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Archive for January 2012

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Red Sled In the News

USA Today "Talk about joy rides...It's a perfect book for reading aloud, especially by expressive readers who can do justice to a walk in the snow: Scrinch scrunch scrinch scrunch scrinch scrunch." http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/reviews/story/2012-01-05/winter-kids-books-roundup/52381758/1

Washington Post ".. a delightful winter book for very young readers. Each double-page spread features a serene snowscape bathed in moonlight, the perfect foil for the explosive humor of the animals' antics." www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/lita-judges-red-sled-almost-wordless-story-of-a-bear-enjoying-sledding/2011/12/21/gIQAoiy3YP_story.html  

PEOPLE "Just the right blend of danger and delight, this book is perfect for a wintry night." http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20552540,00.html  

San Francisco Chronicle "It's strikingly original and totally inspired." http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/12/23/RVMP1MEF6C.DTL  

Concord Monitor "As with many a treasured children's book, the details are left to the fertile young imagination...the book is exactly what a book about sledding should be: pure fun." http://www.concordmonitor.com/article/301399/gleeful-romp-worth-the-ride  

Book Page "Parents and kids will enjoy this sweet, energy-filled tale." http://bookpage.com/feature/let-the-snow-days-begin!  

Shelf Awareness "Like the red sled's riders, young readers will be pleading, AGAIN!" http://www.shelf-awareness.com/readers-issue.html?issue=54#m1127  

Newburyport News, Newburyport, MA "Charmingly depicted" http://www.newburyportnews.com/local/x1068808201/New-holiday-books-to-help-children-enjoy-the-season  

Ithaca Child "A delicate, beautiful book about the wonder of winter and play." http://www.ithacachild.net/current/current%20html/Export13.htm  

Winter Indie List "This is my new favorite snow book! The minimal text highlighted with fun sound effects is complemented by beautiful art...In this sweet and wonderful picture book, Judge successfully captures all of the joy of a great sled ride." http://news.bookweb.org/news/winter-2011-2012-kids%E2%80%99-indie-next-list-preview

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Red Sled Short Video

(Written by Dave) Lots of our friends have commented on the short video that Lita and I created for Red Sled, so I wanted to post it to the blog and mention a bit about how we produced this. So first, here's the video:

When Lita and I work together on these types of things, she does all the story-boarding and then I produce something quickly to get started from and then we tweak and change things until it feels right. There are many, many iterations of tweaks and changes. To get the right feel for the animation we did a lot of experimentation. We used Adobe After Effects CS5 (mac version) for the whole thing and for the animation. Here's what the project looks like in After Effects:

We had various ideas for the music but then I saw a snippet of Prokoviev's Romeo and Juliet on Pianopedia. It wasn't quite long enough so I made up the rest and recorded it and it seemed to set the right mood.

There are many video settings, and I'm not sure if I went down the optimal path, but I find it quite helpful when other people post their settings, so here's what I did. I made the "master" copy at 1280 x 720 pixels, 29.97 frames per second, using Apple QuickTime mov format. This created a 230 MB file for just over a minute of video. Then I compressed the file using Adobe Media Encoder to an MP4 format, still 1280 x 720, but now more like 20 MB. Then I upload that to YouTube where it gets compressed again into whatever format they use.

We hope you like the video!