The Edgar Awards nominate a Graphic Novel

The Edgar Awards are awarded by the Mystery Writers of America every year, and while they mostly seem to be focused on adult literature, categories do include "Young Adult" and "Juvenile." Occasionally books from my world become relevant in that world too (like when BLOOD BROTHERS by S.E. Hinton was nominated).
     Well, there's an interesting development this year - a graphic novel has been nominated. It's JOEY FLY PRIVATE EYE by Aaron Reynold and Neil Numberman. (Here it is featured at Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations.)
     I haven't read it yet, but I think it's great that graphic novels are becoming so mainstream they are breaking down walls between what people consider books.

El dia de los ninos ~ el dia de los libros 2010

Tomorrow, April 30th, is El dia de los ninos ~ el dia de los libros. (Children's Day / Book Day) So celebrate! Celebremos!
     I have reading-themed coloring pages and lots of activities for my bilingual books including bilingual word find puzzles or sopas de palabras (click on a cover below). So, use 'em and have fun!
     El dia de los ninos ~ el dia de los libros is hosted by the ALA - the American Library Association. You can also visit bookjoy to celebrate Diapalooza all month long!

Earth Day in Mrs. Chac's class!

Photos are starting to come in from classrooms who used my Earth Day images this year. Yay!

     Here are some pics from Mrs. Chac's 2nd grade class at W.T. Hanes Elementary School. Does this look like a great bunch of kids or what!?
     For Earth Day they made buttons (using my "Love the World You're On" art)...

decorated Earth bags (with this year's Earth Day image)...

And along with some more great activities which you can read about here, Mrs. Chac ordered a t-shirt too. Lookin' good Mrs. C!

Makes you feel good about our future, doesn't it?
HUGS, HUGS to all of the students in Mrs. Chac's class!!!! (And thanks SO much for sharing!)
Oh, and say it with me guys... "Soap, soap, soap..."
Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, GA (MY bookstore) is the 2010 Pannell Award Winner!!
And from Publishers Weekly: 2010 Pannell Winners Announced.
Kindle, iPhone, iPad: Exploring the Impact for Writers and Authorship, by Jane Friedman:

Coloring Page Tuesday - Reading Fairy TWO!

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

     We've got a small window before another holiday (Cinco de Mayo is next Wednesday) so I'm sharing a new Reading Fairy this week!
     Per the suggestions all of you have sent in, I'm also busy working on a monkey, a farm, a sheep, a zebra, more teddies, etc. for the future!
     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!

     Click the covers to learn about my newest picture book, Soap, soap, soap and Soap, soap, soap ~ Jabón, jabón, jabón.
See the cover of my latest book: The 12 Days of Christmas in Georgia!

The 12 Days of Christmas in Georgia Cover!

I just signed off on the proofs for my latest book, The 12 Days of Christmas in Georgia, (written by Susan R. Spain, illustrated by Yours Truly, Sterling Children's Book, Fall 2010). And now I can share the cover!! How exciting is this? (Drum roll please...)

     You may recall some of the research adventures hubbie and I made while I was working on this book. If not, click here to read about Springer Mountain, the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, Tybee Island, and Habitat for Humanity's Global Village. That's just a small taste of the groovy Georgia locales featured in 12 Days.
     The 12 Days of Christmas in Georgia will be released this Fall just in time for the Decatur Book Festival and the Savannah Children's Book Festival - yay!
Working on the novel on the porch with the view. Wind in the trees, sparkling chartreuse greens. Ahhhh.

Book Cover Match-Ups at 100 Scope Notes

Travis has a cool thing going on over at 100 Scope Notes. Match up book covers to create one full image. Like this:

Go to 100 Scope Notes "Book Cover Match-Ups" to play!
Rainin' like cats n' dogs in the mountains! (We're going out anyway.) :)


There's a fun website making the rounds lately - Wordle. Just plug in your blog or website and it will automatically create a cloud of your most used words, in a very cool way. You can then adjust the shape, colors, and fonts used to display your cloud. Here's what looks like:

Pretty groovy, eh?
8 Things I wish everyone knew about email (me too!), by Seth Godin:

Big Noodle Books

If you're a school librarian, you know all about book fairs... and how much work they can be. Big Noodle Books is trying to make book fairs easier. Everything is online.
     Now, I know if I were a kid I'd miss the browsing and flipping through I used to love doing at book fairs, but if big noodle makes it possible to have a book fair where there wouldn't be one otherwise, I'm all for it.
     You can sign your school up and purchase a book. A certain amount per title will go directly to your school. And the best thing of all is, my book SOAP, SOAP, SOAP ~ JABON, JABON, JABON is in there!! (Actually, all of my books are in there!) Check it out!
     Thanks to School Library Journal for the heads up.
One year blogiversary at - giving away free critiques!

RepoWEr America

From RepoWEr America - We Need Clean Energy by Biz Markie for Earth Day:

(Click the image to go see the video and see how you can be part of the video too!)

We Give Books

Penguin has a great new initiative called WE GIVE BOOKS. Just go to the We Give Books website, choose a charity, and read a book. A book will be sent to that charity. Cool thing is, it helps literacy and it gets people to the Penguin website. You can also sign up to have access to future books as they add them. GREAT idea! Click the logo to go try it out.
Today is "Look Up at the Sky" Day. :)

Photoshop to html online course

People often ask me who does my website. Well, I do. Back when I was a full-time graphic designer I taught myself html. I studied like crazy online, took a course on web design at New Horizons, and when we had a knowledgeable programmer consulting in-house, Bill Brock of Technology Projects, I asked a ton of questions. Slowly, I gained a working knowledge of how to turn my designs (which I created in Adobe Photoshop) into functional web pages. Eventually Bill convinced me my life would be much easier if I had Adobe Dreamweaver. He was right.
     Back then, websites were driven by html tables or frames. Some designers later turned to Flash, although I never could get into that. (Turned out to be the right decision as Art Directors can't pull art samples from Flash-driven sites and now Apple doesn't support Flash at all.)
     But nowadays, sites are driven by div tags and css coding. I'm a little behind.
     Thanks to June Goulding, I learned about an online course at - "Photoshop to HTML." The classes began April 20th, but they are being archived. Want to join me?

Coloring Page Tuesday - Earth Day 2010!

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

     This Thursday is Earth Day - do something good for the planet! If I sent you the high resolution version of my "Love the World Your On" art (below) - please send photos of your group doing their Earth Day activities! I can't wait to share.
     Anastasia Suen gathered some great Earth-themed books to help celebrate. Find them at your local library. And gathered some great Earth Day recourses as well. Still looking for ideas? Check out Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots program!
     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 bilingual picture book Paco and the Giant Chile Plant ~ Paco y la planta de chile gigante - click the cover.
I'm taking a FREE LIVE 5-Week Photoshop to HTML Course in the #creativelive classroom! -

Color Scheme for Lula's Brew!

When I worked in the fashion industry (Buster Brown Apparel for kids), color palettes were a big deal. There were entire companies set up to forecast what would be the 'hot new colors' every year. (You didn't think it just happened did you?)
     I used to love the presentations they gave. Color is a BIG DEAL!!! It can drive our moods, affect what we think about things, and our psyches. I'm fascinated by it and wrote an entire article about color for the SCBWI Bulletin last year called Illuminating Color.
     With that kind of background, I often try to figure out what the color palettes for my books are... but I hadn't gotten to LULA'S BREW yet. And I adore the rich aquas and oranges I used in that book.
     So I was thrilled when Chase Mann asked permission to do a color scheme for LULA'S BREW. And who knew, these days they have programs to set html color codes, and even host contests on color scheme community sites!
     Chase adores color as much as I do and has a good track record in these contests. So, check out Chase's report on how he chose colors for LULA'S BREW!

Alice for iPad

Check out Alice for the iPad. I downloaded it and yes, it really is that cool.

iPad Cat

On the off chance that you haven't seen the iPad cat ALL over the web:

Mermaid Quilt!

What is it about my little mermaid!? She has been used to decorate a cake and now adorns this amazing quilt by Lorraine, sent to me by her friend Keziah. Lorraine made this as a wall hanging for her granddaughter. Gotta say, if I were her granddaughter, I'd be thrilled! Isn't she lovely!? Wow.

Click here if you'd like to download the mermaid to color yourself!

Why APPs need ISBN numbers

I love all the new technology and ways to share our stories, but in the development of LULA'S BREW for the iPhone and iPad, I've hit a hiccup. Yes, LULA'S BREW is a digital book, but without an ISBN number she is just an APP. Technically an APP is not an eBook (currently).
     What's the difference?
     The technology used to flow text (like novels) in eReaders is called "ePub" and it cannot support full page image bleeds, audio, and/or interactivity.* Problem is, those possibilities are exactly what picture book, graphic novel, and educational publishers are so excited about. But to embrace the new possibilities the end result for most of the creators in these genres has to be an APP. The challenge after getting an APP created is getting it found.
     Right now, an APP cannot be listed on any of the author search engines like,,, etc. (All books are connected to their creators via ISBN#s.) They can't even exist in the Apple iBookstore because ALL the books listed in the iBookstore currently use ePub programming and nothing else. So all of the lush and wonderful picture books that are being turned into APPs are currently drowning in a sea of games, calorie counters, and restaurant finders.
     What can the picture book and educational publishers do to make sure their books are listed as eBooks and sold within the iBookstore? What would have to change?
     Either the functionality of an eBook using the ePub system would have to be adapted to support much higher functionality (probably possible but a major undertaking).
     APPS need a way to be assigned ISBN#s so they can be listed as eBOOKS. You know, ISBN#s - those little bar codes on the back of books and magazines that allow stores to plug them into their systems, track sales, but more importantly, make it possible to find the book within a search engine.
     The ISBN# application process could remain the same and books that began as physical books will of course already have an ISBN# - perhaps an 'e' could be added to the code. But books that begin life electronically would also need to go through this process. To work, all it would require is a system to list the ISBN# within the APP coding.
     Granted, the Library of Congress would have to wrap their heads around the idea that they would be assigning content numbers to what can on a level be described as air. And perhaps that's why it hasn't happened yet seeing as it's such a simple solution.
     But this industry is changing by the hour. Publishers all over the world are trying to agree upon ONE technology for eBooks that would work on all eReaders. I think they're missing the point. One is not enough. ePub works great for novels, but APP technology needs to be used for everything else. And the only way for APPs to be included in our world of books is for them to be searchable in the same way. To my mind, ISBN#s are the answer.
     Not to mention, an ISBN# gives APPs a way to be searchable by mechanisms other than just iTunes. Think of the possibilities. Maybe they could be used for affiliate accounts for Independent Bookstores to integrate them into their websites with a percentage profit built in for APPs purchased through their site? But I'm getting ahead of myself...
     What do you think? Is there something I don't know about? Technology I'm not aware of? Or should we start a movement and make this happen? Please share if you agree with me!

     *Yes, a vignette image or illustration can be locked into a location within the text (like in the free "Winnie the Pooh" they are currently giving away in the Apple iBookstore), but any picture book creator will tell you that is not really a picture book - not the way we want to create them.

Update: They are starting to embed video and music in this same manner, so there is more interactivity, but still no image bleed.
Senate Democrats want bailout for public school jobs. "The pink slips are going out now - it can't wait." Read more:

Digital Sketch Pad?

One of the exiting opportunities of the iPad is its potential as a digital sketch pad - something I've been eagerly awaiting. So I downloaded SketchBookPro (see a quick demo below) and I ordered a pogo sketch stylus pen because you have to use your finger to draw otherwise, and that can be problematic.
     Although I do wish the touch sensitivity of the pogo was even more sensitive, even more attuned to thins and thicks, and worked with a higher ppi than 72, I have to admit this is a GREAT evolution towards a true digital sketch book. I am able to do a rough and email it to myself to then work on it more on the 'big' computer. And although I'm also not very good at drawing on my iPad yet, I imagine a comfort level will easily develop.
     So, overall, this is a great first step and I expect to have the digital sketch book of my dreams a reality within a few years.

Earth Day is Coming! Free for you...

earthApril 22nd is Earth Day, and just like last year, my "Love the World You're On..." image is available for free to your non-profit school or organization to use on volunteer t-shirts during your Earth Day activities. Just email me and I'll send you a link to the high resolution image for your printer.
     OR, I am now partnering with BIG FROG. They can have your t-shirts shipped to you in as little as 24 hours. And 10% of all sales will go to Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots program!
     Next week I'll have a brand new Earth Day coloring page for you. In the mean time, you can get your kids ready with some of my existing Earth Day images.


P.S. - If you are subscribed to my Coloring Page Tuesday Alerts - you started hearing about this last week!
Today is National Bookmobile Day!

Coloring Page Tuesday - Book Lover

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

Check my blog Wednesday for some big news about an Earth Day freebie!

     Every dog has his book! Even dogs love books. Although it might be best if you read TO them...
     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!

Operation Teen Book Drop 2010

Operation Teen Book Drop is April 15th and I can't say it better than they do:
In 2008 and 2009, readergirlz (, GuysLitWire (, and YALSA ( orchestrated publishers' donations of nearly 20,000 new young adult books to hospitalized teens across the country. For 2010, If I Can Read I Can Do Anything ( has joined forces with these three organizations to drop thousands of new YA books, donated by publishers, into the hands of teens on Native American reservations. Nationwide, librarians, authors, and teens will drop YA books in their own communities on April 15th, 2010, to raise awareness for Operation TBD 2010 and Support Teen Literature Day. Everyone will join an online party that evening at the readergirlz blog (
What an incredibly cool thing to do. Visit Readergirlz to learn more!

Makers Tile Game

Leave it to Cory Doctorow to come up with the coolest things! Check out the Makers Tile Game. They all connect to each other no matter the size or how many tiles. Groovy!

The Clyde (animation created using iPad)

I can't embed The Clyde (by furbawl), so you'll have to go view it on the site where it just won an award.
     Wonderful and sweet little animation, even cooler that it was created using an iPad with a Pogo Stylus pen and Sketch Book Pro.
     I'm tellin' ya - I think I might finally have my digital sketch book - wow!
Illustrators Unite to Protest Online Art Theft!!

A demo of LULA'S BREW on the iPAD!

It's LULA'S BREW for the iPad launch week around here and I wanted to show you what Lula looks like on this new device. It really is pretty darned cool. Let me know what you think! (We will return to our regular broadcasting next week - hehe.) Go to Lula's Activity Page to see the Stray Cats video I mention here. And search "Lula" in the app store for the iPhone, iTouch or iPad! Groovy!
The Five Most Overused Children's Book Plots - ha!
My blog's RSS feed has been fixed if you would like to subscribe!

Nature by Numbers

Remember my interview with Sarah C. Campbell, creator of GROWING PATTERNS? Well, here's a related video by etereaestudios on how math applies to nature (or nature applies to math). Here's an animated demonstration of the fibonacci sequence and golden ratio at work - beautiful.

You can watch it here - but it's even more stunning at its original website at
Just bought a Pogo sketch pen stylus,, to use with Sketchbookpro on iPad - will report back soon!

LULA'S BREW on the iPAD!!! (a review)

Hubbie and I bought an iPad Saturday, and so far it's very cool and very interesting. Please pardon the cross posting and the ego flare, but my picture book app LULA'S BREW is STUNNING on the iPad. Freaking Beautiful!! The colors are smack dead on, you can see my brush strokes, the light is gorgeous, it's crisp and gorgeous. The sound is awesome. As an illustrator I am THRILLED with the way Lula looks on this device. Truly - if I was Steve Jobs I'd be holding up an iPad with LULA'S BREW saying "Look at what this baby can DO!!!" (Okay, ego back in check...)
     As for the rest of it...
     Gotta say, the color, the screen, the sound - all GLORIOUS!!! A few hiccups here and there. Some apps crash (none of the developers were able to test their apps before the iPad became available). When you buy a book in iBookstore, it loads to your bookshelf (tiny icon), and when you click on the book it opens to page 1 - not the book's cover. That's weird.
     I was hoping Lula would have more visibility since it's one of THE first picture book Apps available for the iPad, but there are some search features that almost act like 'front of store' placement, hm. (There's a drop down feature as
you type in your key search word that makes 'suggestions.') And of course, books and apps are sold in different places on the iPad - they are currently not treated like the same things AT ALL which leaves me wondering how picture books like mine will be found in this new environment.
     iBookstore does have one free 'picture book' - Winnie the Pooh - available. There seems to be a restricted area where an image (obviously a pdf) can be displayed - so it's nowhere near the full bleed luscious picture book look we all love - more like awkward vignettes.
     Facebook runs AWESOME on it. The keyboard works great although you wouldn't want to actually write on it (we got a bluetooth keyboard to do that). And you can buy Pages to write, but WORD isn't available for the iPad right now.
     Hubbie and I are fighting over the iPad already. It's very, very cool. Obviously still a brand new thing (we feel like beta testers) but very, very cool.
     Oh! And Stan is already watching ABC on the thing. (No hulu yet as it runs via flash which Apple refuses to support, and fancast is there but requires a monthly subscription.) He turned off the tv and said "What tv? We'll never use it again!" We'll see.
     SO! That is my review so far... I gotta go play with the new toy some more... if I can get it away from my hubbie.
     If you'd like to learn more about LULA'S BREW, go to

Read more reviews of the iPad:
Apple iPad Review: WiFi Model from MacNews
The iPad Meets the Children's Book (from PW)
GREAT author marketing tips: The 3 Key Parts of Your Author Platform Framework at Tribal Writer:

Coloring Page Tuesday - Train

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     I can't believe I haven't given you a train before! Chug, chug!
     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!

TA-DA!!!!!!! Learn about my new iPad App, LULA'S BREW - click the cover!

Look what Jackie made!
A Cat Named Twitter:

A Peek at My Creative Space and Interview by Jennifer Bertman

I am a guest at Jennifer Bertman's blog, From the Mixed-up Files, today! She posted pics of my office, art from Soap, and asked some great questions. Check it out: A Peek at the Creative Space of Elizabeth O. Dulemba.
Good wrap-up review of the iPad at

Library Appreciation Day at "Market My Words"

Monday, April 11th we will celebrate the unofficial Library Appreciation Day hosted by Shelli Johannes Wells at "Market My Words".
     Why? Because libraries are vitally important to our society and
April 13th is also National Library Workers Day. So, go visit your library and say "thanks" to those who promote literacy, education, and awareness in our communities.
     To help celebrate, Shelli is collecting a book basket which some lucky winner will win to donate to their favorite library. (Sign up at Shelli's blog.) I've donated an all-Spanish version of Paco y la planta de chile gigante!
     And since librarians are the focus and will be dropping by - I want to remind everybody about my Coloring Page Tuesday FREE coloring pages and my Coloring Page Tuesday widget which you can plug into your blog or website. (To install it visit my blog and scroll down in the sidebar - click on the "Get Widget" tab underneath the widget and it will walk you through it).
     A large chunk of my coloring pages are reading-related and perfect for story time. So, librarians especially, please use them, share them - they're FREE!!
     And while you're visiting - how about sharing what you love the most about your library? Does it have a 'bookish' smell - a certain 'bookish' light. Or maybe there's a librarian who means an awful lot to you? Please share!
     My library is the downtown Decatur Branch. I love the authors who speak, the children's department (on the main floor) with its big curved wall, and the sunshine that pours in through the windows. It's a happy, well-loved place.

Harry Potter Theme Park

More photos of the Harry Potter theme park! Check them out at Harry Potter Theme Park Revealed. Oooo - I want to go... in two years after the crowds die down a bit. Hm. Can't wait to find out what butter beer tastes like! :)

Lula's Brew for iPad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Woosie! Visit iTunes, type in "Children's Story." Only six options come up and Lula's Brew is one of 'em!!!!! WOWSA!!!! (Type in "Picture Book" and Lula is one of only 18 options!) I'm sure this won't last for long - so you gotta check it out!!! This is for the first generation iPad which comes out TODAY! (Hubbie and I have the 3G version on order - that'll come out later in the month.) So, if you get an iPad, go to the App Store, download Lula's Brew and tell me how it looks, will ya??? (I'm not geeking out or anything...) COOL!

To help celebrate, here are the Stray Cats singing Be-Bop-A-Lula LIVE!

Here's a quick demo of how the app works:

And a sneak peek at the story:
We reached 100 followers at my new blog URL, I didn't hear from the first name drawn so the new winner is Chrissy Deffendall!! Get in touch!
Today is International Children's Book Day - visit Ethiopia Reads to celebrate:

Easter activities

     Easter is Sunday and along with my Easter-themed coloring pages, there are also some fun activities at Chateau Meddybemps. You can decorate eggs, play a matching game, read a story, or even hunt for eggs. Click the image above.
     Cool thing about Chateau Meddybemps - they are the creators of the new iPhone app "But That Wasn't the Best Part" released by the very same developers who did my book, LULA'S BREW - Reading Rhino!

Children's Books - Anybody Can Do It!

Have an idea that just popped in your head? Maybe your puppy is the cutest thing ever and deserves to be immortalized in print? Why don't you write a children's book?
     It's easy after all and won't take much of your time. Just jot your story down and pop it in the mail. Publishing houses are waiting for you and your fantastic idea, chomping at the bit for it. Don't worry if it's not polished - that's what editors are for! (After all, it's the idea that's valuable - any old hack can write.) They'll snatch it up and get back to you in a few days with "We love it! We want to buy it!" (Might as well put a down payment on that beach house you've been looking at - the advance will be huge.)
     It should take a few weeks for an illustrator to apply their magic to your story. (Or maybe you have a cousin who likes to draw? That could save the editor time finding an artist.)
     And badabing-badaboom - your book will hit all the major commercial chains within a month or so. Have your friends and family look for it at the featured display table.
     From there you'll have all-expense paid book tours, the New York Times best-seller list, Oprah, and heck, you might even change a child's life with the good advice you shared.
     So, if you have a free weekend or a few hours, how about give it a go!? Your public is waiting!

April fools.
Want to learn the truth about children's publishing? Read my article "How Do I Get Published?"