Themed Art: Nest

John Shelley - For the themed topic of NEST here's a spread from my very first picture-book, a small mass-market novelty book Night Eyes, written by Peter Ward, published by Crystal Clear in London, 1986. Every other spread had heat sensitive hidden pictures that appeared on the dark background when you warmed the page with your hand - hence the dark subject - a night wander through the woods. This spread actually has a hidden stream in the printed book.


From FARADAWN, by Susan Schade and Jon Buller (Simon & Schuster, 2007)

Here's smiling at you...

Here's smiling at you... my PicBookArts contribution featuring teeth.  I liked this quick easy style that matches drawing and digital color.

John Nez


Here's a toothy drawing from a novel - one of the climatic text illustrations from Volume 1 of Robin Jarvis's The Deptford Mice series, the Japanese edition of which I illustrated some years ago. The publishers felt the original author-created drawings were unsuitably 'in the face' for Japanese tastes, so I re-illustrated the whole series. It's about plucky mice surviving in a dark and magical world of South London, terrorised by rats and a demonic cat - the owner of these fangs.

10th Children's Choice Book Awards

Not a sheep or a lamb, but for me March ushered in ELEPHANTS.  My book, Once Upon an Elephant, is a finalist in the 10th Children's Choice Book Awards.  I am over the moon - and I could use your help!  Voting began today and runs each day until May 7th.  Vote for Once Upon an Elephant, here, and share and spread the word!  Thank you! 

I am so excited to have Once Upon an Elephant on this award voting list. Not only is it a great book, but it will help children (and the adults in their lives) understand the important role this keystone species plays on the African savanna. It's up for 3rd-4th grade but any age can vote for the book!…/2017-childrens-choice-book-awar…
Help spread the word...and please vote for it! Thanks.

I cannot tell you how much I loved illustrating Once Upon an Elephant. I have always been fascinated with elephants, my mother bought me replica elephants when I was a little girl - I played safari in our grassy yard. Through my illustrations, I wanted to take the reader on a little journey of Africa, I wanted little children's fingers to touch the animals on the pages and pretend they are on their own safari. I believe through Linda Stanek's words and my art that goal has been accomplished. Check out the book, feel the sun baked Earth, smell the grass, hear the elephants trumpet. Read about how essential elephants are to their environment. Let me know what you think.  

Check the book out over at Arbordale 
On Amazon here
Read more about the 10th Children's Choice Book Award on Publisher's Weekly.
Read Arbordale's Press Release.


From slowing wildfires to planting seeds, one animal is the true superhero that keeps the African savanna in balance. Elephants dig to find salt that other animal lick, their deep footprints collect water for small creatures to drink, and they eat young trees to keep the forest from overtaking the grasslands. In every season, the elephants are there to protect the savanna and its residents – but what would happen if the elephants were only “once upon a time”? Read along to discover the important role this keystone species plays in the savanna and explore what would happen if the elephants vanished.

About the award:
Launched in 2008 by the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader, the awards provide young readers with an opportunity to voice their opinions about new books being written for them.

How were these finalists chosen? Each year, over 36,000 children from different regions of the U.S. read, discuss, and choose their favorite new books, with supervision from the International Literacy Association. The most popular books in each age group become the Children’s Choice Book Award finalists. 

Counting Sheep & Bears

Here's a little spot from a magazine story, with a fun twist on the theme of 'counting sheep'. 

John Nez -


This is an illustration completed for a series of books on climate change entitled "Earth Has a Fever" for ABDO Books. This is half of the double spread illustration. Spring is arriving earlier due to climate warming and this upsets the balance of delicate ecosystems and can be detrimental to ecosystem services and the survival of many species.

March; in like a lion, out like a LAMB!

Lambs and sheep are the theme for March. These are three illustrations from If You Love Honey that have sheep. The final image is from Storytime in the Dome at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. On March 2 we're going to be reading this book in the Dome. Afterwards we'll head downstairs to make an art and craft project that relates to the book. As a bonus we'll explore the live bee exhibit in the main gallery and do some waggle dancing on the museum's waggle dance floor. It should be fun!

The author is Martha Sullivan, the book is illustrated by me, Cathy Morrison and published by Dawn Publications.

Happy March!

If you love ladybugs, You're bound to love goldenrod.
If you love butterflies, You just have to love clover!
If you love blue jays, It's a fair bet you love blackberries.
Storytime in the Dome at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery
You'll fine more information and illustrations on my Studio With A View Blog.
Thanks for taking a look!