Karen Romano Young

From the desk: Doodlebug: My Novel in Doodles and Humanimal Doodles, a science comic in print and on the web.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Most Wonderful People in the World

At yesterday's Connecticut Book Festival, we talked about finding your doodling i.d. -- your icon doodle -- such as these I created for Doodlebug and Cootie Catcher, the main characters in Doodlebug.

For me, the most wonderful people in the world are those who love stories -- whether the stories are told in words or pictures or both, whether the people are adults or kids (or both?), and whether they draw or write themselves, or not.

Yesterday, at the first of what I hope are many Connecticut Book Festivals, I had a chance to meet such people. They included adults and kids (such as Sadie, who was one of the winners about the Letters About Literature competition), artists and writers, including the very wonderful Tony Abbott. And they seemed happy to be hearing about stories such as Doodlebug and my Humanimal Doodles, which are told in writing and in doodles.

One of the things we got to talking about was the trend in children's literature toward books told in a variety of visual styles. I mentioned Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Popularity Papers, and Middle School Is Even Worse Than Meatloaf. We also talked about the increasing recognition of doodling as a way some people learn (like me). And, if I'd only had time, I would have liked to share a few doodlers and doodling sites I've recently discovered.

• One comes from Carolina Pedraza, who used to be the head of youth and family programs at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, Connecticut. I worked with Carolina to broaden the reach of the Draw On! program in our area. Now Carolina has gone on to use her art in news ways you can learn about at Wacky Shorts.

• Another great doodling destination is Wendy McNaughton's comic Meanwhile, The San Francisco Public Library, at The Rumpus. I'll race you over there, as I'm eager to find out more about it, but have already been soaking up Wendy's terrific drawings, which serve as visual proof of the immense value of libraries to the communities they serve.

• Do you know about the incredible art people have been doing in their Moleskines? Start googling Moleskine art and you will be astonished. For example, see if you can view this video that Paula Scher made of the fonts she invented in her Moleskine (the daisy petals are my favorite -- so simple and great-looking) without wanting to run out and buy your own Moleskine and doodle your own groovy new font. (Thanks to Judith Schwartz for posting this!)

• F'inally, do you know that children's book artists are auctioning their doodles and other art? Visit this one, in which Paul O. Zelinsky draws young authors John Green, David Levithan, Libba Bray and E. Lockhart (along with her character Stingray from the adorable Toys Go Out). This large, fine silent auction will benefit the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression and will take place online and at this week's BEA (Book Expo of America). You can find out more about it here.

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