Congratulations to Cindy Lynn Sawyer who won EQUAL and Lisa Fowler who won DRIVE from last week's blog.
This week I'm featuring North Carolina author-illustrator, Brandon Reese, and his newest book, CAVE DADA PICKY EATER (Chronicle Books, 2021). Some of you may remember Brandon's book, CAVE DADA that came out a year ago. In this follow-up, the same relatable characters make a spontaneous discovery. Readers young and old will enjoy this fun picture book.
While Dada is searching for a breakfast that Baba will find acceptable, his wooly mammoth yanks the door off the pre-historic refrigerator (complete with Baba's drawings) and it falls on the fire.
Not only has Dada lost the refrigerator door but unfortunately, there's no egg for Baba.
Of course, nothing is acceptable. Poor Dada is not given a day off from hunting and gathering and must hunt for an egg.
He finds one--under an ENORMOUS chicken!
Dada is defeated. He has to go find another egg. Until Baba points to the fire and Dada realizes he discovered,
The two enjoy their breakfast and Dada feeds the wooly mammoth. Suddenly, he smells a bad odor coming from Baba. A bath is announced but Baba returns the directive with,
Like the first Dada book, Brandon has included lots of fun details in the pictures so that even toddlers can "read" the story. I enjoy the way in which Brandon shows movement (and stink!) within the illustrations, and I LOVE the character's expressions!
CAROL: How did you come up with this idea? Let me guess...
BRANDON: I worked up several ideas for my editor at Chronicle. One story had Dada climbing a tree for a breakfast egg, another had Dada chasing Baba for bath time. Ariel liked the idea of picky eating, so I rewrote the story and I included those elements. People might assume my son was a picky eater. He wasn’t at all. We were actually hard-pressed finding something he didn’t like! I do, however have nephews who had persnickety palettes!
CAROL: Can you tell us a little about your creative process?
BRANDON: A few drawings of story beats came first in my sketchbook. Once I figured out the narrative, I type up the manuscript. Then it is back and forth to my editor with sketches and rewrites as I refine.
|From Brandon's sketchbook|
CAROL: What medium do you use for the art?
BRANDON: I create the artwork with a combination of techniques. The line art is hand drawn and shaded with colored pencil. That is scanned in and placed in photoshop where I colored it with a combination of digital brushes and gouache paint. I also photographed an omelet for egg textures.
CAROL: How was your first book received?
BRANDON: I think the first book was pretty well liked. It’s been translated for Chinese, Korean, and Italian editions so far.
CAROL: What's next? Is there another Dada book in your future?
BRANDON:I’m definitely up for a third CAVE DADA book, but nothing is set in stone… so to speak. 😀 I’m currently on submission with a new picture book and working on a graphic novel to pitch.