Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Meet Johanna Wright, illustrator of THIS POEM IS A NEST


O frabjous day! Today marks the release of THIS POEM IS A NEST... and my day on the blog tour. Yay! So many thanks to these generous bloggers! Mwah!

Friday 9/25  Kirby Larson blog
A Word Edgewise/Linda Mitchell

Monday 9/28 Reflections on the Teche/Margaret Simon 

Tuesday 9/29  Live Your Poem/Irene Latham

Wednesday 9/30  Laura Shovan blog

Friday 10/2  Poetry for Children/Sylvia Vardell

Saturday 10/3  Smack Dab in the Middle 

Monday 10/5  TeacherDance

Friday 10/9  More Art 4 All/Michelle Kogan 

To celebrate properly, I'm delighted to welcome the illustrator Johanna Wright to Live Your Poem. Fun fact: Johanna and I are studio sibs! We share agent Rosemary Stimola. :)

Johanna's sense of whimsy and heart was the perfect match for these poems, and I couldn't be happier to share this book with her.... and her process is pretty amazing! Welcome, Johanna!

The delicious:

This book was incredibly delicious to illustrate. I felt like I had the freedom to explore and examine the poems in a way that felt a bit deeper to me than books I’ve worked on in the past. This was especially true in my favorite section of the book, Only Human. I loved diving deeper into the imagery and emotions of those poems. And I loved how each spread, each poem could have entirely new characters, settings and stories within them. There was so much freedom in that, as an illustrator.  


The Difficult:
JW: I think the other side of having so much freedom, created some challenges too.  I had to create my own parameters while feeling into what it meant to illustrate some complex concepts. I used the nature theme as a guide for the illustrations, along with some fantastical imagery like unicorns and mermaids. This helped to create some limits, which actually freed me up even more!


The unexpected:

 JW: I wanted to take some of these illustrations a bit deeper than their surface meaning and I learned a lot about myself and found new ways of working in the process. Because so many of the poems were wide open to interpretation, I learned to use my own feelings and intuition more consciously as a creative guide. 


Anything else: 

 JW: The concept for this book is so unique and Irene’s talent for finding nestling poems is really remarkable. I loved working on this project and I’m so proud of this special book! 


A thousand thank-yous, Johanna! Truly, it's an honor to share this book with you.

And now, readers, you are in for a treat! Please enjoy this video Johanna created that features her talking about her process on top of some time lapse videos of the NEST artwork being created. Beautiful!


  1. Irene, Congratulations to you and Johanna. Your collaboration has produced a marvelous new book into the kidlit world. Nest-building, nestlings are creative thoughts that are illustrated in such a whimsical, inviting way.

  2. What a treat! First Congratulations to BOTH of you and the whole team who made this book happen.... just gorgeous, words and art. Thank you, Johanna, for the sneak peek into your process - loved it! Happy Flying to this new creation!


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