Time for a curds and whey break with
I virtually met Iza early on in my kidlit travels in January 2012, and she made me feel right at home. In fact, Iza was my second guest on NWR with her poem “Grins and Giggles” and a vintage “snickerview,” which I hope you’ll check out if you haven’t seen them. I was struck then and still am now by her warmth and generosity of spirit, and with how active and helpful she is in the kidlit blogging community.
So in honor of her new book, Little Miss Muffet, I decided to do a BEST OF IZA post so new-to-Iza readers, writers, and artists can benefit from that same generosity that I have found. Read on for Iza links galore, because when she’s not writing one of her many books (over two dozen thus far!)…
…Iza toils away on her blog In and Out of My Studio, entertaining us with poems and stories or teaching us all sorts of useful things.
Just this week, Iza offered the first in a series of informative posts for children’s book illustrators. As someone who sadly is not an artist, these posts open a world of wonder of the “how do they do that?” variety. I have several of Iza’s books and often pore over the watercolor paintings, marveling at the color and detail. Just look at the intense blues in this spread from Froggie Went A-Courtin’. And the light sources! It is beyond me!
If you have an art question for Iza to answer, or are just curious about what goes into picture book illustration, she’s open for business. Just head over to the first post. If you really want to see the nitty-gritties of how Iza begins, I also love the post “Book Art Progress” in which she shares early sketches for The Bear Went Over the Mountain. Here are a couple of other great posts on illustration:
“So You Want to Illustrate Children’s Books” – tips for illustrators
“Evolution of the Bear” – from sketch to finished bear
“Inspiration for Budding Picture Book Illustrators” – Iza’s road to publication
In-depth illustrator interview by Cindy Wider at DrawPJ.com – highly recommended!
On more than one occasion, I have pestered Iza for information on writing for children. Luckily, she isn’t stingy with the tips, as you can see in her post “So You Want to Write a Children’s Book.” But she often goes beyond that to show us her process and offer valuable insight for us rhymers. Here are some of the best:
“Picture Book Revision” – writing process for Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
“Uneven Rhymes: You Gotta Get the Beat!” – revisions on Oh Where, Oh Where Had My Little Dog Gone?
“Rhythm and Pattern in a Picture Book” – guest post on Janice Hardy’s blog, The Other Side of the Story
(And look where she gets to write this stuff: at a desk that I covet, built by her talented husband. Gorgeous!)
Iza found her niche in extended nursery rhymes, which means her books are singable. BONUS BEDTIME TREAT! Just look at the rapt audience at one of her recent bookstore readings.
Iza was kind enough to sing to us today, too! Put on your jammies (or stay in them) and enjoy this sweet rendition of Iza’s latest book, Little Miss Muffet.
I’m a fan of chaise longues, so I particularly like this illustration of Miss Muffet under the tuffet.
I hope you find lots of useful goodies in these links. Be sure to visit Iza at all her usual haunts!
Facebook Page: Iza Trapani Author/illustrator
Thank you for sharing Miss Muffet with us, Iza!
Little Miss Jama has the roundup at Jama’s Alphabet Soup. I’ll bet anything that she has some curds, too.
You’d like to receive my weekly posts in your inbox, you say? Well, get off your tuffet and sign up!
LITTLE MISS MUFFET text and all illustrations © Iza Trapani (Sky Pony Press 2013). All rights reserved.
Oh this is so wonderful, Renee! What a treat for me. Thank you so much for featuring me again and putting together this amazing post. You are simply the best! xox
Thanks to YOU, Iza, for agreeing to do another video for NWR. Tanti baci!
Love this post! Thanks for this wonderful treat Iza and Renee. The video is such a delight — Miss Muffet will never be the same. And what glorious colors in the art. Beautiful!
Thank you so much, Jama! Renee did such a beautiful job. I love the montage she made at the top of the page. It makes me think I should have set the whole book in the garden 🙂
I hope you don’t mind, Iza! I couldn’t choose just one. 🙂
Mind? Heck no! I love the way it looks!
Wow! The video was great! My children really enjoyed story time this morning! I love how the video had the illustrations really big on the left side. Well done!
Thank you, Eric. I am so glad your sweet kids enjoyed it! The illustrations on the side were all Renee’s doing. She did a fantastic job!
Aw….your kids are cool. Also thanks to Iza for supplying the illustrations for the video. They made it extra special.
I love that story, Iza and what a lovely singing voice you have.
Thank you, Catherine! I like to sing, but I’ll keep my day job! 🙂
What a lovely story with gorgeous illustrations and what fun to hear Iza sing the verses in her very sweet and soothing voice. LOVED every moment!
Oh, Laura, that means the world to me. Thank you so much! Renee did such a beautiful job, putting this all together. I just don’t know how she does it!
Thanks, Laura! It was such a nice surprise to discover Iza singing on the video. She always has a trick up her sleeve. 🙂
Oh how lovely! I am about to swoon onto my chaise with delight!
Wish that I did have a chaise…
Iza, did you record the audio version of “Twinkle, Twinkle”? My son loved his first copy to pieces, and it was the book that taught him turn listen for the “turn the page” sound.
What? You don’t have a fainting couch? Tsk tsk.
We have TWINKLE, TWINKLE too, and Lorenzo loves it. It’s the only song he sings, and he sings it constantly. Do you have a video/audio snippet of that somewhere, Iza?
Thank you, Cathy! We’ll just have to get you a chaise 🙂 Yes, I recorded Twinkle, Itsy Bitsy and Row Your Boat. They were called Sing Along with Iza and Friends. I sang along with a group of kids (who I never even met…:-( They recorded us separately.) In Twinkle, it was just me and a little girl (didn’t meet her either…) Eventually, Charlesbridge decided to reprint without all the plastic packaging and they offer the books with the cds in sleeve pockets- only through them, though. Scholastic Book club had also done a Twinkle cd, but that was a man singing, so you must be referring to the one I recorded. I am glad your son liked it!
Iza’s illustrations have such a classic feel to them – thanks for letting us know a little more about her & her process!
Yes, Matt, that’s what I am told. I keep trying to make my art wackier and a bit more modern and stylized, but classic is what comes out time and again…
I soooo enjoyed that sing a long! Thanks for sharing that!
You’re the best, Rhythm. No bones about it!
I had seen Iza’s sharing on Poetry Friday but didn’t even know about all these books until she (or someone) posted some of the art from Baa Baa Black Sheep so I ordered that one & several others from my library. My grand girls love them so, & a few have been ordered for Christmas. Thank you Renee for showing us more & this new book looks marvelous too. I too am in awe of those who delight us with the art in picture books, including you, Iza. And also loved hearing you ‘sing’ the story, Iza! Terrific all the way through, Renee!
Wow! Thank you so much, Linda! And I am so glad you enjoyed this post. renee did such a beautiful job! I love your poem today!
Great post, Renee! What a tribute to our wonderful Iza! And Iza, LOVED your video! You sing so beautifully! I know who to come to for video tips now 🙂
Susanna, you are kind- and modest. It is you with the lovely singing voice. And speaking of singing, I think it’s about time we hear Renee belt out a tune!
Fun! Fun! Fun! I read the post earlier today and then got in my jammies and robe to come back again tonight and have Iza sing me to sleep! This is such a special addition to NWR! My favorite part was “A fish jumped and stunned her, Ker-plunk, she went under!” You’re ker-plunk was sung with just the right amount of panic.
Thanks, Renee and Iza!
Oh I am so glad to have sung you to sleep, Penny. I hope nightmares didn’t follow! 🙂 Thanks!
WOW, thanks for featuring Iza, Renee! BBF, what a fantastical video. What a voice. Simply wonderful! We all love Iza around this house. Her writing draws us into the story in a magical way! *waving*
Thank you, Robyn! I feel very honored to be featured again. Renee always makes it so special and fun! *waving* back and *sending hugs*
P.S. I love a good chaise lounge. I have some out by the pool. Nice place to write too!
Lucky you to have a pool! Sunny spots are always nice to write in.
Fun! Ms. Trapani is a GREAT singer! 😀
You are a gentleman and you are kind, Erik! I am glad you enjoyed this!
Oh what a treat to see more of Iza’s work here. I should familiarize myself with more of her books. I think there are a few which fit our current theme quite nicely (twinkle twinkle little star). Iza sure is multi-talented! Thanks for sharing most of her books here today, Renee. 🙂
Myra, thank you so much! And I love reading your posts 🙂 Your selection of Neruda’s poems brought me to tears. Such beauty!
The children in my field study class LOVE Iza’s books. They always find something interesting in her illustrations. It’s usually something that I’ve overlooked. Like you Renee’, I pore over these beautiful illustrations, loving everything I see, and taking careful note so as to help towards circle time discussions. However, as I mentioned, the children will notice something and circle time takes on a new purpose. We love Iza’s books! Thank you for such a unique and wonderful post Renee. Thank you, Iza for continuing to delight us with your craft.
Oh Pamela, I am delighted that you use my books in your class! Thank you so much! And I am happy that all those details I often painstakingly add are enjoyed! Many, many thanks!
LOVE this! Thank you Iza and Renee.
I am glad you enjoyed this, Doraine. Thank YOU!
What joy it brings when you discover that a favorite children’s author is also a wonderful person! Thank you for sharing this!!!! 🙂
Oh Holly, I am blushing! Thanks so much for the kind words!
Wonderful post, Renee! So glad to find out a little bit more about Iza! Such a multi-talented lady!
Thank you B.J! My head is swelling 🙂
Love it! So multi-talented. 🙂
Thanks so much, Charles!
Forgive me for being so late for the slumber party!!!!
Renee…what a fantastic post…I so appreciate you listing those resource links for specific posts Iza has done…I know they will be a big help to me.
Iza…you have a most beautiful voice…perfect for singing lullabies! You are very generous to share all that you do…thank you.:)
Vivian, you are kind. Thank you!
I enjoyed the video introduction you did for Iza. And Iza you sang your story beautifully. I love my copy.
And Renee, you’re so right, Iza is generous with her detailed posts. I’m savoring the illustrator posts, and looking forward to more.
Thanks so much, Tracy, for the kind words and for getting my book! It’s on my list to do another illustration post. I’ve been a little swamped lately.. Happy Thanksgiving! I am grateful for this wonderful community we are part of!
This is a great post! Iza, you write, paint and SING beautifully. What next?! 🙂 I loved the video– the singing and the split screen were excellent extras.
Thanks, Renée and Iza.
I agree, Dana, that the split screen worked so well. That was all Renee’s doing. She’s a clever one! Thanks for the kind words! Happy Thanksgiving!
Hi Renee, we are new to your blog by mutual blogging buddy, Catherine Johnson, (who we adore!!) So when Catherine did a post on you, we immediately came runnin’ with glasses in hand so that we could knock around your blog and get to know you better. As a mother daughter team, we write Young Adult. And although we don’t have any little ones in the house….as of yet. ahem lol. We do have tons of friends who are tot ready to read!! We just put out a Linkedon, Google, Pinterest, FB & twitter of Catherine’s blog post on you & hope this helps. We will also be spreading the news of your lovely site, having been told now, that you are the Queen of Childrens Poetry, we bow to your genius & say Nice to meet you!! We look forward to dropping by and reading more of your lovely posts my dear!!
Well, gosh, what a nice comment to find here this morning! Thank you so much for visiting and for your enthusiasm! I didn’t even know Catherine did a post about No Water River – she’s a sneaky one, isn’t she? 🙂 I’m off to check out your blog, too. Thanks again – hope to see you around! 🙂