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About Loren Long
That's what I like to do - tell stories. When I plan out the illustrations for a book, I pretend I'm making a movie. The words are like a screenplay and I'm choosing which scenes to bring to life.
Before THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD I never viewed myself as someone who would paint trains with eyeballs and cute little purple elephants. I began realizing who my audience is: little children who would actually be holding one of my books. I thought hard about the books I loved from my own childhood. THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD was always one of my favorites, as was THE POKY LITTLE PUPPY, THE STORY OF FERDINAND and Virginia Lee Burton's books. I began thinking about creating books that, like these, might someday become a child's favorite. This is where the idea for OTIS started.
I approach both writing and illustrating enthusiastically. If I'm going to illustrate a manuscript that someone else has written, it's got to be something that I love. I have to love a story enough to do it and make it mine. I hope that doesn't sound overly egotistical. But I feel that the book becomes as much mine as the author's, and as much the author's as mine.
For about a dozen years after getting out of school, I did illustrations for greeting cards, theater posters and magazines. But you never meet your audience when you do a picture for a magazine and it's not really the product - you're just decorating the product. In book publishing, on the other hand, the book is the product. After illustrating my first book, I knew I loved children's publishing right away. I discovered that people cared - teachers, librarians, booksellers and kids. And I got to meet my audience.
This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
I'm honored that several books that I've illustrated have received awards. Angela Johnson's I DREAM OF TRAINS won the Society of Childrens' Book Writers and Illustrators' Golden Kite Award for picture book illustration. TOY BOAT by Randall DeSeve was awarded the 2007 Publisher's Weekly Cuffie Award for Favorite Picture Book of the Year and the 2008 Great Lakes Book Award for Children's Picture Book. Walt Whitman's WHEN I HEARD THE LEARN'D ASTRONOMER was a Golden Kite Honor Book and also won the 2004 Parents' Choice Gold Award. I've also received two gold medals from the Society of Illustrators.
I live in Cincinnati with my wife and two boys, and two Weimaraners. If you'd like to learn more about my books, you can visit me at www.lorenlong.com.
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In this tender, beautiful letter to his daughters, President Barack Obama has written a moving tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation. From the artistry of Georgia O'Keeffe, to the courage of Jackie Robinson, to the patriotism of George Washington, President Obama sees the traits of these heroes within his own children, and within all of America’s children.
Breathtaking, evocative illustrations by award-winning artist Loren Long at once capture the personalities and achievements of these great Americans and the innocence and promise of childhood.
This beautiful book celebrates the characteristics that unite all Americans, from our nation’s founders to generations to come. It is about the potential within each of us to pursue our dreams and forge our own paths. It is a treasure to cherish with your family forever.
'My Hero' to Be Chosen: Eight finalists will compete tonight for the title My Hero. The winner will wear the coveted gold Hero medal. These brave and courageous dogs will each appear with their nominator who will tell their story.
There's Smiley, who fought a giant bull. Bear used his giant paws to save the life of another dog. Munchkin warned a gardener of a poisonous snake about to strike. Old Dog helped find people buried under rubble after a tornado. Buster pulled a baby carriage out of the path of a careening truck. Blue, who had never been known to bark, used his voice to bring help to his wounded master. Dopey's constant barking saved the life of a baby left in a sweltering car. Little Bit brought love and companionship to a nursing home resident.
In My Dog, My Hero each story is told in the unique, sometimes humorous, but always compelling voice of the person whose life was changed by the heroic action of a very extraordinary dog. Betsy Byars and her daughters Betsy Duffey and Laurie Myers have joined forces to create dog stories full of adventure and suspense. Loren Long's paintings capture the heroic dignity of each of the dogs and heighten the drama of their special stories.
Otis and his farm friends love to play hide-and-seek. Otis especially loves to be "It," finding his friends as they hide. Yet when the newest addition to the farm—a bounding puppy who can't sit still and has a habit of licking faces—tries to hide, he finds his attention wandering and is soon lost in the forest. Night falls and Otis, knowing his new friend is afraid of the dark, sets out to find him. There's just one problem: Otis is also afraid of the dark. His friend is alone and in need, though, so Otis takes a deep breath, counts to ten, and sets off on a different game of hide-and-seek.
From the critically-acclaimed illustrator of The Little Engine that Could, Of Thee I Sing, and Otis.
Otis is a special tractor. He loves his farm and farmer. He particularly loves the little calf in the next stall, whom he purrs to sleep with his soft motor. The two become great friends, romping in the fields, leaping bales of hay, and playing ring-around-the-rosy by Mud Pond.
But when the big yellow tractor comes to the farm and replaces Otis, he is cast away behind the barn. . . until the little calf gets stuck in Mud Pond. Then there is only one tractor—and it’s not big or yellow—who saves the day. It’s little Otis!
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, this charming and unforgettable story about everyone's favorite little tractor includes a letter from New York Times bestselling artist Loren Long and never-before-seen sketches.
"Long’s gentle but powerful story about a young tree who holds tight to his leaves, even as everyone else lets theirs drop, takes on nothing less than the pain and sorrow of growing up. . . . As in Long’s unaccountably profound books about Otis the tractor, a pure white background somehow adds to the depth."—The New York Times Book Review
In the middle of a little forest, there lives a Little Tree who loves his life and the splendid leaves that keep him cool in the heat of long summer days. Life is perfect just the way it is.
Autumn arrives, and with it the cool winds that ruffle Little Tree's leaves. One by one the other trees drop their leaves, facing the cold of winter head on. But not Little Tree—he hugs his leaves as tightly as he can. Year after year Little Tree remains unchanged, despite words of encouragement from a squirrel, a fawn, and a fox, his leaves having long since turned brown and withered. As Little Tree sits in the shadow of the other trees, now grown sturdy and tall as though to touch the sun, he remembers when they were all the same size. And he knows he has an important decision to make.
From #1 New York Times bestselling Loren Long comes a gorgeously-illustrated story that challenges each of us to have the courage to let go and to reach for the sun.
Praise for Little Tree
* "The illustrations are beautifully rendered . . . Understated and inviting, young readers will be entranced by Little Tree’s difficult but ultimately rewarding journey."—Booklist, starred review
"Long’s gentle but powerful story about a young tree who holds tight to his leaves, even as everyone else lets theirs drop, takes on nothing less than the pain and sorrow of growing up. Season after season, Little Tree clings to his brown-leaved self until he can take a leap and shed his protection. He feels ‘the harsh cold of winter,’ but soon grows tall and green, and it’s not bad at all. As in Long’s unaccountably profound books about Otis the tractor, a pure white background somehow adds to the depth."—The New York Times Book Review
* "[Long's] willingness to take his time and even test the audience’s patience with his arboreal hero’s intransigence results in an ending that’s both a big relief and an authentic triumph. Long’s earnest-eloquent narrative voice and distilled, single-plane drawings, both reminiscent of an allegorical pageant, acknowledge the reality of the struggle while offering the promise of brighter days ahead."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Long is sparing with the text, keeping it simple and beautifully descriptive. Brilliantly colored illustrations done in acrylic, ink, and pencil stand out on bright white pages, with Little Tree taking the center position in each double-page spread. Tender and gentle and altogether lovely."—Kirkus Reviews
"Children will see the tree facing the scariness of change; adult readers may well feel wistful as the story underscores the need to let their babies grow toward independence. Beautiful.
On the farm where Otis the tractor lives, it hasn't rained in a long time and farmers all over the valley have grown anxious with water in such short supply. One hot afternoon, when Otis and his friends are resting beneath the shade of the apple tree, Otis spots something moving down in the valley—an orange tabby cat headed straight for the old barn. But then Otis sees something else that causes his engine to sputter . . . a swirl of smoke coming from the same barn. A fire!
As Otis races toward the fire with his friends in tow, he spots the tabby cat mewing in alarm. Otis rushes inside to discover the source of the cat's worries--her little kittens are perched up on the hayloft, scared. Otis never hesitates. Yet even after he delivers a tractor full of kittens safely outside, their mama remains upset. Re-entering the burning barn, Otis discovers why: one tiny kitten, still too scared to move. With a friendly chuff, Otis coaxes her down and she scampers out the door. That's when the floor collapses with a CRASH, trapping the tractor. Now Otis, the friend everyone can count on, must count on his friends.
Told with a sense of play and devotion, this is a heartwarming tale that reminds readers that sometimes even those who we count on to help us need a little help themselves. From the creator of Otis, Otis and the Puppy, and the illustrator of The Little Engine That Could and Of Thee I Sing by President Barack Obama.
Praise for Otis and the Kittens
* "As always, perseverance, teamwork, and a heart of gold pay off for Otis and his friends. When read aloud, the text flows off the tongue with sounds and words that extend the imagery created in the attractive gouache and pencil illustrations. The compositions make great use of perspective and motion and are expertly laid out . . . There are wonderful textured details that bring the story to life. [T]he perfect lapsit read-aloud, combining the ever-popular subjects of tractors, farm animals, and firefighters."--School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
"Long's seventh bucolic tale of an antique tractor with a smiling face and a good heart will please the little chuffer's many fans. The dynamic, fluid illustrations with a retro-rural vibe bring to mind Norman Rockwell's America with a Saturday comics spin. The theme of teamwork played out several times through the tale is communicated as simply as the tale itself. Keep on puffin', Otis!"--Kirkus Reviews
"Long creates a powerful sense of suspense and danger as charcoal smoke gathers in the sky and bright flames lick the beams of the barn as Otis goes to work, but bravery, loyalty, and gritty determination are the real stars of the story—traits that Otis and his animal friends have in ample supply."--Publishers Weekly
"Charming and full of the warmth and love of friends and family, this choice is lovely for sharing."--The Repository
It's Christmas eve on the farm where Otis and all of his friends live. The farmer has given Otis his first real Christmas present--a shiny new horn! A tree has been decorated, a big snowstorm is on its way, and all of the animals are excited. Best of all, one of the horses on the farm is about to give birth to a foal! Yet in the middle of the night the horse begins neighing in pain and when the farmer says, "We'd better get Doc Baker out here or we'll lose 'em both," Otis knows the horse is in trouble. Snow has been falling hard for hours and the roads are unpassable. How will they got Doc? Otis to the rescue! He knows a shortcut through the woods and he arrives at the doc's house flashing his headlights and revving his engine. When Doc fails to awake, Otis uses his new horn. Then, with Doc in tow, he races back to the farm just in time for a Christmas miracle . . . and the arrival of a new friend to play with.
A warm, feel-good Christmas story featuring everyone's favorite tractor, Otis, the friend you can always count on. From the creator of Otis, Otis and the Puppy, and the illustrator of The Little Engine That Could and Of Thee I Sing by President Barack Obama.
Praise for OTIS
* “Long’s gouache and pencil artwork is stunning with a red and cream main character against a sepia-toned monochromatic background. The overall effect is nostalgic and comforting as readers bond with the determined little tractor . . . the satisfying conclusion that speaks of a place for everyone is sure to ring true to children.” —School Library Journal, on Otis, starred review
“Hearkens to the golden age of picture books, with a style and tone that recall the work of Virginia Lee Burton and Munro Leaf.” —Booklist, on Otis and the Tornado
“Children will be delighted with this story about friendship” —School Library Journal, on Otis and the Tornado
“Fans of Otis will not be disappointed with the satisfying ending that results in a creative solution and a most happy reunion. Seek this out—“game on!” —Kirkus Reviews, on Otis and the Puppy
Loren Long has a timeless and magical touch. As he did with The Little Engine That Could, he creates a world of toys and children that go right to the soul. Toy Boat will sail into young hearts and stay there.
Praise for TOY BOAT
* "With plenty of buoyant charm and imaginative artwork, this contemporary Little Toot has an abundance of child appeal."--Booklist, starred review
"A resonant tale with wide appeal."--Publishers Weekly
Otis is a very busy tractor. He loves working on the farm and playing with his friends. But at the end of a long day, Otis is happy to go home and rest! This is the perfect complement to the Otis picture books and a great book with which to learn to read! Join Otis and his farmyard friends for all kinds of fun in this new leveled reader.
Look, a friend!
Giving thanks makes Otis happy. He gives thanks for the land and country he loves. Otis is thankful for time to play games like hide-and-seek and ring-around-the-rosy. He cherishes his farm friends who make life on the ranch as happy as can be. And most of all, everyone's favorite tractor is thankful for the greatest thing in life: love.
Told with a sense of warmth, heart, and above all else, gratefulness, this is an uplifting tale that speaks to the soul of Otis' character and reminds readers that taking the time to appreciate our lives is a virtue in itself. From the creator of the Otis series, and the illustrator of The Little Engine That Could and Of Thee I Sing by President Barack Obama.