Bee-Wigged (Candlewick Press, 2008) is my favorite book of all the ones that I’ve published. In a crazy way, it is autobiographical, because, like Jerry Bee, I am a wig-wearing child-sized bee who tries to radiate positive energy whenever possible.
This book has a twist! And who doesn’t love a book with a twist?
The illustrations for this book were done using acrylics, and lots and lots of hand-cut stencils, and then everything was outlined in black ink. Work, work, work. Whew. But fun.
Here’s what Kirkus had to say:
The daffy winsomeness of Bell’s art is given aesthetic heft by her gorgeous use of color, bold outlines containing saturated blues, greens and, of course, bumblebee-yellows. Is Jerry a little too cute to serve as a vehicle to combat prejudice? Hardly—no one’s about to kill this messenger.
Not too shabby!
And here’s another book, Itty Bitty, a 2009 book from Candlewick Press:
In this book, a tiny dog finds enormous bone and chews it out and makes it his home!
Illustrations for this book were done using the same acrylics-and-stencil method used for Bee-Wigged. (The acrylics themselves were of the El Cheapo variety – Apple Barrel brand at Michael’s, maybe). Itty Bitty gets a little bit o’ outlining in brown ink, to boot.
This book got a star from Booklist. And here’s what Publishers Weekly had to say:
Where does a tiny dog find just the right decor for his hollowed-out-bone house? Why, the “teeny-weeny department” at a huge store downtown, of course! Such is the premise of this sweet and silly picture book that introduces a sunny pup of small size but big personality. Itty Bitty, a tan-colored dog not even as tall as a blade of grass, just wants to feel comfy in his new digs. A spread that shows him speeding down the road on his shopping trip, riding on a tricycle fashioned out of a walnut shell, is laugh-out-loud funny. Bell’s (Bee-Wigged ) crisp acrylic and ink artwork features blocks of color and simple stylized shapes on grainy, speckled backgrounds. Itty Bitty is reminiscent of a character Ed Emberley might create in one of his drawing books—a square body, triangle head and stick legs. But his pinpoint eyes, gentle smile and frequent exclamations of delight (“Satisfactory!”) give him lots of warmth.
But best of all, here’s a review that really matters.
And finally, some fun from 2006, also from Candlewick Press, for the Tiny Folks of Single Digit Ages:
and its companion book:
And, of course, there is the Sock Monkey Series, which you can read about here.
And… there are more books to come! Click here to see ‘em!