Coloring Page Tuesday - Falling Leaf

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

     The air conditioner is off, the windows are open. It's cooler when I walk my dog, Bernie, which we both appreciate. Ahhh, we're heading into my favorite time of year!
     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 about my Cinderella story picture book, The Prince's Diary, click the cover.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Please follow my copyright policy when you use my images! And share your creation on the Coloring Page Tuesday facebook page!

Call to Action - Orphan Works Bill

I posted about this a while back. Well, they're trying to sneak it through while people are talking about other things. Please go let your voice be heard:


Orphan Works: Risking Our Nation's Copyright Wealth

The Senate has just passed their version of the Orphan Works Bill

Now we must try to stop the House Judiciary Committee from folding their bill and adopting the Senate version.

We've supplied a special letter for this purpose.



-Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner, for the Board of the Illustrators' Partnership

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Illustration Friday: Packed

Bubbles helped pack fun into this dirty job.
This is an illustration from "Ready for the Day."

CBAIS at Cheatham Elementary School

     Remember I told you about our Children's Book Authors and Illustrators of the South or CBAIS booth at the Decatur Book Festival? Well, we did a drawing to give away an enormous bag chocked full of our books to a local school or library. The winning ticket belonged to Jennifer Frederick , School Counselor at Cheatham Hill Elementary School in Marietta, Georgia.
     Yesterday, the five steering committee members made the drive to deliver the prize. Here we are with the winner:

(Me (Elizabeth Dulemba), Connie Fleming, Jen Frederick, Susan Rosson Spain, Vicky Alvear Shecter, and Liz Conrad.)
     We presented the book bag to Jen and the school's Media Specialist, Marlo Buro. They were thrilled to add over $300 worth of books to their school's collection, especially considering all the books were written or illustrated by local creators. As they examined the collection, they were excited by how many of the books would easily tie in with existing curriculum covering almost every subject and age range in the school.
     Even better - one of the Kindergarten classes joined us during their storytime and posed for a picture with all their new treasures.

     I'm not sure who was more pleased, Jen, our CBAIS group or the kids. It don't get no better than that - spreading the love of reading and books to smiling young faces.

     Learn more about CBAIS and our twenty members, all available for speaking engagements and school visits, at

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Paco in Spanish and English

     Not all kids learn the same way, and not all teachers teach the same way. Which is why Paco and the Giant Chile Plant ~ Paco y la planta de chile gigante is now available in all-Spanish and all-English hardcover and paperback versions.
     Now nothing can stand in the way to ¡habla espanol!

By the way - yesterday's book winner was Christina Ann Rodriguez - Congratulations Christina!!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Coloring Page Tuesday - Bernie!

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

     I love my fuzzies. I have two dogs and a cat and I started hiding them in my work a long time ago. But the first book to sell had my dog, Bernie, in it - and he's kind of stuck. Now I hide Bernie in all my books. Sometimes he's easy to find, sometimes he's not. Sometimes he's skinny, sometimes he's plump. Sometimes he's a real dog, sometimes he's a toy.
     Bernie is a Foxhound best we can tell (bigger than a beagle) - he just showed up in the yard one day. He was about five months old and he was a mess, tired and hungry and injured too. We had to take him in and give him a good home.
     At my book readings, I love to have kids yell, "Hi Bernie!" (or ¡Hola Bernie! as the case may be...), although he's very shy and would run and hide if he were there to hear it.
     So anyhow, I thought I'd have a contest. The first person to put each Bernie with the book he came from in my comments, will win a signed copy of one of my books (you get to pick which one). Don't sign anonymously so I can email you if you should win!
     Let the games begin:

Oh, and here's the real Bernie...
     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.

And look at this sweet card by Lori!

First Day of Fall

     It's September 22nd - the date of the Autumn Equinox this year and the first day of Fall. And despite the fact that we still make it into the 80's here in the south temperature-wise, I'm feeling the urge to wrap myself in bulky sweatshirts, warm socks, and . . . plaid. So, what do y'all think of the new background? (If you follow my blog through a feed, you have to visit my main page to see it.)
     Get some cool background patterns for your own website at or plaids at

FREEFALL by Anna Levine

     Recently author Anna Levine got in touch with me . . . all the way from Israel. I'm not sure how she found me, but she was looking for reviewers for her new novel, FREEFALL, published by Greenwillow (one of my favorite publishing houses) here in the US.
     The premise intrigued me - a coming of age story set against the backdrop of mandatory military service in Israel. I'm not Jewish, but a good friend of mine in college who was taught me a bit of Hebrew, invited me to celebrate Passover with his family, and basically opened my eyes to Jewish culture. We also have a strong Orthodox community here in Atlanta not far from my home. I think I've made it pretty clear on my blog how fascinated I am by various cultures, so I asked Anna to send me the book and when it arrived, I dove right in.
     Now, I know Israel has a complicated history, and I'm not going to go into the politics of it here. But the fact is, there is an entire country of very normal people trying to live normal lives in a very stressful place. Teenagers there are experiencing all the feelings American teenagers experience, but with additional challenges unlike anything in the US.
     FREEFALL is not a political book, it is a book about reality and personal experience. I found it to be a fascinating read. I also had lots of questions. I found Anna's answers as fascinating as the book, and hope you enjoy as well...

Hi Anna. What is the current requirement for youth in the military in Israel?
     Like Abigail, the central character in my novel FREEFALL, all youth 18 years of age male and female must serve in the army. Although some are exempt due to health issues or for religious reasons, in general boys serve three years (unless they are pilots) and girls serve two years.

In your story, the military was such an integral part of the character's lives. I was especially surprised at the ease with which everybody seemed to handle and accept guns, and not just any guns, big, military machine-guns (thrown over Noah's back with his guitar). How do you feel about this part of your society?
     In Israel, guns are carried by soldiers. It is rare that civilians not on military or police duty will carry one. One of the first and most important lessons that is drilled into every Israeli soldier is the responsibility which comes with carrying a gun. So like my character Abigail, once she is accepted into a combat unit she will have to decide if she is able to accept the responsibility which comes with carrying a weapon.
     After twenty years of living here, and living through a lot here, I have come to terms with the necessity of a military presence but that does not mean that it makes it any easier when I see my sons carrying a gun when on military duty. Not all soldiers are combat soldiers; not all army activities relate specifically to security. There is a strong emphasis on education in our military from working with immigrants who need help adapting to life here, to working within the school system helping out children with special needs to studying the land and environmental issues. The military is integrated into every facet of our lives. Just today I met a soldier in the school where I teach part time. He is a professional athlete and this exempts him from regular military service to give him time to train. But he still serves and must give a certain number of hours, in his case working with students.

I especially enjoyed the friendship that developed between Aggie and Lily. It seemed instantaneous yet formed by dire circumstances. Have you or your children experienced anything like this?
     I have two boys. My eldest served in a paratrooper unit, he’s now backpacking through India. My other son, Tomer, is now a paratrooper. The friendships between the soldiers in their unit which are established during the years of service, last a lifetime. They learn that these are the people who they will be able to count on for anything and for the rest of their lives. Once you have been in the field with someone, carried them, carried their equipment, leapt from planes with them, ate, celebrated and cried with them, these experiences become the glue that binds.

Is there a solidarity felt among the Israeli population because of this mandatory service? How do you feel it makes your country and people stronger, or do you have any negative feelings towards it?
     Chapter 12 of FREEFALL begins as a typical bus ride anywhere in this country. Buses are crowded, private cell phone conversations are public and the radio on the bus is always blaring the news every hour. When something bad happens we all know it. There is a definite sense of solidarity among Israelis because we have all had some personal interaction with the military or have lived through terrorism. If I’m driving and see a soldier on his way home from his base, I’ll pick him up and drive him the rest of the way because I know someone else will do the same for my son. Do I have any negative feelings? Like every mother who gives birth to a child in this country one of the first words is a wish that by the time our child reaches 18 there will be peace and he or she will not have to serve.

Many people have strong opinions about Israel here in the US. What would you like to share with those who don't usually hear an average voice from within your country?
     FREEFALL is what I want to share. My novel is a snapshot of Israel that goes beyond the headlines and into the daily lives of the people who live here.
     Abigail Jacobs is eighteen years-old. She disagrees with her parents. Her friendships are in flux. She falls in love and is struggling to assert her independence. She is like any typical Israeli teenager who dreams of and strives for normalcy in their lives in spite of, or perhaps despite the complicated environment we live in.

Learn more about FREEFALL and Anna Levine at wordswimmer and dreamyreads. Or visit and

It's Talk Like a Pirate Day - 2008! (and IF=click)

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

     Ahoy, matees! It's Talk Like a Pirate Day!
     I love this holiday. It hasn't been around very long, (you can read about how it started herrrrre) but it sure is fun. How to celebrate? Well, add a whole bunch of "RRRRR's" to your speech and go play Adventure Golf at Pirate's Cove! If there's not one near you (there are so many!), how about coloring a pirate? (A bonus to Coloring Page Tuesdays!)
     Click the image above 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!
     So what does a pirate's set of encyclopedias look like? (From

     For more ways to celebrate, check out my Talk Like a Pirate Day posts from 2007 and 2006! Arrrrr, mateys!

     For more coloring pages, go here.
As far as Illustration Friday goes - well, it just clicked that I should make this my submission this week - ha!

My First Listing in PublishersMarketplace!

Wowsa - a dream come true!! is the publishing industry newsletter where recent book deals are listed. This is my first time to make it in - for three books no less!! I'm only subscribed to the shorter, free version Publisherslunch (which is a great way to follow the industry, btw) - so many thanks to Mindy Weiss for forwarding!

Illustrator Elizabeth O. Dulemba's READY TO PLAY and READY TO TRY AGAIN, to John Kober at Free Spirit, by Courtney Miller-Callihan at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates (world).

Illustrator Elizabeth Dulemba's SOAP, SOAP, SOAP! (JABON, JABON!), her first book as both author and illustrator, to Dawn Jeffers at Raven Tree Press, by Courtney Miller-Callihan at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates (world).

Only one of these is already illustrated - I've got a lot of work to do!! Better get crackin'...

How I do my demonstration drawings

In my comments, Donna asked:
     Just wondering what you were using to sketch Maya with? Marker~ Can't tell in the picture.
     Also wondering if you have advice for drawing on the spot? I did a visit and a kid asked me to draw an animal, and it was like I went blank......ever have anything like that happen? I had feelings of terror, does a camel have one hump or two, are their ears pointy or rounded, what is the shape of their neck, the whole thing freaked me out...I'm not a huge animal person anyway...but eeks!!! It was a sad camel if I do say.

Hi Donna,
     During my recent visit at B&N I used a dark pencil to create the base drawing and then colored with pastels. It's a good way to lay in large swaths of bright color in a short amount of time. Of course, it looks pretty crude until I apply my "magic finger" and blend the colors together. (I get a lot of "Ahhhhs" at that point.) I tried several different media to get that visual punch I wanted - quickly - and pastels seemed to work the best. I do try to keep the kids away from the finished art though as pastels are not the healthiest things in the world. I also recommend people hit the art with a light dusting of an aerosol hairspray to hold the pastels in place after I leave. (I usually sign the art to the venue I'm visiting.)
     As far as quick drawing on the spot? Oh yeah, I feel your pain. A friend asked me to draw a quick sketch of my dog Bernie (who hides in all my books) for her daughter. It was so bad, but supposedly her daughter loves it!
     You just have to cut yourself some slack on that front. Most people claim not to be able to draw a straight line and they truly appreciate even our roughest efforts.

Note: I'm going to try to be more proactive about answering the questions you leave in my comments - so ask away!

My Stats Surpassed 1,000!

     Wowsa - we've hit a milestone! Tuesday was the first time I've seen my stats go over 1,000 page loads in ONE DAY!!! Woohoo!!
     So according to my Stats Company,, 73,777 of you have visited my website for the first time so far this year. 5,719 have been here before (thank you loyal followers!!), and 123,939 page loads have happened so far this year! That's an average of over 300 visitors a day! Those are some pretty impressive numbers if I do say so myself.
     Of course, it's all about you guys. Thank you, thank you and please share my website and my blog with your friends and family. Let them know about Coloring Page Tuesdays. And sign up to receive e's news or subscribe to my RSS feed to the right!
     I love sharing with you guys - thanks for being there!

Coloring Page Tuesday - Seasons

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

     What does Fall look like where you live? Do the leaves turn the colors of Fruity Pebbles Cereal and drop from the trees? They do where I live and I love the bright colors. But mostly I love watching the changes that come with each season - they each bring hope and promise special to their particular time of year.
     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 about my Cinderella story picture book, The Prince's Diary, click the cover.

Hispanic Heritage Month!

     Today kicks off Hispanic Heritage Month - September 15 to October 15. It's a great time to get to know Paco and the Giant Chile Plant ~ Paco y la planta de chile gigante, read Hispanic books, and generally learn more about your (or Hispanic) culture!
     Why September 15th as a kick-off date? Because, according to Fact Monster (lots of good links there), September 15th is the anniversary of independence for 5 Latin American countries - Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Also, Mexico declared its independence on September 16 (not on Cinco de Mayo), and Chile on September 18.
     So celebrate!!
     Find fun activities, information and resources at ¡Colorín colorado!. And find some great Latino and Spanish-language books at Readingrockets. (Where's Paco guys??)
     Download free Paco coloring pages, a bilingual Sopa des palabras (Word Find puzzle), and activities at my Paco Activity Page.
     Most of all, celebrate your culture this month. I've said it before, but I'll say it again. My maiden name was Oberholtzer, an incredibly ethnic name of Bavarian descent, and yet I had no ties to it whatsoever - no music, no food, no traditions - how sad. Realize the treasure you have in your own cultural background and celebrate it. I'll help celebrate with you - it makes life much more interesting and a whole lot more fun!

     Learn about my bilingual picture book Paco and the Giant Chile Plant ~ Paco y la planta de chile gigante.
Note to teachers:
Paco is now available in all-English and all-Spanish hardcover and paperback editions to give you the best tools to help you teach your students - click the cover.

Stacey and Me at B&N!

     It's rare that an author and illustrator live in the same town, let alone communicate and become friends. But that's exactly what happened when Stacey Kaye, creator of the ParentSmart/KidHappy series moved to town right after I'd signed the contract to illustrate the books Ready for Bed! and Ready for the Day! (Two more are on the way for 2009!)
     Well, yesterday we spoke and signed books together for the first time at the Barnes & Noble in Buckhead. Stacey read, described the concept behind the books and activities that parents can use to nudge their children through everyday routines without a fuss. Here she shows a "Wheel of Choice" while I draw Maya in a bad mood in the background.
     It went well and was a great trial run for our talk at the DeKalb Medical Center this coming Wednesday. I'm looking forward to it!

     Learn about proper parenting language and the power of choice in, Ready for Bed and Ready for the Day - click the covers!
     You can also listen to a summary of the concept behind the ParentSmart/KidHappy books at Mighty Mommy!

Illustration Friday: Island

     Ever feel like an island unto yourself? Bea sure does.
     This is yet another sketch that I can't fully render unless the book sells, which despite winning numerous honorable mentions in writing contests, it has yet to do.
     Perhaps I went too cartoony with the sketches, or maybe my art just plain doesn't fit the story. It happens. Just because I'm a professional illustrator, it doesn't mean my style fits every story I write. I get enough work that I don't take it personally. And Queen Bea would look lovely in watercolors, which I don't do...
     But I sure would like to see this story out there, because I know there are a lot of kids who would connect with Bea, trying to figure out where they fit in the world despite being a little overweight or shy or whatever. We've all been there. We've all been our own island at some point.

Blog Book Tour - Karen Lee's My Half Day!

Drum roll please . . .
     I'd like to introduce you to my friend, Karen Lee, and her latest book, My Half Day, written by Doris Fisher and Dani Sneed, published by Sylvan Dell Publishing, available Today!

Hi Karen!
So you've illustrated three books on mathematics and fractions now, One Odd Day, My Even Day, and now My Half Day. Were there any particular challenges in portraying "half" as compared to "odd" or "even"?

Yes! In a way the concept of half, while very pervasive in our daily lives, is harder to show. All of these books have loads of hidden things that are intended to bring the viewer into the hunt. That was fun to do in My Half day as well. I incorporated everyday things like measuring cups and spoons, rulers, quarters, music and the iconic pie wherever I could.

I LOVE the aliens in this book, were they especially fun to create? What was your inspiration?

This was the first spread I painted because I couldn't wait to get started on it - like having dessert first. I used animals as starting points for several of the aliens. One in particular is obviously of bird decent. I also tried to give some of them a bit more personality. The lanky fellow with the horns is kind of ornery, and the great big guy is stodgy and grumpy - probably because his clothes are too tight.

Have you had much chance to share these books with children, and if so, how do they react to all the fun things going on in your illustrations?

It is slow going when I read the books to a group because the kids want to linger on each page. That is absolutely wonderful with me. Bit by bit they creep closer and closer to the book until they are touching the pages to point out the little things they've found. The way the kids pore over each discovery is far and away the most successful thing I've brought to the book.

You were the author AND illustrator on your picture book ABC Safari. Do you have different feelings about being a writer vs. being an illustrator? Which do you prefer?

If I am honest, and I always try to be, I prefer doing the illustration only. The amount of choices I have had as sole creator can be paralyzing - like choosing toothpaste. It is a more doubt ridden endeavor for me at this point. I still do it because I feel like I have something worthy of the creative and emotional effort. The gestalt that comes from collaboration is where my real passion is though. I love taking something that is a given and enhancing it with my own ideas and skills.

Thanks so much, and best of luck with My Half Day!

Thank you!

Want to learn more about marketing newly released books? Read this article by Sylvan Dell's PR person, Sara Dobie.

To read more Blog Book Tours, click on the tag in the right column >>

Coloring Page Tuesday - Unicorn

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

     I don't know about you, but I loved Unicorns when I was young. A magical horse! What could be better?
     So what will your Unicorn look like? Will it be pink, have spots? Or rainbows all over? I'd love to see what you come up with!
     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 about my Cinderella story picture book, The Prince's Diary, click the cover.

Check out this sweet card by Vivienne in Australia:

ParentSmart/KidHappy Author on TV!!

Wowsa, wowsa!!!
     Stacey Kaye, the author of Ready for Bed! and Ready for the Day! (illustrated by Yours Truly) was on Good Day Atlanta today!!! Check it out, click the image:

Learn more about the books - click the covers!

Motorcycle Logic - Mistakes

     I think I've told y'all that my husband is a long distance motorcyclist, yes? I'm talking, a good day starts at 500 miles. Less than that, why bother?
     Well, one of his favorite websites is Adventure Rider. People post amazing photos of their motorcycle adventures around the world. I love peeking over hubbie's shoulder when he's looking through this site.
     They usually have nothing to do with children's books though . . . until this thread on m-m-m-motovation. A lot of these signs seem appropriate for writers and illustrators as well - I'll share a few over the next week or so. Here's the first. And don't I know it...

Illustration Friday: Clutter

     This is a spread I did last year for an easy reader - decodable book for Harcourt School called "Pop Got a Hit." (It's available to teachers now.)
     The little girl had to dig through her clutter to find her baseball glove.

Library Card Sign-up Month

     Have you been to your library lately? Well, September is a perfect time to go and see/read all the wonderful things they have to offer. September is Library Card Sign-up Month. If you want to help get the word out, go to the American Library Association website for more information (click the image above).

Coloring Page Tuesday - The Lion and the Mouse

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

     Have I mentioned I have a thing for Lions? And mice? Fun, fun, fun to draw. :)
     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 about my bilingual picture book Paco and the Giant Chile Plant ~ Paco y la planta de chile gigante - click the cover.