Today’s blog entry is brought to you by author/illustrator AMALIA HOFFMA, who will talk about her new board book ALL COLORS. Here’s Amalia:
In 2017, I started experimenting with pastel pencils.
I loved the textures that I could achieve and the vibrant lush colors.
After working for a while on a white background I wondered what the colors would look like on black. I ordered a fine black art sand paper and started playing with colors on top. The colors on the black background appeared much more vibrant than on the white.
I discovered that there were so many interesting textures that I could achieve by rubbing the pastel pencils and chalk on the paper. Also, I liked how spattering with a toothbrush, sponging with bubble wrap and combing paints appeared on the black background.
After two months, I had a whole collection of pieces of papers with different colors and textures. I gathered them all in a shoe box and every once in a while, I just played with them, making different arrangements by assembling pieces together on my art table.
Then, the idea came to me. What if the different colors, textures and shapes could actually make the main character in the book?
So began my book journey for All Colors.
My agent, Anna Olswanger, has been encouraging me to create a board book for very young children.
I decided to make a board book where kids would be introduced to colors and textures as they turned the pages. It ended up being a concept book with a message about friendship and diversity.
Anna sold ALL COLORS to Schiffer Publishing and it will be making its way into the world October 28, 2019. This is my third board book. The first was Dreidel Day (Kar Ben Publishing, 2018.) The second was Astro Pea (Schiffer Publishing, 2019.)
Creating board books is challenging because you have to tell the story in only a few pages so the word count must be minimal. Dreidel Day has 8 words, All Colors has 9. The author must rely on the illustrations and the concept has to be very clear and simple so a toddler could understand it. At the same time, there’s got to be a narration and procession so it would be a compelling read for the child and the adult who reads the story. The images have to be simple and bright to catch the attention of a very young child.
This concept board book introduces children ages 2-6 to colors and textures while conveying a message about friendship, diversity, and inclusion.
As the reader turns the pages, colors are introduced, creating the image of a boy.
Join in the fun as the boy dips his paintbrush in paint splotches and discovers that friends come in all colors.
Here’s a link to a book trailer where I perform All Colors with a very colorful puppet:
Today it is my pleasure to feature Author/Illustrator AMALIA HOFFMAN and her new board book ASTRO PEA. I found the book to be charming and perfect for adventurous toddlers who enjoy exploring outside their own “pods”.
Here is my review of ASTRO PEA: “Toddlers and young readers will delight at the fanciful adventure of Pete the Pea and what he discovers when he steps outside his pod. This simple board book, and the whimsical illustrations that accompany it, celebrate curiosity and imagination and reminds us that even after a grand adventure, it is good to come home to those we love.”
Blast off with Pete the pea on a cosmic adventure of daring and friendship. Follow Pete whose imagination turns a carrot into a spaceship, an artichoke into a satellite, plain veggies into planets, an ear of corn into a corn-trol shuttle and such more.
A short link to a video of Amalia performing the story:
In 2017, I started experimenting with pastel pencils. I loved the textures that I could achieve and the vibrant lush colors. After working for a while on a white background I wondered what the colors would look like on black. So I ordered a fine black art sand paper and fell in love with the way the colors looked on it
I didn’t really have a project in mind. I was just having fun painting fruits and vegetables. I ended up making a pea pod. The drawing was on my art table and one day I got the idea of doing a story about peas.
I had envisioned a board book where the young child reads a clue and turns the page to see what happened. I think it was the black paper that sprouted the space idea. So then, why not make spaceship?
I envisioned this little curious protagonist – a pea named Pete who is tired of living in an ordinary pea pod and his imagination takes him on a cosmic adventure. I created a dummy and sent it to my agent, Anna Olswanger.
We worked on the story for a while and I was delighted when Schiffer Publishing acquired it as well as another board book, executed in the same technique, coming up in Fall, 2019.
Amalia Hoffman is an author, illustrator and storyteller. Her board book, Dreidel Day (Lerner/Kar Ben Publishing, 2018) is a PJ Library book and received the PJ Library Author Incentive Award. She is the author/illustrator of two other board books, Astro Pea and All Colors (Schiffer Publishing, 2019.) Amalia is the author of The Brave Cyclist: The True Story of a Holocaust Hero (Capstone Publishing, 2019, illustrated by Chiara Fedele.)
Amalia designed and illustrated an oversized book with pop-up elements for the production of Rose Bud at Israel’s children’s theater, The Train. Other books include The Klezmer Bunch and Purim Goodies (Gefen Publishing House, 2007 and 2009.) The Klezmer Bunch was featured in a play, Jewish Books Cooking by the celebrated choreographer and producer, Elizabeth Swados. She received the SCBWI 2005 award for illustration in the category of Fantasy. Her portfolio was selected as the winning portfolio in the 2014 21st Century Non Fiction Conference.
Amalia performs her stories in schools, libraries and bookstores dressed up in costumes with puppets and props.
Visit Amalia at www.amaliahoffman.com