Just looking at Amalia Hoffman’s author photo lifts my spirits! I think we are all hungry for the bright and cheerful these days. That makes it especially delightful to host Amalia today in celebration of her new board book, All Colors (Schiffer Publishing).
In 2017, I started experimenting with pastel pencils.
I loved the textures that I could achieve and the vibrant lush colors.
After working for a while on a white background, I ordered a fine black art sand paper and started playing with colors on top. The colors on the black background appeared much more vibrant than on the white.
I discovered that there were so many interesting textures that I could achieve by rubbing the pastel pencils and chalk on the paper. Also, I liked how spattering with a toothbrush, sponging with bubble wrap and combing paints appeared on the black background.
After two months, I had a whole collection of pieces of papers with different colors and textures. I gathered them in a shoe box and every once in a while, just played with them, making different arrangements by assembling pieces together on my art table.
Then, the idea came to me. What if the different colors, textures and shapes could actually make the main character in the book?
So began my book journey for All Colors (Schiffer Publishing).
My agent, Anna Olswanger, has been encouraging me to create a board book for very young children.
I decided to make a board book where kids would be introduced to colors and textures as they turned the pages. It ended up being a concept book with a message about friendship and diversity.
This is my third board book. The first was Dreidel Day (Kar Ben Publishing, 2018.) The second was Astro Pea (Schiffer Publishing, 2019.)
Creating board books is challenging because you have to tell the story in only a few pages so the word count must be minimal. All Colors has 9 words. The author must rely on the illustrations and the concept has to be very clear and simple so a toddler could understand it. At the same time, there’s got to be a narration and procession so it would be a compelling read for the child and the adult who reads the story. The images have to be simple and bright to catch the attention of a very young child.
I’m proud that All Colors was picked by Elizabeth Bird from School Library Journal as one of the 13 best 2019 board books.
Here’s a short book blurb:
This concept board book introduces children ages 2-6 to colors and textures while conveying a message about friendship, diversity, and inclusion.
As the reader turns the pages, colors are introduced, creating the image of a boy.
Join in the fun as the boy dips his paintbrush in paint splotches and discovers that friends come in all colors.
Here’s a link to a book trailer where I perform All Colors with a very colorful puppet.
Amalia Hoffman is an author, illustrator and storyteller.
Her board book, Dreidel Day (Lerner/Kar Ben Publishing, 2018) is a PJ Library book and received the PJ Library Author Incentive Award.
She is the author/illustrator of two other board books, Astro Pea and All Colors (Schiffer Publishing, 2019.)
Amalia is the author of The Brave Cyclist: The True Story of a Holocaust Hero (Capstone Publishing, 2019, illustrated by Chiara Fedele.)
Her article, Queen Esther and I was published in Highlights Magazine for Children, March, 2016.
Amalia designed and illustrated an oversized book with pop-up elements for the production of Rose Bud at Israel’s children’s theater, The Train. Other books include, The Klezmer Bunch and Purim Goodies (Gefen Publishing
House, 2007 and 2009.) The Klezmer Bunch was featured in a play, Jewish Books Cooking by the celebrated choreographer and produ,cer, Elizabeth Swados.
Amalia illustrated Friday Night with the Pope, written by Jacques J.M. Shore (Gefen Publishing House, 2006.)
She received the SCBWI 2005 award for illustration in the category of Fantasy. Her portfolio was selected as the winning portfolio in the 2014 21st Century Non Fiction Conference.
Amalia performs her stories in schools, libraries and bookstores dressed up in costumes with puppets and props.
She created innovative window displays for New York City’s prestigious stores including Tiffany, Fortunoff, Bloomingdales and Macy’s.
Amalia is a participating artist at ArtsWestchester, a cultural organization that pairs artists and writers with schools and community centers.
She holds a Masters degree in art and art education from New York University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts with honor from Pratt Institute.
Visit Amalia at her website or Twitter @AmaliaHoffman.