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About Loren Long
I have always been a huge fan of the the American School painters of the 1920s and '30s and I was particularly inspired by Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood. I am also drawn to the Works Progress Administration (WPA) muralists. Many of these artists were from the Midwest, like me, and I felt a connection to them. They were storytellers.
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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"I can hear change humming
In its loudest, proudest song.
I don't fear change coming,
And so I sing along."
In this stirring, much-anticipated picture book by presidential inaugural poet and activist Amanda Gorman, anything is possible when our voices join together. As a young girl leads a cast of characters on a musical journey, they learn that they have the power to make changes—big or small—in the world, in their communities, and in most importantly, in themselves.
With lyrical text and rhythmic illustrations that build to a dazzling crescendo by #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator Loren Long, Change Sings is a triumphant call to action for everyone to use their abilities to make a difference.
In this poignant letter to his daughters, 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, 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.
"[A] poetic reckoning of the importance of love in a child's life . . . eloquent and moving."—People
"Everything that can be called love -- from shared joy to comfort in the darkness -- is gathered in the pages of this reassuring, refreshingly honest picture book."—The New York Times Book Review, Editors' Choice / Staff Picks From the Book Review
“Lyrical and sensitive, ‘Love’ is the sort of book likely to leave readers of all ages a little tremulous, and brimming with feeling.”—The Wall Street Journal
From Newbery Medal-winning author Matt de la Peña and bestselling illustrator Loren Long comes a story about the strongest bond there is and the diverse and powerful ways it connects us all.
"In the beginning there is light
and two wide-eyed figures standing near the foot of your bed
and the sound of their voices is love.
A cab driver plays love softly on his radio
while you bounce in back with the bumps of the city
and everything smells new, and it smells like life."
In this heartfelt celebration of love, Newbery Medal-winning author Matt de la Peña and bestselling illustrator Loren Long depict the many ways we experience this universal bond, which carries us from the day we are born throughout the years of our childhood and beyond. With a lyrical text that's soothing and inspiring, this tender tale is a needed comfort and a new classic that will resonate with readers of every age.
All across this great big world, jobs are getting done
by many hands in many lands. It takes much more than ONE.
Gorgeously written and illustrated, this is an eye-opening exploration of the many types of work that go into building our world--from the making of a bridge to a wind farm, an amusement park, and even the very picture book that you are reading. An architect may dream up the plans for a house, but someone has to actually work the saws and pound the nails. This book is a thank-you to the skilled women and men who work tirelessly to see our dreams brought to life.
"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.
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 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.
From Loren Long, the New York Times bestselling illustrator of Change Sings by Amanda Gorman, comes Otis the tractor! A sweet and endearing story of friendship.
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!
With gorgeous illustrations from the critically-acclaimed Loren Long, this charming and unforgettable story about everyone's favorite little tractor is the perfect bedtime read-aloud!
'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.
"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
The kindness and determination of the Little Blue Engine have inspired millions of children around the world since the story was first published in 1930. Cherished by readers for over ninety years, The Little Engine That Could is a classic tale of the little engine that, despite her size, triumphantly pulls a train full of wonderful things to the children waiting on the other side of a mountain.
In this charming Christmas story, a toy drummer boy embarks--accidentally--on a journey on which he plays his drum and warms the hearts of everyone he encounters, from a rat to a snowman. Set against a snowy landscape by the bestselling Loren Long, this is a perfect read for chilly winter evenings. Long brings this story of an unforgettable little drummer boy to vivid life with his timeless and magical art.