Thursday, September 25, 2008

Little Panda Reviews!!!

Here are the first reviews for Little Panda. They are wonderful, what a happy feeling! I am so glad that the reviewers liked what I like about the book. They have described Little Panda so much better than I could.


Grandfather Panda shares an outlandish tale of flying tigers with his grandson in this slyly amusing tale. The story of Bao Bao and his mother Lin Lin flows in all serenity and peacefulness as Grandfather describes the idyllic days of the young panda. Through play, Bao Bao’s mother imparts crucial survival tips: Running, wrestling and climbing to safety are all incorporated into Bao Bao’s frolics. However, when Lin Lin must travel to search for bamboo, she cautions Bao Bao about the slender tree he has picked for a napping spot, to no avail. When a large tiger creeps up the fragile tree for a meal, Bao Bao uses cleverness and a bit of luck to escape. Liwska’s tale is generously imbued with a gentle humor that is echoed in her digitally colored pencil drawings. Keeping the roly-poly black-and-white principals just this side of saccharine is no mean feat, but both text and illustrations are up to the challenge as they unfold with wily deliberation. Much like this whimsical tale, the elegant illustrations hold small surprises for perceptive readers to enjoy. (Picture Book. 3-6)

Publishers Weekly, September 22, 2008:

Little Panda Renata Liwska. Houghton Mifflin, $12.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-618-96627-1
Grandfather Panda has a treat for his little grandson: a “once upon a time” story about another little panda and “the tiger that flew.” “That's silly,” says the grandson, but, as promised, the fictional tiger, who had a panda dinner on his mind, really does fly, thanks to some quick panda thinking and the laws of physics. In her authorial debut, Liwska (illustrator of Nikolai, the Only Bear) delivers a prime example of unadulterated storytelling—her tale unspools not with any Big Life Lesson in mind, but just for the old-fashioned pleasure of one generation connecting to another. In every word, readers can hear the wise, wry voice of a narrator who knows how to hold a child's attention. The illustrations, a combination of pencil and soft digital color, evoke the simplicity of traditional Chinese art and underscore the intimacy of the book's small format. Ages 3–6. (Oct.)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Old Sketch

I was looking through some old sketchbooks and this one caught my attention.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Nice Light From Yesterday

Our little wall of art, nicely lit.

Besides our own, most are from shows at Uppercase Gallery.
The cropped eye is Doug Fraser. The little paintings, "Edwina" and "Edwin" are Ryan Heshka. The dog in the center is Camilla Engman. Notorious is Jody Hewgill. The little orange critter is Mia Hanson.

Mike has posted some photos of the rest of our Art Wall on his blog HERE.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Mike and I are working to put together a 'Little Panda' website due to be finished in a few weeks. It will talk about the making of the book as well as pandas in general. I am going to post some of the content here as we finish it.

This is a early draft about the inspiration for the book and a picture.

Inspiration for the Book "Little Panda"

Renata’s interest in Panda’s began not in a mysterious bamboo forest in China, but while staying in a much, much less exotic ‘budget’ hotel (small and kind of scary) in Bonn, Germany. While briefly flicking through the meager late night television offerings she chanced upon a news story featuring video of some men trying to coax a panda from a tree. This scene was followed by a heart warming clip of a mother panda holding her newborn panda cub. The commentary was in German so the story behind the pictures was a mystery.

But the images stuck with her and when she got back home to Canada she searched "panda" on the internet and so it began. The inspiration for this book grew from viewing pandas on the internet. Watching the adventures and misadventures of panda cubs. It was the result of many hours spent studying the behaviors, activities, and daily routines of pandas. Their first step, first taste of bamboo, first tree they climbed, and the first tree they fell from. With this book Renata hopes to give the reader a little taste of the joy she has felt from observing these wonderful animals.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


This is a sketch based on an old 19th century drawing. Having fun drawing them.