Congrats to the mighty Dan Santat on his Caldecott Medal for "Beekle."
Days like today are hard for most writers and illustrators. We are happy to see our friends win, but I'm sure that the thought of "Why didn't I win?" goes through everyone's mind. For me, I know it's no longer a jealous, or angry thought, but more of a clinical, academic thought.
What does the winner do better than me?
What skills does he posses that I don't?
Is it the technique being rewarded, or the content of the image?
Are people impressed with the technical accomplishment of the drawings, or the emotional weight that an image can carry?
Why do some books affect readers more than others?
Is there a style that is currently popular?
Hopefully, one can learn from theses questions, as tough as some of the answers might be. The other thing that has always made me feel less grumpy on a day like today is numbers. Thousands of picture books were published this year. Only a few will win awards.
The truth is, I haven't even released a picture book since 2010's "Furious George Goes Bananas." I wasn't even in the running. I have been working on a few ideas, but haven't been able to find the time to really flesh them out. Between the Icky Ricky books, and the Fangbone! tv work, and school visits, I'm plenty busy.
This is a cover sketch/idea for one of my new stories. Excuse me while I go think...