Rock Stars of Reading part 4: Leaving Lane Smith

Monday, April 6, 2009.

In the final of three parts that feature Author/Illustrator Lane Smith (on JOMB), we go through Lane’s archives to see ten years worth of idea development for his amazing book John, Paul, George and Ben.  Then, we hit the road for Northampton with a fun stop at the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Scultpure Gardens in Springfield, Massachusetts.


Rock Stars of Reading part 3: Lane Smith cont’d

Sunday, April 5, 2009.

Author/Illustrator Lane Smith (on JOMB) walks us through his thought process and style decisions for two books he’s working on that will be published in 2009 — Princess Hyacinth (The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated) with Florence Parry Heide due out September 22, 2009; and The Big Elephant in the Room due out July 7, 2009.  He also demonstrates how he takes original sketches, imports them into Photoshop and turns them into digital, production-ready artwork.


Bloggers and podcasters take note of the interview segment with Lane during the end credits!

Rock Stars of Reading part 2: Lane Smith

Thursday, April 2, 2009.

This is the first of three videos that document our visit with Lane Smith (on JOMB) and Molly Leach. Here, Lane shows us original artwork from The Stinky Cheese Man, describes the production process for The Happy Hocky Family books, shares his passion for children’s books — old and new — and compares traditional collage with digital collage.


Interview with Lane Smith

Monday, August 25, 2008.

Whether the theme is politics, science or math, Lane Smith is always able to entertain his readers with a striking relationship between words and art. And today, August 25, 2008, he’s celebrating his 49th birthday. Happy birthday, Lane!

On this edition of Just One More Book!!, author and illustrator Lane Smith (on JOMB) talks about being a custodial host and a published author — both with Disney, writing children’s books with a political theme and how the book publishing industry is constantly evolving.

Books mentioned:

Also reviewed on Just One More Book!!

Subscribe to our free email newsletter to hear additional discussions with Lane Smith and other guests of the Just One More Book!! children’s book podcast.

Rock Stars of Reading

Saturday, April 4, 2009.

In November 2008, the Just One More Book!! children’s book podcast set out on a six-day road trip to live, eat, socialize, paint and read with children’s book creators.

Producers Andrea Ross and Mark Blevis and their two daughters, Lucy (9) and Bayla (7), lived by a tight schedule of studio visits, lunches, dinners, round table discussions and gallery visits.  The trip was video and audio recorded and has been produced as a series of documentary video and audio programs that will be published on the Internet, for free, beginning Tuesday, March 31, 2009.

The videos are snappy and entertaining and feature uniquely intimate footage.

The goal of the series is to give children’s books and the children’s book community their long-overdue pop-media treatment.

Episodes include:

  • Lane Smith discusses original artwork and his creative process
  • Diane de Groat shows how she mixes digital and physical art
  • Jarrett Krosoczka paints with Lucy and Bayla
  • Jeff Mack explains the story behind some of his books
  • R. Michelson Galleries’ 19th Annual Children’s Illustration Exhibition

Notable facts:

  • round-trip by rental car:  1500kms
  • long-distance travel time:  20hrs
  • video recordings:  13hrs
  • audio recordings:  25hrs
  • photograghs:  1200 (keepers)
  • editing time per video episode:  16hrs (average, roughly 330 hours total)
  • the project is completely self-funded (no advertisers, sponsors or grants)

Guests include Jeanne Birdsall, Nick Clark, Diane de Groat, Tony Diterlizzi, Corinne Demas, Jane Dyer, Scott Fischer, Mordicai Gerstein, Paul Jacobs, Norton Juster, Jarrett Krosoczka, Jeff Mack, Richard Michelson, Leslea Newman, Lane Smith, David Ezra Stein, Heidi Stemple, Mo Willems and Jane Yolen.

Quotes from Mark Blevis’ blog post about the series:

What I’ve noticed over time is that children’s books and their creators have been treated very traditionally in the media.  In fact, I’ve even noticed this on the web where some of the most interesting interviews with authors and illustrators have been low on production value (e.g. ten-minute video interviews of a talking head).  There is so much talk about the importance of children’s books and literacy and how fun it is to learn to read and to read aloud, but the way we promote this in the media suggests otherwise.

I’ve drawn on some of the most entertaining and engaging ways to produce programs that I’ve experienced to date, and have come up with a few ideas of my own.  The result is a series of videos which give the children’s book industry the pop-culture treatment enjoyed by niches such as fast food, the environment, movie stars, sports, music and technology, to name a few.  My hope is that this approach will make the videos and the subject interesting to everyone, from those that are passionate about children’s books and creativity, to those that aren’t particularly interested in books at all.

Episode index:

Filed under:

Rock Stars of Reading, part 1: Road Trip

Tuesday, March 31, 2009.

It was a little idea that turned into a couple of phone calls, then a few emails and eventually exploded into two-and-a-half months of planning.  Finally, after a restless night, Just One More Book!! (Mark and Andrea, and their two daughters, Lucy and Bayla) set out early in the morning of November 12, 2008 for a six-day road trip to live, eat, socialize, paint and read with children’s book creators in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Part 1 of this series recounts the story of how the trip came to be and includes footage of the drive from Ottawa, Ontario to Roxbury, Connecticut.  It also features photographs and video footage of some of the people we spent time with and places we visited — all of which will appear later in the series.  The travel sequence ends with our arrival at Lane Smith’s and Molly Leach’s home.


  • Theme: Woolly Mammoth by Robert Farrell (from Sun House Fury, part 1)
  • Metal Stabs by Vergel Evans (from Lx7 Promo Release)
  • Animus Girl by Savium (from Inane and Serene)

Rock Stars of Reading video series coming March 31

Thursday, March 26, 2009.

Finally!!!  Mark has produced more than half of the videos from our six-day holiday to Connecticut and Northampton — our November 2008 Rock Stars of Reading road trip.  This means we’ll begin publishing the video series, one video at-a-time, beginning on March 31; filling up the “off-days” in the Just One More Book!! publishing cycle until all of the videos are available.

To prove this is really happening, here is a promotional video for the series.  It’s an extract from Part 1 and features some of our car travel as well as photographs and video clips from the entire trip, all cut to the amazing song Animus Girl by savium.  Look for the faces of Richard Michelson, Paul O. Zelinsky, Jane Yolen, Jeanne Birdsall, Mo Willems, Jane Dyer, Jarrett Krosoczka, Diane de Groat, Lane Smith, Corinne Dumas, Jeff Mack and MANY MORE!

With the exception of this promotional video, we will not be embedding the videos into the Just One More Book!! RSS feed.  You’ll have to come here to watch them.  Each video will be about 15 minutes long.

Video Teaser of our Children’s Book Roadtrip

Monday, January 19, 2009.

We’re hard at work editing 13 hours of video, 25 hours of audio and over 2,000 pictures into a series of short documentaries about our 6-day children’s book roadtrip. To reward your patience, we’ve created this quick teaser of our visit with Lane Smith and Molly Leach.

Subscribers of our monthly email newsletter were able to see this video first! Our newsletter also features extra news items and additional audio never published on our website. Don’t miss out! Sign up for our monthly newsletter on our website,

Mass. Creativity: Share our 6-days with the Stars

Monday, November 17, 2008.

We’re back from six unbelievable days of revelry and reverence in Massachusetts and Connecticut with some of Children’s Literature’s greatest authors and illustrators. Over the next many weeks, we’ll be publishing audio and video coverage of some of our fun and festivities.

What you will see and hear on JustOneMoreBook!! in the coming weeks:

What you won’t see or hear on JustOneMoreBook!!:

  • Lane Smith’s Flashlight tour in search of a spooky log cabin in the woods
  • dinners with Lane and Molly (who knew Molly was also an awesome cook!)
  • watching videos with Lane and Molly
  • Lucy & Bayla’s love affairs with cats Pretzel and Noodle, and dogs Mollie, Argos and Ralph
  • the tragic loss of Desperaux
  • getting lost on the way to Richard Michelson’s Gallery
  • getting lost on the way to Richard Michelson’s house
  • dinners with Richard and Jennifer Michelson
  • getting lost on the way to Jarrett Krosoczka’s house
  • breakfast with Paul O. Zelinsky and his wife Deborah, and Richard and Jennifer Michelson
  • Lucy and Bayla clowning with Mo Willems and his daughter, Trixie
  • fabulous post-gallery pizza with the KidLit stars
  • our sobbing daughters when we had to come home

A massive thank you to all the talented, generous and extremely down-to-earth geniuses who made our Picture Book Pilgrimage a vacation of a lifetime.

We hope you’ll join us for, and enjoy, our Mass. Creativity coverage. Stay tuned….

What do you think of read-a-thons?

Saturday, November 8, 2008.

Read-a-thons are a common tool used by schools and literacy organizations to motivate children to read. In fact, the school that our two daughters attend has an annual read-a-thon and their summer camp acknowledged reading achievements.

On this edition, we reflect on our own reading experiences as children and consider the impact of read-a-thons now that we’re parents. Listen in as we wonder aloud about the effectiveness of read-a-thons, ways in which we can motivate children to love reading and the importance of preschool emphasis on language, pre-literacy and a love of reading.

Links to resources mentioned:

HOTLINE VOICES: Illustrator Holly Dewolf explains why The Stinky Cheese Man (by Jon Sciezka and Lane Smith) is her favourite book.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on a favourite children’s book. Leave us a voice message on the JOMB listener hotline, +1-206-350-6487.

Filed under: Discussions,Podcast

Extra! Extra!: Just One More Book! Newsletter

Thursday, September 18, 2008.

Just One More Book! PodcastToday we will be sending out sent out the first edition of our Just One More Book!!  e-Newsletter.

This edition contains announcements about our upcoming:

  • Picture Book Pilgrimage,
  • children’s book and literacy related conference activities, and
  • exciting autumn guests

as well as extra, unpublished audio from our recent conversations with:

If you would like to subscribe to our free newsletter, you can find a sign-up form here.

Filed under: News and Notes

Listener Submitted Reviews #24

Saturday, August 2, 2008.

On this edition, we play a listener submitted review from New Zealand and two that we recorded in the Rogers Television green room in Ottawa.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on a favourite children’s book. Send your MP3 recorded or type-written review in email to, or phone it in to our JOMB listener hotline (206-350-6487).

Need some inspiration? Give a listen to 23 previous listener submitted review episodes here.


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