Tuesday, June 28, 2011


These are posters I designed before I started to illustrate picture books.

My first job when I was 20 years old was at the Amerika Haus U.S. Information Center in Germany where I worked as a poster designer.

I am still very proud of these and often think of my book covers (and inside pages) as little posters. I hope you will enjoy them!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Meeting Tomi Ungerer

Bobbie and I spent this past weekend in Massachusetts where we thoroughly enjoyed meeting Tomi Ungerer and his lovely family. An exhibit of Tomi's work, Tomi Ungerer, Chronicler of the Absurd is currently on view at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

This weekend was the first time Tomi and I met in person, although we both came to New York in the early 1950's where with just a few dollars in our pockets we planned to begin our careers. Tomi started to work in children's picture book illustration soon after he arrived, and I worked in the field of graphic design for a number of years before I began making picture books. It was a great honor to meet and I am very happy to have Tomi's work on exhibit during this year of his 80th birthday. I hope you will come and see the show!

You can preview Tomi's exhibit here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A story and a star

My mother's mother, my maternal grandmother, used to tell me stories, as I have mentioned in earlier blog posts. She also taught me how to draw an 8-pointed star. As she scribbled a star on a scrap of paper, she would say this poem, in German:

Kri Kra Kroten-Fuss, Gänse Laufen Bar-Fuss

The translation is as follows:

Kri Kra Toad's Foot, Geese Walk Bare-foot

I think this nonsense poem was based on German folklore. It's a totally unknown story that I've never come across anywhere else. Most likely my grandmother remembered it from her own childhood. But this was how I learned to make a star. And out of this memory of my grandmother's story, of her showing me how to draw a star, along with a dream I had about a falling star, came my book, Draw Me A Star!

Now you too can try to draw an 8-pointed star. See if you can do it without lifting your pen from the paper!