Sunday, November 25, 2012

SWAPaDOODLE Christmas Decorations

As part of our studio's grand opening and the celebration of the publication of The Christmas Quiet Book we are swapping holiday doodles with other illustrators and designers. I will include some of these (from the Christmas Quiet Book).

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The publisher of The Christmas Quiet Book, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, has set up a mini-site for TCQB,

It has an activity book, some images from The Christmas Quiet Book, and this trailer:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bear Books

Now that I just finished a book, I took a moment to catch up on some reading - of picture books. These are a couple of books I picked up at Shelf Life Books a great local independent bookstore that carries fine books.

My Grandpa by Marta Altés is a lovely story that made me tear up in a happy way!

Bear Despair by Gaëtan Dorémus is a story of Bear losing his toy bear, 
the drawing is very expressive and so unique. It's funny too, in a John Klassen sort of way.

Mike just got his latest from Pages on Kensington another independent bookstore we like to visit, 
such a fun book!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Horn Books Cover

It was very exciting to hear that The Horn Book Magazine had chosen a page from The Christmas Quiet Book for the Nov/Dec 2012 cover. A bonus was they chose my favorite page.

Here are a couple of reviews of The Christmas Quiet Book:

New York Journal of Books

The Christmas Quiet Book

by Deborah UnderwoodReviewed by Rita Lorraine Hubbard | Released: October 16, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (32 pages)

Christmas is known for lots of things: giving, receiving, long-time-no-see faces, egg nog, hot chocolate, and shredding wrapping paper to get to the wonderful gift inside. But who would ever think of Christmas as a time for quiet?

Author Deborah Underwood does. In The Christmas Quiet Book, Ms. Underwood reveals all the ways that people—and in the case of this book, forest animals—have been enjoying the quiet of the Christmas holidays without even realizing that’s what they were doing.

There’s “snow angel” quiet, “drinking cocoa” quiet, ”Christmas lights on” quiet, “uh-oh, a fuse blew” quiet, and a host of other “quiets” that speak loudly enough to warm any chilly soul. The text in this book is sweet, brief and age-appropriate for the picture book age it targets, yet it is also able to speak volumes to nostalgic adults about the beauty of Christmases past and the promise of warm memories in the future.

Artist Renata Liwska’s illustrations are the snowy icing on the cake for this “quiet” Christmas book. Among the treasure of snow-laden pictures, there are bunnies making snow angels, owls ice skating, and even fluffy little lambs forgetting their lines in the Christmas play.

This heartwarming book is destined to become a Christmas favorite to read just after sunset, when supper is finished, the cocoa is ready, the baby has settled into mama’s lap, the cottony snow has begun to fall, and the last of the beloved out-of-town relatives have taken their places around the crackling fireplace.

Merry Christmas.
Reviewer Rita Lorraine Hubbard is the author of African Americans of Chattanooga: A History of Unsung Heroes. She is an accomplished former school educator and currently writes for Rosen Publications, providing supplemental reading for K–12 schools across the U.S.

The City Book Review

By Deborah Underwood and Renata Liwska (illustrator)
Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, $12.99, 32 pages

Following the success of the adorable The Quite Bookand The Loud Book, Deborah Underwood and Renata Liwska team up again for The Christmas Quiet Book. In this soothing ode to the many happenings of Christmastime, readers are treated to the delights of the holidays from a less hectic, hushed perspective. The tone is set from the first simple line: “Christmas is a quiet time.” From there the sweet cast of animal characters from the previous two books enjoy special and sometimes mischievous moments of Christmas and winter: searching for presents and getting caught, making snow angels, sleeping during the Nutcracker, and forgetting lines in the Christmas pageant. Adults and children alike – even those living in less wintery climes – can relate to many of the events. Who hasn’t brought home a too tall tree or had to endure peculiar food gifts from distance relatives, like Aunt Tillie’s pickle and banana stuffing?

I especially like the book’s design with Underwood’s short text along the bottom of the page, leaving plenty of room for Liwska’s detailed pencil illustrations colored in less saturated tones to complement the quiet theme. Even the book’s paper signifies peace and quiet with its matte finish as opposed to the glossier paper used for The Loud Book. What could be a hotchpotch list of holiday events is successfully pulled together by the connected scenes from page to page. This delightful holiday gem is perfect for bedtime or anytime you want to serenely celebrate Christmas time.

Reviewed by Africa Hands

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Little Readers!

Thank you to the little readers and their parents who stopped by MonkeyShines for my book reading! It was such a pleasure to read to you and I hope you enjoyed it too. It has really inspired me, and given me a second wind as I head into the last couple of days before the book I am working on is due.

And thanks to Monkeyshines for hosting the event.
 (a lovely independent children's bookshop here in Calgary)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Christmas Quiet Book Reading/Launch at Monkeyshines Nov 10, 2pm

Please join me this Saturday at 2pm for a reading launch of my new book The Christmas Quiet Book 
at MonkeyShines Childrens Books in Marda-Loop. 113, 2215 - 33rd Ave S.W. Calgary

if you know of any children (daughters, sons, nieces, nephews, grandchildren's, friends children, and such) bring them along so I can read for them from my book!
We will have a little swag as well, including special gift tag/stickers featuring characters from the book.

Thank you and I hope to see you there!

PS. Please pass this on to others who might be interested!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sketches for The Christmas Quiet Book on Amazon

Some pictures (8) of my sketchbooks from The Christmas Quiet Book have been posted on the Amazon page for the book HERE. This is me just starting a finished drawing with the book dummy as reference. I think this was drawn at a coffee shop in Vancouver. Click to enlarge.