Archive for the ‘Cricket Thursday’ Category

Cricket Thursday #5

December 4, 2008

Cricket Magazine, May 1995, volume 22, #9:

Cover by Alison Lester.  This Cricket is larger than the other ones– by about an inch all around.  And you may have noticed, its in full color!  (I’m not sure when they made the switch. I did a bit of digging, but nothing.  I’ll have to look some more.)  It also includes a little bit about the cover art and artist, which is nice.  Lester talks about her image and how its inspired by Northern Australia. 

While this definitely didn’t turn out to be one of my favorite Crickets to read, there are some gorgeous images– of course! 

Like this one, by Mark Langeneckert:

Makes me so happy for the full color.

Quentin Blake always makes me smile:


I remember reading all those Roald Dahl books illustrated by him.  The BFG, The Twits, The Witches, Mathilda, his drawings are as much a part of the characters as the writing is.  I really can’t handle it when they release new editions with different illustrations, or god-forbid, those awful movie photo covers. blech.  I just get so attached with whatever version I grew up reading, that anything else feels wrong.  uh, I digress.

On to these lovelies by Laurie Harden, from the story First Flight, Based on a True Story

They’re my favorite for this week.  

There are more images over at Flickr!

Cricket Thursday #3

November 13, 2008

And picked at random from the bag!….is…

September 1992, volume 18, #1. Cover by Normand Chartier.


There a bunch of wonderful illustrations in this one.  The loose theme seems to involve dogs:

                                       Kelly Maddox:


                       Ronald C. Lipking:

                        Chuck Eckart:

                        Suzie Skinner:

and sailing/sea adventures:

                        Mike Eagle:

                        Scott Brooks:

I love this one by Friso Henstra:

Its from the story called Mountain of Pearl (part3) by Peter Dickinson.  

And look at these entries from the Self Portrait contest:

They’re great huh?

Alright, I’ve got to get back to packing and generally scrambling around to get ready for the We Are Wizards Theatrical Release in New York!  Its tomorrow night and runs all week.  If you’re in the area we’d love to see you!

Cricket Thursday #2

October 30, 2008

Hey I’m back in the nick of time for week two of Cricket Thursdays!  I looked for a Halloween themed one and came up with this:

October 1988, volume 16, #2. Cover by Sue Truesdell.

I remember Sue Truesdell from The Golly Sisters Go West and Chicken Said Cluck.  This illustration is so funny.  All the different witch personalities and the funny cats who look terrified. The bulging, glowing eyes.  I love how you can practically hear them talking and laughing, and everywhere your eye lands there’s some other little detail you almost missed.

Isn’t this gorgeous?:

Its by Alix Berenzy and honestly I’m sure it was one I passed over.  Just a little too subtle for nine year old Gaia.  But its just lovely.  Working with the negative white space, makes it look windy and a bit chilly, but also so whispy and ethereal.  Which is a good contrast to the typical creepy/eery dark night scenes. Those witches are speed demons and they’re having a good time. 


Aunt Jane and the Balloony Weekend is about an aunt who turns into a balloon every Friday at 11 o’clock.  Her niece takes care of her on a weekend trip. She’s great: “Pretty soon a little girl came and sat opposite us.  She was all frills, bows, and curls, so I knew I had to be careful.  I have never gotten the hang of dealing with little girls like that.”  The illustrations by Marylin Hafner fit perfectly:

My favorite of the bunch this week is from the “Subscribe to Cricket for the Holidays” ad on the back cover:

“Attention Grownups!” reads the copy.  This must be Trina Schart Hyman. Right?  It must be. Hmmm–It looks like someone embellished the cat a bit…

I messed around with the white balance on my camera to “eh” results.   Then I played with the settings in iphoto rather than bringing everything into Photoshop.  The colors are still a bit wonky, but better than last week.  Bear with me people.  Perhaps this will be the week I actually pick up the camera’s owners’ manual.  

If you’d like to see more images from this issue, head on over to Flickr.

Cricket Thursday #1

October 23, 2008

Who else as a kid obsessively read Cricket?  

A few weeks ago, on my way out the door after visiting with my parents, my mom hefted a huge paper bag into my arms.  It weighed a ton and was full of… Cricket magazines!  

Looking through them, its crazy how many covers and specific illustrations I clearly remember. ( I felt the same way going through old National Geographics, and I must have been even younger reading those… yeah I grew up without a tv, ok?)  Some of them are so tattered and loved the binding is held together with tape.  They’re all here: Sendak, Hillary Knight, Trina Schart Hyman…  I’m remembering Cricket is what made me want to be an illustrator in the first place.  

There are also drawings I remember hating. In those days, I had very specific views on what made for a successful children’s book.  I have funny memories of sitting on the library floor, surrounded by piles of books, tossing ones aside in disgust.  

Picture Book Requirements:

1. Realistic drawings.  I was in LOVE with Trina Schart Hyman.  But no “baby stuff” for me please.  Meaning if I could hypothetically draw like it, I wasn’t interested.  

2.  More pictures than words.  Who wants a wordy picture book? I was a big fan of Stephen Kellog.  

3. Mischevious and/or bossy kids.  The naughtier the better.  Eloise, Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, In the Night Kitchen…  

4. Lots of little details.  The more detailed the better.  Hidden puzzles? fabulous.  Silly something going on in the background not related to the text.  Perfect.    I poured over Graeme Base’s Eleventh Hour

I like to believe my tastes have changed and ahem, matured. But I still think about that list sometimes when I’m drawing.  

Back to Cricket.  Cricket Thursdays!  Randomly selected from the bag: 

January 1991, volume 18, #5. Cover by Hillary Knight.

Though I remember the cover, I don’t really remember any of the stories.  “The Man Who’s Mother Was A Pirate” by Margaret Mahy is definitely my favorite of the bunch now.  Its illustrated by Margaret Chamberlain.  

“It’s for my mother,” the little man explained. “She used to be a pirate.”

“Oh, well, that’s different,” said Mr. Fat, who rather wished he were a pirate himself.  “But make sure you are back in two weeks, or I will buy a computer.”

Here are some more of my favorite images from the issue:

From Winter Wings by Mary Lee Donovan. Illustrations by Leslie Bowman.

From “Winter Wings” by Mary Lee Donovan. Illustrations by Leslie Bowman. 

Detail from “Dragon’s Breath” by Mary Catelli. Illustrations by Richard Jesse Watson.

From “The Brave Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughters” by Margaret M. Shermock. Illustrations by Victor Ambrus.

There are more images on Flickr


Note: I’m noticing how grey these look. Sorry about that– I guess I need to check my white balance.  I’ll figure that out for the future.

%d bloggers like this: