Tuesday, May 14, 2013

TRUCK STOP Book Launch- Melissa Iwai

I’m thrilled to announce the release of TRUCK STOP, written by Anne Rockwell and illustrated by me!  The official Viking pub date is this Thursday, but our blog tour started yesterday.  TRUCK STOP is a fun picture book for young kids that celebrates all the different trucks and their drivers who gather for breakfast every day at the young narrator’s family’s truck stop diner.

When I first was offered the manuscript in 2011, I was so excited to see it was written by Anne.  I’ve been a big fan for a long time.  She`s written over 100 children’s books for all ages, on topics ranging from boats, history, mythology, to the first day of school, bugs, to the seasons.  Go check out her collection of books here!  Needless to say, I didn’t need much time to think it over and said “yes” to my editor immediately.
Most people don’t realize it, but usually the author and illustrator don’t meet or collaborate at all on the book.  Exceptions are made, of course, if they are married, related, or perhaps have worked together in the past.  So it was such a pleasure last week when I finally had the opportunity to meet Anne in person.  We had been corresponding via Facebook  for the past year after I turned the artwork in (yes, it takes a year for a book to be printed!)

I knew I wanted to use collage for the illustrations of TRUCK STOP.  I like painting, but I feel that collage forces me to keep the shapes simpler and that's what I wanted.  So the artwork is a sort of combination of both.  Parts of it are painted (the skies and a lot of the paper used in the collages).  But I glued everything together to make a whole.

Melissa Iwai © 2012

I also wanted to incorporate white space into my artwork to give it some lightness.  The structure of having each truck drivers introduced along with their breakfast item lent itself well to that approach.

Melissa Iwai © 2012
Anne and I will be doing book events in the area.  If you are nearby, please stop by and get a signed copy!  We will both be at Book Court in Brooklyn at 11 am on June 1.  I will be alone at Greenlight Bookstore participating in some “Artists’ Battles” (I’m a little nervous since I’ll be “competing” against Sophie Blackall and Sergio Ruzzier and Melissa Guion….!) this coming weekend, May 18 at 11 am.  Come cheer me on!
In the next two weeks, Anne and I will also be doing a blog tour.  Our book will be reviewed and given away on several blogger’s sites.  I will be tweeting about it and will also be hosting a give away of a signed book on my blog, The Hungry Artist, so stay tuned.
Here are some giveaways already going on if you want to try and win a copy!
For some fun free downloadable games, puzzles, and coloring sheets based on TRUCK STOP, please visit the Activity Sheets section of my website here!

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