"My Adventures in Alphabetland"
Researched, developed, written, illustrated and published by Nate Jensen.
Book designed to introduce the letters of the alphabet as personified characters in an adventure story format. In addition, an interactive e-book, a YouTube show with readings and animations and a school visit program where children interacted with live animated characters from the book.
The greatest award
Based in Portland, OR - Remote Savvy
I illustrated my first children's book right out of college in 1991. I was hooked!
I joined the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and began to send out my portfolio.
10 years later thanks to my early web presence, I was contacted by The RGU Group - now Bobolink Media. They had a story by Conrad Storad about armadillos. "Don't Ever Cross that Road - An Armadillo Story" was born.
The book was a success! It is still popular in gift shops and state parks across the Southwest. A few years later they contacted me again. This time with a book about Desert Tortoises - "Life in the Slow Lane - A Desert Tortoise Tale" also by Conrad Storad.
Also a success! The book won the Glyph Award for Best Cover Design
On a roll, soon followed "Desert Night Shift - A Packrat Story" again by Conrad Storad.
After three books together, I finally got to meet Conrad at the Texas Book Festival. He introduced me to school visits. I got started contacting Austin schools offering a presentation about 'How a Children's Book is Created'.
I did my first presentation and I was hooked at a new level that included sharing, inspiring and the laughter of children.
The presentation evolved. I created a video personality of 'ImagiNate' who I could contact during the presentation. Through a magic box, we could exchange creative stages and interact about them.
I began to get more book projects. "Rattlesnake Rules" - again with Conrad with another publisher- Little Five Star who would later become a children's book giant - Story Monsters.
I created a new presentation for children. This one primarily for the young ones.
The world was opening up with Skype! I could now talk with children anywhere in the world. I got to visit with students across the United States and in such faraway places as Taiwan, Australia and Spain. For this, I presented the making of "Bighorns Don't Honk". This was the first book I got to illustrate AND design. I handled every step of the process.
I began working with small publishers. One of the books was, "The Train Story".
"A Train Story" would later become the first ebook produced when LeVar Burton took Reading Rainbow digital. LeVar Burton is the narrator and his team added beautiful animation to bring the book to life.
The production of the sequel book was a godsend to making the move from Austin, TX to Portland, OR. My ex-wife was moving there. My kids were just 6 and 9. I needed to be where they were growing up. Dolores Mosser and her book added security to the transition.
Establishing myself in Portland, I opened myself to more independent authors. With the rise of digital publishing, people with a story to tell didn't have to go through the process of submitting to established, limited publishers. They just needed an illustrator and someone who knew how to work the system. That was me!!
I got to make many dreams come true. It was fabulous!
In 2016, I decided it was time to publish my own book. I had been working a story since my first children's book in 1991. It was the Alphabet Story. I would go into the woods near my childhood home and imagine a story about a little boy who was having trouble learning his ABC's. I had the idea that if the child could associate a character, a being to a letter, he/she could have greater cognitive connection to the symbols of the alphabet. I ran a Kickstarter campaign to pay MYSELF to make my own dreams come true!
The campaign was a success!! I set to work completing a project that was on and off the shelf for 25 years. Best of all, the first person to offer me work as a fledging freelancer, Gal Shweiki, offered to print my books. He had gone from publisher of a campus free rag called, "Study Breaks" to a successful San Antonio printing company - Shweiki Media.
I did much to promote the book. I created an ebook featuring roll-overs of images that spawned the written word for the image. I created a Youtube channel for readings. I learned Adobe Character Animator enabling me to talk directly with students in online visits.
Lastly, I served as Art Director/Illustrator/Designer on a series of activity books. This work practiced me in conceptualizing games and informative illustrative content for education.
In the changing dynamic of our time, I have committed myself to learning what is used and popular today. I have learned to create characters and objects in 3D. I have studied Unity programming to understand what is needed from the artist for maximum efficiency in game/learning module development.
I know my stuff!!! I have the experience PLUS the industry awarenesss to excel with any company producing educational media content.
I now know how to create Augmented Reality experiences. THIS IS THE FUTURE of educational media. I am equipped. Ready. Excited for what comes NEXT!
It is my primary ambition of today to obtain a position with a company producing educational content for children. That is the next phase of my career.
Ruby's Christmas Gifts
2020 Mom's Choice Award – Gold - Level One
2020 – Will Rogers Medallion Award
2020 – Finalist for the Pacific Book Awards
My Adventures in Alphabetland
2019 – Purple Dragonfly Book Award - 2nd Place - Educational
Bubby’s Puddle Pond
2018 – Purple Dragonfly Book Award - 2nd Place - Animals & Pets & Best Illustrations
The Bat Book
2017 Will Rogers Medallion Award – Western Nonfiction for Children/Illustrated
Monster in the Rocks
2014 – 52 Best Reads – National Center for the Book/Library of Congress
A Train Story
2014 - Moonbeam Children's Book Award
Fang and Stinger
2013 – USA Book News – Best Nonfiction Picture Book
2012 – USA Book News – Best Nonfiction Picture Book
2013 – Animals, Animals Book Festival – Best Reptile Book
2010 – Southwest Books of the Year – Children’s Fiction
Don’t Ever Cross That Road!
2006 – Arizona Library Association – Arizona Young Readers Honor Book
Muse Land Press Activity Books
2019 - 2022
National Book Counsel - Silver and Gold Awards
The San Francisco Book Festival
Paris France Book Festival
London England Book Festival
The Midwest Book Festival
New York Book Festival
Animals, Animals, Animals Book Festival
Los Angeles Book Festival
The Beach Book Festival
Arizona/New Mexico Book Festival
The Pacific Rim Book Festival