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Industry news that's of special interest for writer/illustrators.

Children's Illustrator Wins Oscar

Children's illustrator Shaun Tan was today awarded the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Feature. The Australian Tan won for "The Lost Thing," a humorous story about a boy who discovers a bizarre-looking creature while collecting bottle-tops at the beach. To learn more about the short, visit Tan's website.

Tan is the creator and illustrator of the award-winning picture book The Arrival, published in 2007 by Arthur A. Levine Books, Tales from Outer Suburbia (Arthur A. Levine, 2009) and many other books.

Market News

An occasional update of changes in creative staff at publishers. Please let us know if you have heard of staff changes in art direction.

For updates of changes in editorial and management staff, see Harold Underdown's "Who's Moving Where?" column.

March 2008 - Chad Beckerman has been promoted to Art Director for Amulet and Abrams Books for Young Readers. (Publishers Weekly)

January 2008 - Laurent Linn is now the Art Director at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. He leaves Henry Holt, where he was Associate Art Director. (source: Mr. Linn)

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Children's Author/Artist Awarded MacArthur Fellowship
September 19, 2006

Children's author/artist David Macaulay has been awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, the MacArthur Foundation announced today. Macaulay is the author/artist of many award-winning books for children, including The Way Things Work, Cathedral, Castle, and Black and White. He was trained as an architect and his illustrations explain architecture and engineering in a clear and entertaining fashion, as well as delighting with their gentle wit and fine use of line. Macaulay lives in Vermont and teaches illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Also winning a grant is New Hampshire's David Carroll, a naturalist author/illustrator.

The MacArthur Foundation awards 25 $500,000 unrestricted grants each year to individuals who show exceptional creativity in their work. It is unusual in that the fellowships often go to younger people, in their 30s and 40s; the foundation hopes to make it possible for the fellows to continue and expand their work.

2006 Caldecott Medal Awarded
January 2006

The American Library Association has awarded the 2006 Randolph Caldecott Medal to Chris Raschka, illustrator of The Hello, Goodbye Window, written by Norton Juster. Voted upon by children's and school librarians from across the nation, the Caldecott Medal is awarded for superior illustration of a children's picture book.

"With a few energetic lines, Raschka suggests a world filled with affection and humor," said award committee chair Gratia Banta. "The richly textured tones of these expressive illustrations convey the emotional warmth of the intergenerational connection." In 1994, Raschka won a Caldecott Honor for Yo! Yes?

The American Library Association also named four Caldecott Honor Books, including Rosa, the story of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, illustrated in watercolor by Bryan Collier and written by Nikki Giovanni; Zen Shorts, written and illustrated by Jon J. Muth in Asian brush-style watercolor (reviewed on this site); Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride, written and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman; and Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems, illustrated by Beckie Prange in woodblock prints and written by Joyce Sidman.

Caldecott Medal:
illustrator Chris Raschka (with author Norton Juster) for The Hello, Goodbye Window

Caldecott Honor:
illustrator Bryan Collier (with author Nikki Giovanni) for Rosa

Caldecott Honor:
writer/illustrator Jon J. Muth for Zen Shorts

Caldecott Honor:
writer/illustrator Marjorie Priceman for Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride

Caldecott Honor:
illustrator Beckie Prange (with author Joyce Sidman) for Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems

2005 Caldecott Medal Awarded
January 2005

The Children's and School Librarians Sections of the American Library Association have announced the winners of the 2005 Caldecott Medal and Caldecott Honors, awarded annually to the artists who have created the most distinguished picture books of the year.

Caldecott Medal:
writer/illustrator Mordicai Gerstein for Kitten's First Full Moon

Caldecott Honor:
writer/illustrator Barbara Lehman for The Red Book

Caldecott Honor:
illustrator E.B. Lewis (with author Jacqueline Woodson) for Coming on Home Soon

Caldecott Honor:
writer/illustrator Mo Willems for Knuffle Bunny : A Cautionary Tale

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Original Art Auction Begins
November, 2004

Bidding has begun! The fundraising project, “Robert’s Snow for Cancer’s Cure”, has started auctioning their original art snowflakes on eBay. Bid on Yellapalooza members' original artwork and help a worthwhile cause.

Agy Wilson
Snowflake on auction
11/4 - 11/21

Lisa Kopelke
Snowflake on auction
12/2 - 12/12

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Robert's Snow
May, 2004

Friend and colleague Grace Lin is heading up a fundraiser for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. The project, “Robert’s Snow for Cancer’s Cure”, is a collection of celebrated children’s book artists, including Yellapalooza members Agy Wilson, Lisa Kopelke and Maurie J. Manning, who are creating snowflakes to be auctioned off this fall. The auction will be held on line and the snow flakes will eventually be displayed in the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, Massachusetts.

If you would like to help, make a donation or get more information please visit

2004 Caldecott Medal Awarded
January 12, 2004

The Children's and School Librarians Sections of the American Library Association have announced the winners of the 2004 Caldecott Medal and Caldecott Honors, awarded annually to the artists who have created the most distinguished picture books of the year.

Caldecott Medal:
writer/illustrator Mordicai Gerstein for The Man who Walked Between the Towers

Caldecott Honor:
writer/illustrator Margaret Chodos-Irvine for Ella Sarah Gets Dressed

Caldecott Honor:
writer/illustrator Mo Willems for Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

Caldecott Honor:
Robin Page, illustrator (with Steve Jenkins, author) for What Do You Do with a Tail Like This?

Writer/illustrator wins Colen Grant
January, 2004

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators has awarded one of two annual Kimberly Colen grants to writer/illustrator Karen E. Roehr of Massachusetts. Ms. Roehr is an artist, graphic designer and educator as well as the producer of Artistic License, a non-profit cable access television program on art and literature for children. This is the first time the Colen grant has been awarded to a writer/illustrator.

Ms. Roehr plans to use the grant to rent press time to produce chine collé prints for a picture book she has written. Chine collé is a monotype printing process, a sort of reverse collage in which colored rice papers are layered with rice glue and run through a printing press.

Houghton Mifflin Submission Policy Clarification
November, 2003 – Houghton Mifflin Children's Books has posted the following announcement on its web site:

"Owing to the overwhelming number of unsolicited manuscripts we receive, we at Houghton Mifflin Children's Books have had to change our submissions policy.

As of January 1, 2004, we will no longer notify you or return your manuscript unless we are interested in publishing it. Please do not include a self-addressed stamped envelope. All submissions postmarked January 1, 2004, or later will be recycled, and you will not hear from us regarding the status of your submission unless we are interested, in which case you can expect to hear back from us within twelve weeks. All submissions received before January 1, 2004, will be returned."

However, Yellapalooza has learned that the policy differs for writer/illustrators submitting dummies. A Houghton Mifflin editor tells us that dummy/ms/sample packages submitted with an SASE will be returned, as before. Houghton realizes the amount of expense and work involved in these projects, and they are sympathetic. They further told us that the above policy will be implemented to enable Houghton to continue accepting unsolicited submissions.

Sís awarded MacArthur Fellowship
October, 2003 –

Children's author/artist Peter Sís has been named a MacArthur Fellow. The Fellowship, a five-year unrestricted grant of $500,000, is intended to encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations. Sís, 54, was born in Czechoslovakia, and immigrated to the United States in 1982. He is the author/artist of numerous books, including The Three Golden Keys (1994), Starry Messenger: Galileo Galilei (1996), Tibet Through the Red Box (1998), Madlenka (2000) and The Tree of Life (2003).