Sunday, August 5, 2012

Picture Book Panel: Eugene Yelchin

Eugene Yelchin (right) on the big screen (that's Dan Yaccarino on the left)

Eugene Yelchin is a Russian-born author and illustrator of children’s books. In 2012, Breaking Stalin’s Nose, his first illustrated novel, received a Newbery Honor award. That same year, Won Ton, A Cat Tale Told In Haiku, which Yelchin illustrated, became an American Library Association Notable Book, among numerous other awards. In 2010, his illustrated picture book Rooster Prince of Breslov received the National Jewish Book Award. Yelchin received a Tomie de Paola award in 2006 at the SCBWI winter conference. Since then his books received starred reviews and were included in the Best Books of the Year lists.

Some great quotes from Eugene:

Eugene spoke about how doing both text and images for his middle grade novel, he knew that his art would come and take the place of mood and setting and description, and

"all I need from text was action and emotion."

He's talking about his friend David Shannon who is able to connect from where he is now to where he was at five, and that connection is alive.  David can go into a trance-like state where he is five years old.

"No, David! was written when he was five and just illustrated when he was forty."

And for kids,

"Lets give them something to read that will speak to them."

The panel covers trends (and should picture book writers and illustrators care about them), the connection between author and illustrator, emotional connection to the text, looking for those moments that will surprise and meet expectations, what makes a classic picture book, if e-books and apps will change how we tell stories, and so much more!

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