"Today the greatest challenge in publishing is distribution and discoverability. As a result, sites like [PictureBooksReview] are more important than ever to discerning readers, new authors and independent publishers."
-Steve Floyd, chief executive officer of August House books

"The interview is so amazing! I appreciate you picking up on all these aspects of what I've been doing. It's always great to talk with someone who understands what goes into these things."

- Jose Lucio, self-published author of Heave Ho!


Heave Ho! (2015)

Written and Illustrated by José Lucio

Heave Ho! is the first picture book by Savannah,GA-based graphic artist, José Lucio. I found it to be a deceptively simple tale. Bright and colorful, flipping through it feels like flipping through frames of an animated film.

The story is about the proverbial early bird in its quest to get the worm, but the worm doesn't go without a fight. Soon others join the fray on both sides, a dog, a cat... more worms... pulling and tugging, tugging and pulling. Heave Ho!

Teamwork becomes a theme... but in the end, it's not teamwork that wins the day, but rather the cleverness of one individual worm thinking outside the box. That was the deceptiveness of the simplicity of it... in just a few pages, the tone and the theme shift, surprising the reader, and surprising the animals involved.

The question mark below is one of the things I only noticed in my re-read, as are the individual expressions on the worms' faces and the texture of their bodies, the eye carries along the dark worm hole, finding narrative clues for what's coming next.

The backgrounds are basically static, with characters moving in and out of frame. Jose has a clear vision of the design of the book. His use of space and movement comes across with every image, building from the last until it finally reaches a crescendo.

I'll be posting an interview with Jose in the coming days to learn more about his creative process. In the meanwhile, you can visit his website and read the book in its entirety!

This has been a sponsored post.

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