You'll drop at these drop caps!

6:00 AM Posted by Lori Calabrese

We're still celebrating the Sluggers series by Phil Bildner and Loren Long and we're also having each book in the series compete in this month's Book Brawl! If you haven't already, be sure to cast your vote for your favorite book in the series (in the upper right hand corner of this blog)! I have a feeling, this will be our best Book Brawl yet!

I hope you've checked out the Sluggers website where you can learn more about the books, authors, news and events, and take a look at some amazing bonus content.

One thing that it is truly fascinating about the series is the art. The illustrations by Loren Long are breathtaking. I can't remember the last time I stopped and paused to really concentrate on the illustrations in a middle-grade novel. Loren has also created special illustrated letters (called “drop caps”) that are used for the first letter of the first word in each chapter. The amount of creativity and hard work that went into each one is evident and you just can't help but be blown away! Click here to see the gallery of special illustrated letters. The website says Loren has not done the whole alphabet — only the letters that the books have needed so far.

If you haven't seen the Sluggers READ poster and bookmark for The American Library Association, you'll be just as amazed!

At, you can also see Long's sketches and compare them to the final artwork that appeared in the book--Very Cool!!

Book 1 sketches
Book 2 sketches
Book 3 sketches
Book 4 sketches
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  1. jane, candid said...

    So glad to see the week of focus on one of our favorite illustrators and his books! Thanks for the great links,