Friday, October 4, 2013

The Real Boy Art Reveal!



Soon, they had plunged into the forest. Oscar had a bag with the jug of plaguelands dirt from Caleb’s workroom strapped to his back; Callie, one carrying the jug of seawater. This time they walked right into the center of the forest, the middle of the circulatory system, to the biggest wizard tree.

It was Oscar’s favorite tree, the one with the honey mushrooms growing underneath, the one with the five massive branches rising up and out of the trunk like a flower.

Had it looked so old when Oscar had last been here? The bark was gray, fading. The leaves were thinning like an old man’s hair. There was a long welt of missing bark in the middle of the trunk, and some kind of dark fungus was growing in the welt.

The tree looked so tired. They all did…Oscar walked up and put his hand on the trunk. The gentle warmth pressed into his palm, a reassurance. Despite all the things churning inside him, the touch of the tree eased him a little, as surely as a cat’s purr. As it always had.

“Is this the right thing to do?” Oscar whispered, running his hand along the trunk. “Is this what you want?”

No answer, just the same steady warmth. It was the same as it had always been, Oscar realized. Though this tree was drooping and thinning…though it was so tired, this feeling of some steady, generous vitality in all the wizard trees had never lessened. It was the essence of the tree, the truth at its core.

He’d always thought of this feeling as the presence of magic. But no other magic-laced thing had ever felt like the wizard-tree wood. It was the tactile translation of the ineffable warmth and peace Oscar felt in his chest when he was with the wizard trees, when the cats were with him, when Callie was there—and so he named the feeling love.

Excerpt taken from The Real Boy by Anne Ursu

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Monday's Riddle clued us in on children's author Anne Ursu, and we've been caught up in her world of magic all week. Lizzy's review of The Real Boy took us into the Barrow, and today we're excited to host this exclusive art reveal. The illustrations in both Breadcrumbs and The Real Boy will captivate your imagination as the words wrap around you like your favorite blanket. 

It was awesome to get to choose a picture, and we picked this one because of the depth of feeling it reveals in each pencil stoke. The picture represents the infinite connection we have with nature, and the mystical qualities of roots that run deep.

This author/ artist combination compliment each other brilliantly, telling a story that will stay with you long after you put the book down. 

It has been our pleasure to bring you the tales of Anne Ursu- she is a master of her craft and a true storyteller. : )



Read our review of Breadcrumbs and The Real Boy, and then find out what Anne thinks about things. 

Anne Ursu is the author of Breadcrumbs, which was acclaimed as one of the best books of 2011 by The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, School Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, Amazon.com and the Chicago Public Library. It was also an IndieBound Next List Pick, an NPR Backseat Book Club featured selection, and received four starred reviews. Anne lives in Minneapolis with her son and three cats. 


Erin McGuire is a children’s book illustrator living in Dallas, Texas. She has illustrated such books as Nancy Drew DiariesBreadcrumbs, Saranormal, and French Ducks in Venice. Outside of work, she enjoys her book club, baking, and camping. As an avid reader and lifelong lover of books, getting to illustrate stories for kids every day is her dream job. Erin’s work can be found on her website and on her blog.



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48 comments:

  1. Lovely excerpt! And the illustration conveys the sentiment perfectly. Love it.

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    1. Hi Cate, Thanks for stopping by! Erin's illustrations are brilliant- and so is the story : ) ~ F

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  2. Such a lyrical style in this book. Lovely.

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    1. Hi cleemckenziebooks, It's a wonderful story! Thanks for stopping by : ) ~ F

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  3. For some reason my comment didn't appear...but I said that I loved that illustration and can't wait to read the book.

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    1. Hi Patty, Thanks! We hope you enjoy it as much as we did! ~ F

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  4. I follow via GFC as Paul R Hewlett. I would buy a cloak of invisibility. I think I could get into some real trouble with that :)

    Paul

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    1. Hi Paul, That's such a cool magical item. Thanks for stopping by to share your thoughts with us : ) ~ F

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  5. What would I buy in a magical shop? The possibilities are endless! A no-sleeping potion. A magical recipe book. A sparkly wand. A cure-all-my-woes potion. I could go on forever.

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    1. Hi Dena, Sounds fabulous! A magic recipe book would be awesome : ) ~ F

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  6. +JMJ+

    What a beautiful drawing!

    I think I'd buy something from the magic shop's book section, so I could learn more about magic arts and always have a good reference. =)

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    1. Hi Enbrethiliel, A great idea- lots to know in the magical arts! Thanks for stopping by to share your thoughts with us : ) ~ F

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  7. *ding-ding* Hello? Anyone here? Oh, hello. I would like to buy a guide to making your own potions, a guide to magic, a guide to spells & hoaxes (how to pronounce, what it does, etc.), a guide to making magical food, a guide to magical creatures, and a guide to making enchanted items. Thank you. Good-bye.
    Oh, yes, I'd also like a copy of "The Real Boy" - the artwork and writing is wonderful. :)

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    1. Hi Erik, LOL! I agree with your selection- you will love The Real Boy- I'm sure of it! ~ F

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  8. That's a great excerpt. I can see that this will be something that I'd enjoy. And stunning artwork too! Thanks so much for sharing. :)

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    1. Hi Sam, Thanks for stopping by! We hope you enjoy the story- it's fantastic : ) ~ F

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  9. Love the art :D Thank you for sharing. <3 Loved this book so much. And omg. Hope the giveaway is international; would love to win :D Hmm. I would like to buy something to make me fly, since it's magic and all ;p Have always wanted to fly :) GFC as Carina Olsen :)
    Love, Carina

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    1. Hi Carina, Flying is one of my things too- I would love to learn that skill or have something that could make me fly. Thanks for stopping by to share your thoughts with us : ) ~ F

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  10. What a wonderful snippet and piece of art - you can feel the wonder!
    My purchase in a magical shop would be time in a bottle :)

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    1. Hi Jemi, Time in a bottle would be amazing to have! Thanks so much for stopping by to check out the art reveal! ~ F

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    1. Hi F.T., Thanks for stopping by to share your thoughts with us! ~ F

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  12. I love the illustration and I'd love to read this. Thanks for the giveaway.

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    1. Hi Medeia, It's a great book- we hope you enjoy the story! Thanks for stopping by : ) ~ F

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  13. What an awesome picture! I love the passage, too. It's very rich!

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    1. Hi Meradeth, The story is rich indeed, and the illustrations really bring it to life. Thanks so much for popping by to share your thoughts with us : ) ~ F

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    1. Hi Kelly, I love the movement of the tree. Always lovely to hear from you- thanks so much for stopping by! ~ F

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  15. Thankfully, there was enough breadcrumbs left for me to find my way back here.

    The illustration is superb. The excerpt, captivating. A winning combination. Kudos and all the best to Anne.

    Gary

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    1. Hi Gary, Thanks for your thoughtful comment- the story is one of my favorites. Excellent to hear from you! ~ F

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  16. I loved the cover and the expert very much, and as for the question, I would buy a cap which makes a person invisible.

    Katie

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    1. Hi Katie, Cool idea! Thanks for stopping by to share your thoughts with us : ) ~ F

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  17. I really enjoyed the excerpt and the illustration is absolutely magical. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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    1. Hi Barbara, It's a wonderful book- we really enjoyed it. I hope you like it too! Thanks for stopping by : ) ~ F

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  18. the book cover is absolutely beautiful.
    If I went into a Magical shop I would buy a book on how to make different white charms. New GFC follower - Syreeta E

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    1. Hi Syreeta, Excellent choice in a magical shop! The cover is spectacular- thanks for stopping by! ~ F

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  19. Thank you so much for sharing this. I really enjoyed the excerpt and the illustration is absolutely magical.

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    1. Hi Nas, You are welcome! Thank you for popping by to share your thoughts with us : ) ~ F

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  20. I love her illustrations! It looks magical. Is it boring to say I would want a wand? I can do all kinds of magic that way.

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    1. Hi Adriana, Of course it's not boring- that's what I would want! Erin's illustrations are fabulous. Thanks for stopping by! ~ F

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  21. Because my browser takes forever to load a page, I read the excerpt and all the info and then went back when the illustration finally loaded. The excerpt was touching and inspiring, and the illustration is PERFECT with it! Love is a mighty concept, and that tree is a mighty tree, capable of carrying the readers imagination anywhere!

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    1. Hi Lexa, It is a very magical tree in a very magical story. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us! It's always a pleasure to hear from you : ) ~ F

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  22. Good luck to the winner of this.

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    1. Hi Donna,
      Thanks for stopping by! ~ F

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  23. This is An amazing story! I'm so glad I found this story!

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    1. Nicole- It really is amazing. Love it! :) ~F

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  24. I like the excerpt and the picture. If I went into a magical shop I would buy some picture like that.

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    1. Bao Thank Tran- Thanks for stopping by! Glad you liked the excerpt and picture. :) ~F

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