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Friday, May 23, 2008

Julia Denos!

I am thrilled to announce that in 2009 I will have TWO new picture books coming out from Abrams. The first, YOU KNOW WHAT? CHICKEN BUTT! is currently being illustrated by the extremely talented and extremely prolific Henry Cole (illustrator of one of my favorite books, AND TANGO MAKES THREE). When I was in New York earlier this month, I got to see his sketches and they are wonderful. Very funny stuff. Henry definitely knows chickens... and kids.

And now, drumroll please, I am excited to announce that we scored Julia Denos to be the illustrator for my other 2009 book, DOTTY! I am beyond pleased, because as soon as I first saw Julia's work, I said, "Yeah, her!" She has a beautiful drawing style and just the right ability to convey kids' emotional range, which is necessary for this book.

DOTTY is a story about a girl named Ida whose imaginary friend won't leave (even though Ida's classmates have outgrown theirs), and what happens when another girl discovers Ida's secret. A coming of age tale for 4-8 year olds, if you will. As well as a testament to the importance of keeping your imagination as long as possible.

I wrote DOTTY because when I was a kid I had imaginary friends, including a set of twins named SOTTY (pronounced SAH'-tee) and DOTTY. They were twin girls, but they were not the same age (a detail my parents found funny, though I didn't understand why at the time). I also had an imaginary pet sheep, so I sort of combined the two in this book. Plus, I had a bad summer camp teasing experience exactly like what Ida endures in DOTTY, so I drew on that. When kids ask me about writing fiction, I always point out to them that no matter how "made up" the story is, it won't work if the feelings you put in aren't real.

Julia Denos has a gorgeous portfolio that you can check out at her website. I selected the image shown here because it looks uncannily like one of my daughters. Julia was also interviewed by Jules and Eisha at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast last year, and you can check that out here (they included several of her most fetching images).

I can't wait to see what she does with DOTTY!

Ooh! Ooh! Can't wait to see these!

Jules, 7-Imp
I can't wait to get started on this book. Did you see Julia blog about you in her blog. Nice things of course!
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