May 1, 2014

The First Ever Pretty Much World Famous Illustration Contest Finalists! - Come Vote!!

O   H     M Y     G   O  O   D  N   E S   S !!!
O   H     M  Y     G    O    N     E  S S

(Sorry!  I can't help jumping up and down!)

Do you know what time it is???

It's time to announce the finalists for

The First Ever Pretty-Much-World-Famous Illustration Contest!!!



But first I have to say that I was thrilled with what a great turn out we got for a first-ever contest!  I was hoping we'd get 10, and really hoping we'd get 20, so how completely wonderful that we got 35 entries!!!

And they were all so beautiful and creative and well done!

There were 8 fabulous stories for the illustrators to choose from - stories that won the March Madness Writing Contest last month.  Happily, every single story inspired at least 2 illustrators, so all the stories were represented.  The entries broke down as follows:

1. The Three Wiggly Worms Bluff by Wendy Greenley - 6 illustrations
2. Goldilockup by Mike Allegra - 5 illustrations
3. Goldibawks And The Three Pairs by Dawn Young - 2 illustrations
4. The Sweetie Witch by Pen Avey - 4 illustrations
5. The Princess And The Stinky Cheese by Lauri Meyers - 9 illustrations
6. Mongoose's Holi Party by Darshana Khiani - 2 illustrations
7. The "Princess" And The Pete by Jennifer Caritas - 3 illustrations
8. The Jackrabbit Who Cried Gila Monster by Elliah Terry - 4 illustrations

So a very nice spread!

And now, a few words from our illustrious judges, award-winning author/illustrators Iza Trapani and Lisa Thiesing:

Iza said, "Thank you everyone for the wonderful entries!  Lisa and I enjoyed them and regret that we could only pick 6 finalists. You all did a great job.  Keep up the good work!"

Lisa said, "We were so impressed with everyone's enthusiasm and how much effort you all put in!"

I say, many thanks to our wonderful judges for donating their time and expertise to pore over all these entries, carefully weighing the merits of each until they could reach a consensus as to which ones should qualify for the finals.  Many thanks as well to all the very talented illustrators who took the time and care to produce such beautiful book covers for these original stories!  We have enjoyed your work so much, and it's been different and fun to experience a competition for illustration instead of writing!

Please consider each of the following finalists carefully and vote for the one you think you'd be most likely to pluck off a bookshelf :)  Remember that the contest rules specifically asked for art only.  Some artists chose to include the title/author/illustrator anyway, but covers which do not show title/author/illustrator should not be penalized in your judgment.

Although there's no real way to keep these anonymous, I will show the pictures only, no artist names for now (they will all be shown when I announce the winners on Monday May 5.)  I encourage you to share this post with your tribe - the more views these talented illustrators get the better - but I ask that you please not try to influence the vote by saying "Vote for #3!" or whatever.  Let's let these gorgeous book covers speak for themselves.  It's not supposed to be a contest about who has the most FB friends or whatnot.  Thank you all for playing fair.  Because many of the finalists are for the same stories, I have identified them with little notes in parentheses to help you remember which is which on the voting poll.

And now, without further ado, I am pleased to present the finalists!  Each cover is accompanied by a few words from the judges :)

#1.  Cover for The "Princess" And The Pete
Cover image for The "Princess" And The Pete


Judges comments:  This is a cool image and the illustrator has left plenty of space for a great type design.



# 2.  Cover image for Goldilockup (green border)

Cover image for Goldilockup


Judges comments:  The girl is sweet and nicely drawn.  The details and design elements were carefully thought out.



#3  Cover image for Goldilockup (black border)
Cover image for Goldilockup

Judges comments:  This illustration is very well done. It is a humorous, strong, eye-catching image.  It would be very appealing to a lot of young readers.



 #4.  Cover image for The Jackrabbit Who Cried Gila Monster (black background)

Cover image for The Jackrabbit Who Cried Gila Monster

Judges comments:  The character is funny, quirky, interesting and we wonder what he's thinking. We would want to read this book. The whole design is great.



#5.  Cover image for The Jackrabbit Who Cried Gila Monster (3 beds)
Cover image for The Jackrabbit Who Cried Gila Monster

Judges comments: The bunny is cute, with an especially nice face. The picture makes us curious about the story. 



#6.  Cover image for Goldilockup (bears pointing thru bars)


Judges comments:  We thought this cover was a good drawing with a nice composition and colors. We could see it standing out on the Barnes & Noble book wall.

Ready, set, VOTE!

Please vote for your favorite by Sunday May 4 at 5PM EDT!

Boy oh boy is it going to be hard to wait until Monday to find out how these finalists finish up!

Have a great weekend, everyone! :)


Reactions:

107 comments:

  1. Congratulations to all the finalists, very hard choosing from such a wonderful list!

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  2. Nata ArtistaDonnaMay 1, 2014 at 6:08 AM

    congratulations finalists :)

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  3. There were so many wonderful entries! Congratulations finalists! Every illustration up there is beautifully done.

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  4. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikMay 1, 2014 at 7:22 AM

    I voted, but it was hard! So many great choices! Good luck to the finalists! :D

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  5. What a great set of finalists! I'm glad you broke down the numbers because I lost count I which story seemed to pop up the most. I've known my fav from the get go and am glad the judges agreed with me and including it in the final set. :)

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  6. There are terrific! Congratulations finalists!

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  7. Three Cheers to the finalist! Each illustration is very well done, so well done that if I were looking for an illustrator at this moment, I'd consider myself in heaven due to the talent that's been displayed during this fantastic contest. Although I had to cast my vote for one choice, I'd consider all of these finalists winners :-)

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  8. Ruth SchiffmannMay 1, 2014 at 7:57 AM

    Wow, so much talent! Congrats to all the finalists. It was tough, but I voted.

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  9. Again, congrats to the finalists and to all the artists for your wonderful works!

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  10. Wow, congratulations to all of you. What wonderful covers!

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  11. Sallianne NorelliMay 1, 2014 at 8:12 AM

    It was so hard to choose! Everyone is so talented!!!

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  12. Kimberly CowgerMay 1, 2014 at 8:34 AM

    Great Illustrations, it was so hard to decide! This just goes to show that an illustrators ideas can bring a lot to the table for a story--just look at the differences in illustrations made from the same story! Thanks for having this contest Susanna, how great to give illustrators a chance!

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  13. Hooray! My two favorites made it into the finals. Boo-hoo! Now I have to choose just one. Thanks to Susanna and the judges. And congratulations to all the participants, especially the top six. Wonderful contest!

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  14. Fabulous. well done finalists. What a hard job the judges had, glad it wasn't me deciding. :) I voted and put the call out for others to come see the art. :)

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  15. Voted (of course)!

    And this, my dear Susanna, has been the coolest contest ever. It deserves to be pretty much world famous.

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  16. Michelle Heidenrich BarnesMay 1, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    Are you kidding me? How are we supposed to pick just one?! These are ALL brilliant.

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  17. lol, Arlene!

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  18. Thank you, Susanna, Iza and Lisa - your time, effort and care are what motivates us all to put our hearts into it! Another successful growth spurt for me that happened because of your support! Forever grateful!

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  19. Oh how wonderful! These are excellent finalists! Congrats, everyone! I'm so happy for all of you, you've each made excellent illistrations! I know I would have picked these entries for finalists! Now, how to choose which one to vote for.... Uh! So difficult! ^.^ congratulations again, all! And same to those who did not reach finals-- you got yourself out there! I know I've learned a lot. :)

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  20. These are all so great. It's going to be hard to vote. Congrats to everyone who participated!

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  21. Wowser! Way to go illustrators - these are terrific!

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  22. They are awesome. It was difficult to vote for just one! Thank you Susanna, Iza and Lisa.

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  23. All great, but I confess I did have a favorite this time. I reckon Michael Garland is a lucky man seeing the winner's portfolio!

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  24. Thanks for hosting this contest Susanna! They are all brilliant!

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  25. Congrats to all the finalists! They are ALL so great, it's a difficult decision to pick just one. Thank you, Susanna, for all the FUN!

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  26. What a tough choice! They are all very good.

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  27. Vivian KirkfieldMay 1, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    Thanks to Susanna, Iza and Lisa...wonderful choices...each of these would be at home on any bookstore display!!!
    It's going to be difficult to pick just one...but I will because those are the rules. :)
    What an awesome contest, Susanna...maybe I will give it a try next year.

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  28. It was terribly difficult to decide on a favorite. They're all fantastic!

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  29. Laura Anne MillerMay 1, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    Super congrats to the finalists and to all who entered. I learned so much from everyone's entries as well as being inspired. I appreciated this opportunity soooo much and had such fun. I love these finalists' illustrations - they are full of personality and make you want to read the story. Thanks Iza and Lisa for your time. And Susanna, thank You for making this community a family of support and encouragement - and FUN!

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  30. Oh wow, that was tough! I did have a favorite too, but really all of them are really good and I could see all of them standing out at the Barnes & Noble book wall. Though I haven't had time to enter this competition I have really enjoyed seeing all the entries.

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  31. Thanks for voting, Teresa! I'm glad your favorite was among the choices :)

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  32. I reckon he is :) And the winner will be lucky to have him critique!

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  33. Thank you for voting, Stacy :) It sure is a difficult choice!

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  34. Aren't they amazing? I really feel that any one of them could be on the shelf at B&N!

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  35. And congrats to the writers of the wonderful stories that inspired these amazing illustrations! :)

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  36. So true, Ellen! It's hard to pick form the final 6, but it was very hard to narrow down to 6. The entries were all amazing, yours included! :)

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  37. Impressive! I voted, but it wasn't easy.

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  38. Alayne Kay ChristianMay 1, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    Congratulations to all the finalists. All entries are fantastic. Tough to choose for voting.

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  39. Well we sure were partial to your effort, Julie! :) I'm glad you enjoyed the contest!

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  40. I know! Seriously! It's totally unfair :)

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  41. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Cheryl! And Ellen's illustrations were really superb. She should be pleased and proud :)

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  42. Have some chocolate. It will help :)

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  43. Hahaha! :) You may be right! I love the top 6, but I loved yours too :)

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  44. Thank you, Mike, I'm glad you think so! I'd say the fact that 3 of the final 6 belonged to your story proves that it's an inspiring idea!

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  45. Thank you for voting and sharing, Cecilia, and for your wonderful entry. I'm glad I wasn't a judge this time - I never could have chosen!

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  46. I'm glad you enjoyed the contest, Joanne! I certainly enjoyed your entry! Thanks so much for voting - I know it was tough! :)

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  47. It was my pleasure, Kimberly! I think we all got to learn something about how an illustrator's vision can influence the story - very interesting!

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  48. They're amazing, aren't they Sylvia? If we do this again, I hope you'll have time to enter. Hope your mentor thingy went well!

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  49. They're all amazing, aren't they, Ruth? Thanks so much for voting!

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  50. I completely agree, Angela! And I think we all know where to go the next time we need a book cover designed :)

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  51. They really are incredible, aren't they, Tina? Thanks for voting!

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  52. Thanks for voting, Erik! We're going to need every vote we can get, I'm sure!

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  53. The finalists are amazing, Heather, but so were all the entires, including yours!

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  54. Thanks for trying to choose :) And for your wonderful story that inspired many of the entries!

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  55. Thanks for voting, Yvonne! And if we do this again, I hope you'll have time to enter. I'd love to see an illustration from you! :)

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  56. I'm so glad you enjoyed the contest, Laura! We certainly all enjoyed your 2 wonderful entries! It has been really fun. I hope we'll be able to do it again at some point. I'm very grateful for the community we have here - it is something special!

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  57. Thank you for making a difficult decision, Jill! I know how hard it was!

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  58. It's been such a pleasure running this contest, Vivian. So much fun to see all this talent, and meet some new people! If we do it again, I hope you'll give it a spin :)

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  59. They really are, aren't they, Maria? It's so hard to have to choose just one!

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  60. It's been my pleasure, Cathy! Thank YOU for your gorgeous entry! I'm sorry everyone can't win!

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  61. Thanks for entering, Telaina! Yours was terrific too!

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  62. And congratulations to you for two "firsts" in this contest! I wish everyone could win!

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  63. Thanks Susanna, but the finalists' illustrations are out of the ball park! I have learned so much from this! Thank you for having this competition. I loved seeing everyone's take on the stories.

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  64. Chocolate ALWAYS helps. :)

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  65. Nata ArtistaDonnaMay 1, 2014 at 4:53 PM

    Thank you Susanna !!! It was soooooo difficult to choose but I voted ��

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  66. Thank you, Susanna. I'm so delighted she got to take part. She said she learned so much and is already looking forward to your next contest. :-)

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  67. Spoken like a true kindred spirit :)

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  68. I'm glad if you learned from it, and it was fun to see all the different takes! :)

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  69. Thanks for giving it the old college try :)

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  70. These were so much fun to look at! And hard to choose a favorite. I liked to concept of looking at these as though they were on the wall at B&N, and which ones would stand out. Having shopped with my kids, I know how important that can be! Good luck to everyone.

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  71. It is a good idea. Of course, ultimately, I take EVERYTHING down off the wall and read it, so I'm not a very good barometer. I guess I'd have to decide which one I'd pick FIRST! :)

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  72. Whoaa, made it to the final 6! So so so honored! Congrats to all finalists! Special thanks to the wonderful Susanna who made this contest possible, to Lisa Thiesing and Iza Trapani for the positive comments and everyone for checking out my work. Now excuse me, I'm going to vote for my favorite (so glad it's up there as well!)

    Oh and Susanna, how about sharing the links to the bigger version of the pics? Would make it easier for the general audience to see the details of each image and cast a vote. Just an input. :)

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  73. Congratulations to the finalists...brilliant job :)

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  74. Renee LaTulippeMay 2, 2014 at 8:33 AM

    My favorite is in the finals, too. Hooray! The entries were all quite impressive. Sigh. Your contest has now made me want to take art lessons, Susanna!

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  75. What a talented group and a fun contest!!

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  76. I just wanted to say what a great time Iza and I had judging this contest. It was hard coming up with the final list of 6. There were so many great entries to choose from. Congratulations to everyone who entered! Everyone seemed to put a lot of thought and effort into their pieces. It was interesting to see the different takes on many of the same stories. To all who entered - "Keep up the good work!" To the finalists - "Your work is amazing! Congratulations!"

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  77. Sorry, Louis, I didn't think of that. I haven't run an illustration contest before and I was just thinking it would be easy for people to be able to see all the finalists in one place. I will add the links.

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  78. Louis, I have replaced the original images with larger versions. I know it's not perfect, but if I put links back to the blogs/sites that will ruin whatever anonymity we have, which I know is thin to begin with, but I'd like to try to preserve some. I kind of assumed that most people would have seen the originals during the contest and would really just need a little reminder of which was which to vote for. If this is unacceptable to the illustrators, I will try to think up a different system if I ever run an illustration contest again. My sincere apologies if you feel this is minimizing your art. That was most certainly not my intention!!!

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  79. Sheri McCrimmonMay 2, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    These are all so amazing! I would read them all, but I did vote - it was difficult to choose just one.

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  80. Now it's a lot better, Susanna. Thanks!!

    Please, no need for an apology... your system worked GREAT, and I personally do prefer to see all the images in one page. I just had some FB friends yesterday telling me that the images were to small for them to see the details so they a bit hesitated to vote - all's good now though, so no worries. :)

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  81. pennyklostermannMay 2, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    Holy Hunk-a-talent! Love.this.contest! Brilliant lady that you are, Susanna. Congrats to the finalists and thanks to all who entered! So fun to look at all of your awesome illustrations. These are all wonderful so voting wasn't easy, but one was so irresistible that I know I would "judge it by its cover" and grab it right off the shelves.

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  82. Oh, good. I'm glad! There may be a better way to do this. I'll have to think on it for if we do another illustration contest!

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  83. I know! Weren't they all amazing? It makes me wonder how editors ever choose for PBs! :)

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  84. I've had such fun with this! It's been amazing to see all the talent. I'm filing all these names away for the moment when I need art for something! :)

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  85. Thanks so much for being a judge, Lisa! We couldn't have done it without you!!! :)

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  86. So glad you've enjoyed it! Your story was very inspiring :)

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  87. It would make me want to take art lessons too except in my case there is no hope. I just want to be able to draw like that my magic :)

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  88. And congratulations to you, too, Catherine, for 3 gorgeous entries!!! :)

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  89. Just now I just happened to catch Colleen's post on Facebook (I'm almost NEVER on there!) which is how I found out finalists were picked! lol (My email didn't arrive yet, I guess!) Anyway, with all the wonderful illustrations, I am VERY complimented to have made it as a finalist. Honestly, with each additional piece of great artwork I saw, I didn't expect this. It had to be very difficult for the judges to eliminate so many entries, and seeing the ones here, even with it narrowed down, I'm going to have a difficult time deciding who to vote for of my favorites! I can only say it won't be for myself! lol Good luck to everyone! This has been a lot of fun, Susanna, and I'm excited to see how this turns out!

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  90. Lisa and Iza, thanks so much for taking the time to do this for Susanna and we artists. It had to be so difficult and I'm VERY flattered!

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  91. I know! I have two that really grab me and I need to come up with criteria to determine which one to pick! lol

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  92. I'm dieting so CHOCOLATE is not an option for me! Any other suggestions? lol

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  93. OK, I tried not to belabor it too much and drive myself crazy. I was able to pick one! lol :D

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  94. Stanley & KatrinaMay 3, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    Wonderful set of finalists! Voted. Best of luck everyone - it was tough to pick one. :)

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  95. Couldn't have said that any better, Laura :)

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  96. ...and thanks for your talent and time, too, Iza :D This has been a lot of fun!

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  97. Yep, that's why the marriage between text and words has to be "just right" to make it the best it can be, for sure. And with that said, even though Uri Shulevitz's book WRITING WITH PICTURES is directed at illustrators, I most DEfinitely think PB authors (and any book authors which require illustrations) should read that book. In my opinion, it's one of the best out there on the subject!

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  98. It took me all day, but I FINALLY read ALL the stories the illustration entries were based on. I'm sorry I hadn't read them all in full back during the contest, but life just doesn't allow : /


    I couldn't post there, so I'm posting here: they were ALL fantastic!!! Now I can REALLY appreciate all the entries for this contest. Just outstanding, everyone :) Great stuff, Susanna :D

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  99. They really were terrific, weren't they? And the illustrators all completed them so well! Both contests have been so much fun!!! :)

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  100. Nope! And I've gotten *smacked* via email at least once for NOT voting for myself, AND my boyfriend won't let up on me with his comments which are TOTALLY cracking me up, telling me that I'M the one who has "twisted morals" LOL This has been more fun than I ever could've expected! lol
    Hey---I just did what I thought was right :)

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  101. Well I for one admire your ethics! Bravo :)

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  102. It was dreadfully tough! Thank so much for voting! :)

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