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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Laurie Halse Anderson Speak Poem

If you ever doubt that books for "children" can change lives - give a listen to this poem by Laurie as a follow up to all the letters she's received in response to her 10-year-old classic, Speak.



Want to know more? There's a blog. Go to Speak Up About Speak.

Laurie Halse Anderson Speak Poem

If you ever doubt that books for "children" can change lives - give a listen to this poem by Laurie as a follow up to all the letters she's received in response to her 10-year-old classic, Speak.



Want to know more? There's a blog. Go to Speak Up About Speak.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Illustration Friday: Breezy


     Well, when you get hung out to dry, you gotta hope for a nice breeze!
     This is from the back cover of Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón, my first book as illustrator/author which will come out this Fall!

Illustration Friday: Breezy


     Well, when you get hung out to dry, you gotta hope for a nice breeze!
     This is from the back cover of Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón, my first book as illustrator/author which will come out this Fall!

e's news - February 2009

The latest edition of "e's news" went out yesterday and it's chocked full of cool info. You can read it in it's entirety here. Want your own copy when it comes out? Sign up at "e's news."

Here's the biggest part:
BOOK NEWS!
     Drum roll please...The latest book in the ParentSmart KidHappy™ series is now available! It's called Ready to Play! A Tale of Toys and Friends, and Barely Any Bickering (by Stacey R. Kaye and illustrated by Yours Truly, Free Spirit Publishing). It teaches parents and their kids how to get through a play date smoothly and is a great addition to Ready for Bed! and Ready for the Day! (more news on those two below)!

     It's official, my first picture book as author/illustrator, Soap,
soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón
(Raven Tree Press) is out the door and will be released this Fall!! Lots more news on that one as we get closer to the release date!

e's news - February 2009

The latest edition of "e's news" went out yesterday and it's chocked full of cool info. You can read it in it's entirety here. Want your own copy when it comes out? Sign up at "e's news."

Here's the biggest part:
BOOK NEWS!
     Drum roll please...The latest book in the ParentSmart KidHappy™ series is now available! It's called Ready to Play! A Tale of Toys and Friends, and Barely Any Bickering (by Stacey R. Kaye and illustrated by Yours Truly, Free Spirit Publishing). It teaches parents and their kids how to get through a play date smoothly and is a great addition to Ready for Bed! and Ready for the Day! (more news on those two below)!

     It's official, my first picture book as author/illustrator, Soap,
soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón
(Raven Tree Press) is out the door and will be released this Fall!! Lots more news on that one as we get closer to the release date!

Highlights - March edition


     I just received my contributor copies of the March Highlights Magazine. I illustrated the story, "Finding the Robin's Nest," written by Andrea Vlahakis (page 32-3). Once again, I'm sharing the pages with lots of friends and favorite illustrators. Look for the issue, it should be on stands (or in your mailbox) soon!

Highlights - March edition


     I just received my contributor copies of the March Highlights Magazine. I illustrated the story, "Finding the Robin's Nest," written by Andrea Vlahakis (page 32-3). Once again, I'm sharing the pages with lots of friends and favorite illustrators. Look for the issue, it should be on stands (or in your mailbox) soon!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Blog Book Tour - Kirby Larson!!


     Today I have the great honor of interviewing an amazingly talented author and friend - Kirby Larson!
     Kirby's first novel, Hattie Big Sky was selected as a 2007 Newbery Honor Book!! Recently, she's switched gears and written a touching picture book along with fellow author, Mary Nethery (illustrated by Jean Cassels). Two Bobbies is based on a true story of survival during Hurricane Katrina and will be available this August. (Click the cover to visit its website.) I'm pleased to help drum up some excitement for this wonderful book and recently spoke with Kirby about it:

The first time I read Two Bobbies I had chills non-stop and tears in my eyes. How did you make it through writing this book!?

Well, neither of us can make it through reading it aloud, that's for sure! But I think we got to a point in the writing process where it was so important to tell the story right, in a way that honored and respected what happened, that we were able to take a step back and focus on that, rather than on the heart-breaking events.

How did you first learn about the story? And how did you know you wanted to write about it?

I'm going to answer these questions in reverse order. I like to say Mary and I have been friends for about 140 dog years; we met at a workshop taught by Jane Yolen and immediately clicked. We've been critiquing each other's work since the get-go, in addition to rooting each other on in the dark times. During one dark time, when neither of us was getting anything published, I proposed to Mary that we try writing something together. What did we have to lose? Mary was game but we spent quite a bit of time talking about how we would go about this (our friendship was paramount!) and what kind of story we'd tackle. Since we are dear friends and since we love animals, we decided to look for a story about unlikely animal friends. We went through about a dozen ideas. One night, in February 2006, after Hurricane Katrina, Mary caught a short segment on Anderson Cooper's 360 which featured Bobbie dog and Bob Cat. She called me that very second and we both knew we'd finally found "our" story. You can read more about the story behind the story at our website, www.twobobbies.com.

What was your editor's reaction to the story?

We wrote the manuscript first and then our agents shopped it around. Believe it or not, it was rejected a few times. Then it was faxed to Bloomsbury/Walker; it was intended for another editor but Emily Easton saw it. She knew the story and had been wanting to do it as a book. She's also an animal lover so the story was a nice fit, all the way around.

Have you done many public readings of Two Bobbies? What's been the reaction?

Mary and I got to do our first-ever joint reading about a week or so ago, at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, Washington (Mary lives in Eureka, CA and I live near Seattle so joint appearances are rare). The audience responded in an incredibly warm and generous way -- in fact, the story inspired one woman to buy a copy of the book for another young woman in the audience -- a complete stranger to her. It just shows, again, that animals have the power to help us be our best selves.

Do you have any pets? Did that affect the story in any way?

Mary has a much adored new kitten, Dash; we have an ancient kitty named Mimi. I think being animal lovers in general drew us to the story.

What's coming next? Sneak peeks?

Mary and I had so much fun writing the Bobbies together that we have partnered on another book, due out in Fall 09 from Little Brown. It tells the story of an abused dog adopted by a Marine and brought home to the states – but with an incredible twist. I am hard at work on another historical novel. It's been a real challenge to do another novel after Hattie Big Sky and I think I finally, finally have my writing legs back under me.

Thanks so much Kirby!

Thanks, Elizabeth, for interviewing me. It makes me feel as if we're sitting at the table together, over coffee -- something we need to do again and soon!

Definitely! Just gotta jump this continent between us!
Here are Kirby and me with Alice Pope and Roxyanne Young at the 2007 SCBWI National Conference in LA:


Thanks again to Kirby Larson for appearing, courtesy of Provato Marketing.
For other stops on the tour please check ProvatoEvents.com.

Blog Book Tour - Kirby Larson!!


     Today I have the great honor of interviewing an amazingly talented author and friend - Kirby Larson!
     Kirby's first novel, Hattie Big Sky was selected as a 2007 Newbery Honor Book!! Recently, she's switched gears and written a touching picture book along with fellow author, Mary Nethery (illustrated by Jean Cassels). Two Bobbies is based on a true story of survival during Hurricane Katrina and will be available this August. (Click the cover to visit its website.) I'm pleased to help drum up some excitement for this wonderful book and recently spoke with Kirby about it:

The first time I read Two Bobbies I had chills non-stop and tears in my eyes. How did you make it through writing this book!?

Well, neither of us can make it through reading it aloud, that's for sure! But I think we got to a point in the writing process where it was so important to tell the story right, in a way that honored and respected what happened, that we were able to take a step back and focus on that, rather than on the heart-breaking events.

How did you first learn about the story? And how did you know you wanted to write about it?

I'm going to answer these questions in reverse order. I like to say Mary and I have been friends for about 140 dog years; we met at a workshop taught by Jane Yolen and immediately clicked. We've been critiquing each other's work since the get-go, in addition to rooting each other on in the dark times. During one dark time, when neither of us was getting anything published, I proposed to Mary that we try writing something together. What did we have to lose? Mary was game but we spent quite a bit of time talking about how we would go about this (our friendship was paramount!) and what kind of story we'd tackle. Since we are dear friends and since we love animals, we decided to look for a story about unlikely animal friends. We went through about a dozen ideas. One night, in February 2006, after Hurricane Katrina, Mary caught a short segment on Anderson Cooper's 360 which featured Bobbie dog and Bob Cat. She called me that very second and we both knew we'd finally found "our" story. You can read more about the story behind the story at our website, www.twobobbies.com.

What was your editor's reaction to the story?

We wrote the manuscript first and then our agents shopped it around. Believe it or not, it was rejected a few times. Then it was faxed to Bloomsbury/Walker; it was intended for another editor but Emily Easton saw it. She knew the story and had been wanting to do it as a book. She's also an animal lover so the story was a nice fit, all the way around.

Have you done many public readings of Two Bobbies? What's been the reaction?

Mary and I got to do our first-ever joint reading about a week or so ago, at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, Washington (Mary lives in Eureka, CA and I live near Seattle so joint appearances are rare). The audience responded in an incredibly warm and generous way -- in fact, the story inspired one woman to buy a copy of the book for another young woman in the audience -- a complete stranger to her. It just shows, again, that animals have the power to help us be our best selves.

Do you have any pets? Did that affect the story in any way?

Mary has a much adored new kitten, Dash; we have an ancient kitty named Mimi. I think being animal lovers in general drew us to the story.

What's coming next? Sneak peeks?

Mary and I had so much fun writing the Bobbies together that we have partnered on another book, due out in Fall 09 from Little Brown. It tells the story of an abused dog adopted by a Marine and brought home to the states – but with an incredible twist. I am hard at work on another historical novel. It's been a real challenge to do another novel after Hattie Big Sky and I think I finally, finally have my writing legs back under me.

Thanks so much Kirby!

Thanks, Elizabeth, for interviewing me. It makes me feel as if we're sitting at the table together, over coffee -- something we need to do again and soon!

Definitely! Just gotta jump this continent between us!
Here are Kirby and me with Alice Pope and Roxyanne Young at the 2007 SCBWI National Conference in LA:


Thanks again to Kirby Larson for appearing, courtesy of Provato Marketing.
For other stops on the tour please check ProvatoEvents.com.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Share a Story - Shape a Future!

Stories encourage dreams - reading helps kids make their dreams come true. That singular idea - that we can help kids realize their dream - is the foundation of Share a Story - Shape a Future.

Share a Story - Shape a Future is a blog event for literacy. Throughout the week, blogging librarians, teachers, parents, authors, illustrators (me!) and people passionate about literacy will offer ideas on ways to promote reading and books. You won't find statistics, academic analysis, or judgments that tell you why you should read. Instead, we are using the power of the Worldwide web to share ideas about ways to engage kids as readers.

Each day, bloggers will talk about different aspects of literacy and reading. Themes include raising readers, selecting suitable material, tips for reading aloud, using audiobooks, and how to use the library as an ally. The organizers have several giveaways planned, and will offer free, downloadable content.

Share a Story - Shape a Future is an opportunity to share ideas, encourage each other, and spread the word about children's literacy. Share a Story- Shape a Future aims to build a community of readers. Please join us and share your story.

The 2009 Share a Story event will take place March 9 to 13, 2009.

Day 1: Raising Readers
hosted by Terry Doherty at Scrub-a-Dub-Tub
Day 2: Selecting Reading Material
hosted by Sarah Mulhern at The Reading Zone
Day 3: Reading Aloud - It's Fun, It's Easy
hosted by Susan Stephenson at the Book Chook
Day 4: A Visit to the Library
hosted by Eva Mitnick at Eva's Book Addiction
Day 5: Technology and Reading - What the Future Holds
hosted by Elizabeth O. Dulemba at dulemba.com (HERE! on March 13th!)

     Share a Story- Shape a Future aims to build a community of readers. Please join us and share your story. Visit Share a Story - Shape a Future to learn more and see the full schedule of contributors.

Share a Story - Shape a Future!

Stories encourage dreams - reading helps kids make their dreams come true. That singular idea - that we can help kids realize their dream - is the foundation of Share a Story - Shape a Future.

Share a Story - Shape a Future is a blog event for literacy. Throughout the week, blogging librarians, teachers, parents, authors, illustrators (me!) and people passionate about literacy will offer ideas on ways to promote reading and books. You won't find statistics, academic analysis, or judgments that tell you why you should read. Instead, we are using the power of the Worldwide web to share ideas about ways to engage kids as readers.

Each day, bloggers will talk about different aspects of literacy and reading. Themes include raising readers, selecting suitable material, tips for reading aloud, using audiobooks, and how to use the library as an ally. The organizers have several giveaways planned, and will offer free, downloadable content.

Share a Story - Shape a Future is an opportunity to share ideas, encourage each other, and spread the word about children's literacy. Share a Story- Shape a Future aims to build a community of readers. Please join us and share your story.

The 2009 Share a Story event will take place March 9 to 13, 2009.

Day 1: Raising Readers
hosted by Terry Doherty at Scrub-a-Dub-Tub
Day 2: Selecting Reading Material
hosted by Sarah Mulhern at The Reading Zone
Day 3: Reading Aloud - It's Fun, It's Easy
hosted by Susan Stephenson at the Book Chook
Day 4: A Visit to the Library
hosted by Eva Mitnick at Eva's Book Addiction
Day 5: Technology and Reading - What the Future Holds
hosted by Elizabeth O. Dulemba at dulemba.com (HERE! on March 13th!)

     Share a Story- Shape a Future aims to build a community of readers. Please join us and share your story. Visit Share a Story - Shape a Future to learn more and see the full schedule of contributors.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ready To Play is here!!


     It's book delivery day at Camp Dulemba - woohoo!
     This is the third book in the ParentSmart KidHappy™ series written by Stacey Kaye (illustrated by Yours Truly) published by Free Spirit Publishers. The goal of this book is to get parents and their children through a play date in a sane manner - great!
     Interested? I'm guessing it'll be in a store near you pretty soon - groovy!
     And lest you think my life is all about celebrations and good thing, I have to share that my cat was so happy for me, she promptly threw up on the bed. Yup - that's life for ya. *sigh*


Learn more about the ParentSmart KidHappy™ series - click the covers!

Ready To Play is here!!


     It's book delivery day at Camp Dulemba - woohoo!
     This is the third book in the ParentSmart KidHappy™ series written by Stacey Kaye (illustrated by Yours Truly) published by Free Spirit Publishers. The goal of this book is to get parents and their children through a play date in a sane manner - great!
     Interested? I'm guessing it'll be in a store near you pretty soon - groovy!
     And lest you think my life is all about celebrations and good thing, I have to share that my cat was so happy for me, she promptly threw up on the bed. Yup - that's life for ya. *sigh*


Learn more about the ParentSmart KidHappy™ series - click the covers!

Coloring Page Tuesday - Mardi Gras Mask!

     Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted and to view more coloring pages - click here!

     It's Fat Tuesday! Mardi Gras! So in an effort to help you celebrate, I've created something new - a Mask! Print it, color it, cut it out (eye holes and string holes too), loop some elastic or string through the side holes and put it on your head!
     And this time, maybe you could send me a picture of you wearing your mask? Same as always - less than 1mb emailed to coloringpages@dulemba.com and I'll post it to my blog!


     Learn about my bilingual picture book Paco and the Giant Chile Plant ~ Paco y la planta de chile gigante - click the cover.

Coloring Page Tuesday - Mardi Gras Mask!

     Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted and to view more coloring pages - click here!

     It's Fat Tuesday! Mardi Gras! So in an effort to help you celebrate, I've created something new - a Mask! Print it, color it, cut it out (eye holes and string holes too), loop some elastic or string through the side holes and put it on your head!
     And this time, maybe you could send me a picture of you wearing your mask? Same as always - less than 1mb emailed to coloringpages@dulemba.com and I'll post it to my blog!


     Learn about my bilingual picture book Paco and the Giant Chile Plant ~ Paco y la planta de chile gigante - click the cover.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Elizabeth Gilbert on Creativity

     Well, I told myself I was going to stop embedding so many videos as they tend to slow older machines down (mine for instance), but I also keep stumbling across these amazing videos (thanks to Deborah Wiles)! So, what to do? Share of course.
     This is Elizabeth Gilbert, author of "Eat, Pray, Love," at a recent TED conference talking about how creative people can deal with the creativity that seems to use us up. Adapting her thoughts on the matter may keep you sane (in your head anyhow), it might even add years to your life!
     I know I'll be thinking this way. I kind of already do. I often tell my husband, "I have a story coming in" or "A story came in last night - I have to write it down."
     I'm also feeling pressure to complete this dummy I'm working on, because I feel the idea is on loan. If I don't work through it fast enough, the muse may share it with somebody else. (A possible reason so many vampire novels came out at the same time.) I need to get on it.
     Do you feel that way too? Are you the creator, or does the creativity work through you?
     Watch the video and leave a comment - I'd love to hear how it works for you!

Elizabeth Gilbert on Creativity

     Well, I told myself I was going to stop embedding so many videos as they tend to slow older machines down (mine for instance), but I also keep stumbling across these amazing videos (thanks to Deborah Wiles)! So, what to do? Share of course.
     This is Elizabeth Gilbert, author of "Eat, Pray, Love," at a recent TED conference talking about how creative people can deal with the creativity that seems to use us up. Adapting her thoughts on the matter may keep you sane (in your head anyhow), it might even add years to your life!
     I know I'll be thinking this way. I kind of already do. I often tell my husband, "I have a story coming in" or "A story came in last night - I have to write it down."
     I'm also feeling pressure to complete this dummy I'm working on, because I feel the idea is on loan. If I don't work through it fast enough, the muse may share it with somebody else. (A possible reason so many vampire novels came out at the same time.) I need to get on it.
     Do you feel that way too? Are you the creator, or does the creativity work through you?
     Watch the video and leave a comment - I'd love to hear how it works for you!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Did You Know?


According John Shelley from my PBAA board, Sony played this video at their executive conference this year. Not sure what it all means - but it will definitely blow your mind!

Did You Know?


According John Shelley from my PBAA board, Sony played this video at their executive conference this year. Not sure what it all means - but it will definitely blow your mind!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Illustration Friday: Instinct


     What is it about boys and mud? It's like instinct just draws them to it...
     This is the first piece I'm showing from Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón, my first book as author/illustrator, which will be released this Fall! I've just completed the art and it's about to head out the door - woohoo!

Illustration Friday: Instinct


     What is it about boys and mud? It's like instinct just draws them to it...
     This is the first piece I'm showing from Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón, my first book as author/illustrator, which will be released this Fall! I've just completed the art and it's about to head out the door - woohoo!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Magazine Merit Award Winner!

     OMG!!! squeeeeee
     I just received an email from Stephen Mooser, President of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (scbwi.org) . . . I am the "2008 recipient of the Magazine Merit Award for Illustration for my cover art for the December 2008 Highlights Magazine"!!!
     I'm thrilled!!! Especially considering there is nothing like receiving acknowledgment from your peers - so I have been trying to win an award from SCBWI for Years now and was convinced my window of opportunity had finally closed. AND considering this particular piece of art completely kicked my . . . bum! It was so hard to pull off, with so many changes, I truly doubted I had any skill at all by the time it went out the door. That one drew blood.
     So imagine my complete surprise to receive this honor! I am thrilled beyond belief!!
     Will you squeeeee with me (in my comments section)?

Magazine Merit Award Winner!

     OMG!!! squeeeeee
     I just received an email from Stephen Mooser, President of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (scbwi.org) . . . I am the "2008 recipient of the Magazine Merit Award for Illustration for my cover art for the December 2008 Highlights Magazine"!!!
     I'm thrilled!!! Especially considering there is nothing like receiving acknowledgment from your peers - so I have been trying to win an award from SCBWI for Years now and was convinced my window of opportunity had finally closed. AND considering this particular piece of art completely kicked my . . . bum! It was so hard to pull off, with so many changes, I truly doubted I had any skill at all by the time it went out the door. That one drew blood.
     So imagine my complete surprise to receive this honor! I am thrilled beyond belief!!
     Will you squeeeee with me (in my comments section)?

Daisies!

     Like the new background pattern for my website? I made it this morning.
     We're in the thick of weird Winter-ish weather here in the south and I just needed some sunshine. Daisies always instill hope for Spring.
     (You'll need to visit my main site to see it if you follow me through a feed: http://dulemba.com/blogger.html.)
     :)

Daisies!

     Like the new background pattern for my website? I made it this morning.
     We're in the thick of weird Winter-ish weather here in the south and I just needed some sunshine. Daisies always instill hope for Spring.
     (You'll need to visit my main site to see it if you follow me through a feed: http://dulemba.com/blogger.html.)
     :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

ParentSmart KidHappy™ in PW Sneak Peek!

     Great news for the 3rd book in the ParentSmart KidHappy™ series: READY TO PLAY! (written by Stacey Kaye, illustrated by Yours Truly, Free Spirit Publishing) was listed in Publishers Weekly's "Fall 2009 Sneak Peak Preview"!
     Book three, you say? Why yes, it comes out this April, and I'll do a big woohoo then, but here's my sneak peek at the cover:


     Learn more about these books on proper parenting language and the power of choice - click the covers. Or listen to author, Stacey Kaye, talk about the concepts behind the books on Sandy Springs Radio's Book Talk with Gail Cohn (the 02/09 broadcast).
     I may be biased because Stacey is also a friend, oh, and because I illustrated them, but these really are amazing books for new parents. Heck, I learned a few things myself.
     Off to work on book four!...

ParentSmart KidHappy™ in PW Sneak Peek!

     Great news for the 3rd book in the ParentSmart KidHappy™ series: READY TO PLAY! (written by Stacey Kaye, illustrated by Yours Truly, Free Spirit Publishing) was listed in Publishers Weekly's "Fall 2009 Sneak Peak Preview"!
     Book three, you say? Why yes, it comes out this April, and I'll do a big woohoo then, but here's my sneak peek at the cover:


     Learn more about these books on proper parenting language and the power of choice - click the covers. Or listen to author, Stacey Kaye, talk about the concepts behind the books on Sandy Springs Radio's Book Talk with Gail Cohn (the 02/09 broadcast).
     I may be biased because Stacey is also a friend, oh, and because I illustrated them, but these really are amazing books for new parents. Heck, I learned a few things myself.
     Off to work on book four!...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Coloring Page Tuesday - Cupid

     Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted and to view more coloring pages - click here!

     I know it was Saturday, but I'm still hooked on Valentine's Day. I couldn't stop drawing this little cupid which will now be added to the main Coloring Page Tuesday collection.
     Have you seen it lately? It's gotten big!
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send me your colored version (less than 1mb) to coloringpages@dulemba.com and I'll post it to my blog!

     Learn more about my fun picture book Glitter Girl and the Crazy Cheese - click the cover.

Coloring Page Tuesday - Cupid

     Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted and to view more coloring pages - click here!

     I know it was Saturday, but I'm still hooked on Valentine's Day. I couldn't stop drawing this little cupid which will now be added to the main Coloring Page Tuesday collection.
     Have you seen it lately? It's gotten big!
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send me your colored version (less than 1mb) to coloringpages@dulemba.com and I'll post it to my blog!

     Learn more about my fun picture book Glitter Girl and the Crazy Cheese - click the cover.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Twilight Premiere - on the red carpet

Hilarious! An uber-fan as interviewer. It goes...well... (Thanks to Myra from the MidSouth SCBWI board for the link!)

Twilight Premiere - on the red carpet

Hilarious! An uber-fan as interviewer. It goes...well... (Thanks to Myra from the MidSouth SCBWI board for the link!)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The history of Valentine's Day


     Valentine's Day is Saturday - ever wonder how the day came to be? History.com has put together a fantastic resource of everything you ever wanted to know about it - including games!
     Thanks to School Library Journal for this link on the history of Valentine's Day!

The history of Valentine's Day


     Valentine's Day is Saturday - ever wonder how the day came to be? History.com has put together a fantastic resource of everything you ever wanted to know about it - including games!
     Thanks to School Library Journal for this link on the history of Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Senate Nixes NEA Funding...

But it's not over yet...

     This is straight from the latest Southern Arts Federation (an arm of the National Endowment for the Arts) newsletter:
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed their version of the Economic Recovery Package which included $50 million in supplemental grants funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, which offered the following statement, "the arts and culture industry is a sector of the economy just like any other with workers who pay taxes, mortgages, rent and contribute in other ways to the economy; and that the National Endowment for the Arts is uniquely positioned to assist in job stimulation for that industry."

The U.S. Senate's version of the bill does not include the NEA funding. The differences in the two bills now will be negotiated by a conference committee of both houses. Your help in communicating the value of this funding to your Member of Congress is critical.

Visit the Arts Action Center (Americans for the Arts)

     This is directly affecting how our gallery show, Storybook Look, is being scheduled (or not). When it was first picked up the SAF fully expected the show to book up almost immediately. And then the economic crisis hit. And now with funding for the arts as one of the issues on the chopping block in the Economic Recovery Package, it may get worse. This directly affects me, SCBWI-Southern Breeze illustrators, the event planners at the SAF and employees of the NEA. We may not build cars, but these are still jobs and they need to be secure.
     Please visit the Arts Action Center (Americans for the Arts) to get information on how to contact your representatives and tell them to keep the Arts IN the program!!

UPDATE! WE DID IT!! Funding for the arts remained IN the economic recovery package that just passed! Read more at Americans for the Arts. YEAH!!!

Senate Nixes NEA Funding...

But it's not over yet...

     This is straight from the latest Southern Arts Federation (an arm of the National Endowment for the Arts) newsletter:
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed their version of the Economic Recovery Package which included $50 million in supplemental grants funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, which offered the following statement, "the arts and culture industry is a sector of the economy just like any other with workers who pay taxes, mortgages, rent and contribute in other ways to the economy; and that the National Endowment for the Arts is uniquely positioned to assist in job stimulation for that industry."

The U.S. Senate's version of the bill does not include the NEA funding. The differences in the two bills now will be negotiated by a conference committee of both houses. Your help in communicating the value of this funding to your Member of Congress is critical.

Visit the Arts Action Center (Americans for the Arts)

     This is directly affecting how our gallery show, Storybook Look, is being scheduled (or not). When it was first picked up the SAF fully expected the show to book up almost immediately. And then the economic crisis hit. And now with funding for the arts as one of the issues on the chopping block in the Economic Recovery Package, it may get worse. This directly affects me, SCBWI-Southern Breeze illustrators, the event planners at the SAF and employees of the NEA. We may not build cars, but these are still jobs and they need to be secure.
     Please visit the Arts Action Center (Americans for the Arts) to get information on how to contact your representatives and tell them to keep the Arts IN the program!!

UPDATE! WE DID IT!! Funding for the arts remained IN the economic recovery package that just passed! Read more at Americans for the Arts. YEAH!!!

Average Age for Caldecott Winners...

     Thanks to Fuse #8 for pointing me to this blog post at Collecting Children's Books, "It's Sunday Brunch Time Again."
     In it, Peter D. Sieruta has somehow gathered the ages illustrators were when they won their Caldecott awards.
     For those of us who have had to come to terms with the fact that we are now too old to win an Olympic Medal in figure-skating, or too old to be named an artistic phenom, it was refreshing to read the average age of Caldecott winners is 47.5. There's hope for me yet!
     Oh, and Newbery winners? 52.1. Yes! I still have time to hit my peak in life! Although I better get crackin'...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Coloring Page Tuesday - Cupid Heart

     Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted and to view more coloring pages - click here!

     Did you notice a new look for Coloring Page Tuesday's? I made some changes over the weekend.
     Why? Because thousands of you visit my coloring pages and download them every week - but I rarely know who you are! So, will you be my Valentine this Valentine's Day? Yes? Yeah!
     How? Go to the main Coloring Page Tuesday collection (now organized by themes) and sign up! You can sign up for the weekly Coloring Page alerts, or just to receive news about my forthcoming books. (Hint, hint, I'll have a big announcement soon!)
     Either way, the Coloring Pages still work the same...Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send me your colored version (less than 1mb) to coloringpages@dulemba.com and I'll post it to my blog!

     Learn more about my fun picture book Glitter Girl and the Crazy Cheese - click the cover.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Jarrett Krosoczka - The Making of Monkey Man


BOOK BY BOOK: the making of a monkey man from Jarrett Krosoczka on Vimeo.

     OMG, I heard this was debuted at the national SCBWI conference in NY last weekend. (Which overlapped with Kindling Words this year - pooey.) It is so danged funny! You gotta watch.
     Alice Pope blogged during the conference, so if you weren't able to attend (like me) you get a good feel for the happenings at The Official SCBWI 10th Annual New York Conference Blog.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Illustration Friday: Time


     This is from the back cover I did for the December Highlights Magazine. Typical of all their back covers, there are a lot of wonky things going on - including the clock. Could you tell time with a clock like that?
     Here's the entire piece - how many other wonky things can you find?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Kindling Words - 2009

     As if a few days in New York wasn't enough, I had to top off my trip with the Kindling Words Retreat in Vermont!
     Five people loaded into Katie Davis' big car for the ride up: Me, Katie, and Hope Anita Smith (2009 Coretta Scott King Honor Award Winner!), then we stopped and picked up Ellen Wittlinger and Jane Yolen!
     What do you get when you load a bunch of unbelievably talented story-weavers in one car for a five-hour drive? A rockin' good time, that's what! We stopped at a fabulous bakery in Brattleboro, VT for lunch - Annie's? And talked and talked all the way. What a great beginning!
     Arriving at the Inn at Essex (which doubles as a Culinary School) was like coming home.

     We walked in to register and were immediately surrounded by friends and hugs. We'd all missed each other over the year!
     Once again, I roomed with author/illustrator Sarah Dillard (check out her new book, Perfectly Arugula!) - we make good roomies. :)
     But a few people were new, and there were 17 editors there this year (!), so the organizers (big THANK YOU to y'all!), Marnie Brooks, Tanya Lee Stone, J. Alison James, and Janie Bynum put together a fabulous loosen up activity. We painted, wrote a group poem, and best of all - we drummed. Beautiful, African, beating drums!!

     OMG did we all fall in love with those drums!! Before you knew it, we were laughing and completely relaxed - what a kick off!
     Day 1 we opened with the writer's thread and guest speaker Nancy Werlin. Needless to say, she was great. Have you read her latest book, Impossible? I loved it!!
     Nancy was followed by the illustrator thread with speaker/RISD teacher Mary Jane Begin. I was hoping to find inspiration to move me to a new level with my art and Mary Jane really came through. She shared art history, style, caricaturization, and graphic novels. All highly informative, and FUN!
     The nice thing about KW is that it really is a retreat. After lunch is free space. People can form spontaneous groups to talk about specific topics they're interested in . . . or not. Some people wrote, some went snow-shoeing, I organized a group to talk about School Visits, traditional and virtual. I had a lot of questions myself, and a lot of people had been asking me questions concerning my article about my first Virtual School Visit, so it ended up being a pretty big group. I learned so much and was so appreciative of all the info everybody shared!
     That night we were treated to poetry performed by Ashley Bryan. What a master. You can't listen to him and not fall in love with poetry. Go see a sneak peek of his performance at the 2007 National Book Festival. I drew a picture of him while he spoke and he signed it for me. (I did this when I heard National Treasure Ray Hicks way back when.) I now have a new treasure to frame for my office and I'll think of him and that wonderful evening every time I look at it.

     Afterwards we all fell into a spontaneous drum circle - pouring our hearts and souls into the beats - it was absolutely AMAZING!!
     The next day we again enjoyed talks by Nancy and Mary Jane, then again had free space.
     This time I attended a great group about book store visits led by my doppelganger, Elizabeth Bluemle, author and owner of the Flying Pig Bookstore. I say doppelganger because for some reason whenever we are on the same message board together (and now in the same place) people mix up our names. I guess Dulemba and Bleumle are somewhat similar. And sure enough, it happened here as my speaking information was slipped into her name tag. We've been emailing and laughing about the phenomenon for years, so I was thrilled to finally meet Elizabeth in person. Here we are showing off our name tags.
     That evening was the cherished tradition of KW - the candlelight readings. We had a bigger crowd this year so broke into two groups (editors were divided to keep it fair), but everybody who wanted to read was able to. I read the opening to "A Bird on Water Street" (currently being shopped by my agent) and was thrilled by the kind comments I got afterwards - including by some of the editors! It's a joyous time to hear the works in progress from such talented people. Even better when you see them come to life, like Janni Lee Simner's Bones of Faerie which she read an excerpt from last year and is now out. (I read an ARC and you need to read it - it's great!) Jane Yolen read more of her absolutely charming poetry - there's a reason she is so famous! And Laurie Halse Anderson read the finalized chapter from Wintergirls which she spoke to us about when she ran the writing thread last year. There were plenty others that were absolutely wonderful - I'm rooting for those works too!
     Afterwards, we all layered up like Eskimos and headed out to the bonfire in -1° weather - no lie! We sang, roasted marshmallows, and basically huddled together for warmth. Oh, and I had to do my now annual snow angel - can't do those in Georgia! Gads what an evening.
     The next morning at breakfast, I realized I hadn't taken a single darned picture the entire time, so ran around trying to catch glimpses with all my amazing friends. I don't know if the formatting will hold, but here I am with:

Christine Taylor-Butler, author of the article I illustrated for Scholastic called "Sobremesa" and scads of other books (how cool to meet her in person)!

Cool lady, Dian Curtis Regan and me.

Ellen Wittlinger and Laurie Halse Anderson.

Amazing voice and Coretta Scott King Honor Award winner (did I mention that yet?) Hope Anita Smith.

Sterling Publishing sister (she got the recent catalog cover!) Janie Bynum.

My awesome hostess, Katie Davis, Elizabeth Bluemle and me:

Katie again with me and Janni Lee Simner:

Leda Schubert who gave me one of the best compliments on my writing ever after last year's candlelight reading:

and finally, me and Kate Messner who's career is taking off like a big 'ole star:

And gosh, there were so many more wonderful people who I wasn't able to get a picture with. I guess I'll have to wait until next year. I sure hope to go back. KW is one of the most invigorating, inspiring, and warm fuzzy things I do all year!

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