Your Cinderella assignment from picture book and board book series author-illustrator Janee Trasler

This month's illustration assignment from June's guest instructor Janee Trasler is a bit unusual.

We'll have three groups, all assigned to sketch the same scene from the classic fairy tale Cinderella. 

Why three groups? You'll find out... 🙂

Care to join us for the live event and video replay?


Janee Trasler is a gifted storyteller, author-illustrator of board books and picture books for the very young. Her latest, Mimi and Bear Make a Friend, the second in her Mimi and Bear series came out last month from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Please Save My Seat For June 29!

You can opt for just this month's single Group Critique session with Janee Trasler (replay included) or subscribe for access to this and replays of all past months' sessions.

In addition to being the creator of the Chickies, Caveman and Mimi and Bear series of picture books and board books, Janie is a skilled singer, musician and puppeteer who loves to make kids laugh. She lives in Grapevine, near Dallas, Texas with her husband John, two guinea pigs, a pack of puppies and a big pile of puppets. And she knows children's publishing very, very well.

To participate in our June Guest Group Critique with Janee, sign up, pick your group and get to work on your Cinderella sketch. In the live session on June 29, Janee will discuss the submitted pieces and share insights about her own work and creative process.

"This is a sketch," she says about the Cinderella assignment. "You don’t need to go to color. This would be the quality of a page from your dummy book that you would submit."

A perfect way to get started or add to your portfolio. You don't want to miss this one.


About Mimi and Bear in the Snow (Farrar, Straus and Giroux):

Wherever Mimi goes, Bear is sure to be there—whether she is ice-skating, having fancy tea with the queen, or making a scary snow monster. But when Bear gets lost, poor Mimi is heartbroken. Luckily, the snow melts and Mimi and Bear are reunited. The spare text and utterly adorable artwork will resonate with anyone who has ever lost a beloved toy.

"Trasler skillfully characterizes Mimi as understandably anxious but also resolutely independent, and the story’s wrap-up also underscores Mimi’s ability to solve problems on her own. The softly textured, substantial shapes of Trasler’s illustrations reinforce the subtle emotional narrative—just like Mimi, the pictures have a plainspoken eloquence and an intriguing dimensionality." – Publisher's Weekly

Monthly group critiques are 'perfect practice'

They tell you...

  • What isn't working

  • When to push harder

  • When to just stop

And help you...

  • Get a fresh perspective

    Our guest critiquers – illustrators, author-illustrators, children’s literary agents, art directors, maybe an editor or two  – examine your final in a spirit of teaching and mentoring.

  • Think more like a pro

    Watch up close and personal how full-time creatives evaluate and troubleshoot their own and others’ pieces.

  • Prepare for... that thing

    That upcoming kidlit (or illustrators’) conference, important promotional mailing, post or sit-down with a client or a prospect.

And nudge you to...

  • Sharpen your discernment powers

    Remind you of those bedrock principles of draftsmanship, design and communication. (Funny how they keep bringing you back to those.)

  • Meet your tribe

    Your colleagues and the expert practioners. Who share their What I Wish I Knew Then stories and become your contacts in ‘the biz.’ (It’s called networking.)

  • Get better at... getting better

    Practice with critiques helps you understand the hierarchy of feedback and how to navigate it wisely – knowing what’s valid for you now, vs. what to set aside for later.

Precious moments. Practical stuff. Group critiques – in the classroom or around a cafe table with friends – have been training artists for centuries. Be part of a time-tested tradition, updated for the 21st century.

Join us around the table in new, live, online group sessions every month – and enjoy watching replays of past sessions at your leisure.

Subscribe.For monthly group sessions, including June 29 with picture book and board book series author-illustrator Janee Trasler

Only $10 monthly.

Improvement comes from consistent focus

Sometimes it will be your work being discussed. More often than not, it will be someone else's. 

You'll benefit by being there. Watch and listen. Absorb the insights to help you later, when it's just you behind the drawing board making all those essential design decisions.

You don't have to go it alone...

Participate in all of our monthly live programs. Access replays of all past sessions...

Like the ones we've enjoyed and learned so much from last year, taught by these wonderful children's publishing professionals:

Mira Reisberg

Mira Reisberg, author-illustrator, teacher and founder, Children's Book Academy

Author-illustrator Jeff Crosby

Jeff Crosby, author-illustrator

C.S. Jennings

C.S. Jennings, author-illustrator

 Giuseppe Castellano, senior art director, Penguin Random House

Giuseppe Castellano, senior art director, Penguin Random House

Jodell Sadler and KidLit College

Jodell Sadler, founder KidLit College and agent

Len Smith, animation character designer

Len Smith, animation character designer

Abigail Samoun, children's book agent, co-founder of Red Fox Literary

Abigail Samoun, children's book agent, co-founder of Red Fox Literary

Karien Naude

Karien Naude, illustrator

Marsha Riti

Marsha Riti, illustrator

Nicole Tugeau, agent and artists' rep, Tugeau2 Children's Illustrators

Annette Simon

Annette Simon, author-illustrator

Renowned author-illustrator Robert Quackenbush

Renowned author-illustrator Robert Quackenbush Halloween Critique Bash (explains the scariness)

Terry Widener, illustrator

Terry Widener, illustrator

Jill Corcoran, founder of Jill Corcoran Literary Agency

Jill Corcoran, founder of Jill Corcoran Literary Agency

Just us, with Mark and Chris, illustration art by Chris Perry

Just us, with Mark and Chris, illustration art by Chris Perry

Karien Naude

Chris Schechner, designer, illustrator and art director for 20+ years for "Pockets" magazine

Christy Stallop

Christy Stallop, illustrator

Award-winning children's illustrator Larry Day

Award-winning storyboard artist and children's illustrator Larry Day

Mark Mitchell,

Mark Mitchell, author-illustrator and moderator

Wendy Martin, author-illustrator and teacher

Wendy Martin, author-illustrator and teacher

Kelly Sonnack, senior agent, Andrea Brown Literary Agency

Mira Reisberg, Round 2, illustration by Lisa Goldberg

Mira Reisberg, Round 2, illustration by Lisa Goldberg

Loraine Joyner

Loraine Joyner, senior art director for 23 years with Peachtree Publishers

ustyme books art manager Nick Balian with the cover of his

Nick Balian, illustrator animator, art manager for digital publisher ustyme Books

Denise Fleming

Denise Fleming, award-winning author-illustrator

Mary Sullivan

Mary Sullivan, award-winning author-illustrator

Catch up critique - Illustration by Kathryn Powers

Catch up critique - Illustration by Kathryn Powers

Mira follow-up critique, illustration by John Wanczyk

Mira follow-up critique, illustration by John Wanczyk

A bit of art school...

For $10 per month.

Video thumbnail illustration by Mariama Ross.

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Try out the subscription. You can easily cancel at any time. If you find your first experience of a session not helpful or just not your cup of tea, write me (c/o the How To Be A Children’s Book Illustrator blog) and I’ll refund you same day, no questions asked and no worries (and we’re still friends.)