Monday, September 17, 2012

Jeanne C. Blackmore, granddaughter of celebrated illustrator Roger Duvoisin, makes a splash in the children's book world

Jeanne C. Blackmore makes her children's book debut with a beautiful and lyrical bed-time book HOW DOES SLEEP COME?, just published as a lead title from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky.  The book, which was inspired by the curiosity of Blackmore's then-two-year-old son and his question about where sleep came from, has received excellent reviews so far.

Though the book is Blackmore's debut, she is no stranger to the world of children's books.  Blackmore is the granddaughter of the acclaimed children's illustrator Roger Duvoisin, who illustrated over 100 children's books between 1936 and 1980.  He received a Caldecott Medal Award in 1948 for WHITE SNOW, BRIGHT SNOW (text by Alvin Tresselt) and a Caldecott Honor Award in 1966 for HIDE AND SEEK FOG (text also by Alvin Tresselt).  

Publishers Weekly recently interviewed Blackmore about the process of getting her book published and what it was like to grow up with Duvoisin as her grandfather.  We've included a few tidbits below, but be sure to read the full article here.

There were several bonuses to having an illustrator for a grandfather.  As Blackmore remarks in her interview with Publishers Weekly, "All of our birthday cards were filled with his artwork, and he created posters for our bedrooms...He'd write us funny letters with illustrations.  We were always surrounded by his artwork, and I loved it."

She goes on to say, "I knew him through two lenses...On one hand, my teachers in school were always calling me out, and librarians would approach me, which was embarrassing.  I didn't really understand how famous he was.  On the other side, I knew him as a wonderful man living with my grandmother on an idyllic farm in New Jersey.  They were both artists and it was a magical place to visit."

Below are several of the reviews in so far for HOW DOES SLEEP COME?:

"A distinctive piece of work; Blackmore has carefully polished her prose's rolling, soothing rhythm, beginning with adverbs that describe how sleep comes and finishing by knitting them into one long, hypnotic final sentence... Blackmore... assembles the softest, most comforting elements she can find...If that's not a recipe for sweet dreams, what is?" --Publishers Weekly

"What a beautiful story.  The analogies Blackmore makes to sleep will make any child or adult relax and settle into a comfy sleep mode...I believe you will find this book a special one to share with your young child." --Dad of Divas Reviews Blog

"This book was so very cute.  It is a wonderful book to read to your little ones before they go to bed." --Crossroads and Crossroad Tours Blog

Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, September 2012

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