Robert’s Snowflakes – Featuring Brian Floca
By this point in time, most of you have grown aware of the Robert’s Snow auction, as coordinated by children’s literary bloggers. If not, here’s a summary. In September, Jules of Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast asked whether or not bloggers would be interested in featuring artists who had created snowflakes for Robert’s Snow 2007 at their blogs. The response has been massive, and so each day a couple bloggers highlight a specific artist and snowflake. Three auctions will take place, each one offering several snowflakes apiece. The aim is to raise people’s awareness about Robert’s Snow and to promote the three auctions.
Of course, the question of who I should feature came up, and I’ll admit that I had a hard time choosing. I like a lot of artists out there. Artists are friendly. They do fun blog tours with farm animals and don’t mind being called "hot" by wayward random children’s librarians. That said, I eventually decided to settle on Brian Floca, and I’m glad I did. Floca is a subtle artist. His art can range from sketchy to precise in half a heartbeat. He’s a RISD kid, and cut his teeth on Avi’s City of Light, City of Dark (which, if your library is anything like mine, you’ll find shelved in the graphic novel section). Over the years he’s gone on to create everything from The Racecar Alphabet and Uncles and Antlers to the (good) covers of Avi’s Poppy series. Most recently he has finished The Hinky-Pink, a story by Megan McDonald. And yes, he has been known to blog on occasion.
So I had to ask him how he came to be acquainted with Robert’s Snow. This is the answer he gave:
"I learned of Robert’s Snow a few years ago when my friend Alison Impey at Little, Brown forwarded me an e-mail about it. For whatever reason I didn’t make it in on the action that year. When I saw that it was on again this year, I got in touch with the organizers. A little time went by and the next thing I knew a wooden snowflake was in my mailbox. I gave some thought to an image of Avi’s Poppy; Poppy would be fairly well recognized, I figured, and I have a lot of affection for the character, so she seemed a good choice. But LIGHTSHIP had come out relatively recently, and so I still had boats on the brain. Plus, a lightship seemed fitting in its own way. (For those who don’t know, lightships were the rough equivalent of floating lighthouses.) When I first stepped foot on the Ambrose lightship down at South Street Seaport a couple of years ago, my interest in her was purely in nuts and bolts and seafaring yarns and that sort of thing, but the more I learned about lightships the more I appreciated their steadfastness and the relief and aid that they offered to others. Those ideas seemed appropriate to the work of Robert’s Snow, as did the image of a light in the dark, and so the lightship it was."
Now consider the book itself. Lightship has garnered FOUR starred reviews (SLJ, PW, Booklist, AND Kirkus). And those of you with good memories will recall that it also has its own book trailer. This book is one of the finest of the year and the image on the snowflake is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful. This is a snowflake with a sense of place. It has its own mood. I won’t make other people jealous by saying that it’s the prettiest one of the year . . . but, come on. Seriously. How can you NOT find it amazingly attractive? And on a Christmas tree? Stunning, m’dear.
So how do you make it your very own? Well, bidding will begin on November 19th at 9:00 a.m. and close on November 23rd at 5:00 p.m. Be a smartie. Bid often. After all, this is A) A good cause and B) Your chance to own a piece of original art entirely of your own. (Floca’s page is here)
Also, check out the new Blogging for a Cure page at Seven Impossible Things. It has a comprehensive list of snowflake and illustrator features.
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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