Posts tagged ‘children’
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and most of us know someone who’s been affected by this disease. It impacts the entire family as many of the women battling this disease also have children who are coping and fighting alongside them.
The Goodbye Cancer Garden by Janna Matthies and illustrated by Kristi Valiant brooches this subject that is often difficult to discuss with young children.
This picture book is sensitively and lovingly written by an Author who is also a cancer survivor.
The beautiful illustrations shines a light and an air of positivity that is uplifting in what could have been a sad book.
“Things don’t always go as expected” is the theme throughout the story. It walks us through the announcement of a mother with cancer, the stages of her treatment, the emotions involved and the way in which her family handles it.
As an avid gardener, I loved the co-relation between the various stages of cancer and the seasons of their garden. This book is more realistic and uplifting than sad, it’s about a family doing something positive together while in the midst of a tough situation.
Reading this will help children understand more about cancer but can also help children of families facing other devastating illnesses as well. I was cheering the family on from start to finish, and without giving it away I can say that I was thrilled to discover that there was indeed a happy ending.
One winter day, Mom and Dad tell Janie and Jeffrey that Mom has cancer. Soon the whole family goes to the doctor to ask questions.
“Is Mom better yet?” Jeffrey asks.”Not yet,” the doctor says. “Not yet,” the doctor says, “But we’re working very hard to make her better – probably by pumpkin time.”
That gives Janie an idea: to plant a vegetable garden.
As the garden grows, Moms treatment progresses, and when it’s all done, there are healthy pumpkins and a recovering mom!
The first time that I discovered Victor Guiza’s illustrations online, I immediately realized that I’d seen his work before. Vic had illustrated one of my son’s favorite book apps called Treasure Kai and the Lost Gold of Shark Island . I loved his style of illustrations and knew that I wanted to work with him.
Vic’s creativity has no boundaries and he’s very intuitive in merging the Authors vision with the project’s needs. As an artist myself I knew exactly how I wanted the artwork to look but I also knew when it was time to step out-of-the-way and let him create his magic. The way the Monster Jam monster characters were brought to life went way beyond my expectations.
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Vic and he had lots of wonderful nuggets to impart about his interesting and successful career.
Have you always known that you wanted to be an illustrator? When did you realize that this was your true calling.
When I was about 10 years old, I had a neighbor who was a professional comic book illustrator. I was a creative child and had always enjoyed drawing, but my childhood dream was to become a pilot. I had never been very good with math and math is key with that profession. One day my neighbor asked me if I wanted to be a professional illustrator. If so , I would have to study and practice daily. He challenged me, and when I discovered the many exciting things I could create, I decided that I wanted to be a comic book artist instead of a pilot.
What types of art or artists inspired you along the way?
Music is a great source of inspiration, as well as movies and architecture. I really enjoy sound tracks. I admire comic book artists like Moebius from France, Katsuhiro Otomo from Japan, Oscar Martin from Spain and Humberto Ramos from Mexico among many others. I also love hyper realistic paint from Benjamin Orozco, and Alex Ross.
You have an amazing body of work, what type of projects have you had the most fun with?
Children books, definitely! So far the stories are pure magic and so challenging. In a comic book you have at least 22 pages and about 5 panels in each page to tell a story, in Children books you have only 10 to 15 illustrations to narrate the same story.
Do you approach illustrating a comic differently than a picture book?
Absolutely! comic storytelling have to follow a “movie like” direction and perspective while picture books are more singular in which action is the climax of the text from each page.
Where you get your ideas or inspiration?
I look at other artist works as inspiration, I see fun in life daily, I dream a lot, but my true inspiration comes directly from the source. My inner source.
Contact: Vic Guiza at www.vicguiza.com
By now the children are all back to school across the country.
They’re getting settled in their new classes with new teachers, reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. There will be new challenges as they overcome the summer brain drain and start filling their minds with exciting new lessons.
A fun way of re-enforcing their newly acquired reading skills on the week-ends are digital book apps. The multi sensory experience brings the reader into the story and soon they’ll be begging for more. This is music to any parent’s ears because let’s face it, they’re so many distractions these days that reading isn’t always their first choice.
I had this experience with my reluctant reader and it inspired me to dive into the magical world of digital book apps.
The app store and Google play is flooded with apps so it’s sometimes difficult for parents to know where to start and what to download.
Digital Storytime is a renowned and trusted source in both the literary and app world and they have recently released their top 25 list of book apps. They shine a light on educational apps that can become hidden in the app store so that’s where I would start. In fact I read their app reviews when researching for my sons apps and when writing for kids. I was more than thrilled when Grendel’s Great Escape was listed in their top 25 best stories for 2013. It is an honor for it to be noticed and placed alongside these other amazing books.
It’s also perfect timing because September is ADHD awareness month and the main character was inspired by a child with ADHD. He’s messy, disorganized, adventurous and a whole lot of fun.
Download it and let me know what your kids think.
Digital Storytime’s Top 25 Best story books