Tag! I'm In The Next Big Thing Tour

Happy Spring, everyone! I received an enthusiastic tag from Leeza Hernandez, the ever-so-talented and delightful writer and illustrator of one our household's night time reading faves, Dog Gone! 

Her new book, Cat Napped!, a follow up to her successful first title, is in the works now. The tag signifies The Next Big Thing Blog Tour, a blog campaign that started in Australia promoting the awareness of current children's book authors and illustrators around the world. I'm honored to take part in it, albeit, a little late in posting. Can I blame (US) tax season?

I was asked to answer ten questions. Here we go:

1) What is the title of your latest book? 

No Dogs Allowed! 

by Linda Ashman

2) Where did the idea come from for the book? 

I am the illustrator of the book, so it came from the writer, Linda Ashman, by way of our editor, as a wordless picture book.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Children's picture book

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

For the main players, Max Records for the part of the boy, Sasha Baron Cohen, as Alberto, and Ellen Page as the lemonade vendor. Total indie vibe. 

5) What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Alberto turns away many a potential clientele at his City Lights Restaurant, be it furry, winged, or scaly,

 only to find he would rather win them back to gain a friendlier, more festive, bustling bistro.  

6) Who published your book?

Sterling Children's Books

7) How long did it take you to illustrate the manuscript?

Nearly a year. The manuscript was originally conceived to be an entirely wordless series of spreads, with the exception of the chalkboard sign outside the restaurant. Through many thoughtful revisions, we devised a way to make the story flow better and reworked a panel to panel storytelling format, not unlike The Red Book and The Snowman. The complexity of the pages contributed to the lengthy timespan.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? 

The Red Book and The Snowman

9) Who or what inspired you when illustrating this book? 

I'm inspired by those who have influenced my work through the years, as well as current artists and story tellers whose inspired work helped to move me along whenever I got stuck with a composition, namely Lane Smith, Jon Klassen, Ezra Jack Keats, Barbara Lehman, Raymond Briggs, and Evaline Ness.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest? 

All the activity that happens among the animals in the background are fun for children to discover. The best part about (nearly) wordless picture books like this one, is that you can come up with your own dialogue and characterization. Also, I'm happy to add that No Dogs Allowed! was selected to be a part of the prestigious Society of Illustrators' 2012 Original Art Show, which showcases a select group of stand out children's book illustration. Currently, the show is on a tour around the country! 

That's it! Thank you, Leeza, for the tag! The following talented author and illustrators are next up. Please click on their links to continue the tour and discover their awesome work!

(more links to come...!)

Doreen Marts