Entries in Gus Gordon (4)


I am Cow, Hear Me Moo!

My latest illustrated book I am Cow, Hear Me Moo! by the clever Jill Esbaum (published by Dial Books/Penguin US) has just been released in the US and we're told it has already been reprinted, which is great news. The Australian edition will be released on the 28th of May. I was thrilled to see the book featured on the Brainpickings site the other day too - I've been a bit lucky with those guys lately as they featured Herman & Rosie there in February. Happy days!


Society of Illustrators & other news

It's been a while since I posted anything in this news section, sorry. Most of my news is posted up on my Facebook site these days. It's hard to maintain both. Anyway, I have had some exciting news here and there. Mostly to do with Herman and Rosie. This morning I just found out from my US publisher (Neal Porter Books/Macmillan) that Herman and Rosie has been selected for the Society of Illustrators 2013 Original Art Show in New York for best illustrated children's books. Pretty happy about this as only a small group of illustrators are chosen (from 500 plus picture books I'm told) and I really wasn't expecting to make the cut. Now I just need to pick one illustration to exhibit. Just one! I'm WAY to close to see the wood for the trees here but I'm thinking maybe the one above. What do you think?

In other news Herman and Rosie had two early reviews in the US before its release and thankfully they have  been kind. Here's the review it got in Publishers Weekly (a starred review!):

And this is the review it received in Kirkus Review:


In bustling New York, anthropomorphic croc Herman and Rosie (a goat?) inhabit parallel lives until they discover they’re soul mates.

They live in tiny apartments in adjacent buildings. Herman plays oboe and sells “things” in a call center—until he’s canned for not selling enough of them. Rosie’s a restaurant dishwasher who takes singing lessons and gigs at a jazz club on Thursdays—until it’s shuttered. In pictures and text, Gordon cleverly foretells the pair’s entwined destiny, engaging readers conspiratorially as Herman and Rosie continually almost connect. Each, hearing the other’s music by chance, is mesmerized for days. Both love “watching films about the ocean” and turn to Cousteau documentaries for solace after their twin career setbacks. Traipsing the city (Gordon provides a map and key for their concurrent rambles), they simultaneously buy hot dogs from the same vendor—without meeting. Finally, Rosie hears “the familiar sounds of a groovy little jazz number” and leaps “to follow that tune.” The penultimate double-page spread shows them meeting—at last!—on Herman’s roof against a luminous full moon. The final page shows they’ve formed a quartet—The Cousteaus. Gordon utilizes vintage postcards, ledgers and maps to create collaged tableaux. Evocative of William Steig and Bernard Waber, the pictures at their best juxtapose New York’s duality: its cacophonous enormity and charming intimacy.

Sweetly celebrates artistic bonding in the Big Apple. (Picture book. 5-8)

Kirkus Review has a reputation for being being able to make or break a book so I'm pleased to escape intact.

Anyway, I can't wait for the book's release on October 15th. I'll actually be able to see the Society of Illustrators exhibition this year as I'm heading over to New York for the book's release to promote it. Going to a fun trip!

Hope you're all well and reading something interesting.


Herman and Rosie cover


Click to embiggen


I can finally, officially tell you my news! Herman & Rosie has been sold to a US publisher! My agent in New York ended up taking the book to auction where Neal Porter Books (Macmillan) won the rights to publish. Very exciting! There is a bit about it in Publishers Weekly here: (http:// ?u=d684790bedf89afe76e7b915 6&id=874e62f3f2&e=cf2ee82a e1) Will let you know US publishing dates when I get them. Huge thanks to my agent Charlie Olsen at Inkwell Management. Have been sitting on this for two weeks - couldn't hold it in much longer!
Woah! It's been awhile huh - sorry. Well, my book, Herman and Rosie is in the bag, done and dusted. It is now doing the rounds overseas (I have some exciting news about this but can't tell you just yet!) So happy to have finally finished what has been a huge project for me - one that was both fun and exhausting. I don't want to crap on about the hours I put into this book but I can safely say that I have never spent as much time on one singular book. There is a little more about this in an interview I did over here at the Kids Book Review (KBR) site. Thankfully Penguin Australia were very patient (they were probably freaking out underneath but I'm glad they didn't let on!) I also worked with some really great people - my editor Katrina Lehman, my designer Tony Palmer and my publisher Laura Harris. These guys put in some hefty hours as well. 
Herman and Rosie comes out in Australia and New Zealand in September and as far as elsewhere in the world, I will let you know soon - when they let me talk about it!


Anyway it's done and I am allowed to show you the cover (above). Hope you like it.



A Herman & Rosie teaser

On the way home the city seemed darker and louder and busier than usual.
Herman didn't feel like playing his oboe that night.

I am working away madly on my new picture book, 'Herman and Rosie' at the moment, which is due for release through Penguin next year. We are about to go away for a northern holiday (chasing the sun) so am working around the clock trying to do as much as possible before we leave - why is it always like this? Will no doubt fall in a heap on the plane and catch some disease that no one's heard of since the fall of Rome. Anyway, I thought I might post up an illustration before I left just to keep you in the loop. I'm going to blog about the whole process as I go - if you would like me to! Especially when I have more time.

This is a scene in the book where Herman loses his job and has lost his way. It's probably the 'blueist' part of the story in many ways. It's definitely bleak. I guess that's fairly obvious. I kept the city out of it mostly -  just a New York lamp post and a mail box. I didn't think I needed much else. There are plenty of other city spreads along the way. My dark cloud kind of shocked me a little at first but I've grown used to it. Hopefully it isn't too scary. I had fun with my fonts and even got out my oft-neglected rubber stamps. There's something very satisfying about using a rubber stamp isn't there? Then again, maybe that's just my 'home-craft' geek talking. Get out your crochet hooks we have oven mitts to make!

Looking forward to immersing myself in it all when I get back but for now I must find the sun. See you when I get back.