Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Jane and Mizmow Out Today!!!

 Jane and Mizmow

Finally!!! The first picture book I wrote and illustrated is out online and on store shelf.  I can hardly believe it.  To think I wrote the first draft of this five years ago waiting for a flight at JFK airport.  It hit me like a ton of lightning bolt bugs.  Actually it sorta began a little bit before that. The first time I saw the characters was when my lovely wife asked for a watercolor for our anniversary.  I ended up drawings this little girl and her giant fluffy yellow monster.  Which is why this book is dedicated to my wife and best friend Isabelle.  The adventures of these two happened after the watercolor... and still continue... in my head.  Jane and Mizmow have also to starred in two short Flight anthology stories.  And now, after what seems so long, here they are in they're very own picture book.  I can't really describe how thrilled I am.

There have been some incredible reviews already for Jane and Mizmow.

Here's what Publishers Weekly had to say:

In his first solo outing, illustrator Armstrong (Rhino, Rhino, Sweet Potato) offers a charmingly illustrated story, full of physical comedy, about a girl’s bumpy friendship with a monster. Jane is waifish and shaggy-haired, while Mizmow is a pudgy, furry owl-like creature with rabbit ears. When they first meet, after Jane shakes Mizmow out of a woolen cap, she loves him immediately (a cartoon heart appears above her delighted face), though Mizmow unexpectedly licks her, gobbles her up, then spits her out. After this opening interlude, which unfolds in wordless panels like a cartoon storyboard, Armstrong introduces some perfunctory and generally unnecessary text to describe the duo’s episodic misadventures, which culminate in a big fight (“Mizmow is mad. Jane is more mad”). Mizmow is mischievous—much of the book’s humor revolves around his heft and large appetite for red autumn leaves and books—with Jane playing straight man (and getting catapulted through the air on more than one occasion). It’s a humorous account of an unlikely friendship, but the bland prose saps some of its magic. Ages 3–5. (Oct.)

School and Library Journal says:

ARMSTRONG, Matthew S. Jane & Mizmow. illus. by author. unpaged. CIP. HarperCollins. Oct. 2011. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780061177194. LC 2010012628.
PreS-Gr 1–Jane is a petite girl, while Mizmow is a large fluffy monster with chicken feet, rabbit ears, and a ropelike tail. They are best friends despite their differences. She loves to read books, while he takes a bite out of each one. When Jane rakes the fallen leaves, Mizmow eats the tasty red ones. The girl helps the monster at bath time, and he keeps her feet warm by sleeping on her bed. When both want to wear a knitted cap still warm from the dryer, their friendship falters, and saying sorry does not work. A series of full-color panels, some wordless, explores their relationship from their first meeting through the difficulties that almost separate them to the kindnesses that bring them together again. A palette of fall colors mirrors the warmth of their friendship, while the expressive faces of the two characters reinforce both mood and action. Emerging readers will be able to read much of the simple text, but the illustrations really tell the tale. This story has a lot to say about accepting differences, forgiving accidents, and making amends. A solid choice that youngsters will enjoy time and time again.–Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN 

And Kirkus The World's Toughest Book Critics:

Author: Armstrong, Matthew S.
Illustrator: Armstrong, Matthew S. 

A little girl and her rather unusual pal quarrel, but they know just how to make up, too, in this charming paean to friendship.
Jane’s best friend’s a cuddly “monster” named Mizmow, and having a monster as a best friend can be challenging. Mizmow loves climbing trees, while Jane likes keeping her feet securely on the ground. Jane and Mizmow both love the seesaw, though loving it together can be problematic. Jane likes jumping into piles of raked red leaves, and Mizmow loves snacking on them. Jane helps Mizmow shower, and he keeps her feet warm at night. One chilly day, they fight over their favorite knit hat, leaving Mizmow “mad” and Jane “more mad.” Suddenly, they’re not best friends anymore, and doing things alone isn’t much fun. “How can you get your best friend back?” Jane and Mizmow find the perfect solution. Humorous, softly hued illustrations cast Mizmow as a big, brown, fluffy critter sporting rabbitlike ears, chickenlike feet and a crooked, impish grin. Reminiscent of cartoon animation, the visual action progresses in two or four frames per page, with and without text, focusing on Jane and Mizmow cheerfully together, glumly apart and enthusiastically reunited.
A whimsical, gentle reminder that even the best friendships occasionally wobble, especially if a quirky, but endearing monster’s involved. (Picture book. 3-5)
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I'd like to publicly thank these fine folks so much for such kind reviews!

Here are some links to Jane and Mizmow available from these fine online retailers:

Amazon       Barnes & Noble   

Also available in finer book stores everywhere!!!  

 I need to go celebrate or something!

1 comment:

GhettoFab said...

Gotta go pick it up!, congrats sir