Tag Archives: Nobrow Press

William Grill’s Wolves of Currumpaw Wins Ragazzi Award in Nonfiction

In the news flood of politics, violence, and human rights struggles filling our days and minds, what could we possibly have to learn from one of the founding pioneers of the Boy Scouts, Ernest Thomas Seton? Quite a lot, including lessons on compassion and caring for each other and our wild world, and the beautiful necessity of learning from our mistakes.

The Bologna Ragazzi Award, one of the most prestigious children’s international book awards, has just thrown its weight behind a quintessentially American book that tells the story of Ernest Thomas Seton’s life- changing meetings with a certain wolf. The Wolves of Currumpaw, a modern illustrated retelling of Seton’s classic story “Lobo, The King of Currumpaw,” is by the young artist/writer William Grill and was announced as the winner of the Bologna Ragazzi Award for nonfiction on February 16, with the awards ceremony to follow during the Bologna Children’s Book Fair from April 3-6.  The Wolves offers a story of young Seton exploiting the wilderness of the American West for his own gain, until a certain wolf tragically teaches Seton that the wildness has heart, and part of Seton’s job is to protect it.

This beautiful picture book is not Grill’s first headline-maker: his 2014 title Shackleton’s Journey was a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and also made Grill the youngest winner since 1960 of the UK’s Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration (the equivalent to the Caldecott Medal in the US).

The Wolves of Currumpaw has garnered its own following, including a Junior Library Guild selection, a Guardian Best Children‘s Book 2016 selection, and rave reviews in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times Book Review, and Brain Pickings, where Maria Popova said of the book, ” Grill tells the story without a sentimental gloss over the jarring cruelty that was a matter of course in the Old West. But what emerges is an essential reminder that we can’t reasonably judge one era by the moral standards of another; that, above all, so many of our ethical principles have emerged from the disquietude of their opposite—a sentiment echoed in the contrast between Grill’s soft, sensitive illustrations and the brutality of the killings, both by the wolves and of the wolves.”

There you have it, folks: a lesson from Ernest Thomas Seaton that, the Bologna Ragazzi committee agrees, more than stands the test of time.

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Flying Eye, Flying High: What to Look Forward to From Nobrow Press in 2016

nobrowlogoOn April 19, 100 Scope Notes, a School Library Journal blog which highlights the latest and the greatest in children’s literature, interviewed Tucker Stone of Nobrow Press and its children’s book imprint, Flying Eye Books. They talked about shaving beards, smartmouth mice, and, of course, books, giving us a preview of all of the excitement we can look forward to from Flying Eye Books in 2016!

Since its creation in 2013, Flying Eye Books has proved to be a force to be reckoned with: racking up starred reviews, bestsellers, and awards (including two nominations in 2016 alone for the Eisner Awards) for its authors and illustrators alike, and the 2016 titles look to be no different. While, as a self-defined “visual publishing house,” Flying Eye is known for its stunning visuals that appeal to readers of all ages, they also gravitate towards producing works with important messages. The message of this season? Empathy and compassion.

“The world feels like a difficult place to live in right now,” Stone said, “and we have to find a way to share the space.”

Francesca Sanna’s The Journey, which publishes Septembjourneyer 13, is just one of Flying Eye’s titles this season which represents that timely drive.

“It’s a picture book for young children about a family of refugees abandoning their homeland due to the war that, among other things, takes their father. It’s particularly inspired by the experience of Syrian refugees, but also incorporates the journeys that have had to be undertaken by the people of Somalia, Tibet and Eritrea,” Stone said. “I can’t imagine anyone walking away from this book without being stirred up by it.”

hilda and the stoneThis year is also one of what Stone called “triumphant returns,” including new books from the beloved Hilda and Professor Astro Cat series (Hilda and the Stone Forest and Professor Astro Cat’s Atomic Adventure, respectively); exciting additions to their nonfiction animal books (including Wild Animals of the North and One Day on Our Blue Planet… In the Antarctic); and a gorgeous new title from William Grill (The Wolves of Currumpaw), winner of the 2015 Kate Greenaway Medal (for illustration). In 2016, Flying Eye Books will also be reissuing some beloved children’s titles from the 1950s and 1960s, such as Helen Borten’s Do You See What I See? and Do You Hear What I Hear?.

Whether you’re a nonfiction aficionado or a regular comic book fiend, both Nobrow Press and Flying Eye Books are sure to have something for you this season!

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Books to Make Sense of Paris

129 fatalities. 368 wounded. A city of 2.24 million. And shock waves of pain and fear that are impossible to number.

In this confusion, what we can do as a book distributor is simply offer up six books that give a bit of perspective. The first four inform you about terrorism, the global narrative surrounding it, its history, and modern opinions. The last two titles are purely about Paris, and we think that’s important—to be reminded of the deep intimacies of this city and its people within this tragedy. In the words of Walt Whitman to Paris, “And I send these words to Paris with my love/…I will yet sing a song for you, Ma Femme.”

Syria SSyriaSpeakspeaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline, by Malu Halasa and Zaher Omareen, published by Saqi Books, highlights the artists of Syria who combat  the culture of violence through their work. The anthology features poetry, illustrations, photographs, and stories that shed light on the individuals striving to make a difference.  NoNonsenseGuideToTerrorism

The No-Nonsense Guide to Global Terrorism by Jonathan Barker, published by New Internationalist, is an accessible analysis of terrorism and its history. The book uses examples from the Middle East, state terrorism, and political terrorism to look at the causes of terrorism and possible ways to combat it.

EnoughBloodShedPublished by New Society Publishers, Enough Blood Shed: 101 Solutions to Violence, Terror and War by Mary-Wynne Ashford and Guy Dauncey is told in two parts, with the first half of the book describing the culture of violence that terrorism creates, and the second half offering possible solutions. Though heavy in subject matter, the hopeful tone shows that change is possible. PiratesAndEmperors

Pirates and Emperors, Old and New: International Terrorism in the Real World by Noam Chomsky and published by Haymarket Books  offers a crash course in the many forms terrorism can take. Using the United States’ role in the Middle East as the main example, Chomsky shows how terrorism can be stopped by understanding these different forms.

Paris by ParisJulian Green and published by Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd takes readers through the romantic and winding streets of Paris. Like a love-note to the city, Paris is a literary portrait illustrated with Green’s photographs that shows readers just how special Paris really is.750YearsInParis

750 Years in Paris by Vincent Mahé, published by NoBrow Press, is a literary graphic novel that focuses on just one building in Paris through the progression of history, starting in the thirteenth century. The book shows how drastically things can change in an instant, and also celebrates the enduring nature of Paris itself.


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Flying Eye Books and Emily Hughes Capture Hearts and Minds of Readers

Sincere and full of heart, ThLittleGardenere Little Gardener by Emily Hughes has been capturing attention since its release in August 2015. Replete with intricate illustrations, a sweet story, and published by Flying Eye Books (imprint of NoBrow Press), this book is another successful addition to Flying Eye Books’ already extensive collection of visual titles. In an interview with Carter Higgins on August 25, 2015 for Design of the Picture Book, Hughes talked about her inspiration for the book, her creative process, and highlighted some of the illustrations from the charming book.


Hughes’ childhood home in Hawaii and illustration. Photo credit: Design of the Picture Book.

The Little Gardener is about an unassuming and “self-sufficient” man who loves to take care of the garden he lives in. Hughes said in the interview that “he is really just a symbol for the everyman, the underdog, you, me… our place as a human. It’s not about him, it’s about his vision, his hopes.” Hughes described the process for creating The Little Gardener as “an outpouring, I drew and drew and drew. […] this one felt natural to make, intuitive.” The images are very dense and intricate, and Hughes said it was a “meditative book to make— almost like making a mandala.”  She admitted that she is scatter-brained, and that working with illustrations and text gives her a good balance: “having text keeps my brain focused when there are other ideas floating about. Because I also draw, I am able to tell the other story lines as well— they are quieter, but are still present for others to interpret if they have patience.” These other storylines come in the form of subtle references to her childhood home of Hawaii and other intricate details seen in the illustrations. In general, Hughes said her process starts “off with a general character and theme and it evolves— the writing is the last part, I think the feeling needs to be understood first.”

The Little Gardener is Hughes’ second book published by Flying Eye Books and NoBrow Press, who have each published numerous visual books. Hughes’ first book published with them, Wild (September 2013), shares similarities with The Little Gardener: They both center around characters that are one with nature and their environment, and they also mirror the personal struggles Hughes experienced at the time of writing. In the interview Hughes said, “Wild is about acceptance and tolerance, issues I was trying to practice myself. The Little Gardener was about keeping hope alive when I was faltering with my own.” With The Little Gardener, Emily Hughes and Flying Eye Books deliver a heartfelt story about working hard and remaining true to yourself.

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Inkstuds Radio Chats With Jen Lee from NoBrow Press

Jen Lee is a rising star in Vacancythe comic world. After her release of her web comic Thunderpaw, Lee is quickly becoming a ubiquitous name because of the complex and sincere characters she creates. In an interview with Inkstuds Radio, Lee chatted about her new comic, Vacancies, released by NoBrow Press in June 2015. She discussed her inspiration for Thunderpaw and how it set the stage for her new work that is taking the comic world by storm.

Originally conceived as a video game, Thunderpaw grew out of Lee’s interest in comics and dog behavior, as a form of self-therapy. After quitting her marketing job, Lee released her web comic for her own enjoyment, not expecting many people to read it. However, Lee’s talent was noticed overnight, and her web comic soon had a large readership and many fans. The success of her web comic led NoBrow Press to contact Lee over Twitter, where they asked to work with her, launching the process of creating Vacancies.

Vacancies is Lee’s first print comic and occupies the same world as Thunderpaw. The canine characters navigate situations dealing with abandonment and isolation, themes that Lee and her readers are naturally drawn to and that create compelling stories. Vivid attention to detail in terms of the story as well as the rich illustrations create a comic that is as intelligent and sincere as it is entertaining. In the future, Lee plans on continuing to work with the same motifs featured in both Thunderpaw and Vacancies, though she is open to wherever her creative whims may take her. Intricate and thought-provoking, Vacancies is not to be missed.



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