Coloring Page Tuesday - Reading Reptile

     Do you like to slither through the pages and sink your teeth into a good book? Maybe you're a Reading Reptile!
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     I create my coloring pages to draw your attention to my books! For instance...
my latest picture book, Crow Not Crow - written by New York Times Best-selling author Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple.
     Kirkus calls it "a solid choice for introducing the hobby [birdwatching] to younger readers."
      Also, A Bird on Water Street is now available in Chinese!
     I create my coloring pages for teachers, librarians, booksellers, and parents to enjoy for free with their children, but you can also purchase rights to an image for commercial use, please contact me. If you have questions about usage, please visit my Angel Policy page.

Scottish Highlands!!! Part 7 - Last one!

Our last day in the Scottish Highlands gave us rain - more fitting perhaps as we got to see it in its more natural state. It was still beautiful. Perhaps it was good that our trip was only three days, as it's taken seven days just to share all the photographs! We saw more of Donan Castle as we drove back by - this time all misty looking, as it should be.

We were hoping to stop by the Dalwinnie Distillery for a tasting (with chocolate!), but it was closed as they were hosting a private affair.
We also went to Loch Ness! Finally, after a lifetime of reading about Nessie! (I was that kid in elementary school who checked out all the books on cryptids, ghosts, and Nessie.) There wasn't much to the town itself, although it was charming.

Running down the center of town are actual locks for boats to pass through.

Sadly, we didn't have any spottings of dear Nessie. Although the day was filled with magic anyhow.

And even in the Highlands, I found a Scottish act of kindness, a hat on a fence, that I added to my Lost Gloves Instagram Project.
I'm so glad we made this trip. Photographs don't do the Highlands justice, you really have to see them in person, if anything to get the scope of space and sheer rawness of the terrain. It's a stunning part of our planet I hope you get to see someday, too!

See all my Highlands Posts:
Scottish Highlands!! Part 1
Scottish Highlands!! Part 2
Scottish Highlands!! Part 3
Scottish Highlands!! Part 4
Scottish Highlands!! Part 5
Scottish Highlands!! Part 6
Scottish Highlands!! Part 7

Picture Book Trends: A Curated Reading Workshop

We landed in the US on the 10th and I started teaching my 'Picture Book Trends: A Curated Reading Workshop' at Hollins University the very next day. It's been 9 to 5 for 5 days of intense immersion in picture books and various collections.
This was the workshop description:
Are you a teacher or librarian overwhelmed by the prospect of picking out the best new picture books for your young readers? Are you a creator who needs to stay on top of today’s picture book marketplace? If so, let this expert guide you on a curated reading journey. Over the course of five days, award-winning children’s book author and illustrator Elizabeth Dulemba will work you through the picture book submissions for the annual Margaret Wise Brown Prize and other best-sellers, covering current themes and trends, and pointing out the written and visual tricks that make them popular, successful, and beloved. By the end of the week, you will have a solid grasp of the current picture book landscape to better prepare you to recommend books to others or create them yourself. Workshop limited to 12 participants.
      Being our first year, we had a small group of four students, but it was a very powerful group indeed! I thought we'd get teachers wanting to find books for their students. Well, it ended up being a bit bigger than that. Dr. Marilyn Mallue is one of our MFA students, who was an invaluable member of our group since she was already familiar with our program and was able to provide further feedback and pointers on her experiences at Hollins (on the left).
Rosario Obergon is a lawyer from Peru who founded Mi Primer Libro Peru to promote early exposure to children's books and literacy in her country.
Here I am with some Peruvian books Rosario brought with her...
Teri Davies is a retired school counselor, who wants to continue enjoying books, sharing them with children in the community through local libraries and bookstores.
And Dr. Vickey Giles is a Professor from Houston and former school superindendant who will share what she's learned with her students and other educators.
     In other words, the ripple effects of this workshop will be large and ongoing - FANTASTIC!!!
      We started out by examining our Hollins Children's Literature department picture book collection and the categories they are broken into.
I walked them through the basics of picture book structures and concepts, and shared my slideshow on How Illustrators Direct Your Eye.
Each student shared their favorite book from childhood... and also selected three favorites from the collection to share with the group.
     We took several field trips to different children's book collections to see how they were curated. We began at the Hollins Library - the academic section - the tribute to Margaret Wise Brown - and the children's book section. There, students were asked to search out the newest picture book they could find.
     That afternoon, we headed to the Roanoke Public Library where we pulled books and shared one favorite book each. (Photos above.) The next day we headed to Barnes & Noble to see yet another collection and its focuses - very different from the library collections!
     We studied the media of various books until they could identify how the artwork was made themselves...
we even did art demos so the students could see the various marks different media makes.

But the cherry on top of the workshop was when students were able to apply their new knowledge to curating the book submissions for the Margaret Wise Brown Prize.
The winners had already been selected by a judging committee. It was down to us to decide which books would become part of our permanent collection.
What a wonderful experience to discuss these books in detail and read, read, read! It's the best way to learn about picture books, and that's what we did!
Here's what the students had to say about the class:
Marilyn: How wonderful to spend time learning about picture book trends with others of such diverse backgrounds who love AND respect picture books. How wonderful to spend time with a professional author/illustrator who is so willing to share her knowledge and love for what makes a good picture book as well as what is involved in curating a picture book collection.

Rosario: I came to this workshop to learn from Elizabeth, who I have been following for a while in social media because of her work and academic experiences and found Hollins University and a world of possibilities!
      Because of the nature of the work I do with Mi Primer Libro Peru, which is predominantly visual, I was looking for learning opportunities to fit my needs, to fill the gaps in the limited time I can afford. Not only I found more than I wished for, I had the privilege to share these days with smart and thoughtful people who enriched my experiences with fun and insightful discussion.
      The possibility of working with the submissions for the Margaret Wise Brown Prize has been a great opportunity to access books that otherwise would have been more difficult to see and learn from what they have to offer under Elizabeth’s guidance/advise. I want to come back for more and highly recommend it to those who are looking for a week of intense hands on learnings.

Vickey: Not only did I learn more about the art of children’s literature, but I internalized much of that learning because of the hands-on nature of this workshop. Elizabeth is a skilled practitioner who knows her craft and understands how to teach it. In addition, my classmates all brought unique perspectives and a willingness to work together to the learning space. Incredible week!

Teri: In February, when I read the description of this workshop in Elizabeth's newsletter, I called Hollins right away to reserve my spot! As a retired educator and long-time lover of children’s books, the opportunity to "browse through hundreds of picture books" while staying on a lovely college campus in the Virginia mountains was too good to pass up. Now that the workshop is at an end, each of us has read at least a hundred books (laughed and cried as we did so), and we've learned what goes into making the words and pictures of a good story. We have gained a deeper understanding of the value of children’s picture books in every culture, and we have become friends. As a children’s book lover, who could ask for more?
      Thank you, Elizabeth, for being our teacher. You are so knowledgeable and so eager to bring others into the fold. And thanks to Hollins for hosting us this week. Let’s do it again next year :)

     Last year's trends were biographies, protest/activism books, and wellness books. So, what trends did we identify this year? Cats and collage! We saw a LOT of that in this year's books. Here's a quick video to show what else we discovered - click to watch on YouTube:

     I hope you can join us next year!
Photos taken by Rosario, Teri, Vickey, and e.

Scottish Highlands!!! Part 6

Saturday was the day of breathtaking cliffs on the Isle of Skye! After lunch, we went to the Creags.

The cliffs are said to resemble the pleats of a kilt, so they made a visual marker for sailors.

This is where scientists discovered dinosaur tracks that had been preserved in the rocks. How cool!

We also saw Cuith-Raing.

And while not a cliff, we saw the "Giant's Thumb" (it used to be called something else but got cleaned up for tourists).
Of course, the lowlands were beautiful too!

We'd made dinner reservations the night before for a great seafood restaurant in Portree that evening. I ordered the langoustines special, which was special indeed. Priced the same as other nice entrees, I got about TEN of these lovely crustaceans. YUM! Of course, it took me longer to eat them than it took the others to eat their dishes, so I became the entertainment as I cracked and fernangled my way through eating these yummy shellfish.
And still, we had one more day to go - check back for Part 7!
See all my Highlands Posts:
Scottish Highlands!! Part 1
Scottish Highlands!! Part 2
Scottish Highlands!! Part 3
Scottish Highlands!! Part 4
Scottish Highlands!! Part 5
Scottish Highlands!! Part 6