Children’s Books

Literary Titan review Of Love & Pies: Starred Review

Sweet! Of Love and Pies is cooking with all 4 of Literary Titan’s stars Of Love and Pies is an engaging picture book written and illustrated by Sheila McGraw. The narrator suggests that every time she says I love you a baker will bake three or five pies. It starts out with pies for breakfast…

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Edit or Regret It

Many a writer of children’s literature has felt that since their story is just 800 words, self-editing is fine. However, my view is that a second set of eyes never hurts. And if just one errant comma, or apostrophe, or typo is caught before publication, well, hallelujah. Bad punctuation can break hearts… “I’m sorry I…

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Thoughts on Rhyming Books…

While rhyming text seems to fall in and out of favor, I’ve illustrated several rhyming books: I Promise I’ll Find You, Lightning Bug Thunder, and I Love You Too, I Love You Three. And they were all fun and a delight to work on. Illustration from the rhyming book I Promise I’ll Find You, Heather…

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The Bestseller Syndrome

Bestselling book, Love You Forever, written by Robert Munsch, illustrated by Sheila McGraw, published by Firefly Books. More than 35 million in print. Presumably, anyone with a laptop and spellcheck can write a bestseller and anyone with pencils and paper can illustrate one, and anyone with both can write and illustrate a bestseller. However… hundreds…

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I Love You Too, I Love You Three The Manuscript

Join me in this series for a tour of the creation of a children’s book from conception to bookstore shelf.   Wendy Tugwood’s story I Love You Too, I Love You Three landed in my email inbox in the spring of 2014. There was something magical about her gentle rhyming story.   Over time we emailed and got…

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I Love You Too, I Love You Three Storyboarding

Illustrating the Book… Storyboarding. Once the direction and general style of the images for a book are settled, step one in the art-process of illustrating a kids’ book comes with the storyboard. Storyboarding solves the most basic issues in the appearance of the bookare a whole bunch of things: style, format, continuity, composition, interpretation, character…

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I Love You Too, I Love You Three The Style

Illustrating the Book… The Choices. The appeal of Prismacolor: gorgeous color, no water required, from Blick Art Supplies. This sweet book, I Love You Too, I Love You Three, (written by Wendy Tugwood, with my illustrations, and published by Firefly Books) turned out to be so well-paced, so well received, that it’s hard to believe there might be…

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I Love You Too, I Love You Three Slinging Paint

Adding Color The journey from this… To this. The story-boarding is done, necessary text changes have been made and all has been approved! Now comes the color. Mr. publisher says he doesn’t want I Love You too, I Love You Three confused with any previous books. Got the blues? To  diffuse the the sentimentality of…

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I Love You Too, I Love You Three Slinging Paint Part 2

Technique After some experimentation with new materials, I fell back on my tried and true method. Using a fine semi-transparent rag paper, which is pretty great all-round for pastels, markers, and colored pencils.  OMS — Odorless Mineral Spirits — a solvent, can be used to blend pencils and pastel. When using solvents, be certain your work area is…

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I Love You Too, I Love You Three The Cover Story

Choosing the cover design The final cover. Things I like in a book cover: I love negative-space, also called white-space (which can be any color but in this case, it’s a shiny clean white). Negative space isn’t wasted space. The functional difference between a shovel and a pitchfork is the metal that’s missing. That missing…

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Hi! I'm Sheila McGraw. Welcome, and thank you for visiting. I began my career toiling in the “sequin-mines” of advertising and fashion houses as an illustrator and copywriter. Then, in 1986, Firefly Books approached me to illustrate a little book titled, Love You Forever.

Welcome hyper-typers and paint-slingers to my blog about writing, illustrating, and publishing books for kids and adults; art, crafting, and whatever else tickles my fancy.

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