Instructor Stories: Abi Cushman
Abi Cushman started out as Storyteller Academy student. She took Arree Chung's first class back in 2016 and was one of our first student success stories. Earlier this year, we asked her to help teach Arree's workshops for Crafting Picture Book Stories and Making Picture Book Dummies, and she's doing such a fabulous job (even adding great new material to the class content) that we hope to be able to offer you a course of her own in the near future.
I recently asked Abi to make a Master Studies video for our YouTube channel, and she agreed to share her process for using die-cuts in her second picture book, Animals Go Vroom! (which you can enter to win a copy of by commenting on this post).
I'm going to share the following quotes from Abi, but I hope you'll watch the whole video. It's excellent, and I'm grateful she took the time to make it.
“When you're considering adding die-cuts to your book, make sure there's a good reason to justify the added expense. It should really enhance—or in fact be vital to—the experience of the book.”
- page thickness and size
- page design/making sure the holes line up
- shape of the die-cuts
“When you have holes in the page or change the shape of the page with die-cuts, it leaves the paper more vulnerable to tearing, so many books with die-cuts are board books.”
Last summer, Viking Children's Books published Abi's debut picture book, Soaked! Reviews were extremely positive. The general consensus seemed to be that the world needed more picture books that were “pure fun” like this one. And I agree 100%. It's a favorite at my house. We love the adorable bunny, pessimistic bear, thieving badger, and hula-hooping moose.
I'm excited to finally get my copy of Animals Go Vroom! next month. Publishing is so slow.
I'm giving away a copy of one of the two books featured above. The winner can choose. Just comment on this blog post to enter.
For additional entries, you can share the post on social media and post a link to where you’ve shared in the comments (preferably as a comment to your original comment so that all of your entries are grouped together). If you've participated in one of Abi's workshops with us, let me know in the comments, and I will add another entry. You can also have an entry if you've subscribed to Abi's newsletter.
I’ll close the contest at midnight, Pacific Time, on July 20. Thanks for reading and sharing!