Friday, September 23, 2011

Cloudette - Author's Arena Tom Lichtenheld

Happy Friday, good reading subjects!
Today, I want to introduce Tom Lichtenheld, author of several children's books such as, Bridget's Beret, Duck! Rabbit!, What Are You Grumpy About?, and Everything I Know About Pirates, plus even more. Check out Lichtenheld's website for a complete list of book titles.

On Lichtenheld's website, I found this out about him and thought letting him speak in his own words would be most appropriate:

I've always loved to draw pictures and make up stories, and I've been lucky enough to make a living by using my imagination for over 25 years.
My earliest childhood memory is of sitting in the kitchen, drawing pictures of ships and trucks on a blackboard. I also remember spending hours staring at the illustrations in National Geographic and thinking how wonderful it would be to be one of the people who got to make all those incredible pictures.

My books start out as rough doodles. An entire book can come from a simple observation and one drawing. For instance, What Are You So Grumpy About? was inspired by a grumpy guy I was sitting next to on an airplane. I did a few doodles on the spot, sitting next to Mr. Grumpypants, and they eventually became a book.
My illustrations are done in watercolor and colored pencil. The first step is pencil sketches, then I create black line art and print it on watercolor paper. (It's kind of like a home-made coloring book!) Then I paint a layer of watercolor and build up the shapes with colored pencils. I get a lot of help from our cats, who lay on my pencils, my drawings, my hands and anything else that puts them in the way of what I'm trying to do.

These are from What Are You So Grumpy About? The initial sketches were done on an airplane.

I think the process is fascinating. 

Teachers can find Mentoring Guides to Lichtenheld's stories. These help make books come alive and are not only useful in the classroom, but at home as well. 

He also has a blog if your interested in reading up on what's going on with Tom. 

Take a tour of Lichtenheld's studio at  Get To The Point
Picture from Lichtenheld's site

Brainstorm Time!  Where can you find inspiration during your daily activities that can be turned into a piece of art or story? Think about your day, the people you've encountered, funny things said or done. Write about it. Draw it out. How can you best present this idea in a way that makes you laugh? 

Enjoy, explore Tom Lichtenheld's site and have fun finding the stories that are always all around us. 

Happy Reading,
The Queen

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