Writing Process Blog Tour

Thank you Marisabina Russo for tagging me in the Writing Process Blog Tour! I really enjoyed reading about your writing process at http://marisabinarusso.wordpress.com/2014/08/22/the-writing-process-blog-tour/! What am I working on? Poetry continues to be a source of inspiration for me. I loved photographing contemporary scenes to illustrate nursery rhymes in The Neighborhood Mother Goose. In my new project (working title – Each Green Leaf), I will photo illustrate nine haiku written by Richard Wright, (the African American novelist) and pair them with a brief biography that will explore Wright’s life and creative journey. I love haiku and believe it a great form to study with kids. Writing the biography was fun […]

Liar, Liar!

©Nina Crews from The Neighborhood Sing-Along 2011 I have just returned from Sheboygan Wisconsin. Spent a day talking about my books at the Mead Public Library and leading an art workshop at the Kohler Art Center. Spent two evenings talking shop with other authors and illustrators while tasting Wisconsin specialties like fried cheese curds. (Yes, fried cheese curds.) Here are some photos of me in an article about the festival from the  Sheboygan Press. You can look at them here.  (But be patient, there are lots of photos of Steven Kellogg first!) During my morning presentation I learned something new […]

Climbing the Beanstalk

Jack and the Beanstalk © Nina Crews. Published by Christy Ottaviano Books, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers. I am so pleased that my retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk will be published next week! I started thinking about the story way back in 2004 and wrote my first drafts in 2006. It’s about time! The visual possibilities excited me first. I loved the idea of a huge beanstalk curling into the sky past a brick apartment building. Jack and the Beanstalk © Nina Crews I then did a little online research and learned that that the story as I […]

A Neighborhood Photo Shoot: Expected and unexpected challenges

A couple of reviewers have commented (very nicely) on the naturalism of my photographs of children. Many of my favorite photographers like Helen Levitt, Andre Kertesz and Roy DeCarava created images that capture the beauty of unexpected and unguarded moments. But this, like all things, does require some effort. In my case I use an extra tool when things don’t quite go my way, Photoshop. Mega Sashes and Glass photo ©Nina Crews When I planned the image I wanted for “Do Your Ears Hang Low” I imagined a group of kids hamming it up in front of a shop window filled […]

How to be in two places at once

I few weeks ago, I did my first ever skype author visit. What a great way to have technology work for us authors! I spoke with the children at the Upper Room Christian Academy-A Preparatory School, in Raleigh, North Carolina for about 30 minutes. Prior to our chat, the children read my books and talked about my work. On the day of, they were excited and ready with questions for me. I showed them previews of The Neighborhood Sing-Along and the sketches I made before photographing. We did have some glitches. Our first scheduled chat didn’t happen, because the school’s […]

Poor Guy!

Poor Guy has lost a leg! Jack’s fearless adventure companion featured in my two books, Below and Sky-High Guy, needs some repair. When I was first planning the photographs for Below, I knew that I wanted Jack’s favorite toy to be one that would only exist in that book. I didn’t really know how to make a doll, but I certainly played with enough as a kid, so I gave it a try. Guy was made out of a clay called Sculpey that can be baked in a toaster oven. I gave him dark brown hair and olive skin like […]

Snowball

©Nina Crews 1997 Greenwillow Books, HarperCollins Publishers The weather report says “Snow.” Yet there is no sign of it on Monday, or Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday. But oh, when it comes, it is as thick and white and wonderful as the young narrator dreamed. Zip up your jacket and come outside. It’s snowing! Kirkus – A spirited companion to Crews’ debut, One Hot Summer Day (1995)…Every scene is fresh and unpredictable, and the model’s face perfectly reflects the exclamations of the caption-like text. It’s a short tale entirely from a child’s-eye view—from a child’s heart—and a celebration of snow […]

I’ll Catch the Moon

©Nina Crews 1996 Greenwillow Books, HarperCollins Publishers The moon! There it is, outside the window, shiny as a new quarter. The child narrator imagines building a ladder to outer space, going up and up, until she can hold the silver circle in her hands. And what a magical time they have together! School Library Journal – The book has striking visual images and while there is no strong story line, it does capture and convey a child’s power to imagine and wonder. May 1996  

Sky High Guy

© Nina Crews 2010 Christy Ottaviano Books, Henry Holt and Company Whether they’re trekking to a magical island to hunt dinosaurs or saving a city from destruction, Jack and his action figure Guy have exciting adventures. Sometimes Jack’s little brother, Gus, joins them. But when Guy gets caught in a branch while skydiving, Jack and Gus must launch operation rescue! In this companion to Below, Nina Crews uses her trademark photo-collage style to tell a playful story where innovative ideas and teamwork save the day. School Library Journal – “Jack starts out thinking of himself and Guy as the perfect […]

About Nina

Nina Crews is a critically acclaimed children’s book author and illustrator. She uses photographs and photocollages to create energetic stories about young children. Her career began in 1995 with One Hot Summer Day which Kirkus Reviews hailed as “the debut of a welcome new voice and vision.” Two of her books, The Neighborhood Mother Goose and Below were ALA Notable selections. Nina’s work has explored a variety of themes. She has updated classic material in The Neighborhood Mother Goose as well as in her recent titles, The Neighborhood Sing-Along and Jack and the Beanstalk. She has written stories of children’s […]