly, We Both Loved Beauty Dearly! The Story of Sleeping Beauty as Told By the Good and Bad Fairies illustrated by Amit Tayal, published by Picture Window Books comes out this Fall!

No Lie, I Acted Like a Beast!: The Story of Beauty and the Beast

Jamie A Swenson’s BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! illustrated by David Walker, publish by Farrar, Straus & Giroux comes out May 28th, 2013!
boom-boom-boom-

Comments... »
news & events | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Three Triceratops Maze!

04.05.13

Click on the image below and print!

TTTmaze056

Comments... »
kids' stuff | , , , , , , , , ,

The Three Triceratops Tuff Headbands!

03.28.13

All three dinosaur brothers: Stanley Tuff, Rufus Tuff, and Bob Tuff in one pdf.

Click on an image below, print the pdf, and make all three dinos.

Remember to print horizontally!

STANLEY TUFF!

STANLEY TUFF!

RUFUS TUFF!

RUFUS TUFF!

BOB TUFF!

BOB TUFF!

Comments... »
kids' stuff | , , , , , , , , , , ,

Illustrator Day at Greenwood Elementary in Plymouth, MN

02.28.13

I had a fantastic time on Tuesday, February 26th at Greenwood Elementary School in Plymouth, MN. A BIG thanks to Linda Gibbons (Media Specialist), Lauren Ingwaldson (Super Tech Person STP), and Pam Christensen (PTA) for making my visit so welcoming.

IMG_9041

Talking about books I’ve illustrated.

IMG_8926

From the start of A DOG IS A DOG to the finish, I used eleven sketch books.

IMG_8928

I always have a sketch book with me. Showing kids my sketches.

IMG_8994

Working on a group doodle with the students.

IMG_8998

5 different students draw squiggly lines on the paper and then I connect the lines and we figure out what it is.

IMG_9007

This one turned out to be an octopus. That day we also had a crocodile fish, a crazy elephant, a guy in a snow hat, and a princess sniffing a flower.

IMG_9019

Coming up with new rhymes to DOWN BY THE BAY.

IMG_9031

My personal favorite was, “Have you ever seen a rabbit with a bad habit.” I chose to make the bad habit biting fingernails.

IMG_9034

Singing DOWN BY THE BAY with the new rhymes.

IMG_8948

Ending the talk.

IMG_9044

Finishing off with some jumping and dancing!

Comments... »
news & events | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,