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New Children’s Books You Should See

by abby on October 14, 2015 | Comment

picture book design by Abby Dening
{New book with custom hand-lettered textured title type}

Books take months to produce and years to publish, so I sometimes loose track of publication dates of the book I designed. This happened to me recently with these 2 fun and lively books: GO TO SLEEP MADDIE! and Book One of the series UPSIDE DOWN MAGIC. I worked on them earlier in the year and I’m happy to say that are now available for purchase or check out your local library!

GO TO SLEEP MADDIE is about a little girl, Maddie, who doesn’t want to sleep. She asks her mom and dad for a glass of water, several bedtime stories, and a check for monsters in her room. When she finally has the lights turned off and she’s tucked into bed, she hears a noise: Quackers! Quackers! It’s her toy duck who needs a bedtime snack of crackers. She gets him his food, but then she hears another noise. Suddenly going to bed isn’t so simple.

picture book by Maureen Wright and illustrated by Elizabeth Schlossberg

I paired 2 interior typefaces together that compliment the comic story and artwork. I also wanted young readers to enjoy the vocal noises of the toys, so those were set in a thick font and colored. The cover type was a blast to create as well. I created a couple of custom pastel art brushes in Photoshop that mimic the pastel texture in the artwork.

magic themed middle grade novel, designed by AbbyDora Design
{Title type design and interior novel design created by AbbyDora Design}

is the creation of 3 dynamic authors: Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins. This is a new series about Nory, Elliot, Andres, and Bax who are a group of misfits who’s magic goes wonky. What happens? Well “For Nory, this means that instead of being able to turn into a dragon or a kitten, she turns into both of them at the same time—a dritten.” You can imagine the funny situations the other kids find themselves in. This book is for ages 8-12 and with the humor and shorter chapters it’s great for those kids who don’t usually find reading so magical.

I was delighted to be part of the team to develop the cover design for UDM. My part was to create the dimensional vector title treatment that could become the brand for the series. I was also the designer for the styling of the book’s interior, too. Keep your eyes out for more books in this series!

Happy Reading!

And the Winners are!

by abby on January 28, 2014 | Comment

children's book cover brian floca

{2014 Caldecott winner}

It’s a big day in children’s publishing. Today the American Library Association announced the winners for the Caldecott and the Newbery medals. This year both books actually featured illustrations too. YAY! You also might recall the names of the 2 books below from my November 2013 posting about the “Best Children’s Books of 2013”.

Brian Floca’s picture book, LOCOMOTIVE, won the prestigious Caldecott medal, the award “given to the artist who had created the most distinguished picture book of the year”. This book is for young readers who love all things machine and their sounds. The book follows an 1869 trans-continental train, its crew, and a family traveling coast to coast through American’s mountains and plains.

train illustration

Mr. Floca’s illustrations bring the thrill and strength of train travel alive. Paired with beautiful animated type and you begin to hear and feel the mighty locomotive.

book cover of train illustrated by brian floca

Each year, the Newbery medal is given to “the most distinguished American children’s book”. The 2014 medal was awarded to FLORA & ULYSSES written by Kate DiCamillo, the new ambassador for young people’s literature.

book cover middle grade novel called Flora and Ulysses
{2014 Newbery Winner}

FLORA & ULYSSES begins when comic-reading, Flora, recuses a squirrel after an accident involving a vacuum cleaner using her lessons learned from the comic, TERRIBLE THINGS CAN HAPPEN TO YOU! She is astonished when the squirrel, Ulysses, demonstrates super hero powers after being revived.

black and white book spread featuring drawings of a girl and her squirrel

The lively story is paired with equally fun black and white graphic novel style illustrations by K.G. Campbell. All in all a delightful book for a middle grade reader.

Happy reading!

The Tea & Books Club

by abby on March 14, 2013 | Comment

cup of tea and stack of picture books

My friend and I have started a new tradition. We are now meeting up about once a month or so and sharing our favorite illustrated books! A lot of the time they are illustrated picture books. It’s delightful to oooo and ahhh WITH someone in person over a great book. Not many of us have book clubs where we read children’s books, but I encourage you to throw in a YA or picture book book now and again. It’s fun!

I just had to share with all of you a couple of great finds. So in no particular order here are 2 AMAZING recently published picture books:

SHOE & BOOT by Marla Frazee
photo of stack of picture books
illustration of dog laying on yellow chair
illustration of dog on front porch

Life is grand for the two dogs: Boot & Shoe until one day a pesky squirrel shows up and causes trouble. This book is laugh out loud funny and has a sweet, tender ending too. 2 thumbs up.

A Perfect Day by Carin Berger

illustraton of people doing snow angels
book about the perfect snow day

Carin’s collages have a poetic folk art feel. Plainly stated: they are magical. The simple text allows your eyes to slowly take in all the details in her collage compositions and the paper collage material too. Anyone who likes to paper collage should pick up this book.

These copies were borrowed from my local library, but I love both books so very much that I plan on adding them to my personal collection. OH and speaking of my personal collection. I forgot to tell you what my all time favorite picture is book on Tuesday. Drum roll please….my FAVORITE picture books is: Brave Irene by William Steig. It’s a classic. It’s even better when you’re Mom reads it out loud and really animates the wind’s voice. (Thanks Mom!)

So, while you are looking up these 2 new pictures you should look up Brave Irene too!

2013 Caldecott & Newbery Winners

by abby on January 29, 2013 | Comment

Jon Klassen

Yesterday around noon EST the 2013 Caldecott Medals were announced at the midwinter American Library Association in Seattle. Drum roll pleeeeeaaase….

The Caldecott Medal goes to This Is Not My Hat written and illustrated by Jon Klassen. This book is the follow up to I Want My Hat Back published in 2011. In This Is Not My Hat, a small fish steals the hat from a bigger fish while he’s sleeping. The little fish has a plan to get away with it, but his subtle peaks backward might tell another ending. Check out this great book trailer:

Jon Klassen also received a Caldecott Honor for illustrating the picture book Extra Yarn written by Mac Barnett.

2013 is the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott awards. NPR gives a great description of the history of this award that includes comments from 2-time Caldecott winning author/illustrator: Chris Van Allsburg. You can listen to this story here.


The 2013 Newbery Medal goes to The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.

2013 newbery medal

This book tells the story of the artistic gorilla, Ivan, who lives in a cage in a shopping center. He hardly misses the jungle, but his world is shaken up when he is joined by a baby elephant.

I know I’m heading over to my local bookstore to check out these books in person. Are you?

Red Kite Blue Kite & Other Book News

by abby on January 24, 2013 | Comment

Disney-Hyperion Picture book

You know I love to design picture books! And here’s the latest book that published this week: Red Kite, Blue Kite by Disney-Hyperion.

Red Kite, Blue, Kite is a poignant picture book, written by Ji-li Jiang and illustrated by Greg Ruth, about a little boy and his father during the Cultural Revolution in China. Both father and son keep their connection through chaotic events by flying their kites. It’s a wonderful story of the love between father and son.

The 2013 Newbery and Caldecott medals will be announced this coming Monday January 28th! Every year these awards are given by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association. An author is awarded the Newbery medal for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. An illustrator is awarded the Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children.

To receive a call from one of these award committees can be a life changing moment. PW has pulled together an interesting collection of interviews from several recent Newbery and Caldecott recipients describing the moment of the very big phone call.

Are you curious about who is predicted to win the 2013 Caldecott and Newbery medals? You can go here and here to see a few ideas.

What’s your or your child’s favorite newly published children’s or YA book?

Lulu 75% OFF Shipping Sale

by abby on October 19, 2012 | Comment

Old MacDonald Had A Farm Book

On Tuesday, I announced that I published my first picture book and the response and support for my Old MacDonald Had A Farm paperback book has been so wonderful! Thank you to everyone for your kind words and for purchasing my book.

AND what’s even more great is that LULU even seems to be supporting me too. TODAY ONLY Lulu is cutting it’s GROUND SHIPPING COSTS BY 75%! No coupon necessary. The savings automatically kick in as you check out. Add that HUGE savings to my special book price of $12 and you are one savvy shopper! I wouldn’t pass this moment up, a deal like this doesn’t happen too often. Start your holiday shopping!

And speaking of Holidays, I also want to announce that for those of you in the Rochester area, AbbyDora Design will be at the RIT Winter Craft Fair on Friday December 14th from 10am-4pm. I’ll have additional copies of Old MacDonald for sale and will be signing books too. If you decide to buy your book today (AND SAVE BIG!) feel free to bring it to the fair to be signed.

Happy Weekend!

Old MacDonald Picture Book

by abby on October 16, 2012 | Comment

abby kuperstock illustration

It is my absolute joy to announce that I have published my first children’s picture book, Old MacDonald Had A Farm! During this past summer’s art festivals I witnessed many young children connect with my animal portraits. Parents and children engaged in conversations to name the animal and what sound they made. For me it was a thrill to see this connection with my art.

I wanted to continue this engagement with my illustrations, so I collected the animal artwork and assembled it into an adorable early reader book using the Old MacDonald song. Little ones with parents will again enjoy sharing time with each other while naming the large, brightly colored farm animals and mimicking their sounds in this paperback book.

abby kuperstock book design

Creating this book allowed me the unique opportunity to use both my art and design skills. I painted the artwork, designed the book layout, and set the typography! After several years of working with other people’s artwork in books, it felt amazing to be working with my own illustrations. I think of this book as a stepping stone to venturing into more of my own illustrated books.

children's illustration

Now for the good stuff! Since you are the first to know about this Old MacDonald picture book you are able to purchase my book at the special $12 price for this week only! After next Tuesday October 23rd, the book will be released to the public and the retail price will increase. Perhaps this is the moment to start your holiday shopping? I do hope you enjoy this book as much as I did creating it!

Do you have a little one in your life who loves animals?

Caldecott Winner

by abby on January 27, 2012 | Comment

2012 caldecott

And the winner is…A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka! Hooray! On Monday Chris received a call of a life time—he won the prestigious Caldecott award for his book. He was so shocked at the call he asked the committee to repeat the announcement to him! Read more about his reaction here in a PW interview.

Although I didn’t guess correctly, this book is a wonderful choice. It’s a book that focuses completely on visual storytelling as there isn’t any typeset text to read. Instead, Chris’s fluid and simple watercolor illustrations take you on a fun journey with Daisy, the dog, and her ball. You can feel the energy of this little Dog through Chris’s “squiggly” brush strokes. Daisy’s expression and movements made me laugh out loud on several pages. I highly recommend, next time you are in a bookstore take a moment to read this book. Better yet, read it to your child or grandchild!