Short Reports Round-up

Note: these are the last contributions to Picture Book Report’s Short Reports series. Hopefully I didn’t omit any in searching through my emails! While I’m condensing them into one post, they’re all great work and you ought to take a peek at the talented illustrators’ websites for more. Thank you again contributors!

Hansel and Gretel
Illustration by Erin Tripp

The Road
Illustration by Kai Schuettler

Illustration by Colleen Frakes

Many Moons
Illustration by Wilson Swain

Dr. Bloodmoney
Illustration by Ellen van Engelen

Illustrations by Frank M Hansen


February 18, 2011 at 12:29 pm 2 comments

All Good Things Must Come to an End.

Hi everyone,

Meg here, with an important message. Today marks our one-year anniversary of the project. It’s really hard to do this, but I think Picture Book Report is going to retire.
In the year that we’ve done this, a lot has happened. People have moved, mourned losses, found amazing projects stemming from this one, and just managed to knock out beautiful art on a pretty consistent basis. I’m ridiculously proud. But at the same time, the reasons for starting Picture Book Report were simple: make good work, get people excited about illustration, and get talented people good work. All those nails have been hit. For me, it led to a few projects but it also has led to me at the current day questioning what is my next step as an illustrator. I have a lot of work to do to find that out, but I hope one day it does mean more books and illustration. I know for me, Alice will be completed– I’d like to eventually put it into some kind of published form. I will continue to post it on my own portfolio/blogs/etc so please keep checking in with me!
I am proud to have started something that hadn’t really been done before– it led to interesting avenues, wonderful storytelling, and charming takes on classics and new books alike. It seems to have resounded well, with many fans staying along and enjoying the work, and creating their own in response. Incredible. In its current incarnation though, it needed to be stronger to survive. The up-side of this is that our contributors have been busy with real work, which you’ll see in the future and love like I will. Regardless, the biggest thing I have taken away from the project is this: be bold; take risks and do things that you will love, and the world will love it too.
To our Short Reports contributors- thank you so much. I still have entries I haven’t posted so what I will do next week is post them to share. Unfortunately running the blog was harder than I expected, so I thank you for your patience– but I’ll share the ones I have next week and end with a roundup of our contributing illustrators and what to look forward to from them next Friday, Feb 11.
To our readers– thank you, thank you, thank you. We have loved the support and the responses and the cheering on. The next things you see from these illustrators will be astounding, I promise you.


February 1, 2011 at 11:27 am 12 comments

He Made Things on the Ward Pretty Interesting

by PMurphy“[…] McMurphy had things his way for a good long while.”

The previous “Cuckoo’s Nest” post focused on a decision McMurphy makes. This post shows what happens when McMurphy takes over and Nurse Ratched steps back.

[…] After McMurphy was drawn out of what you might call a short retirement and had announced he was back in the hassle by breaking out her (Nurse Ratched) personal window, he made things on the ward pretty interesting. He took part in every meeting, every discussion-drawling, winking, joking his best to wheedle a skinny laugh out of some Acute who’d been scared to grin since he was twelve.

McMurphy continues to “accidentally” smash newly replaced nurse’s station windows. He starts a basketball team and while playing against the ward’s orderlies, he elbows one of them right in the face. He even begins talk about a fishing trip.

Inspired by the other P.B.Reporters, I wanted to try hand painting this one. It’s different to how I usually go about things and I’m still getting use to it. Also, I realized with all the characters in the book I should make a character map. I should have done this in the beginning but better later then never I guess. Thanks for reading!

Posted by: PMurphy
Book: One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (purchase on Amazon)

January 21, 2011 at 9:40 am 1 comment

The Neverending Story – part V


Slowly the strange music came closer, and then the first shapes emerged from the fog. They seemed to be dancing, but it was a dance without charm or gaiety. The dancers jumped grotesquely, rolled on the ground, crawled on all fours, leapt into the air, and carried on like crazy people. But all Atreyu could hear was the slow, muffled drumbeats, the shrill fifes, and a whimpering and panting from many throats. More and more figures appeared, the procession seemed endless. Atreyu looked at the dancers’ faces; they were ashen gray and bathed in sweat, and the eyes had a wild feverish glow. Some of the dancers lashed themselves with whips.
they’re mad, Atreyu thought, and a cold shiver ran down his spine.

When last we saw him Atreyu was on Falcor’s back searching for the edge of Fantastica, but a terrible storm has separated them. And what’s worse he has lost AURYN, the amulet of the Childlike Empress. Washed up on a strange shore he finds himself on an island populated by the dark creatures of Fantastica: witches, ghosts, vampires, kobolds and night hobs.
But they’ve all gone mad, the procession Atreyu witnesses ends with them all giving themselves over to oblivion by walking into the Nothing.

Whew! It’s been a while since I posted, but I’ve been rather busy, moving to America, getting married, finishing projects, getting violently ill, moving again. It all rather took up a bit of time. But after all that it would seem I have a lot more time for fun things like (Well, most of the things I listed above were fun too of course).

January 19, 2011 at 1:34 pm 2 comments

Norwegian Wood

Posted by: Lizzy Stewart
Book: Norwegian Wood

I’ve admitted defeat on the Ella Minnow Pea thing. Four posts in one year suggests that maybe it turned out to be a less than visually inspiring choice (although it remains a sweet and lovely book that i heartily recommend). So I’m starting the New Year with a new book choice and one that I will endeavor to do justice!

I’ve chosen Haruki Murukami’s modern classic ‘Norwegian Wood’ primarily for it’s cold, still beauty and strange detatched-ness which I think might lend itself well to the kind of things I like to draw. The story follows Toru Watanabe as he finds his first love with the quiet, sad Naoko and they struggle to maintain happiness with the ghosts of the past lurking constantly behind them. It’s simutaneously sweet and sad and, for a book, its got a pretty super soundtrack!

I’m really looking forward to tackling this one so fingers crossed this time around I’ll keep up momentum!


(p.s you can see Naoko without the text on my tumblr)

January 18, 2011 at 11:37 am 3 comments

The Big Day Arrives

Posted by: John Martz
Book: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (purchase on Amazon)

This was to be the illustration that finally introduced Mr. Willy Wonka. But a few hours at the drawing table left me unhappy with every likeness I came up with. It has proven to be a difficult task to stay true to the text, and create something original, without also being influenced by Quentin Blake’s illustrations and both Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp. So instead, I decided to draw all the kids again as a warm-up exercise. It’s a bit of a departure, stylistically, from the existing entries. Consider it an appetizer for the next illustration which will indeed introduce Willy Wonka, and perhaps several of his tiny Oompa Loompas.

January 15, 2011 at 1:07 pm 2 comments

Ford! it was too revolting!

Posted by: Emily Carroll
Book: Brave New World (purchase on Amazon)

A blubbered and distorted face confronted her; the creature was crying.

“Oh, my dear, my dear.” The torrent of words flowed sobbingly. “If you knew how glad – after all these years! A civilized face. Yes, and civilized clothes. Because I thought I should never see a piece of real acetate silk again.” She fingered the sleeve of Lenina’s shirt. The nails were black.

Sort of a bookmark going on this time, I think.   From Chapter 7: Linda, a Beta abandoned decades ago in the New Mexican “savage reservation”, is overcome with emotion when she sees Lenina (who is decidedly less thrilled about the encounter).

January 13, 2011 at 1:17 pm 11 comments

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