A couple of years ago, my brother-in-law David Mizell created this diorama for a college class featuring me (!!!) among cherished characters, cityscapes, and landscapes from WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE by Maurice Sendak (my favorite picture book), THE ARRIVAL by Shaun Tan (my favorite graphic novel), THE WIZARD OF OZ by Frank Baum, and a few of my illustrations and manuscripts.

It’s always a treat to revisit this scene whenever we’re in Norton. I thought it was about time I shared it with my friends and fellow book lovers.

Entire Scene

The cityscape is mostly adapted from THE ARRIVAL. I’m sitting on THE WIZARD OF OZ’s yellow brick road amid its magical sea of poppies.

The characters are Bernard and Moishe from WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE; the creature from THE ARRIVAL (whom I am holding! Ah!); and reimaginings of Owl and Ostrich, Pip and Papa, and Rachel the Robot from my own illustrations and manuscripts.

Scene from Above Scene from Above (2) Me Holding the Creature From The Arrival Owl and Ostrich with Bernard in the Background Pip and Papa with Moishe in the Background Rachel the Robot

Basically, it’s my idea of Heaven.

David and his equally talented twin brother Jacob are earning their B.F.A. degrees at Fort Hays State University. A not-so-secret wish of mine is that they both pursue careers in children’s book illustration. How wonderful would that be?


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