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About Loren Long
I have always been a huge fan of the the American School painters of the 1920s and '30s and I was particularly inspired by Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood. I am also drawn to the Works Progress Administration (WPA) muralists. Many of these artists were from the Midwest, like me, and I felt a connection to them. They were storytellers.
That's what I like to do - tell stories. When I plan out the illustrations for a book, I pretend I'm making a movie. The words are like a screenplay and I'm choosing which scenes to bring to life.
Before THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD I never viewed myself as someone who would paint trains with eyeballs and cute little purple elephants. I began realizing who my audience is: little children who would actually be holding one of my books. I thought hard about the books I loved from my own childhood. THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD was always one of my favorites, as was THE POKY LITTLE PUPPY, THE STORY OF FERDINAND and Virginia Lee Burton’s books. I began thinking about creating books that, like these, might someday become a child’s favorite. This is where the idea for OTIS started.
I approach both writing and illustrating enthusiastically. If I’m going to illustrate a manuscript that someone else has written, it’s got to be something that I love. I have to love a story enough to do it and make it mine. I hope that doesn’t sound overly egotistical. But I feel that the book becomes as much mine as the author’s, and as much the author’s as mine.
For about a dozen years after getting out of school, I did illustrations for greeting cards, theater posters and magazines. But you never meet your audience when you do a picture for a magazine and it’s not really the product - you’re just decorating the product. In book publishing, on the other hand, the book is the product. After illustrating my first book, I knew I loved children’s publishing right away. I discovered that people cared - teachers, librarians, booksellers and kids. And I got to meet my audience.
This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
I'm honored that several books that I've illustrated have received awards. Angela Johnson’s I DREAM OF TRAINS won the Society of Childrens' Book Writers and Illustrators' Golden Kite Award for picture book illustration. TOY BOAT by Randall DeSeve was awarded the 2007 Publisher’s Weekly Cuffie Award for Favorite Picture Book of the Year and the 2008 Great Lakes Book Award for Children's Picture Book. Walt Whitman’s WHEN I HEARD THE LEARN'D ASTRONOMER was a Golden Kite Honor Book and also won the 2004 Parents’ Choice Gold Award. I've also received two gold medals from the Society of Illustrators.
I live in Cincinnati with my wife and two boys, and two Weimaraners. If you'd like to learn more about my books, you can visit me at www.lorenlong.com.
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Books By Loren Long
From Loren Long, the New York Times bestselling illustrator of Change Sings by Amanda Gorman, comes Otis the tractor! A sweet and endearing story of friendship.
Otis is a special tractor. He loves his farm and farmer. He particularly loves the little calf in the next stall, whom he purrs to sleep with his soft motor. The two become great friends, romping in the fields, leaping bales of hay, and playing ring-around-the-rosy by Mud Pond.
But when the big yellow tractor comes to the farm and replaces Otis, he is cast away behind the barn. . . until the little calf gets stuck in Mud Pond. Then there is only one tractor—and it’s not big or yellow—who saves the day. It’s little Otis!
With gorgeous illustrations from the critically-acclaimed Loren Long, this charming and unforgettable story about everyone's favorite little tractor is the perfect bedtime read-aloud!
In this tender, beautiful letter to his daughters, President Barack Obama has written a moving tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped his nation. From the artistry of Georgia O'Keeffe, to the courage of Jackie Robinson, to the patriotism of George Washington, President Obama sees the traits of these heroes within his own children, and within all children.
Breathtaking, evocative illustrations by award-winning artist Loren Long at once capture the personalities and achievements of these great Americans and the innocence and promise of childhood.
This beautiful book celebrates the characteristics that unite all Americans, from the nation's founders to generations to come. It is about the potential within each of us to pursue our dreams and forge our own paths.
"[A] poetic reckoning of the importance of love in a child's life . . . eloquent and moving."—People
"Everything that can be called love -- from shared joy to comfort in the darkness -- is gathered in the pages of this reassuring, refreshingly honest picture book."—The New York Times Book Review, Editors' Choice / Staff Picks From the Book Review
“Lyrical and sensitive, ‘Love’ is the sort of book likely to leave readers of all ages a little tremulous, and brimming with feeling.”—The Wall Street Journal
From Newbery Medal-winning author Matt de la Peña and bestselling illustrator Loren Long comes a story about the strongest bond there is and the diverse and powerful ways it connects us all.
"In the beginning there is light
and two wide-eyed figures standing near the foot of your bed
and the sound of their voices is love.
A cab driver plays love softly on his radio
while you bounce in back with the bumps of the city
and everything smells new, and it smells like life."
In this heartfelt celebration of love, Newbery Medal-winning author Matt de la Peña and bestselling illustrator Loren Long depict the many ways we experience this universal bond, which carries us from the day we are born throughout the years of our childhood and beyond. With a lyrical text that's soothing and inspiring, this tender tale is a needed comfort and a new classic that will resonate with readers of every age.
A lyrical picture book debut from No.1 New York Times bestselling author and presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman and No.1 New York Times bestselling illustrator Loren Long
"I can hear change humming
In its loudest, proudest song.
I don't fear change coming,
And so I sing along."
In this stirring, much-anticipated picture book by presidential inaugural poet and activist Amanda Gorman, anything is possible when our voices join together. As a young girl leads a cast of characters on a musical journey, they learn that they have the power to make changes - big or small - in the world, in their communities, and in most importantly, in themselves.
With lyrical text and rhythmic illustrations that build to a dazzling crescendo by No.1 New York Times bestselling illustrator Loren Long, Change Sings is a triumphant call to action for everyone to use their abilities to make a difference.
"Long’s gentle but powerful story about a young tree who holds tight to his leaves, even as everyone else lets theirs drop, takes on nothing less than the pain and sorrow of growing up. . . . As in Long’s unaccountably profound books about Otis the tractor, a pure white background somehow adds to the depth."—The New York Times Book Review
In the middle of a little forest, there lives a Little Tree who loves his life and the splendid leaves that keep him cool in the heat of long summer days. Life is perfect just the way it is.
Autumn arrives, and with it the cool winds that ruffle Little Tree's leaves. One by one the other trees drop their leaves, facing the cold of winter head on. But not Little Tree—he hugs his leaves as tightly as he can. Year after year Little Tree remains unchanged, despite words of encouragement from a squirrel, a fawn, and a fox, his leaves having long since turned brown and withered. As Little Tree sits in the shadow of the other trees, now grown sturdy and tall as though to touch the sun, he remembers when they were all the same size. And he knows he has an important decision to make.
From #1 New York Times bestselling Loren Long comes a gorgeously-illustrated story that challenges each of us to have the courage to let go and to reach for the sun.
Praise for Little Tree
* "The illustrations are beautifully rendered . . . Understated and inviting, young readers will be entranced by Little Tree’s difficult but ultimately rewarding journey."—Booklist, starred review
"Long’s gentle but powerful story about a young tree who holds tight to his leaves, even as everyone else lets theirs drop, takes on nothing less than the pain and sorrow of growing up. Season after season, Little Tree clings to his brown-leaved self until he can take a leap and shed his protection. He feels ‘the harsh cold of winter,’ but soon grows tall and green, and it’s not bad at all. As in Long’s unaccountably profound books about Otis the tractor, a pure white background somehow adds to the depth."—The New York Times Book Review
* "[Long's] willingness to take his time and even test the audience’s patience with his arboreal hero’s intransigence results in an ending that’s both a big relief and an authentic triumph. Long’s earnest-eloquent narrative voice and distilled, single-plane drawings, both reminiscent of an allegorical pageant, acknowledge the reality of the struggle while offering the promise of brighter days ahead."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Long is sparing with the text, keeping it simple and beautifully descriptive. Brilliantly colored illustrations done in acrylic, ink, and pencil stand out on bright white pages, with Little Tree taking the center position in each double-page spread. Tender and gentle and altogether lovely."—Kirkus Reviews
"Children will see the tree facing the scariness of change; adult readers may well feel wistful as the story underscores the need to let their babies grow toward independence. Beautiful.
Loren Long has a timeless and magical touch. As he did with The Little Engine That Could, he creates a world of toys and children that go right to the soul. Toy Boat will sail into young hearts and stay there.
Praise for TOY BOAT
* "With plenty of buoyant charm and imaginative artwork, this contemporary Little Toot has an abundance of child appeal."--Booklist, starred review
"A resonant tale with wide appeal."--Publishers Weekly
All across this great big world, jobs are getting done
by many hands in many lands. It takes much more than ONE.
Gorgeously written and illustrated, this is an eye-opening exploration of the many types of work that go into building our world--from the making of a bridge to a wind farm, an amusement park, and even the very picture book that you are reading. An architect may dream up the plans for a house, but someone has to actually work the saws and pound the nails. This book is a thank-you to the skilled women and men who work tirelessly to see our dreams brought to life.
"One to visit again and again..." --Publishers Weekly
There's a log on the bottom of the lake
There's a log on the bottom of the lake
There's a log?
There's a log!
There's a log on the bottom of the lake.
But it turns out there's a a whole lot more than just a log on the bottom of this lake!
A cumulative text featuring repetition and tongue-twisters combine with gorgeous illustrations from New York Times bestselling illustrator Loren Long for a book kids will clamor for at storytime. Endpapers include sheet music and lyrics for kids and parents to have their own singalong!
Giving thanks makes Otis happy. He gives thanks for the land and country he loves. Otis is thankful for time to play games like hide-and-seek and ring-around-the-rosy. He cherishes his farm friends who make life on the ranch as happy as can be. And most of all, everyone's favorite tractor is thankful for the greatest thing in life: love.
Told with a sense of warmth, heart, and above all else, gratefulness, this is an uplifting tale that speaks to the soul of Otis' character and reminds readers that taking the time to appreciate our lives is a virtue in itself. From the creator of the Otis series, and the illustrator of The Little Engine That Could and Of Thee I Sing by President Barack Obama.
On the farm where Otis the tractor lives, it hasn't rained in a long time and farmers all over the valley have grown anxious with water in such short supply. One hot afternoon, when Otis and his friends are resting beneath the shade of the apple tree, Otis spots something moving down in the valley—an orange tabby cat headed straight for the old barn. But then Otis sees something else that causes his engine to sputter . . . a swirl of smoke coming from the same barn. A fire!
As Otis races toward the fire with his friends in tow, he spots the tabby cat mewing in alarm. Otis rushes inside to discover the source of the cat's worries--her little kittens are perched up on the hayloft, scared. Otis never hesitates. Yet even after he delivers a tractor full of kittens safely outside, their mama remains upset. Re-entering the burning barn, Otis discovers why: one tiny kitten, still too scared to move. With a friendly chuff, Otis coaxes her down and she scampers out the door. That's when the floor collapses with a CRASH, trapping the tractor. Now Otis, the friend everyone can count on, must count on his friends.
Told with a sense of play and devotion, this is a heartwarming tale that reminds readers that sometimes even those who we count on to help us need a little help themselves. From the creator of Otis, Otis and the Puppy, and the illustrator of The Little Engine That Could and Of Thee I Sing by President Barack Obama.
Loren Long wrote this story as a tribute to the firefighters who, like Otis, rescue people every day with their strength and bravery. Of course, people who aren't first responders should never go into a burning building for any reason. Reading this story to children is a great opportunity to discuss fire safety.
Praise for Otis and the Kittens
* "As always, perseverance, teamwork, and a heart of gold pay off for Otis and his friends. When read aloud, the text flows off the tongue with sounds and words that extend the imagery created in the attractive gouache and pencil illustrations. The compositions make great use of perspective and motion and are expertly laid out . . . There are wonderful textured details that bring the story to life. [T]he perfect lapsit read-aloud, combining the ever-popular subjects of tractors, farm animals, and firefighters."--School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
"Long's seventh bucolic tale of an antique tractor with a smiling face and a good heart will please the little chuffer's many fans. The dynamic, fluid illustrations with a retro-rural vibe bring to mind Norman Rockwell's America with a Saturday comics spin. The theme of teamwork played out several times through the tale is communicated as simply as the tale itself. Keep on puffin', Otis!"--Kirkus Reviews
"Long creates a powerful sense of suspense and danger as charcoal smoke gathers in the sky and bright flames lick the beams of the barn as Otis goes to work, but bravery, loyalty, and gritty determination are the real stars of the story—traits that Otis and his animal friends have in ample supply."--Publishers Weekly
Featuring the New York Times bestselling character Otis!
Join Otis as he explores the many fun things there are to see on the farm! In this new leveled reader, Otis sees a puppy, a little calf, and even a bull. Kids will love learning to read with one of their favorite characters, Otis the tractor!
On the farm where Otis the tractor lives, the farmer has introduced someone new—a scarecrow to shoo away the pesky crows. But when Otis and the animals greet the scarecrow with friendly smiles, the scarecrow’s frown never leaves his face. So everyone leaves him alone.
Then one day, when a cold autumn rain sets in, Otis and the animals snuggle close and play Otis’s favorite game: the quiet game. Otis knows the puppy and ducks can’t sit still for long, and soon the farm friends begin to giggle and squirm, feeling warmed by one another’s friendship . . . but on this day, Otis can't seem to take his eyes off the lonely figure in the cornfield.
A deeply resonant book about subtle acts of compassion and standing up for others, featuring everyone's favorite tractor, Otis.
Praise for OTIS AND THE SCARECROW:
"Otis the tractor’s goodhearted nature continues to shine in his fifth picture book." –Publishers Weekly
“Readers will enjoy this sixth tale of an admirable leader who does the right thing with quiet confidence.” –Booklist
“Teachers will see the connection between the lonely scarecrow and the outsider in the classroom and will be able to find many uses for this volume in the curriculum. Fans will enjoy this more cerebral Otis and might build a little empathy along the way.” –Kirkus Reviews
“Loren Long creates a perfect book for the beginning of the school year with "Otis and the Scarecrow."--Examiner.com