Coloring Page Tuesday - Father Time

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

     And another year is about to pass us by - but what a year it's been!
     This week's coloring page is a bit more complicated. I hope while you color you'll reflect on the big events (and hugs) of the year gone by and take a moment to think about what you hope to accomplish in the new year. How can we make ourselves and our world better? How many more hugs can we give away?
     I wish you all the very best as we head into yet another adventure!
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send me your colored version (less than 1mb) to and I'll post it to my blog!
     For more coloring pages, go here.

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

Illustration Friday: Clandestine

     The Prince kept a clandestine surveillance on the girl he liked to call Cinderella...
     This is an illustration from my first trade picture book, THE PRINCE'S DIARY, which was named the 2006 No.1 Valentine's Day Pick by BookSense! :)


New cozy slippages for Christmas - me happeee!
Hope you're having a great holiday! :)

Coloring Page Tuesday - Santa!

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

     I looked through my coloring pages and couldn't believe I didn't have a simple Santa for you! So here you go - it's SANTA! Ho~ho~ho!!
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send me your colored version (less than 1mb) to and I'll post it to my blog!
     For more Holiday-themed coloring pages, go here.

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

Good news for Ready for Bed!

GREAT news!
Ready for Bed! (ISBN 978-1-57542-269-5) by Stacey R. Kaye and illustrated by Elizabeth O. Dulemba is a Gold Mom’s Choice Award® winner in the Children’s Picture Books–Growing Up category.

Mom’s Choice Awards are promoted on the Mom’s Choice Awards Web site, on, and in Entro, the Mom’s Choice Awards magazine. Mom’s Choice also promotes the list of award winners to the media.

Christmas Joy from Bailey

We don't get much snow down here in the south, so I can especially relate to Bailey - this dog LOVES snow!!! (Thanks to Cute Overload for the link.)

Illustration Friday - Voices

     What do the voices in your head tell you?
     This is a sketch from my picture book dummy "Queen Bea."

Happy Holidays!

Choo ~ choo ~ choo, Happy Holidays to You!

     As my holiday gift to you and yours, please enjoy some holiday-themed selections from my Coloring Page Tuesdays, including a Menorah to help celebrate Chanukah and a coloring page for the New Year. You can find the entire collection at Coloring Page Tuesdays (or click the stocking). Have your budding artist send me their colored version (less than 1mb) to and I'll post it to my blog!
     Look for a new coloring page next Tuesday as well - visit
     You've all been so supportive during this fun yet crazy career - it's meant the world to me. Please accept my warmest wishes for a Happy Holiday and a New Year filled with success, joy, and most of all - lots of love.

Thanks Y'all!
(p.s. - This Holiday card went out earlier today in my e's News. You can see the original at'sNews-12-18-08.html)

Which Book to Buy?

     I keep asking you to buy books as gifts this year, but if you're not a big book person, where do you start? Well, Large Hearted Boy has put together an extensive list of links to all the 2008 Year-End Book Lists. And after looking through them, I'm just honored to be included in the Moonbeam Children's Book Award List. There are a ton of books out there!! Of course, several of the same ones seem to keep popping to the top. (Thanks to for the link.)
     Of course, the very best way to choose a book is to go to your local independent book seller and tell them about the person you're buying for. That's where Indies rock - they specialize in putting the right book in the right hands. If you're in my area, Little Shop of Stories is the place to go. Maybe I'll see you there!

Coloring Page Tuesday - Christmas Tree

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

     This Christmas Tree needs decorations! Will you help? What will you put on top?
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send me your colored version (less than 1mb) to and I'll post it to my blog!
     For more Holiday-themed coloring pages, go here.

     Note: I'm happy to say Coloring Page Tuesdays has been a HUGE hit and I'm so glad y'all are enjoying them! Just a reminder - I create my coloring pages to draw attention to my books, so I hope you'll take a moment to check them out and consider them as gifts for your children, family, or school this year!
     Even better - consider purchasing them at your local independent book store. This year, more than ever, we need to support the businesses (and creators) we love to keep them thriving!
     Have a Happy Holiday season! - e

Awwww!! Look at the great job Anna did decorating the tree! Thanks to her big sister Nora for sending it in!

Books Make Great Gifts!

     Everybody I love is getting books from me for Christmas this year (and not just my books) - how about you? This year, all the publishing houses and book creators have come together to remind everybody why Books Make Great Gifts. Have a looksie, then go buy a book! (Or several...maybe some of mine...)

Motorcycle Toy Run

     Hubbie is helping out again this year with his motorcycle club's annual toy run. These are going to be some happy kids... See Donna Bowman's "Big Cats" hiding in there? (My contribution.) I think we still have cougars in the North Georgia Mountains (Stan said he saw one once), so some young boy in Towns County is going to really love that book!
     Do you have a toy run you can donate to? Or maybe a food bank? They could use your help this year!
Update: Hubbie just sent a picture - he says there are about 50 bikes in the Toy Run. Here are a few:

Mr. Eric and James Dean - Pete the Cat!

     So, remember I told you I consulted on a self-publishing project a while back, and what an exceptional exception it was to my general opinion on self-publishing? Well, Pete the Cat, I Love My White Shoes, is a HUGE hit! Since August, they've already run through their initial print run of 2,000 copies and yes, there's interest from New York to take it National.
     Well, Thursday I went to Little Shop of Stories to see Mr. Eric (author) and James Dean (artist) do their thing with a crowd and OMG. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!! Things look calm in this photo, but I chose it because it's the only one that wasn't blurry. Most of the time the kids (young and adult) were jumping and bouncing and wiggling and nibbling and generally having an amazingly wonderful time. It was obvious every parent in the room was loving the heck out of their kids - the room radiated pure joy. Wow.
     James drew quick sketches of Pete doing his thing (I want an original...maybe from the book! Guys?) while Eric sang some of his huge library of interactive and very cool songs (he does this professionally).
     Want to see what all the fuss is about? Check out these two girls enjoying the book:

     And they obviously know the song, Pete the Cat, I Love My White Shoes, which you can click here to hear it and other songs by Mr. Eric.
     All I can say is, it's all good!

Atlanta Press Club Holiday Author Party

     Tuesday evening I had the pleasure of being a guest signer at the 16th Annual Atlanta Press Club Holiday Author Party organized by Lauri Strauss the Executive Director of the Atlanta Press Club. I was there with author Stacey Kaye signing copies of our ParentSmart KidHappy™ series.
     About 30 other authors (and a few illustrators) were in attendance, including friends Melissa Libby, Michael Montgomery, Laurel Snyder, and new friends, Hollis Gillespie and Mary Kay Andrews. What a great mix!
     The event was held at the Georgia Aquarium. I hadn't realized Hubbie had never been, so it was a blast seeing his reaction to their amazing exhibits before the event got going.
     It was a lovely, catered affair surrounded by fishies in the Aquarium ballroom and included a silent auction. Everybody was dressed up in holiday finery and hubbie and I had a great time. Hope to be invited back next year!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Facebook Pro Page

Hey guys - I've created a facebook pro page. Hope you'll go sign on! Click HERE or click the image. Thanks!

Coloring Page Tuesday - Christmas Wreath

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

     At our house, the wreath for the front door is always the first decoration to be set out. How about at your house?
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send me your colored version (less than 1mb) to and I'll post it to my blog!
     For more Holiday-themed coloring pages, go here.

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

Cats and Wolves and Sharks - oh my!

     What a weekend! No social life for weeks and then it all hits at the same time! Friday, hubbie and I ran into friends for an impromptu dinner date. Saturday was his office Christmas party. And then Sunday . . . well, Sunday was just Awesome!
     First, we saw China's Terracotta Army at the High Museum. It was truly amazing. If you're in Atlanta and can make it by - I recommend it.

     That afternoon we headed to Little Shop of Stories to help friends, Matthew Jeffirs (Creative Director and illustrator), Donna Bowman (author), and Robyn Hood Black (author) celebrate their new books, SHARKS, BIG CATS, and WOLVES! Here they are showing off the interior pop-up spreads. Click to see the image larger.

     Kids are going to love these books. They're kind of like Dragonology or Wizardology but non-fiction. The books are filled with cool facts, interactive pop-ups and sliding mechanisms. If your kid is into Sharks or Wolves or Big Cats - they are a must buy. (I would have LOVED them when I was young!)
     Even better, if you get the chance to see any of the creators talking about thier books, it's worth the trip. Matt brought real sharks' teeth and did a demonstration drawing. What a talented guy - his sharks look so real! Donna had replica skulls of a domestic cat and a Sabre Tooth Tiger and did a cool magic trick! And Robyn had replica skulls of coyotes and wolves and shared fantastic photos of her experiences hanging out with wolves at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve. Yes, this is real...Juno wanted her own copy! (Photo by Alison Womack.)

     And Robyn said one of the wolves actually growled at the pop up!
     Note: Matt doubles as the Creative Director of Dalmation Press and may be talking at our next Portfolio Workshop!
     It was no surprise, they sold and signed tons of books:

     Support from fellow children's book creators is a big deal in this business and several of us made sure we were there. Why? Well, both Donna (one of our RAs) and Robyn are tireless volunteers for our Southern Breeze region of the SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators). It's so nice to see these two reap rewards from all their years of hard work - and what stunning books they've created! We are so happy for them!

(From left: Matt, Vicky Alvear Shecter, Donna, Robyn, Yours Truly, and Liz Conrad.)
     A few of us hung out at The Brick afterwards and raved about what a great book signing it had been. Truly, I'm so happy for my friends. These are books to be proud of!
     And the Sunday party didn't stop there! Hubbie and I headed to a Peruvian dinner with friends from my Spanish class: here are Raquel, Mark, Me and Melissa. They told us all about their immersion Spanish trips abroad. How cool!
(The Peruvian food was delicious although some was quite salty. I look like a puffer fish today... And where the heck were my glasses? No wonder I couldn't see!)

     So, like I said, what an awesome weekend!! I'm such a party animal - ha!

How To Talk to Girls

   Lots of video referrals this week...
   Need a good chuckle this morning? You've got to check out this Borders promo for Alec Greven - author, yes author of the new "How to Talk to Girls." It's laugh out loud adorable, and dang if he doesn't have it all figured out at the ripe old age of 9! (Click the image to go see the video at the Borders site.)

The Tales of Beedle the Bard - a reading

Click the image to see Arthur A. Levine, the acquiring publisher of the Harry Potter series in the US, read one of the stories from THE TALES OF BEEDLE THE BARD by J.K. Rowling on the Scholastic website. It's wonderful.

THE TALES OF BEEDLE THE BARD went on sale Thursday - yeah!

Illustration Friday: Similar

     One of the hardest things to do when illustrating picture books is making a character consistent throughout those 32 pages. And when you consider how subtleties can differentiate even the most similar seeming creatures - a litter of warthogs for example - you begin to realize what a challenge that can be.
     I did this ages ago for a dummy which never grew wings.

My First Virtual School Visit!

     Tuesday I experienced my very first Virtual Visit with Austin Middle School in Dawsonville, Georgia. And can I just say - Technology ROCKS!!
     It’s a known fact that students are inspired when they can meet a working author or illustrator. They get to talk to a real person who has struggled to achieve a goal and succeeded - proving that they too can reach their own dreams if they are willing to work hard and focus. You can’t get that kind of real-world inspiration from a text book.
     But times are tough and many schools don’t have the budget to hire an author or illustrator to visit their school. And sometimes it's just not possible to easily fly somebody to a more rural location. So, what can those schools do for their students? Well, in this digital age we can take advantage of technology in new ways that can truly benefit our kids and maybe change their lives.
     I know there's been a lot of talk about Virtual Visits, but I haven't heard much from anybody who's actually done them - so here's the round-up of our experience!
     How it worked...
     I advertised the option for a Virtual School Visit on my website and my newsletter and offered my first one free to a school willing to experiment with me. Meredith Lowe, Art Education Teacher at Austin Middle School, contacted me and we went from there.
     She ordered my books, read them with her students and they started gathering questions. About three weeks before our date I sent a package containing giveaways, postcards, bookmarks and activity pages for the kids to use.
     The day before our visit, Meredith and I did a trial run using Skype's video option (free). Because it was something new, there were a few hiccups. For instance, there was some resistance to setting up a Skype account from the school, but we got past that and I shared my account name so we could connect. (At first it's intimidating to use, but once you're in there it's amazingly easy.) We also realized the need for external speakers and a webcam on her end so that I could see and react to the students. We got the speakers, but not the webcam. They could hear and see me, however, so we felt confident the visit would work.
     On the day of our visit, we connected online that morning to make sure we were ready to go. When we signed back on at 8:45, the kids had been gathered and we were off and running!
     Here’s what the kids saw:

     Meredith set up two projection screens and two lap tops. On one computer we connected using Skype so I could talk to the kids. On the other computer, she connected to my online presentation via the internet. I had created a home page to work from for our visit and she clicked to my online slide show (created through my .mac account), my picture book The Prince’s Diary on, Paco and the Giant Chile Plant online, and a work in progress - my first picture book as author/illustrator, "Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón." I'm looking into having an online white board in the future so we can do a demonstration drawing as well.
     Here’s Meredith's control center:

     Here’s what it looked like on my end:

     This looks like computer overload, but it’s really not that complicated. I am due an upgrade on my main computer - so the only webcam I have is on our laptop. But while I talked to the kids on my laptop, I scrolled through my slideshow, etc. on my main screens behind it. I just asked Meredith to forward a slide when we were ready to move on.
     The great thing about this visit is it offered a new angle. It wasn’t just about me and what I do as an illustrator, it was also an exercise in technology, so held special appeal to these gifted middle-school students. It also meant I didn’t lose an entire day to traveling which means I can physically do more of these while dealing with my tight illustration deadlines.
     What did I miss? Well, I hope to be able to see the kids via webcam during future visits. I really do react to and feed off a crowd, although they shouted and cheered for me which was fantastic! And I couldn’t sign books, although I hope to work out a signing arrangement if books are pre-ordered through my local independent book store. Most of all, I wish I could have hugged these guys for creating such wonderful greetings:

     But all said, our visit was a huge success. Meredith said, “The kids talked about your "visit" all day and were really amazed! The teachers wouldn't stop bragging either! Even our principal joined us! Thank you so much for your well organized slides and your excitement!”
     Best of all, a Virtual Visit is an affordable option for schools who otherwise wouldn’t be able to invite an author or illustrator to visit their students. I’m offering them at $300 per session and look forward to doing more!

Update: I'm not the only one doing these now! Check out author, Arthur Slade's recent virtual visit here!

Laurie Halse Anderson recently did a Virtual Visit. Teacher and author, Kate Messner, did a write up at Virtual Author Visits: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, & the Awesome. Laurie gave her side of the visit too at: "Skype Visit with Readers".

Katia Novet Saint-Lot did a Virtual Visit from India to Dubai! Read about it here.

Find other authors and illustrators doing Virtual School Visits at Skype An Author!

Darcy Pattison offers some great tips on setting up your studio for a Skype visit at 24 Tips and Settings for Skype Author Visits.

Coloring Page Tuesday - Christmas Mouse

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

     And so the season begins! Time to suit up and buy books for all your friends! (Why do mice and Christmas seem to go together so well?)
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send me your colored version (less than 1mb) to and I'll post it to my blog!
     For more Holiday-themed coloring pages, go here.

     Learn about my Cinderella story picture book, The Prince's Diary, click the cover. (And look for the mice who have their own little story going on!)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]