6.15.2009

Take a Look Inside the Book (and a Giveaway)

Now that the veil has been lifted, allow me to show off what I've been keeping under wraps since January. Yes, a bit of self-indulgence, but this is my very first children's book and I CAN'T HELP MYSELF! I'm extremely excited to share with you all some spreads of How To Train With a T.Rex and Win 8 Gold Medals. If you like what you see, why not click on the book title and order it? It'll make me happy. And my family. We're counting on you. No pressure.

(However, if you want a freebie, I'm offering a BOOK GIVEAWAY further down in this post!)

Allow me to take you on a visual tour of the book:

How To Train With a T. Rex: front cover
Holding up the cover, you can see the gold foil lettering and gold medals. Looks pretty cool, I think. Hard to photograph, though.

How To Train With a T. Rex: back cover
I like what my art director did with the back cover here. Lucy took what I had drawn for page 5 and put it on the back. Nice.

How To Train With a T. Rex: spine

How To Train With a T. Rex: Title pages
I like how this spread looked. Simple and basic.

How To Train With a T. Rex: pages 4-5
The dog is Herman, Michael's very own pet bulldog. I looked at pictures and video that was available of Herman (not much actually) and tried to match the color patterns found on his coat.

The audience on the right was a pain. I didn't want it to look like I just drew 10 shapes of people and copy pasted the heck out of it. I really went in and drew and touched up almost every single "person".

How To Train With a T. Rex: pages 6-7
This was a fun spread, showing the relative time it took for Michael to train leading up to the Olympics (it goes to 2003, but who's counting). We decided to go with a boy growing up, alongside his pet bulldog, from birth to six years old. Even though it's not really Michael here, I made it look like the kid's really into swimming (he reads a book called "How to Swim Like a Dolphin", for instance).

How To Train With a T. Rex: pages 16-17
The whole eating up to 10,000 calories thing is fascinating to kids, so it was fun to visualize the fact that it would be like eating tons of pizza. Of course, eating just pizza would be sorta not healthy, so that's why you see a "I could never eat that much pizza!" line.

Easter Egg alert: the name of the pizza delivery service is "Ava's Pizza".

How To Train With a T. Rex: pages 20-21
When in doubt, DINOSAURS! I had a blast drawing this spread—I mean, who doesn't love T. Rex's and Velociraptors?

I was *this* close to putting my graffiti tag on that subway car.

How To Train With a T. Rex: pages 28-29
Wrapping it up. Getting near the end of our journey, as we recap all the things that Michael had to endure to reach his goal at Beijing.

Phelps/Jenkins
Okay, one more shot.

------------ BOOK GIVEAWAY!!! ------------


Now that the book is officially released, I'm going to celebrate by offering a signed copy of the book! (Sorry, not signed by Michael, just me.) I'll make it even MORE worth your while by throwing a 5x7 print from my Etsy shop into the mix. How's that? Yeah? Yeah!

Okay, what you need to do is leave a comment on this blog post by midnight (PST) Wednesday, June 17 and I'll have one of my kids pick a number out of a hat. The winner will be announced this Friday, the 19th.

GOOD LUCK!


UPDATE: Comments are now closed. Thanks for participating, guys!

219 comments:

  1. Ooooh! Maybe I should get a prize for being first? :)

    Nice work! Can't wait to see it in person!

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  2. Pick me, kids!

    I don't use Blogger but you can find me on SaturdayMorningCentral.com and soon on PixarFanboy.com.

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  3. Congratulations Ward! How exciting for your first book, and really great illustrations!

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  4. Ok. I'll start it out. You shoulda totally put your tag on that car. dude.

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  5. Nice book! Hope your kids favorite number is 1!

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  6. Looks really fun!
    Please pick me kids!
    I'm #1!
    Hooray!

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  7. awesome stuff Ward thanks for sharing..Count me in for the book.

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  8. Congrats Ward. This looks really fun. I'm going to buy it right NOW! :)

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  9. Wow, that is simply fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing. I've been following your blog for a while now, and you've finally weaseled a comment out of me with this signed copy offer. ;-) Love it!

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  10. Congratulations!

    I dig the book and the fact that you are doing a give away - but what are the chances that your kids will pick the number 1???

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  11. sweet book! did you see him growing his spitz stash recently? woulda made a funny page too, however liability issues im sure.. hope to see it soon. its very cool

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  12. Man, this looks great! Dinosaurs, dogs and pizzas, love it! Is going in to my "to buy" list at amazon... because I never ever win a thing.

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  13. Excellent! Tell Ava I'll take two large pizzas, one with mushrooms and one with sausage!

    (BTW, excellent work. I'm really excited for you. And even if we win the freebie we'll go buy one to support the team!)

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  14. Congratulations Ward! This is very exciting. God is good.

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  15. That looks fantastic! I'll be sure to Tweet it on.

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  16. Hiya Ward!

    I'd love a chance to win a signed copy of your neat-o new book!

    Rock,

    Dan Wheeler

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  17. *writes down name and places in hat*

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  18. this is way super cool! {i use to be a swimmer + i watched michael swim to his 8 gold medals}

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  19. Wow. Ward. That. Looks. Amazing.

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  20. Hey Great work man, love your style... I'am Greg btw... cool stuff..

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  21. I have two nieces and a nephew that would love this book and I would love a 5 x 7 print. Win-win.

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  22. this book has awesome celebrity tie-in written all over it.

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  23. Very cool artwork! Would love to get this book! Please choose me kids! :)Thanks!

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  24. Oh fantastic! Good to see it (them!) in the flesh! :)

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  25. Please pick me! I have a couple of nieces who would truly appreciate it, and my daughters and I would love a print.

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  26. Sign me up, I love winning stuff!

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  27. Fantastic illustrations as usual.

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  28. Great looking book! I know my daughter would love it!

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  29. Awesome! I would really like to win!—But, if I don't I'm gonna have to go buy it, because it looks amazing!

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  30. Your book looks just amazing! Congrats!

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  31. WooHoo! Awesome book by an awesome illustrator!

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  32. Book looks awesome, ward! Congrats! :D

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  33. Man, I liked the cover, but to actually see some of the other illustrations. That's REALLY COOL! Good job man.

    P.S. I hope I can grow up to be like you. Mike Phelps has nothin on your mad skills. Said jokingly, but... really... Just like you!

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  34. The photos look awesome!! Beautiful work. I hope it's me!

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  35. Congrats on the book. It looks great! I don't have little kids, but if I win, I will proudly donate it to our local elementary school, where my friend is a 2nd grade teacher.

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  36. Of course we'll have to buy the book, but the idea of WINNING it is so much fun :) Especially since we watched every race he swam. Then there's the idea that I knew YOU when.... :0)
    It looks great. Can't wait.

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  37. Hey Ward- I would love to win a copy! Book looks great and fun.

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  38. Ha ha! I had to laugh - up till midnight again, eh? :) Well, I'd love to throw my hat in the ring!

    Congrats on the new book - you're an inspiration!

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  39. Very cool and compelling artwork! Great stuff!

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  40. Great work. I love how you keep the drawings with an aspect of roughness to them. Totally inspiring.

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  41. Wow - that's a heck of a giveaway, Ward! Count me in!

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  42. So great, Ward. Congratulations on the book and wonderful to see this little peek at it. Your illustrations are fantastic :)

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  43. Congrats Ward! All jokes aside, it must be pretty cool to hold that book in your hands hey? Did you donate a copy to your local library?

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  44. CONGRATULATIONS!! It looks fabulous!

    And I wanna copy!!

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  45. ward, i can just feel you beaming over this, i'm so damn happy for you!

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  46. Very nice work. Rich colors. Congratz again.

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  47. I've ordered my copy, but I'd love to have a signed copy that the kiddos can't touch. Plus, I'd love to have one of your other prints, besides. Sign me up!

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  48. Love your art work! I have enjoyed following you over the years. Thanks for sharing your wonderful skill with all of us in bloggerville!

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  49. What a beautiful book! I don't have kids yet but I really want a copy for them when I do!

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  50. Neato! Love the art style!

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  51. Wish I could get one! Love your drawing and specially your coloring style.

    Anyway, If I don't win one of the signed copies i will buy it 'cause I love it!

    Greetings from the (not so) sunny (north of) Spain

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  52. Want.

    Also, I enjoyed watching your ustream (it was ustream, right?) of the t-rex. Although, I think you mentioned that you were already done with it when you were (re-)drawing it?

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  53. Amazing work. Combines two of my biggest passions: Illustration and competitive swimming :)

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  54. Wowiee! The illustrations are lovely. I especially liked the "I trained for 6 years' page.

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  55. Very nice piece of work! I just love children's book illustration - actually some day I hope I'll do some myself. Until then, I would love to win a signed copy of your book!

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  56. Leaving a comment is a lot easier than training for six years.

    Brilliant work, anyway!

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  57. The illustrations are niiiiice. Good luck with the book sales... I love dinos.

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  58. I don't know. I have been training for six years to make this exact post. Was it worth it? I think so.

    Hold your applause.

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  59. Love the book man! If I wasn't a poor uni student, I'd have loved to buy a copy myself!

    purvis dot daniel at gmail dot com

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  60. This is a marvellous example of how artwork can be entertaining to kids and not be a gaudy exaggeration.

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  61. Don't pick me. Does it come with a T.Rex?

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  62. I like kids books. I like your kids book. I like swimming with magic.

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  63. You should do another one! Maybe, how to train for however many years and illustrate a children's book?

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  64. genial, me gustaría verlo en físico, i really like it

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  65. Hi, I followed you here from Drawn and wanted to say congratulations on your new book! It looks fantastic and is now on my list of stuff to buy after payday :D

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  66. Im so excited!

    Jasmine Silver
    jasilver@pdx.edu

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  67. Incredible lovely art. It's very charming and hilarious and I am sure a lot of kids will love it just like I love it. I am wondering how you tested this book on your children and if you did like "hey kids what do you think of this page?" and they are like "DADDY ADD THIS" and you are like "oh WOW great idea" - getting kid's feedback for a kid's back. So good luck with your book :)

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  68. Wow, this book looks sweet! Great work!

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  69. Congratulation! This book looks really great and I hope it will be published in my country soon (Czech rep.)
    Best regards to you, Ward
    V.

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  70. Congratulations Ward!!! That book looks great! Hope you will make more of such wonderful books...

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  71. Congratulations!! I love the book! Grat piece of art :) Warm greetings from Poland!

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  72. Looks amazing, love the compositions and colors!!! Plus, adding dinosaurs to everything doesn't hurt :)

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  73. That is a good lookin book! And man, those Olympic games were so awesome to watch.

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  74. this book is amazing!!!
    please please please let me have one :)
    it is a true masterpiece.

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  75. Great looking artwork. Congratulations.

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  76. I once won 6 gold medals once whilst training a diplodocus. Everyone does indeed love dinosaurs, thinking about it robots to.

    Book looks great...good work.

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  77. Looks like an awesome book with lots of good things! The 'Ava's Pizza' thing? Is that one of your kids favourite pizza places?

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  78. Awesome work! I really love your style!

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  79. ALOHA!

    congrats on the book! it's looks GREAT! i love childrens book largely because of the illustrations and this is brilliant!

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  80. ¡I want it! And i wonder if you will going to send it to Argentina... anyway.

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  81. Congratulations Ward, a great looking book. I have been following you on your blog and on Flickr for some time, a great inspiration. Fantastic to see someone getting the recognition their art achieves. Hope the book sells well, hope it's available in the UK too!!

    Sarah Kershaw :-)

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  82. the illustrations seems old school, but still hype.. the graphic design is also great :)
    how long did take to complete the book?

    []s

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  83. The book looks great - congratulations :)

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  84. Utterly elegant. An instant classic.

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  85. ggggGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrroOÂÂÂRRRRH!!!!



    :-)

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  86. haha, what an awesome idea for a book. Lovely illustrations too.
    *BINGO*!!!!

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  87. Wow! What a great surprise. I've been too busy to tour even my favorite sites for a few months, and I pop in to find a nice treat for you, and a nice treat for me (whether I win, or purchase a copy).

    Congratulations! The book looks stunning. I can't wait to read it in its entirety.

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  88. Your book looks fantastic. The colors are incredibly vibrant and electric with lots of energy. A great complement to the subject matter.

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  89. Very nice book. I would like to have one.
    From Chile my best regards,

    Pablo Lara H

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  90. Ooh, well, not commenting for the prize as such but I'll get the book in the UK. My 5 year old daughter thought The Olympics were completely the best thing ever.

    I love the illustration work. Really nice stuff.

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  91. Great illustrations! Awesome job!

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  92. Maybe you too will get a Gold Medal!
    A Caldecott Medal! Congratulations!

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  93. I'm a librarian at an art & design college and the students would love to see this! Great work!

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  94. Awesome! Congratulations. Love the type and colors in the book.

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  95. Congratulations, Ward! The book is beautiful! The colors really pop. The text looks hand-lettered, though I'm assuming it's just a font with that kind of look, yes? Well done!

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  96. Ahoy! The book looks wonderful; can't wait to read it "in person."

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  97. Congrats! Great work! I hope the book goes far!

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  98. I love this book...I've been using the Olympics as a theme in my sports comic but I am curious if you were able to use the word "Olympics" in the book? If I don't win a copy I guess I'll have to pick one up at the book store. Congratulations again!

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  99. Ward,
    Congrats on the book. As usual, your stuff looks great. It's always tough to do caricatures, but you did a nice job. Good luck!!

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  100. Oh my goodness you're amazingly talented what a fantastic + fun book! Wow....

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  101. Neat-O!

    I got linked here through DRAWN. They know good stuff when they see it!

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  102. this book looks so slick.

    good job man

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  103. This is great. Congrats! Hopefully the first step in a long line of children's books.

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  104. Excellent, Ward. I can't wait to see this in person!

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  105. well... here is my comment, in a probably approximative english!
    (yes, i'm french)
    i'd like to train my english (i hope less than six years may be necessary?!)

    however, nice idea & nice drawings!

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  106. I think my son might like it almost as much as I will. Looks fantastic!

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  107. I teach kindergarten. My kinderkids would really love your book. So do I!!!

    mj.coward[at]gmail.com

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  108. Congrats! Looks great.

    I think the whole eating 10,000 calories a day is fascinating to everyone. I wish I could eat that much sometimes. It would be interesting to find out how much time he spends just on chewing each day.

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  109. CONGRATS! the book looks fantastic! i will be buying this book either way!

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  110. Congratulations on your first (of many more to come) children's book! It looks beautiful.

    And the chance to win a signed copy? Even better than eating your weight in pizza.

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  111. Congratulations! The book looks awesome!

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  112. Beautiful illustrations, looking forward to picking them up.

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  113. this is terrific, and well done with all the comments.

    This is comment 130!!!

    Wow!

    Can't wait to get a copy.

    (a free one would be great to, if you know what I mean ¨cough¨)

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  114. nice style. came here through drawn.ca. My nephew is gonna love these.

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  115. Niice! A book frm ma favourite artist!

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  116. This book looks ever so nice!

    Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.
    --Special Olympics Motto

    What else can I say...?

    With loving regards,
    Christine

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  117. This book looks ever so nice!
    Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.
    --Special Olympics Motto
    With loving regards from Chriztine/ The Netherlands

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  118. I've always wanted to know how to train with a T.Rex! Your book is an answer to my dreams...

    Congratulations! It's an amazing achievement.

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  119. Congratulations - everything looks great! Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to seeing future kids books.

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  120. oh, count me in please :) your book is awesome. congratulations!

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  121. This book looks SO good! Either way I'm getting one but still...PICK ME!

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  122. loving the back cover! what a beautiful accomplishment.

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  123. Congrats Ward on your first book! Very exciting, and yes, I want one!

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  124. can you tell i am super excited for you! going to get a copy of the book asap!!! congrats ward, you deserve all the props in the world.

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  125. Big congrats on your first of many!

    I'm working on my own children's book right now and for various reasons, this is very heartening for me to see. I hope it does well!

    I'll keep an eye out for this book around the place.

    Good luck in the future!

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  126. Congratulations! Lovely illustrations!

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  127. Congratulations! But how does the T-Rex fit into this story?

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  128. Congrats! Any book with dinosaurs is a sure winner- fantastic illustrations too!

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  129. Congratulations, it looks great!

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  130. Looking at this reminds me of the excitement I would have when I was a kid when buying some kind of "Special Edition" anything! Mearly a stepping stone my friend!! Good luck! And I hope I win this sucker!
    email@ jorgefibarra@hotmail.com

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  131. Great work on the book, I love the style, colors, it seems like an exciting book, it caught my attention right away, I'll probably buy it if I don't win it!

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  132. Great job Ward!! i've been following you since the 'uncanny valley' days and am happy to see your work in print!!

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  133. This is exciting. I had heard about Phelps new book, but I was very surprised to find out that you were the artist. I've been following your blog and flickr stream for quite some time now.

    Congratulations Ward.

    If I win, I can be reached at (jeffmilner(at)gmail.com)

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  134. What a fun job to illustrate children's books! Congrats! I love it! I just found your blog, and now plan to follow it!

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  135. wow, so many comments already! but i'll try anyway :) and congratulations, what a great achievement, really!

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  136. here goes, lucky number...whatever number I am :)

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  137. I hope your kids will pick me! I have never seen work of you before, but it's interesting :-).

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  138. Looks great man! Congratulations!

    It's a great feeling being published, innit?

    ;)

    Ken

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  139. Wow, Ward. I am blown away. The art is well-done. It will be a fun book for kids to read as they learn about olympic training.

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  140. So great!! And to have Ava's name snuck into a book--she will treasure that forever. Congrats!!

    bebalm@bellsouth.net

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  141. Wonderful and beautiful work as always! Congrats!

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  142. yeah! we love dinosaurs at our house!

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  143. hey! Congrats for the book! I hope to publish one of mine as soon as I finish it (I have 90% of the story, but still have to do all the art...)
    GOOD JOB!!!! (hope to win the copy!)

    Big hug from Argentina

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  144. "Number 166 (Fingers Crossed)!"

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  145. and the number is....me!!!! yeeeeaaaahhh!!!!!

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  146. Wow! 166 comments! Does a guy posting the 167th one have a chance of winning the freebie?

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  147. Ward, I don't know how you are going to read all of these comments and catch mine. ITS DON!!! Congrats this book looks so wonderful! I happy you are still kickin ass out there! I hope your family is doing well! Mucho respect and love!

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  148. This book looks wonderful!

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  149. Well, I have followed your blog for a while and am a great admirer of your work. I would love to win! And even if I don't I will still support your work.

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  150. Can I just say that the bulldog is absolutely adorable?


    And even if I don't win a copy, I'll likely go buy one, because who can resist it?

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  151. Congratulations on the book. We'd love to have it in our library.

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  152. I'll surely buy it for my daughter if I don't win but winning would be super! We live in Maryland, maybe we could get Michael to sign it on a home visit!

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  153. Congratulations, it looks great!

    marielay@gmail.com

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  154. Looks great and I'm glad to see the downturn in public opinion over Michael didn't stop this book from being released.

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  155. AMAZING JOB! Congrats and the first publication! Many more to come I'm sure.

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  156. =) very pretty =) good work
    comment 178 lucky enuf? lol

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  157. I'm so glad your children's book is complete. Congratulations Ward!

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  158. Congratulations Ward! Looks really nice, I somehow hoped you'd do a children's book one day :). And Ava must be so proud to get this little mention there! I'm happy for you! YAY!!!

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  159. Congratulations! The book looks great!

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  160. Congratulations! This book looks really great! Love it!

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  161. Hi! Really cool book, i'm not a kid and i pretty much want it!! love the illustrations!

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  162. Lovely book and particularly like the design of it. Glad to see you joining the ranks of animation artists working in non moving pictures. (If you know what I mean)

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  163. The book looks Fantastic! I have been following you work for some time finally we can all own a book of you illustrations. Congratulations

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  164. The book is beautiful! My copies came in the mail yesterday, but I've already gifted them away. So..please count me in to win the signed copy!

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  165. congratulations. it's a brilliant idea. ... maybe i'll add dinosaurs to my book of tall tales. babe the blue ox versus the tyranosaur should be pretty thrilling.

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  166. That book is awesome! The illustrations are great (and I kind of wish you *had* put your graffiti tag on). If I win, do it!

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  167. I wish I could have one copy of this amazing book

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  168. Great work. Count me in for giveaway...

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  169. I never had a doubt you would be in print one day. Congrats!!

    melindajane@nesh.net

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  170. So exciting! Congratulations on your first children's book. Your work is so inspiring!!

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  171. congrats on the book! i'll have to hunt it down at a book story to really enjoy it.

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  172. Looks really good, I'll look for one!

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  173. Looks fabulous! ;-D

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  174. Wow dude, it looks awesome!!! Congrats!!

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