“Speak of the tiger and he appears”

The first national art exhibit of children’s book illustrations held in Pomona, California in 2015 and co-sponsored by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators was a great success.

Well, it has become a bi-annual event and again one of my illustrations has been accepted for the event:

Imagine II
The Art of Children’s Books Exhibition
August 12 – September 24, 2017
Illustrator’s Reception September 9
dA Center for the Arts
252D South Main Street
Pomona, CA 91766

My entry is from my first book, Tigers, Frogs and Rice Cakes, a collection of old Korean proverbs assembled and translated by Peace Corps Volunteer Dan Holt. When Shen’s Books called me in 1999 to ask if I would like to illustrate it I jumped at the chance. I remembered fondly how my mother taught my sisters and me how to behave using instructive ancient proverbs.

In English you say, “Speak of the devil and he appears.” In Korean we say, “Speak of the tiger.” My watercolor shows two kids in awe of the tiger they have inadvertently summoned.

Even though the California Department of Education included Tigers on its list of books recommended for use in elementary schools across the state, it eventually went out of print. To our surprise, new copies are still available from Amazon.com, but they have become collectors’ items, with prices starting at $62 per copy! We have delivered three new copies to the Center for the Arts where they will be available at $45 signed by John and “chopped” by me the evening of Saturday September 9.

Also available will be digital prints of “Speak of the tiger” ($9) along with copies of my subsequent picture books, Land of Morning Calm: Korean Culture Then and Now, (2003, Shen’s Books) and Maya and the Turtle: A Korean Fairy Tale (2012, Tuttle Publishing.)