I just mailed out the illustrations for the Book #4 yesterday. As I write this, the package is on a FedEd truck in Boston. In the next few weeks I'll draw and paint the covers and then I'll move on to book #5.
On Saturday, October 13, I'll be speaking about writing and publishing picture books at the Breathe Christian Writers Conference in my fair city, Grand Rapids. I am looking forward to it!
I am finishing up the illustrations for my fourth title. When all is said and done, I will have spent a year on the illustrations for this book. Announcement forthcoming....
Green Pants Green Pants Green Pants Green Pants Green Pants Green Pants Green Pants!!!
March is Reading Month and I am visiting schools to talk about writing and illustrating picture books. The point is to encourage reading and I am continually impressed with all the inquisitive, eager readers I meet.
The Song of Delphine made the Best Picture Books of 2015 list on the friendly and robust Good Reads with Ronna blog! It is a nice list ordered by age of audience. Woopee!
The Song of Delphine was received warmly by Meghan Cox Gurdon of the Wall Street Journal:
"Young readers ages 5-9 will thrill as Delphine rides atop a smiling giraffe across the moonlit savanna—and gasp along with her when the animals return her at dawn to the wrong window. At the end of this enchanting book we are left with our hearts and horizons expanded..."
If you will be in West Michigan on Thursday, April 30, then come on out to the book release party for The Song of Delphine. It will be at Schuler Books (2660 28th St SE Grand Rapids, Michigan) at 7:00. And of course, you are welcome to come in your pajamas! We will have fun!
The Song of Delphine has already received a couple of nice reviews, one from The School Library Journal and another from Kirkus Reviews.
You can't read the full School Library Journal review at their site unless you are a subscriber, however Barnes and Noble has the review in full. Here is the gist:
Text and watercolor and ink illustrations combine wonderfully in this story... The giraffes are full of personality, and children will enjoy hunting for them and their companions, from the stunning endpapers done in black ink strokes and dots to the pages within. ... Don’t miss this story of the power of music to bring joy and comfort even in trying times.
The full Kirkus review is here. The quotable version is below:
Kraegel creates minutely inked watercolor elements—trees, grasslands—as backdrops for simply contoured humans with brown skin, naturally textured hair and bright clothing. As Delphine and Beatrice ride off atop two giraffes, readers of this quiet story will savor their new friendship.
Here are two of my coloring pages that have been transformed into beautiful works of art.
In the top picture the artist has drawn a bunny into the space beneath the tree and filled the scene with color. I love it! In the bottom picture, beneath an intricately colored tree, is Henry who is challenging an "elephant trunked dragon snail!" That is wonderful! Well done to the two Central Elementary artists who created these fine pictures.