When Chad Beckerman called me from Abrams to illustrate Vivian Walsh's new picture book, June and August, I was quite honored and more than a bit intimidated: this is Vivian's first picture book not
illustrated by J.Otto Seibold (firm occupant of my Pantheon). Vivian's wild manuscript was simultaneously poetic, sensitive, abstract, sweet and idiosyncratic and needed a conceptual approach to some of the ideas it contained. I sweated a lot, procrastinated, talked to friends about it and circled the drafting table and all that stuff.
When I finally set aside the time and sat down, it came out surprising easily (except a tricky "bridging" of the front part of the book to the back). Chad is a great guy to work with, very low key, and he made the whole process a breeze. I won't give away the story, but suffice it to say an elephant and a snake meet one night...
Here's a book trailer I had fun making, wrote a little Vince Guaraldiesque background music for it so turn up the volume! June and August is one of two books that I've illustrated due out in September 2009, so it will be a busy autumn of book events.