Monday, May 25, 2009

Fun Cora News

Whoo-hoo! There's a lot to report. First, I received my Cora books a couple weeks ago, and they turned out beautiful!

Second, I set up a book signing at Barnes & Noble for July 25 here in Evansville, IN. I hope you can come! I'll be bringing a big pot of pancit to give out samples. It's delicious and the recipe is in the book.


Terry Hong of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program Blog, BookDragon, posted a wonderful review of Cora Cooks Pancit. Hong wrote, "Gilmore, who grew up in a Filipino Italian kitchen, tells a heartwarming tale that illustrator Valiant captures with the perfect combination of whimsy and action. You can actually feel Cora’s longing as she watches her siblings in the kitchen, her wonder as she listens to Mama’s stories about Lolo, her worry that her pancit might disappoint, and her beaming pride when the whole family enjoys the meal she so lovingly helped to create. This is one treasure of a family book. Delicious, too!"

Jama Rattigan reviewed Cora Cooks Pancit on her Alphabet Soup blog and said, "Kristi Valiant's illustrations are the warm stuff of golds, browns, and rich jewel tones. Cora's expressions are convincingly hopeful, joyous, pensive, and tentative, as she anxiously tries her hand at new tasks. Kids will especially love the added storyline of the family dog, who follows Cora around with a toy in his mouth, wanting her to play. The true joys of cooking -- from the initial anticipation, through every step of preparation, and finally, the sharing and tasting, is palpable with every page turn. By the time you come to the final double page spread of the whole family at the table, you'll wish you were right there, feasting on the adobo chicken, lumpia, and Cora's first pancit."

Also, Stephanie Ruble interviewed me on her blog, sruble's world.

Friday, May 08, 2009

NaPiBoWriWee - Results

I made it! Just barely, but I made it. At 11:35 pm on Day 7 I finished my 7th picture book manuscript in 7 days! Whoo-hoo!!!

PB 1: Funny fiction, main character is an elephant.
PB 2: Funny fiction, main character is a hamster.
PB 3: Rhyming (Why did I do that to myself? I've never written in rhyme! But at least I have a poet in my critique group).
PB 4: Sweet fiction (Again, a stretch for me because I don't like sweet'n'sappy).
PB 5: Funny fiction, main character is a flamingo.
PB 6: Funny & adventurous fiction, main character is a grasshopper.
PB 7: Kinda weird and scary, main character is a monster (It was definitely time for this challenge to be over!)

I really like some of my picture books that I wrote this week, and I would even go so far as to say they all have potential as first drafts. I'm going to put them away for a number of days before reading them again to see which I'll start revising. Did you participate? How did it go?

Monday, May 04, 2009

MOCHA Art Exhibit

I have a couple pieces of art in an upcoming show at the Museum of Children's Art (MOCHA) in Oakland, CA - how fun is that! And you're invited! Here's the info from MOCHA:

You are invited to the Museum of Children's Art (MOCHA)'s Annual exhibit, Once Upon a Time: Children's Book Illustrators, Then and Now, May 8-June 2. This year we are featuring work by Don Freeman, author/illustrator of Corduroy and Norman the Doorman, and 27 other artists.

Sarah Ackerley
Eve Aldridge
Bob Barner
Lisa Brown
Nancy Carroll
John Clapp
Claire B. Cotts
Angelo Dominguez
Julie Downing
Soma Han Stickler
Sara Kahn
Elisa Kleven
Angelo Lopez
Lea Lyon
Jenny Matheson
Jeff Miracola
Kathryn Otoshi
Todd Parr
Jeff Peterson
Joni Stringfield
Paul Tong
Dona Turner
Kristi Valiant (me!)
Lisa Victoria
David Weitzman
Ashley Wolf

The reception/book signing is May 9, 2-4pm. I won't be able to be at the reception, but some of the other artists will be there. If you go, send me a photo!

(I created the links above by googling the illustrators. If I have yours wrong, please let me know.)

Friday, May 01, 2009

NaPiBoWriWee - Day 1

It really helped me get into the picture book mood by reading and analyzing over 60 picture books this week. I forgot to mention both Mary Uhles and Diandra Mae joined me in the Picture Book Reading Challenge that we finished yesterday. Be sure to check out their results too.

NaPiBoWriWee is National Picture Book Writing Week, the brainchild of Paula Yoo. Paula said about 75 writers have signed up to write 7 picture books in 7 days starting today. Whoo hoo! Are you in?

To start the ideas rolling, I took a nap. Ok, the nap itself wasn't the goal, but when I'm sleepy and drifting off or drifting back is when I usually get my picture book ideas. And it worked! I'm off to write about a fidgety lil' elephant...