You guys know the Book Babe by now, right? The supremely awesome Faith?
Chris Gall: Artist Extraordinaire!
If you don't you SHOULD. She's not only the most amazing mentor and cheerleader EVER--and offers incredible editing services (WHICH SHE IS GIVING AWAY BELOW!!!!)--she is also an AWESOME source for book recommendations. In fact, I discovered several of my favorite authors because of Faith--and nothing makes me happier than one of her gushy emails telling me about a book I HAVE to read.
So Faith occasionally puts together spotlights on some of her favorite authors for me to post for you guys, so she can tell you herself why you need to discover these incredible authors.
Here's her latest Spotlight:
My memory of seeing Chris Gall’s first picture book, America the Beautiful is a vivid one. The minute I laid eyes on the artwork, I was an instant fan. It was stunning, eye-catching and yet another reminder of why I LOVE picture books.
That was 2004.
I had to wait 2 agonizing years to see another book from him. I was sure he couldn’t top the first one. But he did, not only with illustrations but with the story itself. Dear Fish was charming, witty and even more captivating than his first book. It was also educational since Chris accurately depicted over 30 species of fish. Every time it was used for our weekly story-time at the bookstore I worked at, it drew oohs and aahs from parents and children alike. Yet again, I thought there was no way Chris could top himself.
And then, in 2009 came the book Dinotrux. Dinotrux is, and always will be, on my list of All-Time-Favorite-Books-Ever. It's about--you guessed it--Dinosaur Trucks! The story is funny, the illustrations are as wonderful as ever and the dinosaur/truck combos still make me smile. The sequel, Revenge of the Dinotrux will be published in May and is just as wonderful and amusing a book as Dinotrux.
You may be asking yourself “What is so extraordinary about some dude who illustrates picture books?” To which I would say “Aha! He does more than just picture books!” Chris recently collaborated with Jim Meehan (Meehan owns and operates PDT, a famous East Village speakeasy); to do a cocktail book that is so wonderful and creative, I can’t even describe it. I am not even a drinker and I bought a copy as soon as it was available just so I could look at the illustrations! Chris also designed the poster for the 2009 Rose Bowl, and has had his art published inTime Magazine, NYT, Washington Post and other publications, too numerous to name. And, he was commissioned by the city of New York to do art for the subways! I know right? He totally rocks!
Not only is Chris a great artist and creative story teller, he is also one of the nicest people in the world. And, if that was not all, his school visit presentations are some of the best I have ever seen. Ever!
Wait, am I gushing too much?
Anyway, I suggest you check out his WEBSITE and marvel at the fabulous amazing awesomeness that is Chris Gall.
Can you tell how much I adore him?!
As someone who has met Chris--only briefly though--and seen many of his books I can testify that Faith is right about everything she just said.
But right--I know what you're thinking: YOU PROMISED US A CRITIQUE GIVEAWAY. And you're right. I have one--two, technically. Since Faith's is so committed to helping other writers, she asked if it would be okay to give away critiques with this post--to which I was like, DO YOU EVEN HAVE TO ASK??? Of Course!
So two lucky commenters will each win a 25-page critique from Faith*--and trust me, you want to win this prize. I have Faith read all of my manuscripts because her notes are absolutely priceless. To enter, make sure you leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm pacific time on Saturday, April 14th. I'll draw two random winners and post their names on Sunday, April 15th. (That's it--that's all their is to it. Though I *recommend* you also follow my blog in some form, since it's the only way you can make sure you don't miss when I post the winners. #justsayin')
Ready? And.... GO!
*Due to Faith's schedule, the winners will most likely get their pages back in June. But that works in your favor because it gives you time to clean them up a bit more before you even send them off!