Julie Fortenberry

picture books


Can you imagine how you might illustrate a story? Which words require pictures? Most people have never imagined what a picture book story tells you without the illustrations. If you illustrated the book what would your characters look like? Before I read a picture book, I like to read a page or two without showing the illustrations.

I usually show a simple craft or drawing project between each book, to encourage kids to make their own characters.

Now, if you are writing the story, how do you start? Pirate Boy, by Eve Bunting illustrates the “What If?” type of storytelling , so I show a helpful template that I hope inspires kids to write their own stories.

In person full day (four half hour presentations) is $1600.
One half hour virtual visit is $350.

For more information on school and library visits please send a note to juliefortenberry@icloud.com

On Nov. 27th you can buy my mixed media illustration and help raise $ for the 2 Democratic candidates for Senate, and Stacey Abrams's group FAIR FIGHT ACTION.
Our future hangs on winning the critical runoff elections in Georgia. For the Biden administration to make meaningful changes they need a Senate majority, so The Pen and Ink Brigade* is having a GEORGIA ON MY MIND fundraiser to help!
This Instagram fundraiser starts November 27th, 9:00 AM EST and ends November 29th, 9:00 PM EST--in time for folks to get HOLIDAY GIFTS! It is an opportunity for people to make a donation to help with the critical Georgia Senate runoff elections + get a piece of original art – a TWOFER!! The minimum donation for the art is $200.

The list of participating artists is still growing, and beloved picture book creators, New Yorker cartoonists, renowned illustrators, textile artists, photographers and more! More info coming soon!
*While we intentionally highlight women, we invite gender marginalized, trans, and non-binary artists to work with us in community. Visit @penandinkbrigade on Nov. 27 to see the exhibit!

stay tuned..... 🍑

This Instagram art sale starts November 27th, 9:00 AM EST and ends November 29th, 9:00 PM EST. All funds will go to support the two Democratic candidates for Senate, Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, as well as Stacey Abrams's group FAIR FIGHT ACTION. Follow me on instagram to find out more -- https://www.instagram.com/fortenberryillustration/

I made a short trivia video for the Mercer County Library System in NJ. Like a lot of libraries they are working to bring virtual visits to kids during these Covid times. The library system is compiling a variety videos by authors and illustrators for their Youtube channel and their patrons. Please watch!

Support the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Buy a copy of PEARL GOES TO PRESCHOOL here: https://www.scbwi.org/scbwibookstop-display/?id=692218
And to receive a free book plate, send me note here: https://www.juliefortenberry.com/contact

I have another new book planned for 2021! Many thanks to Tracy Gates and Steven Chudney.

Bidding begins Sunday, September 27th, for the 5th Annual Plum Creek Online Art Auction! 200 works of art are being auctioned off to support the continuing the festival's high quality programming throughout 2021 and many years to come. 100% of the proceeds benefit the festival. Bid high, bid often, and share widely!

Yay! Today Pearl can add SLJ to the list of lovely reviews--
"Pearl narrates; her three-year-old's voice is precocious and sweet. The illustrations are just as gentle as the story; though rendered digitally, they look like well-executed watercolors. Mom is chic and stylish, and Pearl is adorable with a mop of short curly black hair... VERDICT A recommended purchase for back-to-school collections."

Reviews for Pearl Goes to Preschool...
The softly colored illustrations, outlined in black, are very appealing and feature a lovely double-page spread of Pearl and her mother attending a classic ballet performance...Tender and sweet comfort.
—Kirkus Reviews

The quiet, well-phrased text provides the story’s structure as well as moments of understated humor, while letting the expressive illustrations show elements of the story never mentioned in the text, such as a subway ride and a ballet performance. Created digitally, the artwork depicts the children, in particular, with a winsome quality that suits the story well. A pleasing picture book for young dance lovers.

In this winsome, taut story, a timid child warms to the idea of preschool with her mother’s tactical nudging and her own ingenuity...This charming antidote to preschool anxiety contains a deftly measured dose of sweetness.
—Publishers Weekly

A muted color palette makes a lovely backdrop for this engaging portrait of a strong parent- child relationship: Pearl feels safe in expressing herself, and her mom’s gentle guidance helps Pearl take ownership over big decisions. Pearl Goes to Preschool is a real treat.

Stay safe Lily!

Check out Picture Books 2020 for a lineup of new books by Carly Allen-Fletcher, Elisa Boxer, Suzanne Bloom, Sarah S. Brannen, Nancy Churnin, Rob Dunlavey, Karen English, Julie Fortenberry, Alan B. Havis, Alice B. McGinty, Paul Meisel, Lori Nichols, Sue Soltis, Britta Teckentrup, Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, and Laurie Wallmark.

Getting the word out about Pearl Goes to Preschool, out July 21.
See a video dance lesson from Annie Fortenberry here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R28W7sPo9Ws

Candlewick Press will give you a 25% discount with code CANDLEWICK, plus free shipping on a preorder of 4 books or more.
Please use this link: https://www.candlewick.com/cat.asp?browse=Title&mode=book&isbn=1536207438&pix=y

Independent Bookstore Day-Story Time 11:30 w/ Julie Fortenberry-"Pearl Goes to Preschool"-Pearl loves to dance! But will she love preschool, too?A sweet and reassuring story about trying something new, perfect for children with separation anxiety.

★ Learn Ballet, Just Like Pearl! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R28W7sPo9Wsv

The title character of Pearl Goes to Preschool loves to dance—even if she’s not so sure about preschool. In this video, my daughter, dancer Annie Fortenberry, teaches young readers steps that will keep them moving.

A great night at Barnes and Noble with April Litwin