Art from UP

     Ever wonder about the process animation studios go through to make a movie? Here are some wonderful studies, models, and videos posted by one of the guys working on UP, Lou Romano: Art of UP. The third video is especially nice as it includes some of the soundtrack too - quite soothing.
     Thanks to Wendy Edelson for the link!

Finger Painting on the iPhone

     Have you seen the cover of the New Yorker? Everybody's talking about it because the illustrator, Jorge Colombo, created it on his iPhone using an application called Brushes. And here's a cool video of his process:

     So, I downloaded the program and gave it a go...
I obviously need practice!!

The new dining room

     Okay - I know this isn't exactly earth-shaking news, or even kids books related, but some of you expressed interest in seeing the "After" when I posted on facebook that I was trying to decide what color to paint our dining room walls. So, for a voyeuristic peek into my life I give you the before:

     It was dark and cavernous, not at all inviting, and frankly didn't set off our awesome new painting by James Dean one bit.
     So, I went with a suede below the chair rail (which picks up on some of the more subtle colors in the painting) and a buckskin above (that's yellow to all you non-artsy types) - which beautifully sets off the painting. (We moved the painting to the left wall where you can see the entire thing without obstruction the moment you walk in the door.) We painted the ceiling a subtle yellow-white too - like meringue. The white trim really 'pops' now. We also pulled the extra end chairs in from other rooms, bought new faux silk drapes in a soft yellow (thank you Target!), and bought a new buffet.
     Hubbie kind of got hoodwinked into that one - he didn't want to paint the kitchen over the holiday weekend and suggested a road trip to Madison, Georgia instead. They happen to have one of my all-time fave stores, In High Cotton, (he knew this) and I said it would cost him... ha! So here is the new buffet:

And... drum roll please... here is the new dining room:

     You should see it at night - it positively glows! Of course, I find it ironic that except for any teal in the room (although there's a bit in the painting), I have once again fallen in with my personal color palette (like in my office re-do). Can't seem to stay away from those colors! We may still add some more art to the walls - but some of it is away at the SCBWI Southern Breeze Illustrators' Gallery Show until next Sunday...
     So, last night we ordered Chinese delivery and ate in our new dining room - lovely!

Coloring Page Tuesday - Pigeons

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     Cooo - cooo. Some kids live in urban areas with lots of pigeons. How about you? Here are three pigeons sitting on a sill. What do you suppose they're looking at?
     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!

     Learn about my Cinderella story picture book, The Prince's Diary, click the cover.

2009 SCBWI Southern Breeze Illustrators' Gallery Show

     Our 2nd Annual SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) Southern Breeze Children's Book Illustrators' Gallery Show came together beautifully. We had six illustrators participating: Me, Liz Conrad, Ami Blackford, Daniel Powers, Laura Knorr, and Mark Braught.
     This year we employed our new grid system which allowed us to move the show to the main floor of Little Shop of Stories and meant Liz and I didn't have to do any math - yeah! It also provided us with shelves on which to place the corresponding books with each piece of art (still low enough for reaching hands).
     Opening night was Friday during the Decatur Arts Festival's ArtWalk, and despite a light rain, there was a good crowd throughout the evening. We sold books - here's Ami signing for a young fan. I drew some cows. We ate cheese and hummus, drank wine, and got to hang out with our buds.
     Donna Bowman, our Southern Breeze co-regional advisor made wonderful signs to go with each piece, as well as signs explaining what the show was about. She also made sweet things for the illustrators - a name-tag, signing pen, and chocolate bar. Thanks Donna! (She's behind the camera in all these pictures.)
     Daniel wasn't able to join us (he lives in Savannah) but everybody else came by. Here's Me, Liz and Ami:

and Laura and Mark:

and Liz with some of the books that went with the artwork:

     Big fuzzy thanks go out to Diane Capriola and Dave Shallengberger and the staff of Little Shop of Stories as well as Mark Little. Their continued support of our local talent has been an enormous asset to our region. Thanks again to Donna and Southern Breeze. And thanks as well to Decatur, Georgia for giving us the perfect event to tie in with during our annual show!

Update! More pictures!!...
Here's Mark and Little Shop store manager (and author of PURE), Terra McVoy. (You can also see Justin in the background there. He's the 'go to' guy for graphic novels!)

Here's me drawing a cow for a rapt audience:

Laura and me near her art:

and Me and Liz between our art:

And finally one of Donna in front of the camera!


Fabulous Furniture Design

     Ahhhh. Sunday is the day to explore links to things you don't typically have time for during your busy week. And here's a perfect site to go kick around in: Straight Line Designs Inc. It's the furniture you wish you had for a simpler, wonkier world.
     (Thanks to Ann Koffsky for the link.)

Aaarrr, me facebook Matees...

     OMG - are you on facebook? Well, they have a new language option you have GOT to see to believe.
     Go to your facebook page and scroll to the very bottom. On the left you'll see the link "English (US)" - click it. Lots of language options will come up... including "English (Pirate)." OMG. Choose that!
     Suddenly your "friends" will be "Me Hearties." Your "Mail" will become "Bottle o' Messages." And your "wall" will say "What be troublin' ye?"
     It's HILARIOUS!!! You gotta try it out!

Illustration Friday: Cracked

     Senora Soto had broken her eggs and blamed Hugo for the mess. See all those cracked eggs?
     Yup - another sneak peek at Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón! My first picture book as both author and illustrator that comes out this Fall! (Click the image to see it larger.)

SCBWI Gallery Show Opens Tonight!

     Remember Last Year's incredibly successful Gallery Show? Well, it'll be hard to top it - especially considering last year's show was picked up by the Southern Arts Federation (an arm of the National Endowment for the Arts) to travel the South for two years as:

but you never know.
     Tonight (Friday, May 22nd) is ArtWalk - opening night for the Decatur Arts Festival from 5 - 10 pm in downtown Decatur Georgia, and our SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) Southern Breeze Children's Book Illustrators' Gallery Show will once again be hosted by our independent children's book store, Little Shop of Stories. All the galleries in downtown Decatur will be open for the event, many will offer wine and snacks. It should be a lovely evening. I sure hope you can come!

Rick Riordan on tour!

     If you haven't heard about the release of the last book in the Percy Jackson series, THE LAST OLYMPIAN, than you obviously don't have a tweener in the house. The author, Rick Riordan, has been on a cross country tour for two weeks promoting it. Monday was his next to last stop in Decatur, Georgia hosted by Little Shop of Stories.
     Obviously the store couldn't hold the crowds, so the event was held at the local rec center. This photo doesn't even begin to do the crowd justice. It wrapped up the bleachers on both sides and was the most crowded book event I have ever seen for one author. Amazingly, Rick signed every book the kids brought - I'm talking hundreds of kids who had every book in the series. The man is surely returning home with a serious case of carpel tunnel syndrome.
     I went with my friend Vicky Alvear Shecter and we couldn't help but wonder if we'd ever get crowds like that. "Not likely," we decided, but it brought up the question of why?
     The answer was simple enough. We don't write those kinds of books. The kinds of books that hit that particular age where kids are soaking up knowledge like a sponge, collecting facts and trying to know as much as they can about a given subject. That age when they adore action-packed series and are not too self-conscious yet to worry about being publicly fired up about something they love.
     Remember being that age? I do. Back then, I was horse crazy and my best friend and I had collected the stats on every thoroughbred on the racing circuit. We knew them backwards and forward and correctly predicted the winning line-up of all the big horse races that year. We knew our stuff.
     So do the fans of Percy Jackson. They know their Greek Mythology, even though it's not traditionally taught in public schools, they know it inside out. And they crave more. Hence, the crowds.
     So, it brings up the question - who is your market? Who are you writing for? Is it a stand-alone novel, a series, or an information junkies dream? All these things will affect your following.
     I'm not saying there's anything wrong with not writing to this demographic, it's just an interesting exercise to be aware of it. And it's a whole lot of fun to watch 4th graders and up when they are really passionate about a subject.
     So who are you writing for?

Thoughts on Line Art

     If you've ever attended one of my Beginning Drawing Classes, you know how hyped up I get about line quality. It's often the difference between amateur and professional looking drawings. Why? Because just like shadowing can imply volume and light, so can line.
     The first thing I have students do in my classes is draw eggs – with line. The line is thinner where the light hits and thicker where shadow will fall.
     The master of good line quality was Charles Shulz - yup, of Peanuts fame. I spent over six years drawing Charlie Brown and Snoopy for a children's clothing company. To mimic his line quality, we'd draw two shaky lines side by side and fill them in. It wasn't easy to do. And when you look at his work closely, you'll see what I mean.
     It's something I try to stress when I create my coloring pages - variation of line. It's important and it creates . . . a sense of quality to a drawing. No way around it.
     Just as I stress getting the color and light correct in your work (read my article, "Illuminating Color"), line is important too.
     So, Loreen Leedy from my Picture Book Artists board turned me onto this fantastic TUTORIAL (click the image) by Bob Ostrom of how he achieves his line quality. I highly suggest reading it if this is something you struggle with.
     And while I don't use the blue or red pencils for sketching, or use Illustrator like he does, his method is very similar to how I create the coloring pages for y'all every week.
     1. Pencil sketch by hand, usually while watching TV with hubbie in the evening.
     2. Scan it into my computer the next day.
     3. Recreate the drawing on a separate layer (sometimes many layers) using my Wacom tablet in Photoshop - so I can get that yummy variation of line.
(Here's a before and after example.)
      And Voila! Groovy, eh?

Coloring Page Tuesday - Gardening Bear

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     It's Spring and I've just been itching to get my fingers in the dirt and make pretty things come out of the ground. You too? Have you planted a tomato plant or a flowering something yet?
     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!

     Paco planted a pepper plant! Learn more - click the cover.

Michelle Knudsen's The Dragon of Trelian!

     I must admit I'm a sucker for a book with a dragon on the cover. Fantasy is my brain candy - the first books that made me really love reading.
     So when my friend Michelle Knudsen came out with her first novel and it was a fantasy AND it had a dragon on the cover - well... I didn't know whether or not to tell her it took me less than 24 hours to read it. After all the hard work she put into it, and I couldn't put it down. Zoomed right through it, yup. And LOVED IT!!
     So, I'm thrilled to be able to ask Michelle a few questions about it...

Q.     This is your first novel, right? Tell us a bit about your publishing/writing history prior to "The Dragon of Trelian."

A.     It is my first novel, but it's actually my 40th book. Over the last 12 years or so I've written board books, beginning readers, picture books, and coloring and activity books. I started out on the editorial side of the desk, working at Random House Children's Books. While I was there I wrote the text for some "in-house" projects, including lift-the-flap books and mass market picture books. Over time I began writing and submitting my own manuscripts, and eventually left editing full-time in order to focus more on writing. I still do some freelance editing on the side, though. My best-known book so far is my picture book Library Lion, illustrated by the excellent Kevin Hawkes.

Note: Library Lion was a New York Times Best-selling and multiple award-winning picture book!
Q.     What inspired you to write a fantasy novel? Are you a fan of the genre as well?

A.     I've been a devoted fan of fantasy and science fiction since I was a child. In fact, before I knew I wanted to write for children, I knew I wanted to write fantasy novels. That had been my dream since around junior high school. It took me a long time to feel brave enough to start one, though. And a long time to finish it! But I loved working on it - fantasy novels are still my favorite books to read, and I was so excited to try and write one myself.

Q.     I love the strong characters, Calen and Meg (wowsa what a strong female!) - how did they come to you, are they like you at all, do they talk to you?

A.     I never know exactly where my characters come from. I knew at the start that the main characters in this book would be a girl and a boy, and eventually realized they were a princess and a mage's apprentice, but I didn't know very much about them until I started writing the first draft. The writing process was also a process of getting to know Meg and Calen, seeing what happened on the page and learning more about their personalities. I think there is a little bit of me in both of them. I can be nervous like Calen, and I definitely go on and on in my head like he does sometimes! And I can be impulsive like Meg, and stubborn, although I think she's a lot braver than I am. I don't think they've ever talked to me directly, but I do hear them talking to themselves or to each other in my head sometimes.

Q.     I loved the idea of the marked mages - where did you get the idea? Do you have any images/drawings of what you think they might look like?

A.     I'm not sure exactly when I realized the mages were marked - Calen wasn't originally marked in the first draft of the first chapter. I think it might have been a little later, when I was first trying to picture Mage Serek. I was thinking about how the magic was going to work in this book, and what kinds of restrictions would need to be placed on those who could use magic. Having the mages be marked so that they could not practice in secret started to seem important, and it tied in to my developing ideas about the more spiritual side of being a mage, the way they think about consequences and balance and responsibility. I don't have any drawings, although I do have images in my mind. I should probably make some sketches, especially if there's ever a chance an illustrator might need to draw Calen or Serek.

Q.     What events do you have planned to launch "The Dragon of Trelian"?

A.     I had a book launch party on the day it came out (April 14) at Books of Wonder in NYC. It was a wonderful event - a lot of people came, including many dear friends and some old friends I haven't seen since high school or summer camp! It was such a great way to send my book out into the world. Looking ahead, I'll be signing books at the Candlewick booth at BEA on May 30 from 3-4pm, and then over the next few months I'll be signing at various children's book festivals, including The Hudson Children's Book Festival (Hudson, NY) on May 16; The Princeton Children's Book Festival (Princeton, NJ) on September 12; and the Rochester Children's Book Festival (Rochester, NY) on November 7. Any additional events will be posted on my blog ( under "Where I'll Be" in the right-hand column.

Q.     Will there be a sequel? (I hope so!)

A.     Yes! I'm working on it now... :)

     Yeah!! Thanks Michelle!

Speaking and Presenting - with Chris Brogan

     We're writers and illustrators. We hide in our offices and studios, butt in chair, rarely coming out to play. Well, if you're working to be published, you're in for a surprising realization. Part of this biz is public speaking - a very large part.
     For some people, public speaking comes easily, for others it's a bit more work. So where can you learn how to become an effective public speaker?
     Chris Brogan is a techno-marketing whiz I like to follow because of his sound and useful advice. Recently he talked about Speaking and Presenting - Your Next Actions. He also links to some of his other articles on the subject which are also worth a look.
     I have a few bits on public speaking myself. Check out What I've learned about speaking engagements. And if you haven't seen it - check out my new video montage of a recent school visit on my Visits page. (And yeah, I gotta get my hair outta my face - my mother's been saying it since I was five.)
     The main thing to understand is that it will get easier. Knowing your material inside and out can create a comfort zone even in front of a crowd. It's natural to be nervous when you first begin public speaking, but the shaking will eventually go away and you will get better at it. Eventually, you may even come to love it. It can be a lot of fun to hold an audience in your hand while you share the things you are most passionate about.

Illustration Friday: Contagious

Kindness can be contagious - try it!
This is from my latest release, READY TO PLAY! written by Stacey Kaye, illustrated by Yours Truly, Free Spirit Press. (Click to see the entire image larger.)

Learn more about the book and the series - click the covers!

Kim Norman's CROCODADDY!!

     I told you about my recent school visit in Clanton, Alabama with fellow author, Kim Norman. And I interviewed her a while back when her first book, JACK OF ALL TAILS, came out. Well, I also wanted to tell you more about her adorable new picture book, CROCODADDY (illustrated by David Walker)! My interview follows....

Q.     It's a beautiful day to enjoy the swimming hole and a Daddy and Son take full advantage! What was your inspiration for CROCODADDY and did you have one?

A.     The Crocodaddy lived in our backyard pool! Well, you'll get a clue to his true identity if you read the dedication, which is to my husband. It was a pretend game my boys played with their dad, especially my younger son, who was a toddler when the game came about.
     My own dad was definitely a Crocodaddy at heart. My siblings and I had great fun, playing with him in the lakes in Maine where we have always vacationed.
     I kept thinking there was a picture book in there, somewhere. I generally try to keep my picture book scribblings contained in one notebook per book, although I don't alway manage. Sometimes I just grab what's handy and visible on my desk, especially if I'm taking a project on the road. (Say, to have something constructive to do while my son has his guitar lesson.)
     I did manage to keep all the drafts of Crocodaddy in one notebook, and I'm really glad I did. It preserved the chronology of the stories evolution, which did not evolve the way I had remembered it. I thought that I'd come up with the refrain, ("Crocodaddy, Crocodaddy...") first, but it turns out, the refrain came later, after a couple of previous drafts, including one draft that most members of my critique group thought would be too scary. I'm really glad I have that notebook to look back at previous versions of the story.

Q.     The story is written in rhyme - was it hard to achieve that perfect rhythm or does it come easily to you?

A.     I confess it does come rather naturally to me. I have a pretty good sense of rhythm which also helped when I took tap dancing lessons. I was surprised at how well I did at tap dancing. Turns out, for tap, if you've got rhythm, you can get by without as much athletic ability, which I do NOT have! No one will ever mistake me for Ann Miller or any of those great tappers of the 40s and 50s, but I can at least match them tap for tap in my head!
     I'm finding that rhyme is also my favorite way to write. It's the only type of writing that seems to pull me, obsessively, back to the work. Other types of writing, I tend to procrastinate, as though I'm avoiding homework.

Q.     This is your second book now. (The first was JACK OF ALL TAILS.) How does it feel to be an established writer?

A.     Ah. Is anyone EVER an established writer? I know so many writers, some with many volumes to their name, who still struggle with uncertainties. But it does feel a bit more settled, this time. Less fleeting, like, "Hey, I can DO this!"
     I'm also noticing many people in my own town who are asking about the book, looking forward to its release. On the other hand, there are still plenty of people who don't know about it. A long-time acquaintance, a teacher, recently asked me if I could come to her school for career day, to talk about a book I illustrated 9 or 10 years ago, by a local author who self-published. I'm not ashamed of the book, by any means, but I do think my career has grown exponentially since then. She hadn't a clue that I had authored even one book since then, let alone four. (I have 2 more under contract, both scheduled for 2010.) And this is an elementary school teacher, who -- you would think -- might keep up with picture books written by local authors. After all, I've been written up in the local paper several times. So I guess things like that will always keep me grounded, with no chance of developing a big head!

Q.     Do you just LOVE the illustrations by David Walker for CROCODADDY?

A.     Oh my gosh, I can't even begin to TELL you how much I love those illustrations! It's so fun to share the book at school visits and see the students' eyes widen when they catch the clues David has placed in his paintings about the identify of the Crocodaddy. I also love the gorgeous saturated colors. I was inspired to paint a room to match the greens in the book.
     And the details are delightful. Today a member of my critique group told me she has been having fun reading it to her 2-year-old grandson, who calls it "the big book" because it's so much bigger than his board books. A 2-year-old doesn't quite get the concept that the Crocodaddy is mostly in the protagonist's imagination, but he is still having fun pointing out the details that David Walker added to the illustrations, like a cute little bird that shows up in a few spreads.

Q.     Any plans to celebrate CROCODADDY'S release in a fun way?

A.     I just ordered a batch of books for the first book signing at our town's pretty little museum in Smithfield, VA, on May 9th. It was kind of them to offer to host it for me. I've been very lucky with my book launches; people have been so generous. When my first book was launched, I was still working at our local newspaper. My boss and his wife hosted a party for me in the lovely garden of a local restaurant. The weather that night was golden.
     You never know how many to expect at a signing, of course. You always hope it won't be an embarrassment!! This signing is at the same time as our local farmers market, which attracts thousands (when the weather is good), and the museum is right next door to the market, so I'm hoping lots of folks will come over. But not more than 88, because that's all the books I've ordered!

Q.     What's coming next? What else do you have up your sleeve?

A.     Ooo, well, my agent told me just yesterday that she had sent a new story to 3 editors who had requested it, so... fingers crossed! It's in rhyme, basically a bedtime book, so I'm hoping there's still a market for bedtime books. She's also shopping around another book which got me some solid nibbles back before I was agented, so I'm hoping she'll have luck with that, too.
     I've promised myself I'll get back to work on a novel I've left untouched for too long. I just need to quiet that evil inner editor I always tell students about during my school visits. (I have pictures of her, which the kids think are hysterical.) Well, that, and I also need to exercise a little discipline. Summer's coming, at which point school visits die down, so that's my goal for the summer! (I THINK I can. I THINK I can!)

     Thanks Kim!

     Thanks e! You da best!

Kim has a great exercise called "Evil Editor" you can see by clicking HERE.
To visit other stops on Kim's tour click:

A Christian Worldview of Fiction, A Mom Speaks, A Patchwork of Books, All About Children’s Books, Becky’s Book Reviews, Booking Mama,Cafe of Dreams, Dolce Bellezza, Elizabeth O. Dulemba, Fireside Musings,, Looking Glass Reviews, Maw Books Blog, Never Jam Today, Olive Tree, Our Big Earth, Reading is My Superpower, SMS Book Reviews, The 160 Acrewoods, Through a Child’s Eyes

Coloring Page Tuesday - Aardvark!

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     Is it prom season in your world? This little guy popped into my head recently. Can you imagine anything funnier than an Aardvark in a tux?
     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!

Learn about proper parenting language and the power of choice in, Ready for Bed! , Ready for the Day!, and Ready to Play! - click the covers!

Children's Book Week!

     Today kicks off Children's Book Week!
     A record number of kids have been voting on their favorite books at the website and the winner will be announced this Wednesday. So click the logo to tune in and see if your favorite wins!

Get in a Guy's Head

Great article recently from PW Children's Bookshelf (are you subscribed?) ...
"Surprises About Men: Unexpected Lessons from the Other Side." Author of After the Moment, Garret Freymann-Weyr, talked to men about their thoughts about love and se... when it first came into their lives. The result? Some great insights into how the male teen mind works. If you're writing a story with a young male protagonist, I highly suggest you go read the article!

Good News for Us Creative Types!

     I'm proud to say I'm a "woo-woo" kind of gal! Yup - a right brainer all the way. Rarely touch down, live in the clouds. It's been a detriment most of my life, but apparently that's all about to change...
     Lisa Jacobi of Steel String Session turned me on to this article and Oprah interview with Daniel Pink, author of "A Whole New Mind."


     What's most encouraging about this article is his focus on story and storytelling as experiencing a much needed comeback. Even though this is a book for adults, it's surprisingly on topic for children's book creators and publishers!
     I also loved the term "symphony" - the ability to see the big picture and connect the dots. So much of this business is learning to recognize opportunities and different angles, people, points that can help each other - something I've turned out to be surprisingly good at. But this ability to 'symphonize' was never really identified as a skill until this book.
     I gotta get a copy! But as hubbie said, "Don't go givin' her a big head now."
     I dunno - left-brainers have been running our world for so long. Don't you think it's about time us creatives were due a bit of big-headedness?
     Read the article and tell me which skills YOU have.

Once Upon a Book

     So the San Francisco Center for the Book has put together a gallery exhibit called "Once Upon a Book" - as they say:
...this is the second in a series of children's book exhibitions. This show explores the creative process in the work of six critically acclaimed illustrators: Elisa Kleven, Remy Charlip, Maira Kalman, David Macaulay, Chris Raschka and Brian Selznick.

     It runs May 4th - August 7th at The San Francisco Center for the Book.
     However, if you can't physically make it to the show, they have a GREAT series of videos of the illustrators talking about their process online! Very cool!

My School Visit on YouTube!

     I used our new Flip Video Camera at my last school visit in Clanton, Alabama to see if I could finally join the world of YouTubers and the like. Mostly, I wanted a video to share about my school visits and public speaking engagements.
     I put together the various clips in iMovie - no small task. But considering I'm a complete novice, I'm pretty pleased with the results.
     What do you think? (It's about 4.5 minutes long.)

Coloring Page Tuesday - Fiesta!

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     Today is Cinco de Mayo - celebrate! Learn more about the holiday HERE. And I have more Latino-themed things to do at my Paco activity page.
     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!

     Paco and the Giant Chile Plant ~ Paco y la planta de chile gigante es perfecto para celebrar el día - tan LEALO! - click the cover.

Melissa Marr at Little Shop!

     Monday I had the great good pleasure of meeting author Melissa Marr when she spoke at Little Shop of Stories promoting her books: Wicked Lovely, Ink Exchange, and Fragile Eternity (and the Manga adaptation of Wicked Lovely). My first (and only so far) video book review was for Wicked Lovely - remember? (Yeah, I'm still trying to figure out the sound thing.)
     Anyhow, not only was it wonderful to hear this expert on Irish/Scottish Folklore speak (shows in her books - love 'em!), but even better - we went out for drinks afterwards at the Brick Store Pub!
     Esther Levine, her publicity escort, hung right in there with Melissa, me and Kevin M. and his wife Tiffany - two more Melissa/folklore fans. We had a rockin' good time - hence the fuzzy pictures. Okay, it was night-time too - cut me some slack! Hope she comes back soon - she's fun!
     Melissa has a fantastic interactive site for all her readers - so if you're a fan like me - check out

Illustration Friday: Hierarchy

     The principal is definitely higher than the bully in the school hierarchy. (Click to see a larger version.)
     Yet another illustration from my forthcoming Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón - my first picture book as both author and illustrator due out this Fall!

testing, testing

blogger is acting up this morning...


     Today launches NaPiBoWriWee - otherwise known as National Picture Book Writing Week. It's the creation of Paula Yoo and you can read more about it (and start participating) HERE!
     The goal is to write seven picture books in seven days - so you better get crackin'!