A good book for a hot summer day

One Hot Summer Day © Nina Crews, HarperCollins Publishers August in New York City – “Dogs pant. Hydrants are open. Women carry umbrellas for the shade.”  Those words were written over twenty years ago during another hot, sticky New York summer and come from my very first picture book, One Hot Summer Day – now in print for twenty years! One Hot Summer Day sketch for page 4-5 Much has changed in the Brooklyn neighborhoods I photographed for this book and the young girl, who stars in the story, is now a grown woman. Not everything changes, however, the experiences of young children at play […]

BELOW – paperback edition!

© Nina Crews 2006. BELOW – “Jack lived in a tall narrow house…”[/caption]   BELOW is now available as a print-on-demand paperback! Last fall, I got the news that one of my favorite books, BELOW, was going out of print. I’ve had other books go out of print before and I have always felt disappointed, but rarely surprised. This time I was surprised. BELOW had been named an ALA Notable book and a Junior Library Guild selection. Sales were never big, but steady, and the book was always a hit when I read it aloud to school groups. I was also in the midst of […]

Reflections: The work of Ann Jonas

©Ann Jonas – Bird Talk 1999 There is an exhibition of my mother, Ann Jonas’s, picture books on display now at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Central branch. We are so pleased with this exhibition that includes many of her books, early student work and design work. It has given us a great opportunity to reflect upon her wonderful career. When mom passed away last fall, it was easy to talk at length about how much we loved her and all of the special things she did for us. She was a loving mother and wife; nearly a daughter to her […]

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 […]

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 […]

One Hot Summer Day

© Nina Crews 1995 Greenwillow Books, HarperCollins Publishers ISBN:9780688133931 • CCBC Choice 1995 • Junior Library Guild Selection 1995 It is summer and it is HOT. Dogs pant. Women carry umbrellas for the shade. But the running, dancing narrator is busy. Drawing. Teasing her shadow. Eating Popsicles. Here is a perfect book for all seasons: If you are cold, it will warm you, and if you are hot–well, the sky is darkening, and the big drops are ready to fall. Nina Crews makes a stunning debut with a book bursting with emotion, truth, and beauty. Horn Book July/August 1995 – […]

Below

Below interior art

© Nina Crews 2006.  Nina Crews Studio Paperback Edition ISBN: 9780692434475 • ALA Notable Book 2007 • Junior Library Guild Selection 2006 • Read On Wisconsin book of the month December 2006 Jack and his action figure Guy have many adventures together, and the tall, narrow staircase in Jack’s house provides the perfect setting. Jack and Guy climb mountains, visit cities, and explore forests. But one day Guy falls down a hole in the stairs, and it’s up to Jack to rescue him. What is going on below the stairs? Only Guy knows. Publisher’s Weekly – “This fanciful look at […]