Il Sung Na and the Power of Picture


It’s always fascinating to learn about the creative process of a children’s book creator, so I was drawn to Il Sung Na’s session on “Korean Picture Books: The Power of Picture” at the AFCC Writers and Illustrators conference last month.

Il Sung Na is the writer and illustrator of several acclaimed picture books, including “Zzzzz: A Book of Sleep,” “The Thingamabob,”” “Brrrr: A Book of Winter,” “Hide & Seek,” and “Shhhh: A Book of Babies.” Born in Seoul, he studied illustration in London and is now based in Baltimore, USA. His illustration work is mixed media and digital.
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Bookish Christmas

Happy Christmas, book lovers! I hope you’re enjoying the holidays with your loved ones.

Mine’s especially bookish this year. I didn’t have time to put up a tree (remember last year’s HP Christmas tree?), but a friend (thanks, Carl!) got me an ornament tree so I put it to good use on top of one of my bookshelves — I’ve always wanted a Nutcracker Christmas tree!

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Jose Aruego Roundup

When I was in third grade, our class was sent to the audio-visual room for a storytelling session of the picture book Juan and the Asuangs. The story was frightfully fascinating — a young boy named Juan outsmarts several asuangs, which are Philippine mythical creatures, often of the blood-sucking variety. I have not seen that book in about fifteen years, but I still remember one particular spread: Juan defeats the manananggal (a female asuang who is usually in human form until sunset, when she sprouts leathery wings, tears her torso away from her lower half, and hunts for her next bloody meal) by grinding up some bawang (garlic) and siling labuyo (small chili peppers) and pouring the paste into the cavity of the creature’s lower half.

To this day, that story still stands out in my memory, but there’s another reason why: our class met Jose Aruego right then and there!

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Christmas Reading

It’s almost Christmas!

Before I get even busier in the next couple of days, here’s this year’s roundup of Christmas reading: The Night Before Christmas, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, The Twelve Days of Christmas, and A Christmas Carol, books #171-175 for 2010.

And to all my readers, a very merry Christmas!!!

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All about Eloise



Eloise is one of my favorite children’s book characters, although not one I know from childhood (unlike Babar, Madeline, Curious George, or Tintin). I only discovered Eloise when I saw the old movie (with Julie Andrews as Nanny) on Disney channel when I was in college and learned that it was based on a book.

Eloise is a feisty six-year old girl living at The Plaza Hotel in New York City (hahaha, like Grandmere in The Princess Diaries, also played by Julie Andrews but in the movie she has a state home on the Genovian embassy grounds) in a book series by Kay Thompson illustrated by Hilary Knight.  If you’ve seen Eloise, you’re bound to remember her forever, with the wild hair adorned with a flouncy bow, and the ruffled blouse and jumper ensemble (and pink knickers underneath!).

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