Picturebook Polka - SCBWI Next Level talk - next Saturday

November 15th from 2:00 to 4:00pm 
SCBWI Oregon The Next Level Professional Series:
Picturebook Polka: the dance of words and images 
at TaborSpace, Copeland Commons
5441 SE Belmont - Portland, OR 97215

My friend Abigail Marble and I are giving a little talk about the magic that happens when words and images combine in a picture book. 

"How do we know which words are essential to tell our stories? How can we create illustrations that expand on the story instead of just repeating in pictures what is already written in words? And most importantly, how can the two dance together to reveal the heart of the story? In this workshop, we will look at examples of books that attain this balance and those that miss the mark. Covering issues for both PB writers and PB illustrators (and for those who do both.)"

Register at the door and pay $10 for members and $12 for nonmembers after Nov. 12th.
Preregister: $8 for members and $10 for nonmembers by Nov. 12th.
(or purchase a pass for $35 (nonmembers $50) by Nov. 12th, which gives you this session and all the rest of the sessions through April.)
Get the full scoop and register here:

This will be my first time giving a talk of this sort - I'm hoping some of the things I've learned about making picture books so far will be helpful to folks. I'm a bit nervous about the whole public speaking aspect of it - wish me luck!

An example of what we'll be discussing:

These gorgeous images are from THE GARDENER, written by Sarah Stewart and illustrated by David Small.
The text itself says very little about the emotional undercurrent of this story. This first image shows the warm, comfortable home that Lydia is leaving behind. It shows it with warm colors, round shapes and the coziness of the room. When we put the words in the letter together with what we see of Lydia's life we can really feel Lydia's heartbreak at having to move away from home.

The second image is such a stark contrast to the one before. It's so gloomy and overwhelming. We see tiny Lydia in the corner and again can share in her emotions at this moment - without a single word of text to explain it.

We could probably just talk about this one book for 2 hours! But I promise we won't - we have loads more illuminating examples to share and tips for how to take these ideas home and use them in your own writing and/or illustrating. And we probably won't make you dance the polka - but we haven't finished the powerpoint yet, so who knows?!

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