Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Boat #1! The BIG BLUE BOAT

We've finally made it! Our countdown is complete! We've traveled the world and arrived home just in time to wish Jonathan good luck as he embarks on his own adventure aboard the Big Blue Boat.

If you're new to this blog I've been counting down to the release date of my newest book Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat using boat and ship stamps from around the world. I began collecting boat stamps when I was 10 or 11 years old. This blog has really just been an excuse to spend a year doing something that I loved to do as a kid. I would recommend that everyone try this sometime.

So Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat releases today, June 7th. By the way, this is Jonathan:

In this story Jonathan heads out on a journey to find his missing bear, Frederick. This is Frederick:

Frederick also happens to be my bear too. I got Frederick when I was 3 years old. I took him everywhere. Here is Frederick helping me open presents on Christmas Day:

And here is Frederick (many years later) accompanying Erin and I on a road trip through bear country:

Here is Jonathan holding up Frederick so Frederick can see the Big Blue Boat:

When Frederick goes missing Jonathan boards the Big Blue Boat. A tugboat captain waves goodbye:
Jonathan makes new friends along the way—a mountain goat, a circus elephant, a whale:

They encounter trouble along the way. There are pirates:

And lifeboats:

Will Jonathan ever find Frederick? Find out at your local bookstore or library!

Making Jonathan was the most fun and rewarding creative adventure of my life so far. Although 365 Boats ends here I hope that my journey (and Jonathan's) will soon be your journey too.

But in the meantime...

You can read more about the creation of the artwork in Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat by heading over to Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast (my favorite internet meeting place for all things related to children's book illustration).

To watch a homemade book trailer for Jonathan simply click here. And to read a little bit about the creation of the book trailer just click here.

And of course you're welcome to stick around a while at 365 Boats and tour the world via the global postal system.

Safe travels,

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Boat(s) #4, THE FINAL 10 - Highlights from a Few of My Favorite Stamp Sets

Many of my best boat stamps come from the British Isles. Today we're paying one last visit to the Isle of Man. Tomorrow we'll swing by the Bailiwick of Guernsey.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Boat #6, THE FINAL 10 - Highlights from a Few of My Favorite Stamp Sets

Someday I'd like to illustrate a book and have it look much like like this stamp. In fact it kind of reminds me of one of my favorite books, Alberic the Wise and Other Journeys, by Norton Juster, illustrated by Domenico Gnoli...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Boat #10, THE FINAL 10 - Highlights from a Few of My Favorite Stamp Sets

We begin our final ten with this gorgeously illustrated stunner from Panama. Besides being a great stamp it also happens to remind me of my favorite palindrome: a man a plan a canal Panama. Go ahead, try it backwards: a man a Plan a canal panama

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Announcing the Final Ten Boats!

This elephant is very pleased to announce that beginning May 29th we will be counting down our LAST 10 BOATS en route to our final destination, the release date of Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat (June 7th). The top ten will include greatest hits from some of my absolute favorite stamp sets. So come on back on the 29th. You won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Boat #11, United States - Know Your Arctic Explorers

Feeling bored or uninspired? Try googling Elisha Kent Kane and learning a little bit about an arctic explorer you've never heard of. This guy led a pretty fascinating life. Kane and his men were trapped in the arctic ice for 21 months. Facing a third winter on the ice they made a daring 83 day march which ultimately led to their rescue. Of course all during the harrowing two year icy siege the Inuit in the neighborhood were happily hunting, eating well, and occasionally guiding a lost and frostbitten explorer back to his poorly insulated ship. Makes you wonder who the real explorers were.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Boat(s) #13, Monserrat

We're getting close to our final destination. Today we have a wonderful set from Montserrat complete in its original, fully illustrated sheet.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

Boat #18, Belgium

Looks like this stamp has had a rough trip.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

Boat #21, Senegal

Boat #22, United States

David Glasgow Farragut and his foster brother David Dixon Porter were two very important figures in U.S. naval history. Farragut was in command of the Union fleet that overtook New Orleans on April 25, 1862, a turning point in the Civil War.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Boat(s) #23, Monaco

A great pair of ships from Monaco:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Boat #24, Wallis and Futuna

Wallis and Futuna is a French Polynesian territory that sits right about here:

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Boat #26, United States

I've said it here before, but it always amazes me that a tiny piece of paper like this can survive in tact for over a century.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Boat #31, Poland

What a great stamp!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Friday, April 29, 2011