Monday, December 14, 2009

Percy Jackson Deluxe...continued

Here is another painting from the Lightning Thief Deluxe Edition. It depicts Percy leaving Mount Olympus towards the end of the book. You'll notice the design on the elevator doors is based on the end pages I designed for "The Last Olympian".
I recently took my three year old daughter to the top of the Empire State Building and when we got out on the roof, she kept saying "But I want to go ALL the way up to the tippy top." I can only assume she meant climbing the needle like King Kong, but maybe she meant even the 600th floor!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Books of Wonder Event

Had a great time at the recent Books of Wonder event this past weekend. Here are some pics.

Left to right: Jerry Pinkney, me and Art Spiegleman.

Left to right: Jerry Pinkney, Art Spiegleman, Francoise Mouly, Charles Santore, Laura Cornell and Brett Helquist.

Left to Right: Charles Santore, Laura Cornell, Brett Helquist, Holly Hobbie and me grinning profusely.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Kane Chronicles

Well, now...I can talk about it.
I am currently working on the artwork for Rick Riordan's new book, The Red Pyramid (Book one of the Kane Chronicles). I am very excited about this because not only do I get to create the jacket art, but I was able to design the logo which was revealed this week in Publishers Weekly as well as Rick's own unveiling at the Texas Book Festival where he took home the prestigious Bookend award for his contributions to literature by a Texas author.
Now, I am sure I won't be able to post anything about the artwork for a long time to come, but the excitement is building. His last series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, which I did all the cover art for, has sold over 7 million copies in the U.S. alone!
Needless to say, I am thrilled and honored to be part of his next series, The Kane Chronicles.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Percy Jackson Boxed Set

November 3, 2009 is going to be a Percy day! First there is the release of this cool Boxed set of Hardcover books, and also is the release of the Deluxe Edition of the Lightning Thief with eight new color illustrations I did for the interior. Pretty cool!

Boxed Set
Deluxe Lightning Thief

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Today is the Day to find the Way

Today, September 30th officially marks the launch of my latest picture book, Fu Finds the Way. I am at my desk listening for cries of joy, fireworks and sounds of celebration, but alas it is quiet outside my window.
I will be doing several signings in the NYC area in November.

In other news I had the pleasure of meeting David Small as he was signing his new graphic novel "Stitches" at Powerhouse Arena last night. I also met his lovely wife, Sarah Stewart (Author of "The Librarian", "The Gardener", "The Money Tree" and several others) It was a great night, and I was lucky to get our very used copy of "The Librarian" signed by both David and Sarah.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Keplers review of Fu Finds the Way

My new book was recently reviewed by Keplers. Did I mention that Keplers happens to be one of my Dad's favorite bookstores?

Fu Finds the Way - Kepler's Staff Review
This is an awe-inspiringly beautiful book that will beckon you to hold it tenderly in your hands and give it your full attention. Indeed, before the first
word is read you will be well on your way to "the way."

Young Fu is out in the rice fields quite distracted by his fantastic daydream when he accidentally flings a clod of mud onto the face of a fearsome warrior
named Chang. Incensed, Chang challenges young Fu to a duel. Terrified Fu grabs his father's sword and runs to seek training by the Master. But all the
Master has him do is pour tea! And then he orders Fu to pour tea again "with purpose," and again "with flow" and again "with patience." When the hour
of his assignation with Chang arrives, Fu, quite exhausted by his sleepless night pouring tea, forgets his sword but finds himself still holding the teapot.

What will he do? Pour Tea of course! Fu's loving tea ceremony has such intense focus and beauty that all else becomes irrelevant, including Chang's ire.
In our often frenetically multi-tasked lives, reading this book provides a peaceful and centering experience that explains the concept of single-focused
attention to the moment-a concept that is beyond the grasp or experience of so many of our children given the relentlessly wired, hyper-texted, multi-
calendar lives our families navigate every day.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Kentucky Conference

I recently got back from Louisville where I was a guest speaker at the Kentucky Reading Association Annual Conference. They held another great conference this year and I was happy to be part of it. I met some wonderful teachers who were really passionate about getting their students to read. I also had time to talk with Floyd Cooper about his work, as well as having drinks with fellow SCBWI'er Candie Moonshower.

Monday, September 14, 2009

New Studio!!!!

I am very excited about the new studio that my wife and I built at our country house. It used to be a commercial kitchen and a bedroom, and before that it was a dining room (back in the late 1800's). We had to hire contractors to put a new roof on because the old one was leaking, but the rest of the work we did ourselves. I even made my own moulding with some old pine boards and a router. The bookshelf in the library is a simple pine box, and I added sheets of stained beadboard to the back and some old oak moulding I found to dress up the front. It still needs some work, like a new floor and moulding and some other things, but we couldn't be happier.
We also had time to finish work on a library. I still can't believe I have a library now! Here are some pictures, and a nice shot of my daughter helping with the painting.

Monday, September 07, 2009

The Books have arrived!

I just got my hands on a few copies of my latest book, Fu Finds the Way, (Disney•Hyperion Sept 30) and I am thrilled. The printing was spectacular and check out what it looks like when you take the dust jacket off! Its a red silk cover with a gold stamp that I designed in the center.
Getting advance copies of my books always gives me a thrill. It's like Christmas!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Lately I have been pretty busy. As you may know, the Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Lightning Thief movie is in production (see the trailer here) and the final book in the series "The Last Olympian" has recently come out, so the folks over at Barnes and Noble have been doing a slew of promotion using the artwork from the covers.
Check out this cool "Last Olympian Gift Card"
They have also created some cool trivia cards.
As well as this nifty journal.

But one of the most exciting things for me was the opportunity to illustrate a Deluxe Gift Edition of "The Lightning Thief". I had to put all my other projects on hold to work on it, but in the end it was totally worth it.
The book will have eight full color paintings of scenes from the book and will be cloth bound and come with a handsome slipcase. The best part is that I am told it will be available this November, just in time for that perfect holiday gift for the Percy fans!
I plan to do some promotional videos, but here is a small taste of what is to come... stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Obama gives out "The Lightning Thief"

I came across this article yesterday. The first family was at Fort McNair on June 25th to stuff 15,000 backpacks with books for children of military personnel. The two books given out were "The Penderwicks" by Jeanne Birdsall, and "The Lightning Thief" by Rick Riordan (with cover art by John Rocco!!!!). Pretty cool.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New jacket painting

This one is for the follow up to Jake Ransom and the Skull King. Don't know if I can tell you the title yet, but it has something to do with a sphinx. The painting hasn't been approved yet, but the art director liked it, and that's good enough for me.

Working on a picture book right now, and it's a wordless one. Still in the book dummy stage and I can't wait to start working on the final art. Just got notes back from my editor and, as expected, they were good ones. Now back to the drawing board.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


I just returned from Minneapolis where I had a fabulous time signing books and giving presentations. I saw some old friends and met many new ones. The folks from Disney•Hyperion were there in force and had a great booth set up for us. I forgot my camera, sorry no pictures. Signed books in the Anderson Bookshop booth with Patrick Carmen and Judy Schachner and they were fun table mates. We had quite a slew of folks come by to have books signed and they sold every last copy of Wolf! Wolf! and Moonpowder.
The last night we had terrific dinner at the COSMOS restaurant and I enjoyed talking, eating and drinking with Ally Carter, LeUyen Pham, Alan Sitomer, Gordon Korman and Jaime Adoff.

Now back to reality...time to get my butt in my chair and get some work done.
Hope to see you at BEA at the end of the month!

Friday, May 01, 2009

April-May news

It has been a while since I've blogged, facebooked, twittered (no, I don't twitter)...whatever, so I figured it was about time I let you know what I've been up to. Since I last blogged, I have been working on a new picture book that I hope to complete this summer. I will post some things when it's done. Also I have been gearing up for the release of my newest picture book, Fu Finds the Way, which releases in September. My publisher (Disney•Hyperion) and I have created a very cool poster which is a whopping 18"x24".

I will be signing posters at the upcoming International Reading Association Conference next week in Minneapolis. I will also be giving a talk with the legendary children's book creator, Gerald McDermott, and I am very excited to meet him.

Besides the poster for "Fu" we have created this very cool postcard, actually 4 postcards in one. Be sure to stop by the Disney•Hyperion booth at Book Expo America in NYC on March 29th as I will be there signing galley copies of "Fu Finds the Way".
Here is the postcard:

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Happy New jacket

Here is a new young adult jacket painting that I did for a book called Jake Ransom and the Skull Kings Shadow. I had fun with the Mayan theme, as it is a book about time travel, archeology and adventure. Like a young Indiana Jones.