"I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books."


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Robert's Snow: Akemi Gutierrez and I Love Me New Boots!

Joyful is the word that comes to mind when I look at Akemi Guitierrez’ work. Her sketches and paintings are filled with joy and such an amazing exuberance. I start smiling and keep smiling for a long while after visiting her colorful and happy website which is filled with fun things like The Curio Corner which features a monthly quiz, a Book Nook, her gallery, Animal Crackers and more. If you're having a down day, swing by Akemi's site - it's sure to put a smile on your face.

Akemi is the illustrator of such fun books as The Pirate And Other Adventures of Sam & Alice and The Mummy And Other Adventures of Sam & Alice which are both published by Houghton Mifflin Co.; What the Elephant Told and A Nap in a Lap are published by Henry Holt & Co.; and Three Little Bears published by Candlewick Press. She has a new book coming in 2008 entitled I'm Just Like My Mom/ I'm Just Like My Dad to be published by HarperCollins.

Akemi Gutierrez has been illustrating and writing children's books for seven years, and is currently working on her seventh book. Akemi lives in northern California with her husband Ed. She has won the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award for two of her book illustrations: “Three Little Bears” and “What the Elephant Told.”s: “Three Little Bears” and “What the Elephant Told.”

Her story about what brought her to Robert’s Snow is a touching one and her snowflake is filled with that joy and exuberance that he brings to his paintings. I love the idea of an ice skating pirate named Dead-Eye Dirk, don’t you?

Here are Akemi’s words about her involvement with Robert’s Snow and a bit about her snowflake.

Dear Gina,

Thanks so much for writing & thinking of me for your blog!

I first heard about the Robert's Snow event from my editor at Houghton Mifflin in 2004. It sounded like such a great idea and a wonderful cause, I really wanted to get involved. My brother passed away in 2000 from cancer so this charity felt especially close to my heart. After contacting Grace, I painted a snowflake for the first auction and the following two. I strongly believe in all the good that can come from people working together, such as the artists & coordinators of Robert's Snow and plan to participate in this charity as long as they'll have me.

When I was designing this year's snowflake, I thought back to my first (and only) attempt at ice skating. There's just 2 kinds of people that shouldn't be on ice skates: pirates & me. So it seemed like a good chuckle to put my pirate "Dead Eye Dirk" on the same slippery skates that I once wore. I think he's better at skating than I was, and it helps that he's properly distracted from the icy peril by the sweets at hand.

I hope this was helpful to you! Thanks again for writing & I hope this year's auction is another big success!

Happy Autumn,

Isn’t she nice? I just want to give her a big hug! Akemi's snowflake is adorable and like each of the snowflakes I see, I want it. It’s not every day you can have a pirate skating on a snowflake.
So bid, bid, bid! Let's help to make this the most successful Robert's Snow ever. Many, many thanks to all the wonderful illustrators that gave of their time to create these beautiful works of art.


Sara said...

I love how she split the pirate into a top and a bottom half. I'm guessing that when you hang it, he might twirl like an ice skater...how cool!

jules said...

Me, too, Sara. I think that's neat.

Thanks for this feature, Gina!

LindaBudz said...

Ah, yes, beware the skating pirates! What a fun flake, thanks for featuring this!

Susan T. said...

That's a great story about the skating; it made me chuckle. "I Love Me New Boots" is such fun.