I love the Graveyard Book. It is a wonderful example of an author (Neil Gaiman) taking something old (Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book) and making it his own. There isn't a wasted sentence or turn of phrase, and I was very happy that it was recognized by the Newbery Award committee. (Sometimes fantastic books get ignored by award committees.) I love the characters, in particular Silas, who doesn't eat bananas, and Bod, the kid growing up in the wilds of the graveyard. It might not happen, and I wouldn't want it to happen unless Mr. Gaiman thinks it can be as good as this one, but since there are two Jungle Books, I hope that maybe one day, there will be two Graveyard Books. It had a great ending, but it was one of those books that I didn't want to leave behind on the last page. I tried to depict the graveyard a grey, misty place with just a hint of color. I imagine Silas as the darkest thing on a dark night. My scene is from chapter 2, when he brings Bod books and teaches him to read with gravestone letters.
I had some trouble picking a book or character for "C." I've already done Alice's Adventures in Wonderland for "A," so the Cheshire Cat was out. My next thought was to illustrate Captain Bluebear from The 13 and 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers, who is my favorite untrustworthy narrator. I haven't met anyone else who's read it, (it is a large, thick book with a yellow cover, which gives it an unfortunate resemblance to a phone book). Bookstores and libraries seem to shelve it in the adult section, and since I decided to do an alphabet for children's literature, I decided to pick a different title. Coraline it is! I think Coraline was the first Neil Gaiman book I read, but it certainly wasn't the last. (I'm a big fan of The Graveyard Book.) I decided to keep things pretty simple and illustrate Chapter 2, when she's exploring in the white fog. I like Coraline's spunk. I also appreciate the little details, even in the opening chapters, that her world is off kilter. (For example, the neighbors who keep calling her "Caroline.") The nameless cat is fantastic - behaving and speaking just the way I imagine a cat would, if given the ability to converse with humans.
I'm an aspiring author / illustrator.