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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Jack and the Beanstalk

©Nina Crews 2011 Christy Ottaviano Books, Henry Holt and Company ISBN: 9780805087659   Jack receives beans from his neighbor and – lo and behold! – those beans lead him up a beanstalk and into the company of giants. How will he ever get back home? In her innovative photo-collage style, Nina Crews freshens up a beloved children’s tale for today’s young readers. Kirkus – A contemporary urban version of the ancient tale of beans and boy, with spiky parts rounded off. This Jack gets a jar of brightly colored beans for doing chores for his neighbor, and he plants them beneath […]