~ by artist Jodie Apeseche
When Kristen Wixted and Heather Kelly surprised me with the cover assignment, I felt both excitement and fear. I loved the theme. (My background is in biology, including a stint on a research vessel.) But I’d never done a cover and it would be the face of our anthology. Could I make my fellow contributors proud?
Picking the design elements - the friends and anemones - was easy. I had to have an octopus because everyone should be curious about these highly intelligent creatures. They also morph dramatically, giving me free range in depicting them. The sharks’ striking lines made them visually appealing. And the crabs are my make-believe pets, Bernie and Marlow.
The cover art started as a watercolor and was collaged with parts of my shell collection, sand, and silk-screened papers. The image was then enhanced digitally. For example, the fabric on the octopus was inserted as an image through a clipping mask. This way the fabric didn't fray, as it originally did when I tried to apply it manually.
I hope every reader finds a favorite poem (or many) that they feel attached to and want to learn more about. Hey, maybe our anthology will inspire some future scientists!
~by Audrey Day Williams
First, there was FIRSTS, then came AN ASSORTMENT OF ANIMALS—an illustrated anthology of poems for children. And now, with editors Heather Kelly and Kristen Wixted at the helm of the ship, the Writers’ Loft authors and illustrators are back with FRIENDS AND ANEMONES a fresh bounty of ocean poems for children.
This November, set sail on an epic, page-by-page ocean voyage with Peter Reynolds, Jane Yolen, Kip Wilson, Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Josh Funk, Matt Forrest Esenwine, and 61 other well-loved and emerging New England authors and illustrators.
Dive under the enchanting cover—illustrated by esteemed local artist Jodie Apeseche—into a whimsical, watery world where you’ll rendezvous with petty penguins, little fish with big dreams, party-planning turtles, as well as anemones and crabs in the intertidal zone, and elusive sharks and jellies that call the deep sea home.
With a smorgasbord of poetic types, dozens of captivating sea creatures, and fascinating facts, FRIENDS AND ANEMONES will feel as at home clinging to your bookshelf as it will floating in a school library.
Every story has a villain; in this case, it’s plastic and trash which you’ll see skulking in and around the poems. But, every story has a hero too, and that’s you! The Writers’ Loft has teamed up with the Rozalia Project—a non-profit dedicated to protecting our oceans—to empower readers of all ages to become ocean heroes with a simple message: A lot of little actions can make a big impact on the oceans. All profits from the first month's sales will be donated to Rozalia. To learn more, visit http://rozaliaproject.org.
"We want to highlight the beauty of the ocean and show children that they can be ocean protectors through their actions and sustainable consumer choices."
-Editor Kristen Wixted
Editors: Heather Kelly and Kristen Wixted
Book designer: Robert Thibeault
Art director: Sally Hinkly
Cover Design: Jodie Apeseche
Plus 70 poets and illustrators, including pre-published writers/artists alongside established children's authors and illustrators.
New books coming out by contributors to FRIENDS AND ANEMONES:
Amanda Davis - 30,000 STICTHES:THE INSPIRING STORY OF THE NATIONAL 9/11 FLAG (May 2021)
Matt Forrest Esenwine - "Pillow" in NIGHT WISHES (2020)
Josh Funk - SHORT&SWEET (September 2020), WHERE IS OUR LIBRARY (October 2020), IT'S NOT LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD (October 2020)
Marlo Garnsworthy - THE TRUTLE DOVE'S JOURNEY, (Illustrator), PIKA COUNTRY (Co-author)
Susan Novich - GUESS WHO IS BEHIND THE DOOR (October 2020)
Warren Ross - PODGE
Heidi Stemple and Jane Yolen - I AM THE STORM (October 2020)
A virtual launch will be hosted by THE BLUE BUNNY BOOKSTORE on November 15 at 4 pm! Details and links will be posted on http://www.bluebunnybooks.com.
"If we take care of the ocean, the ocean takes care of us"
- Editor Heather Kelly
To learn more, visit https://www.thewritersloft.org.