Monday, December 29, 2014

Mr. Pig Visits . . . Lizi Boyd

Hello! Thanks for joining me here in Vermont! 

I'm all bundled up because I'm on my way to visit the talented author-illustrator Lizi Boyd! She created the picture books Inside Outside, I Love My Mommy, I Love My Daddy, and most recently, the highly praised Flashlight.

Hmm. . . . where is her studio? Lizi told me it sits on a hill above a field of apple trees with a long view to the mountains. Through her tall windows the inside and outside are one, and oh-- I see it!

<<knock, knock>>

Hello, Lizi! It's me, Mr. Pig! But you might have guessed that already.

Well, I don't often get dapper pigs at my door. Good to see you! Come in and get warm.

You are visiting me when I’m working fast and furious towards a tight deadline. All the studio tables are full. It is wintery and quiet inside but noisy with images and thoughts.

I like my studio. It sits above a field of apple trees with long mountain views to the south. Today I’m working on cover sketches and ideas for back cover spots.

Alongside the drawing board is another table filled with illustrations that I’m still working on. Behind me is a third long table with finished illustrations, so I am surrounded! It helps to see the whole book lying about. And when I come downstairs in the morning to work, it’s as if I’m folding myself into all the images and pages of the book. It’s both chaotic and calming.

Fascinating! Thanks for the sneak peek. Hey, there's a copy of Flashlight! It was a Little Crooked Cottage Pick of the Week. These two illustrations are my favorite.

From FLASHLIGHT. Illustration copyright 2014 by Lizi Boyd.
From FLASHLIGHT. Illustration copyright 2014 by Lizi Boyd.
Thank you, Mr. Pig!

Lizi, who are these characters?

These are old Kokeshi dolls. They were given to me by a second cousin who brought them back from Japan. My favorite one is on the right, this one has a childs’ hands and play in it. It’s slightly worn, its wood color darker, richer, friendlier.

 This is a wall of quick sketches and funny old, wooden architects curls.

 And this is my gazing-out–of-window just above my drawing board.

Oh, I love a good gazing-out-of-window! Now, tell me about him.

He sits just outside the studio windows and works at keeping the calm.

 I have quite a few carved African masks. I love their simplicity and strength.

 This one has such strong, flat colors and design. The masks keep me company.

And these are some characters I made while I was working on an idea for a book. I needed to meet them so I made them. They are still holding back on telling me their whole story but one day when they’re ready they’ll tell me.

They look like they have a lot to share! Lizi, could you please show us what's above your studio?

Sure. Above my studio is our wonderful porch, even in winter it is a good place to take a tea break.

Lovely! I see some bird tracks down below. Do you?

You're right. About now I feel like both birds crossing paths with myself trying to finish up this book. 

Well, I won't stand in the way of a new Lizi Boyd book. Thanks for giving us a tour of your beautiful studio, Lizi! It's a magical place. 

I didn’t say too much, the noisy me is distracted, But I'm glad you enjoyed the tour of my studio. Thank you, Mr. Pig, for visiting!

About Lizi Boyd
Photo: Cary Hazlegrove
Lizi Boyd has written and illustrated many acclaimed children’s books, including Flashlight, Inside Outside, Black Dog Gets Dressed, I Love Grandma, I Love Grandpa, I Love Mommy, and I Love Daddy

She also creates papers, ribbons, cards, and other works of delight.  

To learn more about Lizi's work, visit her website.

Praise for Lizi's latest book
by Lizi Boyd
Chronicle Books, 2014
ISBN 978-1452118949

An NPR Best Book of the Year

* "This elegant book serves to alleviate fear of night noises, instigate talk of nocturnal creatures, or bring calm as a bedtime story." --School Library Journal, starred review

* "A wordless picture book both soothing and gently humorous." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"A must-have wordless picture book." --Library Media Connection, starred review

"Positively breathtaking. nothing short of brilliant. No book more purely beautiful has appeared this year." --The Boston Globe

"Boyd showcases a child who is fully capable of educating and entertaining himself with only a few simple tools (a camping tent, a flashlight) at his disposal." --Publishers Weekly

"Beneath the sweet, enchanting illustrations . . . lies a deeper reminder about the wonderland that unfolds when one is simply willing to look." --Maria Popova, Brainpickings

Read all of Lizi's books! 

[Top, from left to right: Flashlight, Inside Outside, Black Dog Gets Dressed; Bottom: I Love Daddy, I Love Mommy, I Love Grandma, I Love Grandpa]


  1. What a beautiful studio! A wonderful place to create. The illustrations are enchanting. Thank you for introducing me to Lizi and her work. :) ~ Jess

    1. You are quite welcome! Thanks for reading and commenting, Jess!

  2. FLASHLIGHT was a favorite of 2014! (And now I have major porch envy.) :) Thanks for the tour, Mr. Pig and Lizi!

  3. Visiting Lizi was a lot of fun! I love her intriguing collections.

    1. Yes, Lizi's studio is a treasure trove of cool stuff and beautiful art. Thanks for reading and commenting Cathy!