Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Makin' Art, subtitled: Know My Plight

People! Tarry not! The deadline to get yourself one of my supersweet FREE watercolors of Lydia riding her beloved horse, from my new book HELLO! HELLO! is fast approaching. I need you to get your books bought and receipts sent in to me by this Saturday, December 1st to make the cut. I say tarry not!

In case you were wondering, this is just a day in the life here. This is what I go through to make one of these watercolors. It's hard out there, folks. See my blog post right here for details on how to secure one of these (maybe/maybe not tear-stained) for your own self!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Holiday! HELLO! HELLO! Art For Free! Final Week!

This is it, folks. The final week of my big "buy hello! hello! = get free art" campaign. The last day to send in your receipts for book purchases is Saturday, December 1. Help me help you to take care of some of your holiday shopping right here, right now. For complete details, please visit this blog post where I lay everything out very clearly (if not very wordily).

The last batch of orders I shipped out. Another fat batch is in the works right now. Get in this batch, man!

The gist of it is, if you buy one or more copies of my books (give them as holiday gifts!), I will reward you with artwork (give this as holiday gifts!) at no cost to you. That's right. This is WIN-WIN. And. At. No. Cost. To. You. I just need to see some receipts people. Again, read over good this blog post.

Here I am, taking hello! hello! out on the road. I thank my daughter (she's inside the book) and I thank the pony.

To quickly recap, if you buy one copy of hello! hello!, you will receive this:

A set of signed postcards that feature my artwork plus one signed and personalized bookplate.

And if you buy two copies of hello! hello!, you will receive this:

Your choice of one signed proof (any spread from within the book) plus two signed and personalized bookplates. (Proofs are first come, first serve and going fast, people.)

And if you buy three copies of hello! hello!, you will receive this sweet, sweet gem:

A very special hand watercolored print (only the black line drawing is a print, the color is applied by me, by hand, by brush, so every one I make is different!) plus three signed and personalized bookplates.

Time is running out for this offer, so let's make a run for it! Did I say it's all over this Saturday, December 1? Oh, I guess I did. Look, I totally want to hook you up with some art in exchange for you totally hooking me up and you up with some copies of hello! hello! ok? If you've already participated in this promo, I hope you'll spread the good word of your experience on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. If you haven't participated and are on the fence, get off that sucker and go buy books, man!




hello! hello!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

First batch of hello! hello! art is en route!

Last week I had a book deadline to complete, so the orders for my "buy a copy or copies of hello! hello! = get free art" campaign were piling up. By the time it reached 21 orders, I was finally done with that book-in-progress. It took a while to complete all the watercolors and assembling of stuff and the packaging itself on all this took its own mammoth amount of time. But it's been so much fun and so worthwhile connecting with picture book lovers on this here project.

So, if you would like a free watercolor (as shown on the top of the stack in the photo) or a free proof from hello! hello! or free signed bookplate(s) and postcards, please see this blog post that lays this offer all out on the table. The thing ends on November 30, so act now!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

HELLO! HELLO! art exchange, SLJ, school visits, oh my!

As I'm preparing final art for a picture book, I thought I'd pop in and update on a few things.

First, I'm nearly finished collecting and finishing up art for an amazing amount of takers on my "buy a copy--or copies--of HELLO! HELLO! and I will give you some art for free" deal! I'm so thrilled with how many people have taken me up on this offer in its first week. If you haven't read about this, please check out my blog post here. Buy 1 book gets you a signed book plate and art post cards. Buy 2 books gets you a signed proof of one of the spreads from the book. Buy 3 books and I give you a hand watercolored drawing (the drawing is printed, the watercolor is not) of Lydia riding atop her horse! I ain't even playing. If you partake, I just need to see receipts for book purchases at And act now, because this offer is only good until the end of November! Get your holiday shopping done here!

A whopping stack of stuff getting ready to pack up and ship out. Thanks SO much, everyone! Keep 'em coming!!

Secondly, a great new review just came in for HELLO! HELLO! from School Library Journal:

.K-Gr 6—Bored with her electronic equipment, a girl finds a new world to explore in this nearly wordless picture book. Cordell uses pen-and-ink and watercolor snapshots in a sea of white space to great effect, along with text in an old, impersonal computer typeface, to show the distance between the child and her parents and baby brother, all of whom are absorbed in their own devices. A colorful leaf blows through the door inviting the child outside where she encounters the sunny natural world in a spread that bursts with color. The limited text is now warm and handwritten. The girl says hello to a ladybug, a flower, and a horse. Her imagination soars as she rides the horse through this bright expanse and meets many animals-until her cell phone rings. The text goes back to the bland computer font and the page turns white as the horse stops suddenly, bringing the whole experience crashing to a halt. The girl rushes back to frantic, worried parents and the gray, electronic home she left behind. She gives her mother the gift of the leaf in exchange for the laptop, her father a flower in exchange for his phone, and introduces her brother to the ladybug. Together the family enjoys the outdoors. In fewer words than the standard tweet, Cordell shows how members of a family can reconnect. This is a must-have for starting a conversation about what can be experienced and shared with others once the electronic devices are turned off and the imagination is turned on.—Kristine M. Casper, Huntington Public Library, NY

Thirdly, I just did my first school visit where I read and discussed HELLO! HELLO! with the kiddos, teachers, librarians, and parents at a k-2 school in Glencoe, IL. It went ever-so-swimmingly. The school's lovely librarian, Julia Eidelman, was kind enough to provide the following pictures.

My first school visit reading HELLO! HELLO! was 11/13/12 in Glencoe, IL! Here I wow the kids with my tales of epic character development.

Ok then, Let's Draw!

Cracking myself up with this weird on-the-fly drawing-on-demand mustachioed basketball playing horse. Um, yeah.

It was so much fun reading HELLO! HELLO! to the kids and teachers. I also picked up a few new tricks I can do while reading it. And hey, lookit, my arm makes a shadow!

One more drawing-on-demand. I ask the kids to give me a favorite animal. Then I ask the kids to tell me what their mom or dad does for work, if it's something cool. This is a moose who engineers airplanes. His name is, of course, Mark.

If you would like to have me come speak at your school, please get in touch ( and let's discuss my availability, fees, and presentation. I am all about spreading the gospel of this book and I'd love to meet your school's students and teachers and librarians!

hello! hello!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

HELLO! HELLO! Buy my book = get free art!

Here at Cordell Industries, we are not above a good bribe. So as of today, if you buy my new book, hello! hello!, you will be rewarded with artwork by this guy. Here's what I'm talking about:

IF YOU BUY ONE COPY OF HELLO! HELLO!, I will send you (on my dime) a signed and drawn on bookplate, personalized with your name(s) of choice. This bookplate will be an archival (acid free) label that, once received, can be applied to the spot of your choosing within your very own copy of hello! hello!. For buying one copy of hello! hello!, I will also send you a selection of postcards that feature my artwork, all signed by the artist (that's me). This bookplate will look something like this:

The postcards look like this:

IF YOU BUY TWO COPIES OF HELLO! HELLO!, I will send you (on my dime) two signed and drawn in bookplates, and a signed proof of one of the spreads from within the book. These are proofs that are used to get the book's final printed color just right. These are pages or "spreads" taken directly from the book, flat (unfolded) and in poster-like form. They are a wee bit dinged up from having folks at the publisher glaring at them and then from having my own eyes glaring at them, but this is the nature of the thing. It's nothing personal. Not to worry, they are beautiful and very limited and special! And one of these could be yours. You can request your favorite spread, but it will be first come, first serve. If I run out of hello! hello! proofs, I can offer proofs from one of my other books or come up with something even cooler to give you. Proofs will look something like this:

That top one, I expect, I hope, will go quick, so do not delay!

IF YOU BUY THREE (or more!) COPIES OF HELLO! HELLO!, I will send you (on my dime).... wait for it... a signed print of this (below) drawing from the book that will be hand watercolored by the artist (again, that is me). Only the line art/drawing is printed from my original drawing used in the book. The color is applied all by my own right, non-mechanical brush-waving hand. Along with this lovely artwork you will receive three (or more, if need be!) signed bookplates, of course. This art will be on a piece of 8" x 10" Arches watercolor paper and is ready to be framed (in other words, I ain't framing it). Every one I do will be slightly different, natch. But it will more/less look like this:

Now... you might be saying "why on Earth would I need more than one copy of your book?!" To which I say, "why, to give the extra(s) out as gifts, man!" With the holidays right around the corner, I can't think of a better way to fill that "what'm I gonna give this guy/girl/kid" void than with beautifully illustrated books and free art. Am I right or am I right?

And now... Naturally, I'm gonna need some proof that you, y' know, bought the book(s). I will need to see a copy of your receipt(s). Email this to me here: Or private message me on Facebook. And I would love it if you could also send me a photo of you and/or the recipient of the book posing the book. I do not want this because I am some kind of weirdo. Well, ok, maybe I'm a weirdo, but I'm not that kind of weirdo. I would only want your photos to post on the blog here for fun (if that's ok with you).

Lastly... No forgeries and no funny business. I am not over here "rolling in it" if that's what you think. Not even close. So screwing me over is not like "taking down the man." I'm just an honest dude trying to make an honest living and trying to shoe the baby and feed the mouths and keep the heat and water on and keep the cat medicated for his constipation problem. Do not soil your karma by being uncool, know what I mean?

Why am I doing this? This book is incredibly important to me. If you want to know the long reason why, click here. So yes, I want to get my book out there and in front of as many eyes as possible, to get as many people as possible talking about it and what it's about, yes. But it's more than that. The spirit of hello! hello! is connecting with people. And I want to do just that. I want to connect with people who are buying my book and who love it enough to give it to someone else and who love it enough to want a piece of art to remember all of this by.

Hey, it's that hello! hello! book trailer again!

Let us connect.

And FINALLY... this offer is not open-ended. It will expire at the end of the month. The deadline to send me your receipts (and photos) will be, let's say, Saturday, December 1. So do not delay, act now, get your holiday shopping underway today!

Well... one more thing. I do not wish to tell you where to spend your money. But you might want to know, and probably you already do, it would be really cool if you bought books at your local brick-and-mortar bookstore. Why? Because bookstores are beautiful, warm places that employ beautiful warm people who love books and love to talk to you about books. Brick-and-mortar businesses keep your neighbors employed and fed and keep your community in good health. If we don't support our local businesses, we're gonna have one more ugly vacant building with one more ugly "for lease" sign in the window. But if you must buy online, by all means go forth! I do not judge.

That is it. Thank you.

hello! hello!

Ok, ok... I'm almost done already. If you like the sound of all this, please spread the word via Facebook, Twitter, email, blogs, what have you. Let's rally 'round this thing why don't we?

Monday, November 5, 2012

HELLO! HELLO! @ Librarian's Quest

This morning, a new review posted here of hello! hello! from Margie Myers, at her blog, Librarian's Quest. I first came to know Ms. Myers' writing when she wrote this insanely detailed and astute and "dang she totally got this book!" review of ANOTHER BROTHER. In terms of reviews, it was the best one I'd ever read of ANO BRO. Since then, I've been following her blog and reading her takes on many of her and my own favorite new picture books. What I love is how you can totally feel her love for the picture book in the words she writes. It is immediately apparent that she sits with her favorites and looks and reads them over and over with absolute appreciation and devotion. Because she picks up on so many details that, I'd think, only the illustrator and/or author would've built in, not fully knowing if the reader would ever even notice.

Her review of hello! hello! is another great piece to add to Librarian's Quest. If you like picture books, and I hope/trust you do, then do pop in on this blog from time to time. It's spot on. She really gets it.

Thank you, Margie!

Friday, November 2, 2012

HELLO! HELLO! is just a baby, really.

hello! hello! is a whopping 3 days old today. Thank you so much to everyone who has bought a copy (or copies) and/or talked about the book and/or shared info about the book and/or even thought nice things about the book in spare moments throughout the day.

This week, two of my favorite people in the kids book sphere have helped me welcome her into the world.

On Tuesday, John Schumacher posted an interview with me here at his blog, Watch. Connect. Read., as well as a contest where he is giving away TWO COPIES of hello! hello!. All you have to do is enter your name in the allotted space at the bottom of the blog post. Easy peasy.

Julie Danielson conducted an interview with me here at her column at Kirkus yesterday. Always fun hanging out with Jules and next week she is going to be posting at her blog, 7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast, a "director's cut" version of the Kirkus piece along with lots of sketches, final art, studies, documentation I sent over from hello! hello!.

And today I will leave you with this...

and this...

If you are so inclined or inspired, I so hope you will share the above book trailer and poster via Twitter, Facebook, blogs, or any other preferred social media platform to help me continue on with the grassroots getting-the-word-out.

Thank you!

hello! hello!