December 19, 2014

How To Draw Jingle Bells

I have always wanted to do a How-to-Draw-Horses book. Here is the closest I have come so far. These two pages are from JINGLE BELLS, the new Horse Diaries release for 2014. It is a special edition, and you can order it direct from Random House, at any Barnes and Noble store, Amazon, or your local independent bookseller. The hardcover library edition makes an especially nice gift.

December 12, 2014


The good news is that Random House plans to continue the series, after they had decided to stop at #10. The bad news is the pace will be slowed to one book a year. Though for me, that's actually good news. I have other projects to illustrate, and two a year got to be too many for me to fit in. I did take a year off and only did covers for Black Cloud and Tennessee Rose, so that I could finish my picture book, A Castle Full of Cats. (Coming in January 2015 from Random House.) I have already started #12 - Luna. Here are the front and back covers. The book is scheduled for fall 2015.

HORSE RESCUE series by Whitney Sanderson

If you like the Horse Diaries books, and are looking for more horse stories written from the horse's point of view...My daughter, Whitney Sanderson, author of two books in the HORSE DIARIES series, Golden Sun, and Darcy, has started writing a new series inspired by true stories at horse rescue farms. Whitney volunteered a few years ago at Little Brook Farm in Old Chatham, NY, and was inspired to write the story of Treasure. It starts out with an auction, and things sound pretty bad at first, but it all comes out happily in the end. Black Beauty, move over, this is one poignant story. Whitney is generously donating half her proceeds to the farm.

A terrific Blog about Middle Grade books, FROM THE MIXED UP FILES, just posted an interview with Whitney about all her horse stories: Read it HERE

TREASURE can be ordered on Amazon, HERE.

October 20, 2014


Random House contacted me last year to illustrate a "special edition" in the HORSE DIARIES series for this Christmas. This was such a nice surprise, as they said they were stopping the series at #10. Which was sad, because my daughter Whitney wrote #5 and #10, and they are both popular and selling well. JINGLE BELLS is a Clydesdale, and the book is set in Wisconsin in 1915.

 Below is a reference photo I took of the horse for the back cover. I was lucky to find a good model - there is a draft horse rescue center near me  in Palmer, MA - Blue Star Equiculture. They do great work with rescuing draft horses as well as other breeds, as well as education and outreach.

 Below are two of my favorite scenes from the interior of JINGLE BELLS.
To order JINGLE BELLS from Amazon CLICK HERE.

August 28, 2013

DARCY - Available Now!

Here is the cover of the book that my daughter Whitney wrote about a Connemara Pony. It is set in Ireland in 1917 during the Irish Rebellion. You'll learn about what it was like to be a working pony on an Irish farm during those times.

DARCY - An Irish Connemara Story

 I traveled to Ireland with my daughters, Whitney and Morgan, to research the Connemara Pony in Ireland. Whitney is one of the authors in the series, (GOLDEN SUN) and got some great ideas for the story while we we there, and I took lots of reference photos of mares and foals, cottages, and scenery. The book, titled DARCY just came out this year, and is #10 in the series.

March 1, 2012

BLACK CLOUD - a Wild Horse Story

For the cover illustration of Book #8 in the Horse Diaries series, I used a horse at our barn named Joey as the model for this story about a wild mustang. Though he is a Paint and not a mustang, I felt his "type" was very similar, and as the mustang is composed of different breeds that had escaped into the wild over many years, I thought it would be fine to use him as a model. I did give him a wild, flowing mane. And he has "attitude." 

August 12, 2011

Risky Chance Is Heading Toward The Finish Line!

 Coming Out in September, 2011!!!!!

The next in the Horse Diaries series (lucky number 7 in the series) is Risky Chance. Born in California at the start of the Great Depression, Risky Chance is a gray thoroughbred who was born to race. Life at the track and being spoiled by his jockey's young daughter, Marie, is all Chance could ask for. He loves nothing more than running fast and winning. But after an accident, Chance discovers a side of horse racing that has little to do with glory.
You will notice that the model I used for the cover is much whiter and brighter than the cover itself. This is because horses are considered "gray" if they are white. They are born black, then over the years turn to a white color, and are gray in color for a few years. Wonderful to see! 
Like the other books in this series, this novel is told in first person from the horse's own point of view and includes an appendix full of photos and facts about thoroughbreds, horse racing, and the Great Depression.