Saturday, October 20, 2012

Meeting Tedd Arnold

When I was a Senior, I was doing quite a bit of babysitting for the family across the street. (Yes, someone trusted me with their children). This particular family read to their children every night. So as not to disrupt their bedtime routine I read them a book from their bookshelf called No Jumping on the Bed! by Tedd Arnold.

I fell in love with the illustrations and the story! I went to the Williston library and checked out everything I could find by Tedd Arnold, including a cross-stitch pattern book. The next shopping trip to Minot resulted in the purchase of Ollie Forgot. It was the only Tedd Arnold book I could find! (Keep in mind, didn't exist yet, nor Books On Broadway).

Tedd Arnold's Website which is always fun to check out.

Then, a really swell thing happened, I got to meet Tedd Arnold, all because I volunteered to paint a sign! (ironic considering Arnold wrote and illustrated The Signmakers Assistant *chuckle*)
My high school principal needed someone to paint a large sign with some one's name on it for our gymnasium. I took on the challenge, painted the large, wooden sign and wanted nothing in return for my services. My principal said, "Well, how about I owe ya one?"

Later that year, I found out that the school librarian was taking a bus load of K-2 students to Wildrose, ND (about 17 miles away) to meet Tedd Arnold! To think, my favorite children's book author/illustrator would only be 17 miles away, and I would be stuck in Math class!! That just didn't sit well with me and I wanted to go so badly. So I walked down the hall, knocked on the Principal's door and asked, "remember how you said you would 'owe me one'?" He let me skip a couple of classes in order to attend as a chaperone! The kids were excited, the librarian was excited and I was ecstatic! Mr. Arnold spoke to the kids about being an author and illustrator, drew some illustrations on a large white tablet and signed autographs. He signed my Ollie Forgot and even agreed to pose for a picture.
I'm well aware of how dorky I look. Hey! It was the 90's...we still wore big hair and rolled our jeans for cryin' out loud!

Tedd Arnold's autograph! And he even drew a little puppy dog! Woot!
Here are some of my favorite Tedd Arnold books.

The Signmaker's Assistant
Shannan found me a 1st edition copy of The Signmaker's Assistant and gave it to me for our anniversary. It is one of my favorite books of all time!

A sequel to No Jumping On The Bed. This time it's William's turn!

Autumn loved the Huggly books when she was little. (She still loves 'em)

And here is the 2012 release of the "new" No Jumping On The Bed, re-illustrated by Tedd Arnold.

I hate to say this....(and may lightning of the illustrator gods not strike me down), but I'm partial to his earlier illustrations more-so than his later ones. I'm trying to come around to the bug-eyed children side of things...really I am. I'm just a little slower than others.
But his books are still top-notch. Take the picture above, for example. Even though I have trouble getting past a bug-eyed Walter, I just love the way the colors blend on the wall, around the pretty. And I do kind of like the squiggly line effect he does in books such as Huggly. It's pretty cool that he came up with such an original way to enhance his illustrations.
He could start illustrating with mud and sticks or old engine oil and a toothbrush, it wouldn't matter. He will always be one of my all time favorites!

Check out this neat-o blog, Homestead Wannabes, and see just how cool Mr. Arnold and his wife Carol really are!

Arnold's son, Walter, has also become an artist! His art involves looking through a camera's lens. He's a very talented photographer specializing in abandoned buildings and places. Check out his award-winning work at his website, Walter Arnold Photography.

More about children's literature and libraries tomorrow!
You know that phrase "stop and smell the roses"? Well, I'm changing it to "stop and look at the pictures". Stop and appreciate the time and talent of those who create wonderful picture books.
Have a Happy Day!

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