Ballyhoo Bay Cover

Ballyhoo Bay is an eBook!

Mira Bella's story is now available for purchase in the eBook format. In 2010 Ballyhoo Bay (written by Judy Sierra, Derek illustrated) was selected by the Bank Street College of Education as one of the "Best Books of the Year" for five to nine year olds. And more than a million copies were distributed in Cheerios boxes as a part of the 'Spoonfuls of Stories' program.

There's a kindle edition available on Amazon. You can purchase it HERE.


Hot Rod Hamster

Hot Rod Hamster Won the 2012
South Carolina Picture Book Award!

Our Hamster man is jumping for joy! Hot Rod Hamster was awarded the 2012 South Carolina Picture Book Award! We all know how much Hamster likes to win... especially hot rod races! He couldn't be more pleased, and neither could Derek.

Huge Hamster thanks to our many readers (and racers) in South Carolina!

To see the other award winners, click HERE.


Happy Birthday, Hamster

The Birthday Hamster
Gets a Nice Nod from
the San Francisco Book Review

Our furry orange friend is going back for another piece of cake! His newest book Happy Birthday, Hamster received a terrific review from the San Francisco & Sacramento Book Review worth celebrating. After a nice summary of the story the reviewer says, "Cynthia Lord has created an amusing tale about friendship and surprises..." and "Illustrations, courtesy of Derek Anderson, are vivid and filled with details..."

Get yourself a nice slice of cake and read the full review by clicking HERE.


Hot Rod Hamster

Hot Rod Hamster is Nominated
for Iowa's 2012 Goldfinch Award

Hot Rod Hamster has been nominated for the 2012 Goldfinch Award in the State of Iowa. That's a nice way to start a new year! Huge HAMSTER thanks to the librarians in Iowa.



Looking Back at 2011
Come Along for a Quick Peek at a BUSY Year...

Derek spent 2011 criss-crossing the country to speak in schools and at conferences, he completed the paintings for one new book and had two books published. Busy, indeed! Here's a little look back at a fun year...

In January, Derek participated in a group art show in the Inez Greenberg Gallery at the Bloomington Theatre and Art Center. The show, organized by children's book creators Nancy Carlson and Stephen Gammell was called "Beyond the Book" and featured the artwork of seven children's book illustrators outside the world of children's books. Derek displayed nine paintings in the show including The Discovery (below).

The Discovery

And a series of tree paintings including The Joy Ride (below).

The Joy Ride

Derek's book, Story County: Here We Come! was published in January by Orchard Books, an imprint of Scholastic. Derek grew up in the real Story County and this book was a fun new direction for his artwork. The characters and everything in their world are all made of simple shapes and outlined in black.

The cover of Story County was featured on the cover of Scholastic's spring catalog...

Derek began events for Story County in February. He presented at Red Balloon Bookshop on Grand Avenue in St. Paul and traveled to the real Story County where he spoke in area schools...



United Community

Derek was greeted with an overwhelming welcome at the University Book Store...


And at the Ames Public Library.

Ames Public Library

Ames Public Library

In March, Derek traveled to Lansing, Michigan to deliver a luncheon keynote at the Michigan Library Association's Spring Institute.


Besides Michigan, Derek spoke at a number of schools, conferences and dinners in 2011. He made some new friends in Shakopee, Minnesota...


He flew to Hattiesburg, Mississippi where he spoke and signed at the Fay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival...

Fay B Kaigler

In April, Scholastic sent filmmaker David Franklin to Derek's studio in Minneapolis to shoot live footage for a promotional video for his new book Happy Birthday, Hamster. Derek and David spent the day setting up shots and shooting take after take.

HBH Video

HBH Video

They then spent more than a month developing and working on the animation. With David in New York and Derek in Minneapolis, they had to work by phone and email. They would discuss the scene, plan the movements and then Derek sketched each and every frame of movement. It was a very long process. After his regular work day, Derek would stay up until the wee hours inking each drawing. He then scanned and emailed them to David who colored each in the computer, and placed them into the video frames. It was well worth the effort- the video turned out great! You can watch it by scrolling down toward the bottom of this page.

Derek Studio

When Derek wasn't speaking in schools or libraries, or shooting videos or drawing frames for animation, he was in the studio working on sketches and paintings for his new book, Waking Dragons.

Waking Dragons

Written by author Jane Yolen, Waking Dragons is a fun, evocative poem about a pair of very large dragons and what they do in the morning. Let us give you a little hint- they don't like getting out of bed. It was an exciting book for Derek to illustrate- he loved creating the characters, their world and a visual story to accompany Jane's brilliant text. Waking Dragons will be published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers in fall 2012.


Derek took a break from painting in June so he and his wife, Cheryl, could welcome four new paws into their home. The paws belong to a Papillon puppy named Louie. Louie is a true character and an excellent apprentice. He keeps Derek company during those long, marathon painting sessions in the studio.

Scholastic Catalog

In August, Derek and Cynthia Lord's new picture book, Happy Birthday, Hamster, was published by Scholastic Press. Derek was thrilled when he found out the cover of Happy Birthday, Hamster was featured on the cover of Scholastic Canada's summer catalog.

Derek in FF School

Derek was back out in schools, bookstores and libraries speaking about Hamsters, Dogs and misbehaving mice.


In November, Derek traveled to Montclair, New Jersey where he spoke in a local grade school about writing and illustrating books. They LOVE books in Montclair, the school is well known for having the largest Scholastic book fair in the country.


Derek demonstrated how to draw Hot Rod Hamster step by step...


And he made a lot of new friends!

In addition to his book work, Derek is always working on paintings of his own. Some are explorations of ideas, some are about the world he sees. Below is a new painting Derek finished to add to his series of trees. It's called The Promise.

The Promise

Derek is looking forward to some fun new projects in 2012. He has two new books on the schedule and has been busy writing new stories of his own. Thank you, as always for reading! There's much more to come in 2012...

Stay tuned!