henryherz.com

Fantasy & Sci-Fi Books for Kids


1 Comment

World-Class Kid Bedroom Designs

From the mad geniuses at Bored Panda.

“We love to write about interior design at Bored Panda, but we often forget to cover one important group – kids! Most parents will agree that providing their children with a wonderful living space in which they can thrive, learn and play is of paramount importance, which is why we’ve collected this list of 22 awesome interior design ideas for children’s rooms.

A child’s surroundings can have a huge impact on how they grow and develop, so parents always try to make their children’s living spaces as comfortable and fun as possible within their means. I’m not sure my parents could have afforded an indoor treehouse, but I still had plenty of pictures and bright, colorful artwork up on my walls. Sleeping in a bed that looks like a pirate ship or a princess’ wagon, as one can imagine, would probably fill a child’s life with endless hours of joy.

Of course, arguments can be made for and against these designs. Sure they all look pretty cool, but how safe is a children’s room with ladders, ropes, and strange out-of-place edges? There are plenty of opportunities here for kids to hurt themselves, depending on their age and how much they like to horse around, so these designs may not be for everyone. And as much as we like providing for our children, spoiling them rotten is also a bad idea!”

 

1. Pirate Ship Room

2. Calvin and Hobbes Bedroom

Designed by Katri Nurmela

3. Secret Chronicles Of Narnia Room

4. Personal Teepee

5. Spaceship Captain’s Console

6. Tree House Bedroom

7. Secret Slide Passage And Play Room

8. Secret Treehouse Play Room

9. House Within A House

10. Fairy-Tale Nursery

11. Ship Captain’s Bedroom

12. Adventure Treehouse Room

13. Circus Bedroom

14. Princess’ Carriage And Bedroom

15. Ship Captain’s Lookout And Bedroom

16. Forest Wonderland Bedroom

17. Racetrack Bedroom

18. Hideout Tubes

19. Basketball Court Bedroom

20. Island Shipwreck Bedroom

21. Super Mario Room

22. Or Just Give Your Kids Thousands of Stickers And See What Happens


2 Comments

Felt Fairytale Houses For Cats

From Kosata Yuliya and the mad geniuses at Bored Panda. I want to get some of these — and I don’t even have a cat.

“As long as I remember myself I loved to create things. First I was painting and sewing. Then it turned into photography and then on one of my trip to Nepal I fell in love with felted things. It was nearly 8 years ago when I first saw such unusual shapes and things I couldn’t even understand how could be made from wool. It was incredible. Since then I decided to try to do it no matter what. I started to explore felting in wool I discovered unique material for creativity alive and warm. It demands a lot of efforts and skills and it always has own way and lives own life which force me to follow its lead, rethink the ideas I had and sculpt sometimes very different from what I wanted but still magic and beautiful.

It’s hard to say what exactly gives me ideas. My mind is always filled with images whichever I want to create in reality. It’s never easy and always unpredictable but feeling of creating is cover all the hardship. Creating own world with own hands makes me feel like something from fairy tale and wonderland united in one.”

My Felted World

My Felted World

My Felted World

My Felted World

My Felted World

My Felted World

My Felted World

My Felted World

My Felted World

My Felted World 


Leave a comment

Secret Lives of Star Wars Villains

Conquering the galaxy isn’t all drama and highlights. The untold tales of Star Wars villains, as imagined by the clever photographer David Gilliver at Design You Trust.

a

“Tiny Storm Troopers and a mini Darth Vader are captured doing everyday activities – from taking a bath, to wrapping presents. Scottish Artist and Photographer, David Giliver created these scenes over a period of two years using toys and miniature props. Here: Two storm troopers lie in a bath.”

Darth Vader gives presents to Luke Skywalker

b

Darth Vader points at an opticians letter chart

c

A stormtrooper has a walker on a leash

A storm trooper rides a skateboard

A walker hold a bone and wears a Christmas hat

An Emperor’s Guard wraps another in tin foil

A storm trooper wears high heeled boots

A storm trooper gives another a bunch of flowers

A storm trooper bottle feeds a walker

A storm trooper feeds a walker in the grass

A storm trooper throws a stick to a walker

Photo by David Gilliver/Barcroft Images

 


Leave a comment

Pre-World War II Giant Robot Landscape Paintings

I never thought I’d ever say “Pre-World War II Giant Robot Landscape Paintings”. Hats off to the skill and imagination of artist Jakub Rozalski in mashing up these two on Design You Trust.

01

“The Polish artist Jakub Rozalski, who goes by the sobriquet “Mr. Werewolf,” has produced an amusing series of steampunk-ish canvases in which serene and idyllic rustic landscapes of what seem to be Eastern Europe (Rozalski’s very back yard, you might say) in the early decades of the 20th century feature the prominent and inexplicable existence of completely fictitious giant mecha robots.”

02

Various iconographies are jammed together, the imagery of peasant life in the early years of collectivization, the imagery of science fiction, the imagery of modern warfare…. add it all up and you might find yourself calling to mind, ohhh, the first few scenes of The Empire Strikes Back, set on the icy terrain of Hoth, perhaps?

03

Rozalski’s intent is “to commemorate this sad and tragic period in history, in my own way, to light on this parts of history that usually remain in the shadows of other events… remember and honor the history, but live in the present.” He adds, “I like to mix historical facts and situations with my own motives, ideas and visions. … I attach great importance to the details, the equipment, the costumes, because it allows you to embed painting within a specified period of time.”

04

The World of Scythe is a beautiful 105-page art book showcasing the work of Jakub Rozalski for the board game Scythe, one of the most successful games ever funded on Kickstarter. The book was only made available to backers during the Kickstarter campaign, and is now only available on ArtStation Shop.

05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16


2 Comments

Artists Recreate Kid Monster Drawings

Kids have amazing creativity, which is further fleshed out by professional artists as part of The Monster Project. From Greta J. and the mad geniuses at Bored Panda.

“Last year we introduced you to The Monster Project, an awesome initiative that sees professional artists adding their own unique touches to monster doodles created by kids in elementary. Well now we’re bringing you more of their amazing collaborations, and as you can see below, the results are quite spectacular.

Based out of Texas, the purpose of the project is to encourage creativity and provide inspiration for artistic children everywhere. “With a decreasing emphasis on arts in schools, many children don’t have the opportunity for creative exploration they deserve,” reads their website. “That’s a monstrous trend we would like to destroy. As artists ourselves, we understand how important that initial creative exposure is and how it can truly alter the shape of a child’s future. Creativity comes in many forms, and we hope to encourage their exploration of their own unique perceptions of the world we share.”

The Monster Project

The Monster Project

The Monster Project

The Monster Project

The Monster Project

The Monster Project

The Monster Project

The Monster Project

The Monster Project

The Monster Project


2 Comments

Interview with NY Times bestselling children’s book illustrator Tim Bowers

Tim Bowers is a children’s book illustrator. His first picture book was published in 1986. Since then, he has illustrated over 45 other titles. A couple of the titles have landed on the New York Times best seller list. His art is usually filled with animals and humor…and people, when needed. Tim currently lives in Granville, Ohio with his beautiful wife. They have four talented grown children and are proud grandparents.

bowerstim

For what age audience do you illustrate?

I illustrate for all ages, but mostly for children. I hear from many parents who have enjoyed my books as much as their kids. That’s especially true for my title, MEMOIRS OF A GOLDFISH by Devin Scillian. A very funny story.

Henry: Sounds like quite a fish tale…

Tell us about your latest book.

My latest book is FOOTLOOSE by Kenny Loggins. Kenny re-wrote his 80’s hit song, Footloose, into a kid’s version, which includes a zoo keeper (who, I’m told, looks a lot like Captain Kangaroo), dancing animals and a couple of curious kids.

What do you hope readers will get from that book?

When your life is a total zoo…DANCE!

Seriously, it’s a fun story about two kids who sneak into the zoo just before closing. The zoo keeper and animals have a great dance party under a full moon. The party continues until sunrise.  Kids can read the story, follow the illustrations and listen to the song (a CD is included in the book). So, I hope kids will put on their dancin’ shoes and have fun!

Henry: Fun! And now you’re only one degree away from Kevin Bacon.

“Now I gotta cut loose
Footloose, kick off the Sunday shoes
Please, Louise, pull me off of my knees
Jack, get back, come on before we crack
Lose your blues, everybody cut footloose”

What aspect of illustrating do you find most challenging?

A children’s book is a long project: from character development, sketches and book dummy to the final art. It takes focus and endurance to keep the process moving forward. There are times during the painting of the final art that seem to move at a snail’s pace. My mind seems to wander during those times. I’ll think of new book projects, other art techniques to explore, people I’d like to meet, a good name for a pet elephant, how would I even get a pet elephant?, would I rather have an elephant or a monkey?… and guitars, wish I could practice more, wish I could buy another guitar.

Then, I snap out of it and get back to the final artwork. Come to think of it, I’ve had this problem since childhood. Focus, focus, focus.

Henry: Would You Rather Have a Monkey or an Elephant sounds like a great picture book idea. Thanks!

What is a powerful lesson you’ve learned from being an illustrator?

Art is a powerful tool used to tell a story, deliver a message or share an idea. I want to use my talent to help deliver positive messages and good ideas and stories to viewers and readers. That’s why I like to illustrate children’s books.

What has been a memorable experience that you never would have had if you had not been an illustrator?

There are a lot of them. I’ve been to hundreds of elementary schools to share my experiences and talk to students about making art for picture books. I love talking to kids and sharing my art with them. I wouldn’t have had that type of a connection without being an illustrator.

I’ve also worked with some celebrities because of my illustrations. I illustrated DREAM BIG, LITTLE PIG! by Kristi Yamaguchi. Without the illustration connection, I probably would not have worked with Kristi because I’m a lousy skater. I’ve also illustrated books by Neil Sedaka (DINOSAUR PET) and Kenny Loggins (FOOTLOOSE). I’m not in their social circles, and I need a lot more practice on my guitar so being an illustrator got me those “gigs”.

I guess the “powerful lesson” would be that being an illustrator has allowed me to connect with people through stories, from children learning to read to well-known people with stories to share.

Henry: I’d pay good money to watch you play guitar while ice skating. Triple axle!

What advice would you give to aspiring children’s book illustrators?

Surround yourself with books. Study the great picture book art of the past, explore current art trends, and use the best of both to create your own personal voice.

Work on your craft. Draw. Learn the elements of visual story telling/sequential art. Draw more. Strive to create art that connects emotionally to the reader. In most books, the words and art must unify to tell a clear story. Practice working with text, using your art to compliment the written word. Then, draw some more.

Much can be learned by connecting with groups like The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI.org).

So, three things that I would suggest: One- work to improve your art skills, Two- learn about the business/process of creating children’s books, and Three- make connections (network) with people in the biz: editors, authors, designers and others who are pursuing your same goals.

Henry: Four – get an elephant. Or a monkey.

Do you have any favorite quotes?

I have a huge file of quotes. Here are a few of my favorites for today:

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.”
– Groucho Marx

“Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there.”
– Miles Davis

“I get up every morning determined both to change the world and to have one hell of a good time. This makes planning the day difficult.”
– E.B. White

“Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia.”
– Charles M. Schulz

Henry:

“Every dog has his day, unless he loses his tail, then he has a weak-end.”
– June Carter Cash

“What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
– Dwight D. Eisenhower

Do you have any strange rituals that you observe when you work?

Hmmm, let’s see. I usually listen to music, have a cup of coffee by my side and try to keep focused on the task at hand (see earlier answer about staying focused). I find it extremely hard to work if my paintbrush isn’t just right for the job…if it’s lost the sharp point, too big, too stiff. The wrong brush can drive me crazy. Brushes wear out after a while, so I have a container filled with hundreds of those retired brushes. I often work better at night. Between 11pm and 3am seems to be an easier time to focus. I can’t think of anything else that might apply…Hey, did I tell you that my Grandpa had a monkey?  Would you rather have a monkey or an elephant?  Oh, sorry… where were we?

Henry: Life’s too short to use the wrong brush.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

The power to heal at will. I could eliminate the pain of people suffering from abuse, burns, cancer and accidents… as a starter. It breaks my heart to see kids who suffer in life. Having wings would also be cool but then what? You fly around. That would be nice but I think that healing would be my superpower. But, having two powers, flying around AND healing, would be even better. I’d like to negotiate for two superpowers, if that’s ok.

Henry: Ah, the old “wish for more wishes” ploy. Healing is a lovely wish.

If you could have three authors over for dinner, who would it be?

The Apostle Paul…because he was there.
Kate DiCamillo…because her work is full of heart and humor. One of my very favorite story tellers.
Cynthia Rylant… because her work is full of heart and humor. Another one of my very favorite story tellers.
There are so many amazingly talented authors (I’ve worked with a lot of them), so I’d have to have a few more dinners.

Henry: Trying to break the rules again? I sense a trend. 🙂

What is your favorite creature that exists only in literature?

I’d have to go with dragons. I’ve illustrated a great dragon book, NOT YOUR TYPICAL DRAGON by Dan Bar-El. Mermaids would come in a close second place…who doesn’t like mermaids? I’ve illustrated one book with a mermaid, Sometimes I wonder if POODLES LIKE NOODLES by Laura Numeroff.  I created some “Mer-mutts” (dog mermaids) in THE ADVENTURES OF UNDERWATER DOG by Jan Wahl, but that probably doesn’t count.

Henry: The blog judges rule that Mer-mutts is an acceptable response.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I play the guitar. I do more listening to great players than playing but I’m always thinking about guitars. I also have a beautiful ukulele and mandolin (my grandpa, who had a monkey, was also a mandolin player). They get less playing time than my guitars. I also like to fish. I only had time to fish a couple of times, this summer. That’s why I didn’t have you over for a big fish fry, Henry. I really like to golf, but I’ve only done that several times. My kids bought me a new set of clubs for father’s day, so I need to golf more often.

This question is leading me to believe that maybe I work too much. I have a lot of interests but don’t seem to have much time outside of my work schedule. I think I need more balance in that area. Thanks for bringing it up, Henry.

Henry: You’re welcome, Tim. You should definitely have more fish fries. I’ll even bring the fish!

What would you like it to say on your tombstone?

I’m not sure but here’s another quote that might apply:

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Henry:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms…”
– Henry David Thoreau

Where can readers find your work?

In children’s books at your local library or bookstore. On line, you can visit my website: http://www.timbowers.com/ and my blog: timbowersart.blogspot.com.

Henry: Thanks for joining us, Tim!


2 Comments

Paintings Inspired by Studio Ghibli

When fan art can stand on its own merits. From Šarūnė Mac and the mad geniuses at Bored Panda.

“Brilliant Studio Ghibli animation has inspired many people in a lot of different ways. Their touching stories and incredibly detailed animation style have touched us all. Bored Panda has collected some of the best Miyazaki fans’ paintings to show what creative admirers are capable of.

From vibrant watercolors to a ‘Starry Night’ version of Totoro, these paintings will hopefully fill the void ’till Hayao Miyazaki finishes his newest animation. And if you are an artist yourself, we hope that these pieces will inspire you to create something awesome and add it to this list!”

#1 Totoro Starry Night Oil Painting By Sagittariusgallery

Totoro Starry Night Oil Painting By Sagittariusgallery

#2 Totoro By Vincent Belbari

Totoro By Vincent Belbari

#3 Princess Mononoke By Muju

Princess Mononoke By Muju

#4 Spirited Away By Yuumei

Spirited Away By Yuumei

#5 Hayao Miyazaki And Totoro By Ono Mono

Hayao Miyazaki And Totoro By Ono Mono

#6 Totoro And Winter Oil Painting By Villasukka

Totoro And Winter Oil Painting By Villasukka

#7 In The Air Indian Ink Painting By Louise Terrier

In The Air Indian Ink Painting By Louise Terrier

#8 Totoro And Hannah Indian Ink Painting By Louise Terrier

Totoro And Hannah Indian Ink Painting By Louise Terrier

#9 Ghibli Sleepover By Keh Choon Wee

Ghibli Sleepover By Keh Choon Wee