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updated: 2/25/2012 10:49 AM

Geneva artist illustrates best-selling children's book

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  • "Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site" is The New York Times No. 1 children's picture book.

      "Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site" is The New York Times No. 1 children's picture book.
    Courtesy of Tom Lichtenheld

  • Sherri Rinker wrote "Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site."

      Sherri Rinker wrote "Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site."
    Courtesy of Tom Lichtenheld

  • Tom Lichtenheld of Geneva adds "Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site" to his list of accomplishments. Readers can meet the illustrator at an open house Friday, March 2, at The Art Box in Geneva.

      Tom Lichtenheld of Geneva adds "Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site" to his list of accomplishments. Readers can meet the illustrator at an open house Friday, March 2, at The Art Box in Geneva.
    Courtesy of Tom Lichtenheld

 

Submitted by Tom Lichtenheld

Tom Lichtenheld has illustrated many acclaimed books, and recently his "Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site," written by Sherri Rinker, has reached the No. 1 spot on The New York Times best-seller list for children's picture books (nytimes.com).

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"I've been writing and illustrating children's books for 12 years, mostly while also working a regular 'day job.' Two years ago I made the leap and left my job to write and illustrate full-time. I now work longer days than before, often into the night, but it has paid off. It still hasn't sunk in that the book is No. 1," Lichtenheld said.

Much of the credit goes to first-time author Sherri Rinker. She got the idea from her heavy-equipment-crazed young son, who often had trouble settling down at bedtime.

"I came up with the idea that he might settle down if I could show him that his trucks were also going to sleep," Rinker said.

"Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site" is the story of cement mixers, bulldozers, cranes and other construction equipment winding down for the night after a long day, complete with a crane truck cuddling a teddy bear and dangling a night light.

The idea filled a void in the bedtime book arena and has steadily grown in popularity since its release eight months ago.

In addition to working with Rinker, Lichtenheld, who lives in Geneva, has also collaborated with Amy Krouse Rosenthal on several books, including "Duck! Rabbit!" and with Chris Barton on "Shark vs. Train."

Lichtenheld has also written several books. His first book, "Everything I Know About Pirates," was named as one of the best books of 2000 by Newsweek; and his most recent book, inspired by Ezra Fields Meyer, was named one of the best books of 2011 by Publishers Weekly.

The Art Box in Geneva will celebrate this milestone by hosting a No. 1 New York Times best-seller open house from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 2, at 514 W. State St. Original artwork from the book will be on display, and Lichtenheld will demonstrate the dark field technique at 6:30 p.m. Books will be available for sale and signing by Rinker and Lichtenheld.

Guests are asked to bring a cash donation or a new children's book for Aunt Mary's Storybook Project, benefiting the children of those who are incarcerated.

For more information on the book's creators, see www.tomlichtenheld.com and www.sherriduskeyrinker.com. For more information on the open house, call the Art Box at (630) 232-2870.

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