Sunday, February 12, 2012

Book Review & Author Interview: All Kinds of Kisses by Nancy Tafuri

I am extremely excited to to not only share my review for All Kinds of Kisses with you guys, but I'm honored that the author and illustrator for this book, Nancy Tafuri has stopped by the blog today!

By: Nancy Tafuri
Published by: Little Brown Kids
Released on: January 2, 2012
Source: book from publisher to review
Ages: 3 & up
5 stars: We Loved It
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

There are all kinds of kisses...
Cheep kisses. Moo kisses. Maaa kisses. Coo kisses...
But the best kiss of all...
Is Mommy's kiss goodnight. Sweet dreams, little one!

Mommies and babies aren't the only ones who enjoy sharing kisses. All throughout the farm, animal families snuggle up with their little ones, offering them warmth and love. Following a mama bird on her journey back to the nest to give her own baby some special cuddles, Nancy Tafuri uses beautiful, inviting illustration to share how different creatures, from peeping ducks to mooing cows, show their love and affection in very similar ways. A heartfelt homage to all of the wonderful kinds of kisses. -quoted from Goodreads

This is a beautifully illustrated, sweet story about all the different kind of kisses that are around us. This particular story is set at the farm, and in reading this book with my little girl we loved seeing the different kind of kisses and love that take place between the various animals and their little ones. From mice, birds, ducks, cats, goats, dogs and more. This delightful story will be a big hit with young children. The bright colors and large illustrations make it easy to captivate young readers' attentions. My daughter and I loved looking for the tiny details hidden on each page, like the blue bird who's featured on each page, and the tiny bugs. The story ends with the best kiss of all, a kiss from a mother to her sleeping little one. I highly recommend picking this book up!

Where do you draw your inspiration from when writing and illustrating your children's books?

Inspiration is a funny can hit you at the silliest of times or it can hide away and you never think it will ever show up again. I find living with nature around me a way of simulating the process. I had been working on a project my editor had suggested and I really didn’t have my heart into it and my mind started to drift and I became fascinated by a big grey squirrel trying to retrieve the seeds from the feeder that was outside my studio window. He was so zany! That at that point I cleared off my drawing table got out a fresh pad of vellum and started to work on THE BUSY LITTLE SQUIRREL and put all the autumn nature around me in the book right along with him!

I love that the farm is the setting for All Kinds of Kisses. Is this setting one that has meaning to you?

I have always used my home and the surrounding out buildings in my illustrations. HAVE YOU SEEN MY DUCKING? was created down at our pond in spring. THE BARN PARTY took place in our barn on my daughter’s fourth birthday and I used the interior of our home for Counting To Christmas. So for All Kinds of Kisses I wanted to give a slightly different feel to the structures so I used reference from a trip my daughter and I had taken to Near Sawery, England when we went to visit Hilltop Farm the home of Beatrix Potter. So it has a bit of England and a bit of New England throughout the landscape. They have small farms spotted all over their countryside and I was so impressed on how neat they were ~ just like my farmer’s homestead.

Your illustrations are vivid, engaging and really draw young readers into your story. To create your illustrations for All Kinds of Kisses, did you spend time at a farm or were you able to clearly picture in your mind how you wanted to illustrate each picture?

I like the intimate feeling of large shapes for young children. That up close, touch the fur quality and what better way to portray that but through farm animals. Over the years I have taken photos for reference for many books like THIS IS THE FARMER, SILLY LITTLE GOOSE, and SPOTS, FEATHERS and CURLY TAILS. I love animals and I love to draw them! I pictured ALL KINDS OF KISSES as a one on one mother/baby book. The world is going on around them but they only have time for each other. After I finished my sketches the size of the book took on a somewhat different dimension and the art department blew up the illustrations accordingly and the images even became bigger. Heaven...I was ready to paint!

My daughter and I loved all the little details in each picture, from the bluebird who appears on each page to the little bugs. Why do you feel these little details are important to include in a children's picture book?

When I was little I would love to look at every detail in a picture. So when I grew up and started to illustrate for children I realized that there must be other children out there that enjoy doing the same thing. At first you see the biggest shapes, then on a second or third reading you start to realize there’s more going on, on these pages. So older siblings can enjoy reading along with the younger set. A book that grows!

What are some of your favorite children's picture books from growing up?

Every week my mother and I would go grocery shopping and a new picture bookwould make this event a winner...I am a product of the Classic Golden Book era:

The Pokey Little Puppy
The Little Red Hen
The Animals of Farmer Jonesand

Then there was:

The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper, I-Think-I-Can, I-Think-I-Can! Which has been my motto throughout my life!

Thank you for visiting Mundie Kids today Nancy.

Please be sure to follow Nancy on her Website & Facebook.
I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~