Award-winning illustration for children's publishing, and the editorial and advertising industries.
Unique and creative designs for manufactured products and the social expression industry.
Creative content and character development for television and film, specializing in the kids’ space.

Great Review from SLJ for Michael Slack’s Turtle Tug

by Claire Easton in Represents Comments: 0

Michael Slack‘s tale of a courageous turtle who doubles as a tugboat and rescue vehicle, Turtle Tug, has been pulling praise and positive reviews! The newest review comes from the School Library Journal. They call the picture book, “the right combination of fun and sincerity,” and praise Michael’s narration and illustration. They write, “The nail-biting narrative chugs effortlessly alongside Slack’s bright and bold digital artwork.”

Turtle Tug will be available for purchase as of March 21st. Until then, you can pre-order it online here.

New Review for Waiting for Pumpsie, Illus. by London Ladd

by Claire Easton in Represents Comments: 0

Waiting for Pumpsie, written by Barry Wittenstein and illustrated by London Ladd, is available for purchase as of today! The picture book tells the story of a young boy, Bernard, living in Boston in the 1950s, and his dream that the Boston Red Sox will draft an African American player. Twelve years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, the Red Sox at last added Pumpsie Green to their team, making them the last major league team to integrate.

Just in time for the book’s release, a new review of Waiting for Pumpsie is available from the Fenway News newspaper. The Fenway News praises the book’s portrayal of an important civil rights event and its ode to baseball in the 50s. They write, “The book is half-criticism, half-ode. London Ladd’s illustrations Fenway as it was in the 1950s.”

You can order Waiting for Pumpsie online here.

Ashley Spires’s The Most Magnificent Thing to be Turned into Animated Short

by Claire Easton in Animation, Represents Comments: 0

Canadian animation company Nelvana has announced that, in association with Kids Can Press, they will begin producing an animated short based on Ashley Spires‘s bestselling picture book The Most Magnificent Thing. The short is currently in pre-production.

The Most Magnificent Thing tells of a young girl’s trial and error attempts to create the most magnificent thing ever, and has been praised for its portrayal of the creative process and its message of perseverance and hard work. Ashley is excited by the short, saying, “There can never be enough opportunities to present young female characters as empowered, inventive problem-solvers to inspire children…I can’t wait to see the final product.”

Keep an eye out for this exciting new short! You can find out more information about the film here.

Frank Morrison Featured in Vanity Fair Article Promoting New Movie Get Out

by Claire Easton in Represents Comments: 0

Coming out soon, Jordan Peele’s Get Out is a horror movie that depicts what happens when a young black man meets his white girlfriend’s family for the first time. Vanity Fair recently published an article on the movie, in which they interview Peele and reveal exclusive promotional art inspired by the movie. One of the paintings featured in the article is by Frank Morrison! Vanity Fair describes the paintings as “vibrant.”

Frank’s painting is to the left, but to read the full article and see all the exclusive paintings, check out the article here.

Four Painted Words Artists Make New York Times List of Five Iconic African American Biographies for Kids

by Claire Easton in Represents Comments: 0

The New York Times recently published an article entitled “Five Iconic African-American Biographies for Kids.” Three out of five of these recommended picture books were written and/or illustrated by artists from Painted Words! The recommended titles included Muhammad Ali: A Champion is Born, The Legendary Miss Lena Horne, and The Youngest Marcher. 

Muhammad Ali, written by Gene Barretta and illustrated by Frank Morrison, tells the story of the incident that set a young Ali (then called Cassius Clay) onto his boxing career. Times described it as a, “playful, dynamic look at the champion’s quest for greatness.” They praised Frank for “[giving] the art a joyful zing and a serious yet eminently kid-friendly vibe.” Muhammad Ali can be purchased here.

The Legendary Miss Lena Horne, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Liz Zunon, is the biography of actress, singer, and civil rights activist Lena Horne. The New York Times writes, “The book’s sizzling clarity recalls Horne’s own voice,” and praises Liz’s illustrations, writing, “Zunon…plays with shadow and light to suggest the hidden depths of a very public life.” The Legendary Miss Lena Horne can be purchased here.

The Youngest Marcher, written by Cynthia Levinson and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newtonreveals the story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, the youngest known marcher to be arrested in the Birmingham civil rights protests of the ’60s. The Times writes, “Levinson and Newton keep her story bright and snappy, emphasizing the girl’s eagerness to make a difference and her proud place in her community.” The Youngest Marcher can be purchased online here.

You can find the New York Times full list of recommended black history titles here.

Liz Zunon, Shadra Strickland, and Vanessa Newton on Time for Kids’ List of Recommended Black History Month Books

by Claire Easton in Represents Comments: 0

In honor of Black History Month, Time for Kids compiled a list of eight new children’s books that honor black history and interviewed the authors and illustrators of these recommended picture books. TFK’s article was also featured on Essence.com. Three books that were illustrated by Painted Words artists made the list!

The Legendary Miss Lena Horne, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Liz Zunon, tells the life story of singer, actress, and civil rights activist Lena Horne. TFK interviewed the author, and she said that she hopes that Lena’s story can be “can be both an inspiration and a guide to overcoming obstacles.” The Legendary Lena Horne can be purchased here

The Youngest Marcher, written by Cynthia Levinson and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newtonis the true story of the youngest known marcher in the Birmingham civil rights protests. Cynthia Levinson told TFK, “The story is also about knowing in your heart what is right and facing down your fear.” The Youngest Marcher can be purchased here.

2017 is the 50th anniversary of landmark civil rights case, “Loving Vs. Virginia,” which made it legal for people of different races to marry. The documentary picture book Loving Vs. Virginia, written by Patricia Hruby Powell and illustrated by Shadra Strickland, tells the story of this famous case. TFK interviewed Shadra, and she told TFK, “It’s empowering to read about normal people who [are] able to find great courage and overcome challenges in life.” Loving Vs. Virginia can be purchased here.

Time for Kids’ full list of recommended black history month books can be found here. The Essence.com version can be found here.

Lost and Found Cat, Illus. by Sue Cornelison, Featured in NY Magazine’s The Cut in Article on Books About Refugees

by Claire Easton in Represents Comments: 0

The refugee crisis is on many people’s mind at present, and many parents and teachers are searching for books to help them explain the complex issue to their children. New York Magazine’s The Cut compiled an article on children’s books about refugees and immigrants, as recommended by booksellers and librarians.

The recently released picture book, Lost and Found Cat: The True Story of Kunkush’s Incredible Journey, written by Doug Kuntz and Amy Shrodes and illustrated by Sue Cornelison, was one of these recommended books. This touching, true story tells of an Iraqi refugee family who loses their beloved cat, and the incredible world wide effort to help them reunite with their pet. The librarian who recommended Lost and Found Cat said that, “Books are a great way to explore complex subjects — they often give kids a way to identify by making the event or idea come to life.”

The full list of recommended children’s books can be found hereLost and Found Cat can be purchased here.

Lucía the Luchadora Written by Cynthia Leonor Garza and Illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez

by Claire Easton in Uncategorized Comments: 0

Amazon’s Best Children’s Books of 2017 So Far Features Two Painted Words Artists

June 22, 2017

Summer is here and we’re nearly halfway through 2017, if you can believe it! It’s the perfect time to look back at the year and pick some of the best children’s books of the year so far. Amazon recently compiled a list of their editors’ books of the year. Two of our own artists’ picture books made it on the list!

In the Ages 3 to 5 category, Amazon chose Lucía the Luchadora, written by Cynthia Leonor Garza and illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez. This vivid picture book tells the story of a young girl who draws on her heritage of lucha libre to become a hero on her playground. Purchase it here.

In the Ages 6 to 8 category is Mae and June and the Wonder Wheel, written by Charise Mericle Harper and illustrated by Ashley Spires. A chapter book for young readers, Mae and June focuses on the adventures of two young girls who pick each day’s activities based on a wheel with a list of tasks. Purchase it here.

Amazon’s full list of 2017’s Best Books So Far is available here.

Please Please the Bees and Lucía the Luchadora Included in SLJ’s List of Recommended Small Presses

May 3, 2017

The larger publishing houses are well known, but don’t forget smaller publishers or indie presses! In order to help spread awareness of these small presses, the SLJ recently put out an article entitled “Celebrating Small Publishers: An Array of Remarkable 2017 Titles From the Smallest Houses.” Included on this list were two picture books by artists/authors represented by Painted Words!

Lucía the Luchadora, written by Cynthia Leonor Garza and illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez, tells the story of a young girl who finds the bravery to stand up to bullies when her grandmother shares a secret about their family history. As the SLJ wrote, “What’s not to love?” Purchase Lucía the Luchadora online here

Please Please the Bees, Gerald Kelley‘s debut as an author, is the story of what happens when a group of bees stand up to the bear making huge demands on their honey production. The SLJ praised the bravery of the liberal, pro-union message of the story. You can purchase Please Please the Bees here.

The SLJ’s full list of recommended presses and titles can be found here.

The SLJ Praises Lucía the Luchadora, Illus by Alyssa Bermudez

April 17, 2017

Lucía the Luchadora has received a great review from the School Library Journal (SLJ). Lucía, written by Cynthia Leonor Garza and illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez, tells the story of a little girl who longs to be a superhero. When the boys at her school tell her that girls can’t be heroes, she feels defeated, but with the help of her grandmother and the Mexican tradition of luchadores, she learns to stand up for herself and others.

The SLJ praised the energetic text and the feminist message of the story, writing, “The narrative encourages girls to trust their own strengths yet is never didactic.” They also praise Alyssa’s art, which they describe as, “Animated illustrations [that] capture the…vibrant main character.” In all, they conclude Lucía is, “A shining debut outing for author and illustrator, this endearing and humorous title is sure to put a bit of KA-POW into storytimes! A must-have.”

The full review from the SLJ is available hereLucía the Luchadora can be purchased online here.

Il Sung Na’s Bird, Balloon, Bear and Lucía the Luchadora, Illus. by Alyssa Bermudez, Chosen as Amazon Best Books of the Month

March 6, 2017

Il Sung Na‘s Bird, Balloon, Bear and Lucía the Luchadora, written by Cynthia Leonor Garza and illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez, were chosen by Amazon for their Best Books of the Month for Ages 3-5!

Bird, Balloon, Bear tells the story of a shy bird’s attempts to make friends with a bear who is more interested in a mysterious red balloon. Bird, Balloon, Bear will be released March 14th. You can pre-order it online here.

Lucía the Luchadora is the story of a plucky young girl who finds the bravery to stand up for herself and others when her grandmother reveals her family’s secret history of luchadoras, the female members of the lucha libre tradition. Lucía comes out tomorrow! If you can’t wait till then, you can pre-order it here.

The full list of books selected for Amazon’s Best Books of the Month can be found here.

Lucía the Luchadora, Illus. by Alyssa Bermudez, Receives a Starred Review from Kirkus

February 7, 2017

Lucía the Luchadora, a new picture book written by Cynthia Leonor Garza and illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez, is the story of a little girl who wants to prove that girls can be super heroes too. When she uncovers her grandmother’s secret past as a luchadora, she’s on her way to achieving that goal.

Kirkus reviewed Lucíagiving it a starred review! They praised the story’s energy and enthusiasm, as well as its inventive use of page design and sound effects. They write of the illustration, “Bermudez’s colorful, buoyant illustrations radiate pure joy.” In all, they describe Lucía as, “A KA-POW kind of wonderful.”

Kirkus’s full review can be read hereLucía the Luchadora is coming out in early March, but it can be pre-ordered online here.

Lucía the Luchadora, Illus. by Alyssa Bermudez, Receives a Starred Review from Kirkus

by Claire Easton in Represents Comments: 0

Lucía the Luchadora, a new picture book written by Cynthia Leonor Garza and illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez, is the story of a little girl who wants to prove that girls can be super heroes too. When she uncovers her grandmother’s secret past as a luchadora, she’s on her way to achieving that goal.

Kirkus reviewed Lucíagiving it a starred review! They praised the story’s energy and enthusiasm, as well as its inventive use of page design and sound effects. They write of the illustration, “Bermudez’s colorful, buoyant illustrations radiate pure joy.” In all, they describe Lucía as, “A KA-POW kind of wonderful.”

Kirkus’s full review can be read hereLucía the Luchadora is coming out in early March, but it can be pre-ordered online here.

More Praise for Turtle Tug to the Rescue by Michael Slack

by Claire Easton in Represents Comments: 0

Michael Slack‘s newest addition to his rescue animal series, Turtle Tug to the Rescue, isn’t out for another month, but the praise is already pouring in! The picture book, which tells the story of Turtle Tug rescuing his ocean friends when a storm hits the sea, has received two new reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus.

Publishers Weekly praises Michael Slack’s evocative rhymes and illustrations, writing, “the pictures may be the best in the series, with imaginative perspectives…and texturing that feels like a cross between painting and letterpress.” They call Turtle Tug a, “an unflashy but steady hero, [whose] steely determination to save the day is admirable and inspiring.” The full review can be found here.

Kirkus was similarly impressed with the rhyming and also complimented Michae’s addition of advanced vocabulary. They commented on the admirable morals of the story, which comment both on selflessness and on environmental issues. Kirkus writes, “Fans will cheer Turtle Tug on in his mission,” and describe Turtle Tug as, “A role model for all.” Kirkus’s review can be read here.

Turtle Tug to the Rescue will be released March 21st and can be pre-ordered here.