Picture Book Marathon- Day 28 - THE FINISH!

So here I am...at the finish line. I took my final day off yesterday and geared up for the big final push. I didn't have it left in me to do a full color comp for you today, but that's what happens....sometimes we limp to the finish line. BUT I MADE IT!

I visited my 95 year old grandmother today. And she inspired today's post. She's an amazing woman and still hanging in there. My dad and my baby boy were there too...so we took a 4 generation picture. Even though we weren't all female (like in my book here), you can see where this idea came from. I feel very blessed to have a strong family heritage and I am proud of my family. I want to publicly thank my wonderful grandmother for the woman she is and the son she raised to be my dad. I love you!

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Picture Book Marathon- Day 26

Today's idea plays back to the simple in illustration style (I'm not feeling 100% today). But we're almost near the end.  This book is about a giraffe who wonder's why she looks different than the other giraffes. She's embarrassed to be seen at first but by the end loves herself for who she is. (really, it all just started because I drew a giraffe head).

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Picture Book Marathon- Day 25

We're closing in on the end of the marathon. I must say, it got me thinking and drawing and being more creative on a daily basis than I have been in a long long time. So, THANK YOU, PB Marathon.

I decided to go a bit retro with today's illustration style. This book idea is about a little boy who would deliver groceries to his elderly neighbor every week.

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Picture Book Marathon- Day 24

I see how much my baby boy  loves his binkie right now and I dread the day we'll have to wean him from it. However, it's much easier to wean a kid from a binkie than a thumb. I'll tell you my trick, I cut off the tip of the binkie nipple when the child isn't looking and leave it out for him/her (at about 2 years old). When the child puts it in, they don't like it.  they bring it to me and I say "I'm sorry, sweetie. It's broken. You'll have to throw it away or use it like that." None of my kids have ever chosen to keep using it. They throw it away themselves. Then when they ask for it later (at bedtime usually), I say, "Remember, it was broken and you threw it away." I know it seems deceptive, but it really has been less traumatizing for me and the child than if I were to take it away and just say, sorry you can't have it any more. So this story is inspired by that experience. Good luck all you parents out there weaning your children from binkies!
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Picture Book Marathon- Day 23 & illustration Friday

As per the previous post, I used my own kids as inspiration for today's picture book as well as Illustration Friday. Illustration Friday's theme is "Layer."

So how many of you parents out there can relate to this...
It has just snowed...A LOT! Your kids are elated. They can't wait to get out and play in it. So they start getting out all the gear (while in a T-shirt and shorts). You remind them to go put on appropriate winter clothing just like you do every day and then proceed to put on the layers of snow gear. In the end it has taken you 30 minutes to push, tug and pull on all the layers of clothing and YOU are ready to put on a T-shirt and shorts. You send your little "Christmas Story" movie look-a-likes out to play with an exhausted wave and watch them waddle across the yard. 20 minutes later, just when you've pulled out a good book to enjoy in the comfort of your living room, there's a banging at the back door... "Mommy, it's cold. I got snow down my glove. I want to come in and have some hot chocolate." So, you sigh and begin UNlayering your child, which is a little easier but a lot more wet and slushy. You make them a cup of cocoa and sit down to enjoy it with them. They finish in a flash and are off to play. You throw the snow clothes in the dryer, wipe up the tracks of melted snow, clean up the cocoa drips off the counter, and sit down to enjoy your good book. But alas,

"Mommy, I'm warm now. I want to go play in the snow again."

I love my kids.

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Cutest Inspiration EVER!

So I have to put in here that I am sooooo proud to be a mom to 4 beautiful kids. They literally have become my inspiration in so much of my illustrating. Because of them, I draw better, I think like a kid better, and I have many experiences to pull from. I don't know how illustrators do it who don't have children in their lives somewhere. So THANKS to my cuties!
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Picture Book Marathon- Day 22

Didn't think I'd get to this today. One of those days where business overcomes the art. I had to pull all my taxes together today. If I'd keep better records during the year, it wouldn't be such a process. Maybe this year...

Anyway, today's post isn't anything grand, just kinda cute... But I'm sure an editor wouldn't be fond of a shirtless, diaper-clad baby on a cover. I think they're pinchable though.

In this book a toddler sets sail with his trusty mate Skippy (not skipper) in their own backyard. Yo-ho me mateys! (I think I have Pirates of the Carribean on the brain since my son watched a marathon of those movies yesterday while he was sick).

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Picture Book Marathon- Day 21

Today's picture book is honor of President's Day. Watch out, someday Penelope may just make it. It's about time for a change.

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Picture Book Marathon- Day 20

Wow, I've made it 20 days so far, posting 19 of them. This one needs work on the illustration obviously but of course it's just a sketch/color comp book idea as usual. None of these are really final illustrations, I hope you can tell.

So you probably see a theme continuing from yesterday's post but it's really just a spin off idea. This idea is for a concept book on the days of the week. A little boy visits the zoo each day and acts like one of the animals being kind of crazy and wearing the animals out in the process. Monkey Monday, Tiger Tuesday, Wallaby Wednesday, Thoroughbred Thursday (gotta work on that one), Froggy Friday, Salamander Saturday and finally SLEEPY Sunday (where all the animals and the boy are asleep from their week of fun). Picture intensive, word light.
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Picture Book Marathon- Day 19

This book idea came off my Doggy Day book idea...a sequel.

Maybe this will be an ebook as well. There are my next two app ideas. If you're interested in that, you can check out the app we already have out by clicking on Jujubee Books at the right.
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Picture Book Marathon- Day 18

Okay, so this is a huge departure from yesterday's post, but I'm feeling like my house is a bit messy so I decided to post something pertaining to my mood. Something quick and messy. And yes, I'd rather just sit and ignore the mess and chaos around me right now...enjoy a snack or a cupcake. (that's kind of what I'm doing minus the food. I'm blogging and ignoring the mess) Anyway, this book is about a pig who's not sloppy, just hungry, which is actually true of real pigs, regardless the stereotype.(see fact sheet here)
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Picture Book Marathon- Day 17

This is where I want to be today...on a beach! But I'm not, so I might as well imagine it.

She Sells Sea Shells
by Julie Olson

She sells sea shells, by the sea shore.
And by the sea shore, she does much more...

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Picture Book Marathon- Day 16 & ILLUSTRATION FRIDAY

Once again I'm combining posts, my daily marathon post and Illustration Friday. The theme for Illustration Friday is "sweater." Simple enough to incorporate. Here's an idea for a book. Shelly thinks she's shrinking (because all her friends are getting taller and she's not). Yes this may be a joke on my own life...I'm a shorty. But hey, could make a great picture book.

Also, don't forget to check out my Children's Book Apps for iphone and ipad. The 3 year old I was babysitting this morning couldn't get enough of the monkey and croc sound effects. She wanted the story again and again.

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Picture Book Marathon- Day 15

A book about Ellie Phant, the elephant, who wants to be a Ballerina.
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Picture Book Marathon- Day 14

So, I didn't make it yesterday. So I guess I only have one more free day for the rest of February. But hey, I'm not quitting.

Today's post is a spin off of Goldilocks (in name only). This is thanks to Rick Walton's Goldilocks project on his website. Thanks for the inspiration, Rick!

Premise: Goldilocks has lost her socks (among other things) because her room is so messy.
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Picture Book Marathon- Day 12

This is a little different idea...a gift-type picture book. I thought of writing poems for each of the months of the year and including tear out calendar cards at the back with illustrations on them too. Sometimes I like just looking at pictures of cute kids. In the end, that's what this is about. So it probably doesn't truly work as a picture book, but I'm counting it anyway. :-)
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Picture Book Marathon- Day 11

So I've been working on finishing a dummy book all day today. It's actually one I've been working on for years but never finished. Here's to finishing!

What's a dummy book? It's essentially a "fake" picture book. A mock up. I don't have a cover for you but I will show a sketch. Hopefully I can finish up the dummy and start on the real thing soon. I think I might make this one into an iPhone/iPad app book...and an ebook.
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Picture Book Marathon- Day 10

Well, these posts come late at night, but at least they come, right? This is a story I actually have been working on for a while called "Firefly". I've got the words down but I'm trying to get the characters and the style pinned down. This one is a "NO" I think, but I don't have time to redo it right now. Gotta post somethin'. Maybe I need Will Terry to illustrate it.
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iPhone/iPad Children's Books

So Jujubee Books' first iPhone/iPad app is now available...

Jujubee Books was created in 2011 by professional author & illustrator, Julie Olson and her husband, Rhett Olson, after realizing the need for professional quality iPhone/iPad children's book applications. With her years of experience as a children's book illustrator and author and her husband's technical expertise, Julie knew she could provide just what iPhone/iPad users need...high quality children's book apps.

Jujubee Books only works with professional children's book illustrators and authors to bring you better quality books for your children. Each book has been edited and reviewed by industry professionals before publication. This allows for a better quality product to be available to you. We do not simply allow just anyone with any book to pay a fee and create an app for our store. We work like a print publisher, accepting only books we feel fill a need and are top quality.

Our first Book App, Monkey & Croc, is written and illustrated by professional illustrator, Will Terry. Synopsis: Monkey and Croc both live in the jungle but have never met, until one day when they are both out hunting for food. Find out what happens next. The bright, playful illustrations add another whimsical touch to this fun book. The adventures of Monkey and Croc are just beginning. This app has highlighted "read to me" text as well as sound effects for the animals, each can be turned on or off. This provides a fun interactivity and educational value for this book that can only be found on our app. So enjoy! http://itunes.com/apps/childrensbookmonkeyandcroc
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Picture Book Marathon- Day 9

Here's a very girlie picture book. I have princesses on the brain (I've been illustrating a princess book for the last three months). It's about a kingdom full of princesses and one little girl who wants to be a princess very badly...until she realizes how prim and proper you have to act and how boring it all is. Then she's happy to be her.

Princesses! Princesses! Princesses!
by Julie Olson

Once upon a time, in a castle far far away, there lived a princess...

and a princess...and a princess...Princesses! Princesses! Princesses!

Fair ones, tall ones, dark haired small ones. Smart ones, silly ones, fluff and frilly ones.

And next to the castle, there lived a little girl...
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Picture Book Marathon- Day 8

Today I didn't illustrate a cover, just a character. These are what illustrators call character sketches. The story is called, "Frankly Frankie." It's about a little girl who says what ever is on her mind. (this causes quite the silly, shocking, embarrassing moments) Might be better as an early reader chapter book. It's a little wordy.
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Picture Book Marathon- Day 7

I didn't have time to paint this one today. But I'm excited to later. You get the idea though.

This idea came from a trip to the museum I took with my dad and kids. My cute son pushed my dad around the exhibit in a wheelchair (he has bad knees and bone spurs on his feet). He slowly, quietly pushed and talked for the whole hour. It was sweet.

So in this book, a little girl, takes her elderly neighbor on a daily walk around the block, sharing life along the way.
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Picture Book Marathon- Day 6

Today's picture book idea is in honor of the Super Bowl today AND my 7 year old daughter's question, "Is the super bowl a big bowl?" Sorry for the crude nature of the illustration. I'm not at home and my father-in-law's computer only has limited capabilities. I'm so thankful for a wacom tablet and for CS5 at home.

So, have a good chuckle. But I wasn't going to stop running the marathon just because of a few obstacles.

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Picture Book Marathon- Day 5

Here's a baby picture book or board book idea. All about baby talk. Get ready, get set, babble...

Goo, Goo! Ga, Ga! Moo, Moo! Ma, Ma!
by Julie Olson

Goo, Goo! Ga, Ga! (picture of a baby)
Moo, Moo! (picture of a cow)
Ma, Ma! (picture of mom)
Da, Da! ( daddy)
Wa, Wa! (water)
Lu, Lu! La, La! (baby singing)
Boo, Boo! (picture of a ghost)
Baa, Baa! (picture of a sheep)
Nana! (grandma)
Papa! (grandpa)
Ya! Ya! (hooray for the end)

text and pictures copyright Julie Olson 2011

By the way, check out these awesome illustrators doing the picture book marathon too.

Nate Hale
Jed Henry
Will Strong
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Picture Book Marathon- Day 4 & Illustration Friday

I'm combining two posts in one today. I haven't participated in illustration Friday for a while and I decided to work it in with today's picture book. The theme for Illustration Friday is "Surrender." So surrender to your inner child and enjoy the simple things in life, like riding a bike.

The picture book idea I had is called, "Summer Cycle," about a little girl and all the adventures she has one summer on her first bike.

I did a little different style today. A sketch, a dab of digital watercolor, and then layers of paper textures and designs. I think I want to do more of it.
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Picture Book Marathon- Day 3

I'm a little pressed for time today so the cover had to be the first thing that came out of my sketch pencil. If I were to redo it I think I might make it a little more dramatic...more crud all over the place, a real mess. And maybe a puppy licking up crumbs. Puppies are always cute in picture books.

Anyway, this picture book idea is about a little girl who one day decides she's queen of the house...doesn't think she needs to lift a finger...and the chaos and mess that ensue. Probably too preachy for a real picture book, but could be made funny instead.
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Happy Groundhog Day 2011

I was so happy with Phil's prediction this year...Spring will come early. See the Washington Post article. I HOPE he's right! I'm ready for Spring.

I think it happened in honor of Gus...MY groundhog. If you want to celebrate, feel free to pick up a copy HERE.
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Picture Book Marathon- Day 2

So I decided to do a take on "Goodnight Moon." I thought about being really satirical about it, but didn't have the brain power today. So it's just a jungle theme instead. But I can't decide whether to use the word "Hello" or "Good Day." What do you think?

Hello Noon
by Julie Olson

In the blue afternoon
there was an elephant,
And a brown baboon,
And a tree branch with--

a bird cleaning its plume.
and there were three little frogs, sitting on logs,
and two little snakes and a few small lakes,
and a little blue bird and hippos, a herd,
and some ants and some apes and a vine full of grapes,
and a stripy strong tiger who was swatting at shapes.

Hello noon.

Hello baboon.

Hello bird cleaning its plume.

Hello elephant singing a tune.

Hello frogs, hello logs.

Hello snakes, hello lakes.

Hello bird and hello herd.

Hello little bug and hello slug.

Hello ants and hello apes.

Hello everyone. Hello grapes,

and hello to the tiger swatting at shapes.

Hello sun, hello breeze.

Hello jungle filled with trees.

(words and art copyrighted 2011 Julie Olson)

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Picture Book Marathon- Day 1

Ready. Set. GO! The Picture Book Marathon has begun.

I think this will be easier when the big book I'm illustrating is finally finished. But I did squeak out a cover and an idea for a picture book today.

It's called "Big. Little. Middle." It's about a middle child who feels like nothing special but in the end finds his own unique place. I included a picture of the cover below and the text from the first pages.

Benny is big.

Kadie is little.

And I'm in the middle.

Benny is a big basketball star.

Kadie is a little princess.

And I'm in the middle.

Benny is a big eighth grader.

Kadie is a little angel.

And I'm in the middle.

(Picture and words copyright 2011 Julie Olson)
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I'm a freelance illustrator working in the children's book industry. I love kids and raising my own 4 children. They are the inspiration and the passion behind all I do in art and in life. See my website at JulieOlsonbooks.com

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