Coloring Page Tuesday - Easter 2021

     I decided to go super-frilly for Easter this year. I hope you like this Easter Bunny!
CLICK HERE for more EASTER-themed coloring pages.
     Remember, I create my coloring pages to draw your attention to my books! For instance, my board book Merbaby's Lullaby!
If my news and images add value to your life, won't you please
Just love this one image? Consider a one-time donation...

     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.

2021 Margaret Wise Brown Prize Winner

Hollins University has honored Newbery Medalist and New York Times bestselling author Meg Medina as the winner of the sixth annual Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature.
     Medina will receive an engraved medal and a $1,000 cash prize for Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away, a story of friendship and change illustrated by Sonia Sánchez and published by Candlewick Press.
     CLICK HERE to read more about this year's prize.

VIDEO: The Life of Rosemarie

Wow - what a beautiful animation and what a beautiful story! Click the image to watch at CommArts.

Friday Links List - 26 March 2021


From Cynsations: Interview with Linda Sue Park & kiBooka Authors & Illustrators

From The Guardian: 'I am not who I was': Michael Rosen on surviving Covid – extract

From Scary Mommy: I Wasn’t Ready For My Kids To Outgrow Their Picture Books

From SLJ: Chronicling COVID: Children’s Authors Tackle Pandemic Topics for Kids

From The Miami Herald: With or without me, Florida will always be wonderfully, unrelentingly weird Carl Hiaasen's last article

From the New York Times: How Children Read Differently From Books vs. Screens

From Daily Mail: Why every celeb wants to be in the good books! As Idris Elba becomes the latest to pen a children's story, experts reveal how stars can earn MORE from a bestseller than showbiz - and capture a new generation of fans early

SIGN UP! From AIGA: Community and Collaboration Black, Brown + Latinx Design Spaces Thursday, April 15th

From Vaccination Art and the Call for Art

From SLJ's 100 Scope Notes: 2021 Books from Coretta Scott King Award Winners

From Muddy Colors:
     Author Interviews: Ruth Sanderson !!! My friend!!!
     The Symbolic Mark
     Easter Bunnies (!!!)
     Artists Spotlight: Attack Peter Amazing wood-block prints!

From The European Illustrators' Forum (EIF):
      New White Book of Illustration in Spain
     Introducing the AOI Mentorship scheme 2021

From The Verge: NFTs, explained I have questions about this emerging... um... art form? Platform?

From Print & Pattern: Store Snaps (We used to do this when I worked in textiles to get an idea of market trends)

From CommArts:
     Five Type Designers, Many Specimens
     Lewa House's new, gorgeous, interactive website We stayed here on our honeymoon - I swam in that pool! :)
     Alabama Civil Rights app

Do you know The Little Friends of Printmaking?

Do you know about

From The Bologna Book Fair:

From Tedium:

From Penguin Young Readers: New Graphic Novels!

From The Guardian: Children’s books roundup – the best new picture books and novels

From Tedium: CMYK All the Way How mass-production printing technology, starting with the lithograph, was pushed forward thanks to a growing interest in color.

From The Art Room Plant:
     Sylvia Pankhurst
     Chris Judge

Maryam Yektafar

From EAB: Higher ed’s demographic future

From My Friend in Colorado: Horror and Heartbreak in My World This Week

From Winthrop University: Winthrop Once Again Named a Voter Friendly Campus our mural is part of the reason!


Some books feel like classics straight away. THE HOUSE OF GRASS AND SKY is one of those. It's written by Mary Lyn Ray and illustrated by E.B. Goodale, who stopped by to talk about it!
e: What was your creative process/medium for The House of Grass and Sky, can you walk us through it?
I used monoprint and a little gouache to create the illustrations for The House of Grass and Sky. Monoprint is a printmaking technique in which you paint on a plate and press that plate onto paper. Each print is unique, hence the name “mono” print. In my case I did all the backgrounds using inks and then running it through an etching press. This technique produces a lot of textural surprises, which lent themself very well to the pastoral atmosphere in the book. The line work was done by painting on glass, then pressing paper onto the glass to transfer the line. My line work and backgrounds were then layered together digitally.

Sketching thumbnails at the inspiration house.

e: What was your path to publication?
A long and winding one! I studied illustration in college but was not sure that children’s books were the direction for me until I started working in a children’s bookstore. It was there that I was able to see a wide range of inspiration, and could begin to envision my work in a book format. After college I also worked as a press operator in a few different letterpress shops, the main one being Smudge Ink. It was there that I was eventually asked to design a line of cards for them, which really helped me hone a more commercial style, and began to blend my printmaking experience with my illustration background. All the while I had been sending samples out to publishers...but it wasn’t until my dear friend, Julia Denos (who I met working at the bookstore), asked me if I would want to illustrate a book she wrote, Windows. Of course I did! We ended up pitching it together to Candlewick and they acquired it. It was only after I had the contract that they showed me all the samples they had saved from me over the years! It is rare for friends to be able to pitch a story together in that way, and I’m so grateful that I got to make my first book with such a close friend, and with a publisher I deeply admire.

My grandmother’s house in the country. I wanted to capture the feeling of her house.

e: Is there a unique or funny story behind the creation of this story?
Well, since I only illustrated the book, I will tell you that the reason I was drawn to the story is because it reminded me of my grandmother’s house, which was a 1700s farmhouse way out in the country. I sought out a similar style house to rent when I was working on the book, and ended up staying in a house that had records and photo albums of the family going back generations! That is what gave me the idea to use photographs as a storytelling element in the book. If you notice the border collie at the beginning of the book, that is a nod to the family whose house I rented. They were sheep farmers going back generations and border collies were ever present.

Some of the photos found in the inspiration house

e: What do you think makes an illustration magical, what I call "Heart Art” - the sort that makes a reader want to come back to look again and again?
Great question. I think Heart Art happens when what you see on the page matches something intangible inside you. This is what makes it hard to pinpoint! I don’t have a process for making it other than intuitively waiting until something “pings” inside of me when I look at what I’ve done. Then I hope that others will have a “ping” when they see it too.

First sketch of the house

e: How do you advertise yourself (or do you)?
The main platform I engage on is Instagram. I wouldn’t say I advertise myself very effectively, but I enjoy sharing what I’m working on and connecting with readers that way.

Some line work from the book, before being added to the backgrounds digitally

e: What is your favorite or most challenging part of being a creator?
I worked a lot of tough jobs that faced the public through my younger years, so I’m most grateful for the freedom to be alone and in control of my hours. The most challenging part is persisting through the work on days when I’d like to take a nap...but doesn’t everyone have that problem?!

A couple inked up monoprint plates, prior to being run through the press

e: Is there something in particular about this story you hope readers will take away with them, perhaps something that isn’t immediately obvious?
I’d love for readers to take away the idea of listening to and respecting old places, even the most modest ones, for they hold their own energy. In our age of home renovation flip shows, I think a more modest way of living can be overlooked. I love that this story honors the quiet, intuitive path of restoring an old home, instead of shaping it beyond recognition.

Me in my basement print shop

My upstairs studio, where I paint and do everything else!

e: What are you working on next or what would be your dream project?
My second author/illustrated book, Also, comes out in February 2022 (HMH) and I’m currently working on illustrations for a book called Goodnight Little Bookstore by Amy Cherrix for Candlewick Press. My dream project most certainly would involve miniature books!
e: I look forward to seeing them! Thanks for stopping by.

Certificate in Children's Book Illustration at Hollins University


Hollins University offers a Certificate in Book lllustration that offers working artists and art teachers a program to develop a personal vision and style for tomorrow’s picture book and chapter book market. Courses explore and improve students’ art skills and knowledge of picture and chapter book fundamentals with studio practice and an in-depth study of both past and contemporary book illustrators. I'll be teaching Picture Book Design and World Building this summer, along with giving the opening and closing keynotes on "Transformations." Join me!

DEADLINE APRIL 1! Follow this link for more information:

Also, look at our other offerings...
the MFA in Children's Book Writing and Illustrating, the Master of Arts in Children's Literature, or the Children's Literature MFA programs at Hollins University in the breathtaking Appalachian Mountains of Roanoke, Virginia.

Completed my VIVA!!!!

I just finished my viva and am thrilled to share I got exactly the outcome I was hoping for - a “B” with ONE month of “enhancements”!!! (A full “A” with no revisions is almost unheard of in the UK.) So, YAY!!!!! The examination team will formalize the feedback and send me revision notes in about a week, then I’ll have a month to turn them around. Once my “enhancements” are approved, I will receive my doctoral letter. So, I’m about 6 weeks away from being “Dr. E” now!!!! WHOOHOOOO!!!!!!! 😊

MANY thanks to my amazing supervisors, Dr Maureen Farrell, Dr Rob Maslen, and Prof Bob Davis. I SO enjoyed our years of working so closely together - I am a better person for knowing all of you! Thank you also to Kay Livingston, our convenor; to my internal examiner, Prof James Conroy; and to my external examiner, Dr Vicky Macleroy. My PhD was a beast (a 90,000-word thesis with a 90,000-word novel attached as an appendix), so I so appreciate their time, interest, and in-depth questions!

The viva was tough, stressful, but also so much fun! I loved answering those hard questions about this topic that I've studied so deeply for three years now: "Tricksters, Witches, and Warriors: A Feminist Experiment in Rewriting a Patriarchal Narrative in Children's Fantasy Literature." Once the pain of academic childbirth (*ahem*) wears off, I'll be writing more about it all for conferences and journals. So, stay tuned!

VIDEO: Interview with Bobby Chiu, Terryl Whitlatch, and Robert Gould

If you're at all interested in animation, storyboarding, or making movies, this is a very cool, behind the scenes look at the creation of some of our most beloved movies of all time by some of the most 'in' people in the biz. It's long, and worth every minute! Click the image to watch on youtube.

New Redbubble Stuff!

I've created quite a few new Redbubble items for you. Some are from my "Animal Alphabet" that I created during my MFA. Others are just fun things I create when I'm feeling silly. Click the image to visit my store and see the image on something you might like to add to your home or wardrobe!

VIDEO: Bobby Chiu on Being Lucky

I adore Bobby Chiu's work and have been enjoying the videos he's making under his "Schoolism" brand. This latest one has some good advice on networking. This is how I did/do it too. Have a look, enjoy his method, and learn a few things!

Blue Ridge Writers' Conference

I'll be speaking at the upcoming Blue Ridge Writers' Conference! Here's more info about it:

April 9 & 10, 2021

The Mission of the Blue Ridge Writers' Conference is to educate, inform, and inspire writers. No matter the level of expertise, the Blue Ridge Writers’ Conference provides a venue for professional writers, editors and agents to provide honest and accurate feedback to the aspiring writer in how to craft that first novel, sell a magazine article, market yourself in the literary world, or finding inspiration for your poetry.

This year’s virtual conference begins on Saturday, April 10th with our keynote speech. Our 2021 keynote speaker will be Melissa Fay Greene. The day continues with concurrent virtual workshops and sessions on everything from Fiction and Non-Fiction to marketing a manuscript. Our 2021 speakers include a wide variety of fiction, non-fiction, poetry writers, editors, and even a Secretary Emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution.

The Blue Ridge Writers’ Conference also offers a four-hour virtual Workshop Intensive on Friday, April 9th. For an additional fee, the Workshop Intensive provides a more concentrated workshop to strengthen and inspire your literary endeavors. The 2021 workshop leader will be fiction writer, Sheila Athens.

More information about our speakers, the Workshop Intensive, and the concurrent sessions can be found in the attached document.
You can register by completing the attached Registration Form and mailing it in, or on our website via PayPal

For more information about the Conference, please visit, or contact us at

Got my first Covid Vaccine!

I got my first Covid jab! I went with a friend and we stopped to celebrate with margaritas on a sun-drenched porch overlooking Lake Wylie while eating burgers and fries. What a feeling!
I can't wait for my second jab in April. I did the Moderna version. My arm was sore, and I have to admit it messed with my fibromyalgia, but I've never been so happy to get a shot in my life!

Friday Links List - 12 March 2021

ATTEND: I'll be speaking at the Blue Ridge Writer's Conference on April 9th-10th. Join me?

From Good News Network: Indie Bookstore Saved by Hilarious Super Bowl Ad, Thanks to Tom Hanks and Stephen Colbert

From The NY Times: Norton Juster, Who Wrote ‘The Phantom Tollbooth,’ Dies at 91

From Esquire: A Dr. Seuss Expert Cuts Through the Noise on the Cancel Culture Controversy "Dr. Philip Nel unpacks the ongoing conversation about modernizing and curating Seuss' legacy, and explains why 'curation is not cancellation."

From Phil Nel directly: Seuss, Racism, and Resources for Anti-Racist Children’s Literature

From SLJ's 100 Scope Notes: The Seuss Post

From SLJ: 10 YA Graphic Novels About the LGBTQIA+ experience | Stellar Panels

From National Geographic: Warrior queens, fairies and feuding clans: exploring legends on Scotland's Isle of Skye

From Seven Miles of Steel Thistles: From the Wild Hunt to the Fairy Rade


From Brightly: 12 Picture Book Biographies of Truly Amazing Women

From Diamond Bookshelf: Comic Book News

From SLJ's 100 Scope Notes: 2021 Books from Caldecott Winners

COOL Illustration Tool - animal skulls from different angles

From CommArts: Remaining A Cultural Critic

From The Bologna Book Fair: THE 2021 SELECTED ILLUSTRATORS

From The New York Times: 7 Questions, 75 Artists, 1 Very Bad Year

From Print and Pattern: Kids Design - White Stuff (one of my fave retail stores)

SCBWI announces its 2021 Winter Conference Portfolio Showcase Grand Prize Winners: Li Xin and Leanne Hatch

From Smithsonian Magazine: One Hundred Museums Transformed Their Collections Into Free Coloring Pages

From NPR: Photographers Make Kids' Wildest Dreams Come To Life

Are you familiar with the work of David Galchutt?

From Muddy Colors:
     WHY WE PAINT: A PERSONAL PROCESS with Chris Beatrice (Wow!)
     Drawing Dragons with Donato (video demo)
     My Process by Robert Hunt VR what VR with Justin Coro Kaufman

From The Art Room Plant: Victoria Semykina VI

From CommArts: Amnistie internationale Canada francophone posters

From The Atlantic: Winners of the 2020 Ocean Art Underwater Photo Contest (like this one by Jon Anderson)

The Brownstone from the movie Moonstruck is for sale!

From Forbes: The World Needs Neurodiversity: Unusual Times Call For Unusual Thinking

From The Chronicle of Higher Education: Why Haven’t More Colleges Closed?

Celebrating Jane Yolen's 400th Book!

I'm so thrilled to help Jane Yolen celebrate her 400th book - it's an incredible feat! The book is BEAR OUTSIDE illustrated by Jen Corace (who I interviewed HERE). Jane stopped by to answer some questions.
e: Jane, I’ve never known anyone who spots stories as easily as you do (and everywhere)! I tell students that the more you use your creative muscles, the more they can do for you. Do you find that’s the case? Or is this story-spotting ability just an innate talent?
I may have MORE of it than some, but honestly, anyone who wants to be a writer needs to work at developing that story-spotting gene or hire a mighty muse or both. You have seen me at work—I say, "That's a picture book" or "There's a novel there." It is part of paying attention to where one is, who one is with, what is going on in one's corner of the universe. It's like bird watching. Or painting en plaine aire.

e: When you spot a story, what is your initial approach? What questions do you ask to find your plot? I have two divertingly opposite reactions. Either I sit down and bang out something, anything, to remind myself of that catchable moment. Or I go sit with it, dream with it, till I am ready to procede. As I have gotten older (and am 82 now — how did that happen?) I have enough memory loss to know I have to get stuff down right away or it's gone. I travel with pens and pieces of paper to jot things down and come at them sideways when I rediscover the paper days later.
e: You’ve been publishing since you were in your 20s, sometimes as many as a dozen books in one year! How did you navigate the market-place to accept so much of your work? (Besides writing darned good stories!)
I remember about ten years in, I worried about that, asked my then agent, Marilyn Marlow of sainted memory, if I should write some stuff under a psuedonym. She looked down her nose at me and in her deepest, most prophetic voice, said, "Too late."

e: You are an inspiration to so many creators, sharing your rejections as readily as you do your sales on facebook. Was there anyone you admired who inspired you to be so open and sharing?
Three people really, and from three very different places in my life and on my literary scale. Lee Bennett Hopkins, who mentored an enormous number of children's poets, often starting their poetry careers, such as my daughter Heidi's, by buying a poem for one of his many anthologies. Also Ursula Le Guin, who wrote excellent adult poetry as well as science fiction and fantasy, and made no apologies to the Literary set, plus she wrote several gorgeous books on writing. And Marilyn Marlow herself (MEM), who took so many people under her wings and went to her grave with more of their secrets than anyone knew. And who was always there for new writers (like me) still green about the gills and worried about revising enough or too much. She also taught me that writers and editors are colleagues, not enemies.
e: You’ve also been responsible for getting so many illustrators published (including me). That must be so fun and satisfying!
Yea--if I could have one shape-changing wish, it would be to be an artist. But alas, I find drawing stick figures challenging.

e: Many thanks for being so supportive! If the others are like me, they’ve sent you work from the books they’ve done with you. Have you ever thought of having a retrospective of your illustration collection?
Already had a small show at the Carle Museum and hope for a larger one as I get older.

Jane wrote a poem especially to celebrate her book and this post:

Sleeping Bear
Not the short nights,
but the long one,
where dreams unfold
in languorous progression,
like bees entering and exiting the hive.
Does she remember them
when the snow melt rouses her,
and hunger, like an old friend,
brings her to her feet?
Or does she just shake her head,
growl to the cubs,
and leave the messy bed behind.

©2021 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

e: Thank you so much, Jane, dear friend! And CONGRATULATIONS!

Friday Links List - 5 February 2021

From The Bookshelf: Bookshelf Poetry - a clever message of hope

From The Guardian: Children's books roundup: the best new picture books and novels

From The Society of Illustrators: David Grove: A Retrospective

From We Need Diverse Books: Applications Open for the 2021 WNDB Internship Grants

From Print and Pattern: New Work: Jessica Swift (fun cards)

From Scholly: Eliminate your student debt with Natural Light’s $1 million dollar student loan payoff.

From Cynsations: New Visions: Author-Illustrator Isabella Kung Discusses her Journey to Publication - LOVE the idea of creating "emoji stickers"!

From Urban Sketchers: March Newsletter

From Muddy Colors:
     How I Scan and Assemble My Work
     Rowena and Gary

From The Art Room Plant:
     Jitka Kolinska

     Nina Dzyvulska's Mini Books

From Established Titles: YOU WON’T BELIEVE THIS LEGAL LOOPHOLE IN SCOTLAND! - Become a Lord of one square foot in Scotland!

Coloring Page Tuesday - Mermaid's Conch

     A friend of mine is a trumpet player. This week they found a conch that was 17,000 years old, and they played it! Put it together, and I came up with this image of a conch-playing mermaid!
CLICK HERE for more coloring pages.
     Remember, I create my coloring pages to draw your attention to my books! For instance, my board book Merbaby's Lullaby!
If my news and images add value to your life, won't you please
Just love this one image? Consider a one-time donation...

     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.