Fred's Blog


How to Make Someone Fall in Love (with your Manuscript)

I once heard from a well-published illustrator that if he’s going to work on a project, he has to fall so deeply in love with the manuscript that it becomes part of him–almost as if he had helped write it. As a young illustrator, the notion seemed impossible. I was reasonably certain I’d never encounter […]

Read More

#BannedBooksWeek

Life is pretty explicit. It’s raw; and, at times, tragic. Books that are written about difficult and extraordinary circumstances can help kids cope, identify, and even expose the terrible things they’ve been through. So I support #BannedBooksWeek.

Read More

Little Jumbo to Hang Out with Society of Illustrators

Holy Cannoli! So I saw where a bunch of my fellow illustrator friends were to be represented at the 2014 Society of Illustrators Original Art Exhibit in New York City in October. (And to see Mike Curato win the Founder’s Award… Whaaa?! Go Mike!) Anyways, I sent myself a reminder for this time next year […]

Read More

Mail Call!

I love getting notes from the students I’ve met along the way. This awesome set of letters came from Mrs. Hamilton’s class in Ocala. My favorite bit was a portrait of me that looks an awful lot like a bald leprechaun. Priceless!

Read More

Let’s hear it for New York

Little Jumbo wandered into the offices of the New York Times,  somehow talked his way into their online department, and then charmed them into putting him in a Father’s Day post. Some days I don’t even know what to do with this little guy. http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2014/06/04/books/04childrens-3.html

Read More

One Day… I started a new Picture Book

Super-groovy awesome stuff is going on right now in my studio, and I’ve just sent off concepts for a book I’ve been hired to illustrated titled “One Day The End,” written by Rebecca Kai Dotlich and acquired by Rebecca Davis at Boyds Mills Press. The deal was struck by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary. On the […]

Read More

The Writing Process – Author Blog Tour

The first time I met author/illustrator/artist/awesome human being Janeen Mason, we were both sitting in the back of the room at an SCBWI conference. I think we ended up shooting spitballs at each other before it all said and done. And needless to say, we became great friends. She tagged me for this blog post; […]

Read More

A great review for How To Cheer Up Dad from The Bulletin

Little Jumbo is baffled by his dad’s insistence on adding raisins to breakfast and his forgetting that Little Jumbo doesn’t like brown overalls, and the little guy is further unclear as to why his then shooting the aforementioned raisins at the ceiling or running around the neighborhood sans pants causes Dad to be upset. After […]

Read More

A Star from Kirkus!

How To Cheer Up Dad has nabbed its second starred review, this time from Kirkus, the notoriously exclusive review company. This is reason to celebrate! In Koehler’s picture-book debut, Little Jumbo repeatedly tries the patience of his dad but then does his best to make everything better. Before the story starts, readers know that Dad […]

Read More