From Publishers Weekly
Stevens (Coyote Steals the Blanket: A Ute Tale) writes-and draws-herself into this innovative explanation of how authors and artists create picture books. Rendered in black-and-white drawings, she sits in her studio surrounded by vividly colored and humorously garbed animals who urge her to write a story. Stevens agrees, picks three creatures (a rhino, koala and cat) to appear in her tale and, insisting she is an illustrator and not an author, cautions them not to expect too much of her. As the characters contribute sometimes outlandish suggestions and diverting asides, Stevens tells them that their story needs a setting; a beginning, middle and end; plus a plot in which something happens. She lays out her sketches in a storyboard and then, with her chatty characters by her side, goes through the processes of writing, editing, making a dummy and creating the final art. Though the detailed explanations may prove a bit laborious, aspiring writers and artists will appreciate this tidy lesson. Ages 7-9.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 2^-4. With so many successful picture books to her credit, Stevens seems the perfect person to introduce picture-book writing and illustrating to children. Her clever book may not be prime story-time material, but it will be fun for teachers to use in class and ideal for sharing with creative kids. Stevens, appearing as herself sketched in black-and-white, is the main character in her story. She's surrounded by a fetching assemblage of colorful animal characters who encourage her to write a book starring them. With help from Cat, Koala Bear, and Rhino, she does, explaining as she goes along the basic elements of writing and illustrating--setting, plot, tension, and characterization. Kids won't learn the technical production stuff, but Stevens demystifies the creative process, not only in her text, but also in the warm and friendly chaos of the pictures. A last page encourages children to try making a book of their own. Stephanie Zvirin