Fresh From the Oven

Cookie Jar front cover

One hand
in the cookie jar
takes a cookie out.
How many put the cookie in
is what the world’s about.

When I first read the manuscript for Who Put the Cookies in the Cookie Jar? I was hungry to illustrate it. It is rhythmic and rhyming. I love to bake and eat cookies. George is a witty, warm and wonderful person and I wanted to work with him. But most of all I was drawn to the underlying meaning of the book: that every person’s contributions matter. As George put it, the book is an ode to the widest sense of community.

paschkis cookie jar illustration

When I considered what this book should look like I thought of the WPA posters of the 1940’s. They were created to convey a message of community simply, powerfully and with graphic strength. I also looked at the works of Grant Wood because of their optimism and apparent lack of irony. WPA-Poster-1  WPA posterwpa postergrant wood landscapeWhen I illustrate a book I always start by painting one finished illustration, before drawing any of the sketches. This was the first painting:paschkis cookie jar illustrationAll of the other paintings grew out of that “seed”painting.Paschkis cookie jar illustrationpaschkis cookie jar illustrationpaschkis cookie jar illustrationGeorge’s text shows the joy that comes through doing work and being part of something bigger than yourself. I found that joy in working  on these paintings. Of course, any book about cookies must start and end by eating cookies. Please join us for a celebration at Eagle Harbor Books on April 14th from 3-4 PM.paschkis cookie jar illustration

17 responses to “Fresh From the Oven

  1. Julie I’m THRILLED about this book for so many reasons–the text, the illustrations, the message, the joy, the celebrating of work together and friends and friendship. So sorry I will miss your book/cookie party as I will be in Clovis, New Mexico, teaching storytelling to teachers on April 14. But I will be taking your book and reading your book and of course sharing cookies as well with my class on that day to celebrate YOU and GEORGE! CONGRATULATIONS to you both!

  2. Congrats to you and George! It looks delicious!
    I will always remember the lovely tea party you prepared when I came to your house to talk about FAT CAT. A mound of tiny mouse-baked chocolate chip cookies on a little plate right in the middle of the table. Just like Mouse fed FAT CAT. Though for some reason you decided to paint 36 gooey pies instead of 100 tiny cookies for the actual book.

  3. There’s a ton of joy here–and how could there NOT be, with cookie-text by George Shannon! (I love the fact that the cow is eating a cookie at the cookie fest.)

  4. I will be at Eagle Harbor in my mind….and I love cookies, anytime, anywhere.
    Julie’s mama

  5. Here is to community spirit and action
    And cookies
    Peanut butter

  6. Your pictures remind me of Lois Lenski’s work. I loved her books as a child.
    Beautiful book!

  7. Julie, your books are a treat any time and always work well in the classroom. You partner with great writers and it is a joy to share them with children. I am looking forward to reading this book and making cookies with the students at Lake and Park School.

  8. Community and cookies – go great together! I can’t wait to see the rest….The illustrations are mouth-watering.

  9. Oh, Julie! I LOVE it! I’ll have to add it to my collection of books illustrated by you. 😀

  10. *Thank you* for the beautiful, inspiring books & blog! I first read Moushka last spring/summer when subbing at a Head Start in Olympia. I finally just told my fabulous sewer-Mom about it and think my 2 year old nephew will love it when he’s ready for books with tearable pages.

  11. Beautiful! Yes, Lois Lenski, as Ashley says above, I was thinking of her art, forgot her name until I saw it above… Great work, you deserve a cookie! 😉

  12. I’m just about to review “Cookies” and appreciated reading about your inspiration for the art and how that ties in to the idea of community. Simply wonderful text & art!

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