Denise Fleming's Caldecott Honor Book

Guest Group Critiques


With Denise Fleming and Jodell Sadler

Part 1 – 50 minutes

With Denise Fleming and Jodell Sadler

Denise Fleming received the Caldecott Honor for In the Small, Small Pond (Henry Holt and Company) and has received numerous other awards for her illustration and writing.

Other famous titles by her include Buster, the rip-roaring Pumpkin Eye, Barnyard Banter, Lunch, (her latest) Go Shapes Go! and what might be the gold standard in alphabet picture books, Alphabet Under Construction.

Fleming's colorful concept picture books for very young children, distinguished by their great language and gorgeous art are a staple in children's libraries and elementary school libraries across the country.

Scroll down, way down the page to see a video of  Denise demonstrating her pulp illustration.

Part 2 – 50 minutes

Author, writing teacher and literary agent Jodell Sadler is the founder of KidLit College, which offers online mini-conferences, classes and workshops on writing professionally for children.

Topics include crafting musical language, "Wow" pacing and irresistible comic timing for picture books and getting Middle Grade and YA (fiction and nonfiction) manuscripts ready for agents and editors.

Part 3 – 46 minutes

Show notes

At this writing Denise is set to team-teach with illustrator Ashley Wolfe their 2016 version of their popular Color, Light, Line and Texture Hands-On Workshop -- again for the Highlights Foundation. (March 30 through April 3.) Go here to see more and sign up for news and updates.

She's also scheduled to teach, with author-illustrator Pat Cummings and Coretta Scott King Award winning illustrator Floyd Cooper and illustrator Steve Light Highlight's Super Children's Book Boot Camp 2016 July 7 though July 10 in Honesdale, PA., with special guests Scholastic Inc. Executive Art Director Patti Ann Harris and Dial Books for Young Readers (Penguin Random House) Editorial Director Namrata Tripathi.

KidLit College meanwhile kicks off the New Year with a flurry of exciting online workshops, classes and webinars, including:

Jan. 9th - Unlocking the Mysteries of Writing CB and MG Series with Eve Adler, Senior Editor, Penguin, with opportunity to sign up for a critique with her.

Jan. 11th - Pacing Picture Books to WOW, Part 1 - The 10 Ps and 5 Tools of Pacing with Jodell Sadler. Jodell will share the Ten Ps and first 5 of 20 tools of pacing to lift your writing and offers the opportunity to sign up for a critique with Ben Rosenthal, Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins.)

Jan. 13th - From Prose to Pictures to Published, Part 1 - Making the Picture Book Form Your Own. Sibert Medalist Candy Fleming and Caldecott Medalist Eric Rohmann offer writers and illustrators the opportunity to really delve into do more with their picture book making skills by considering the form of the picture book. Come explore scenes and summaries within the picture book category. Plus, you may sign up for a critique as well.

Jan. 23rd - Nonfiction Picture Books Today: What do Editors Look For? with Emily Feinberg at Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan with the option to sign up for a critique with her.

And so many more offerings that you can see here on the KidLit College blog.

You can also keep up KidLit College news and events by liking the Facebook page, Picture Book Lunch.

The campus that Denise mentioned in December's critique (where she and her husband took summer classes for 17 years to learn a variety of art-making mediums) is The Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

In the above 12 minute video interview excerpt from the Washington Public Television (WETA) show Reading Rockets, Denise explains how she puts a picture book together, from earliest concept and thumbnails to the dummy, which she carefully plots out with the help of her editor – and family members!

In the video below you can watch how she 'paints' her dynamic finals with cotton fibers afloat in pigment.

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