Thursday, January 15, 2015 latest picture book illustration project, "The Kid"

Back in 2011 I created wonderful illustrations for the non-fiction picture book, Brothers at Bat -written by Audrey Vernick and published in 2012 by Clarion Books (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/ editor: Jennifer Greene). 

It was the true story of twelve New Jersey brothers who formed their own semi-professional baseball team, and ended up making baseball history, and were also honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame. (They were the Acerra boys, playing together as a team back in the 1930's through the 1950's) This picture book was named a New York Times Book Review Notable Picture Book for 2012! (see an earlier post from 2011 about the making of the illustrations for Brothers at Bat)

Well, I have happily teamed up again with author Audrey Vernick and editor Jennifer Greene on another non-fiction, baseball-themed picture book, tentatively titled, The Kid. It is the true story of Edith Houghton, a Philadelphia girl who was a baseball prodigy and began playing professional baseball at age 10 (!) back in 1922 for the Philadelphia Bobbies, an all-female team that played against other female ball clubs, as well as against just as many male teams too. The picture book story centers around the year 1925, when Edith was 13 years old and she was asked to play for an all-female USA team to tour Japan and played against Japan's college-level baseball teams. It is an amazing true story. Brothers at Bat was a home run, and I think The Kid will be too!

Currently, I just completed all the preliminary sketches for The Kid, and am just starting the final art stage process... which will probably keep me busy through May.

Posted here are just a couple detail views taken from my rough preliminary sketches for The Kid.. I will make another more formal and in depth posting about this specific project at a later date...
sketch detail from The Kid -here young Edith is about to embark on her journey to Japan in 1925 to play baseball with the USA team.
sketch detail from The Kid -here Edith is stepping up to bat in her first game in Japan, before thousands of people in the stadium.
sketch detail from The Kid -here Edith and team are all riding in rickshaws in 1925 Yokohama, Japan. 

In 2015 I will have two picture books released: The first is The Fantastic Ferris Wheel -written by Betsy Harvey Kraft, published by Macmillan/Christy Ottaviano Books. It is the true story of George Ferris, inventor of the first Ferris Wheel in 1893 for the Chicago World's Fair. I created very intense, period illustrations that capture the look and feel of the times, as well as the monumental construction of the giant observation wheel. Be on the look out for it in the fall! (see an earlier post about my upcoming picture book, The Fantastic Ferris Wheel)

Also this year, my picture book Wild Child! (written & illustrated by myself) will be released by Abrams Books. It is the fun, hyper-romp about the wildest animal ever to live in the jungle and how all the other animals must figure out a way to tame this terrible wild thing and restore order in their jungle home. I think it will be out in the fall season, too. (see an earlier post about my upcoming picture book, Wild Child!)

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