Thursday, January 29, 2009

HARRY HUNGRY! -my latest children's picture book is released

Steven Salerno, Harry Hungry!; illus. by the author
40 pp. Harcourt 2/09 isbn 978-0-15-206257-6 $16.00(Preschool)
No measly Cheerios for this insatiable infant. Harry needs a more substantial snack, such as a mailbox, his father’s car, the neighbor’s house—and that’s just for starters. This sly caricature of the havoc a demanding baby can cause features an oversized, oval-headed cartoon tot whose disposition is ruled by the “GRRRRRR” of his rumbling tummy. At first, Momma tries to feed him, but after he hefts the refrigerator over his head and dumps its contents into his gaping mouth, she panics and calls for reinforcements. Yet what Momma, Papa, the army, and the navy can’t control, sleepiness can. Shrunk back to size, snuggled in his crib next to his teddy, the beast is tamed—at least until breakfast. To the retro-sixties line and colors popularized by such artists as Mo Willems and Bob Shea, Salerno adds an anarchic, very contemporary energy that’s all his own. (c.m.h) -HORN BOOK
Steven Salerno, Harry Hungry!; illus. by the author
40 pp. Harcourt 2/09 isbn 978-0-15-206257-6 $16.00 (ages 3-6)
Harry is hungry! And with his mouth open wide, he makes sure that everybody knows. Momma rushes in with a snack, but is not enough. Blueberries, cookies, the entire contents of the refrigerator- plus cars, a mountain, even the sky- nothing can satisfy Harry's voracious appetite. Will there be anything left for Harry to eat? More importantly, will there be anything left at all? Done in his trademark retro style, Salerno's bright, sweeping illustrations and offbeat perspectives instantly capture this tiny tot's insatiable energy, which is made all the funnier by his incongruously innocent-looking kewpie 'do. The chomp of Harry's mouth reverberates across the page, as does the grrrrrrgrrrrrr of his prodigiously rumbling belly. Luckily, just as Harry is about to reach up and munch on the moon, another familiar feeling comes over him. Harry is... sleepy. Children will delight in growling loudly along with Harry's tummy, turning story time into a rumbling, tumbling feast. (Picture book. 3-6) -KIRKUS

To see all my illustration portfolio samples, visit
My newest children's picture book Harry Hungry! (as both author & illustrator) is released in bookstores this week, and is already gaining positive industry reviews. Top image is the actual book cover... and below it is the first initial concept doodle I had for the cover image. The industry review posted at the top is from the upcoming March/April 2009 Horn Book publication... the next review is from the December 2008 Kirkus publication. You can see more samples from the book, as well as sketches by visiting the Children's Book section of my web site. 

Buy a copy now before they are gobbled up!

AXA Financial -images go from print to the web

To see all my illustration portfolio samples, visit
For a few years now, I have been doing near-monthly illustrations for the AXA Financial company magazine named Enterprise... an internal publication for their thousands of employees.
All the illustrations I did were done in black and one color. Posted above are a couple of the past illustrations for their magazine.
This month though, their magazine ceased to be printed (on paper)... instead, Enterprise is now an on-line publication, but viewed only on an internal company web site. The editor, Bennett Cooperman has kept me on as the illustrator, and I am no longer limited to “black & one color” images. Now, I can create the images in full color. Also posted here is the recent full color illustration I created (and the companion sketch). Like many business related images these days, the concept for this illustration revolves around navigating current stormy financial times, all while keeping an eye on the future, hence the sea captain and rough seas metaphor .

VaZing... a recent web commercial project

To see all my illustration portfolio samples, visit

Just before the Christmas holidaze in 2008, I was contacted by Mark Kushinsky, the CEO of Insight Direct and was asked to be on board with a web commercial project featuring their new web service product named VaZing. He had seen some illustration samples of mine on the web and felt my imaging style was a good match. 

The web commercial was to be produced by Voicewalk (creators of web-based Flash demos... the team I worked with was Saul Ives, Darren Ursino and Martin Guitar). Once the contract with Insight Direct was confirmed, I jumped right in because it was a quick deadline. 

Insight Direct already had the basic voiceover script for me to interpret and develop the rough storyboard from. A first draft full story board (b&w) was presented to Voicewalk for their comments and suggestions to help edit down the visuals to better match the timing of the voiceover narrative. A second, more refined full story board (color) was then submitted for comments and approval by Voicewalk and the client. Once approval was given, next I did a couple of the final vector Adobe Illustrator images and sent them to Voicewalk, so they could review the images and determine if there were going to be any problems implementing them into Flash. (I guess too many anchor points within a vector image is an issue, so I had to keep the images simple. I used brush lines, fills and some basic gradations... but no filter effects, etc...)
Then it was just a matter of doing and submitting all the final vector images to Voicewalk for them to do their thing and implement the images into the “limited-animation” VaZing web commercial. My animated portion is the first 60 seconds of the 4 minute product demo. 

Posted here are a few of the first round story board sketches in black & white, and the corresponding final vector Adobe Illustrator color images (cropped a little bit). 

watch animation portion of client's web commercial for VaZing 

Click on the above link to view just the animation portion of the VaZing demo I worked on. If that does not work go to and on their homepage click the “watch demo” button. After the 60 second animation portion is finished, just bail out from the site. 

Once the web commercial was completed, Mark Kushinsky really liked the “office manager” character I created, so he then wanted me to also illustrate three simple web ads on the VaZing web site featuring this same office manager character. 

It was a fast and fun project... and it looks like there is a possibility I may be doing a second web commercial project for another division of Insight Direct named MaidPro.