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Viewing Blog: Ooh La La Design Studio, Most Recent at Top
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An artist blog of thoughts and illustrations of Vanessa Brantley Newton
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Hello Bloggers, I wanted to share with you a new book that I am working on. It's the story of Harriet Powers the famous quilter. Harriet was a slave, but she became famous by creating her storybook quilts that hang in museums today.The book is called, "Sewing Stories". This is the opening illustration for the story. Harriet is laid on handmade quilt by her mother in between the rows of a corn field. I can only images what her mother was feeling. Having to lay her baby down in a field with snakes and bugs while she picked corn and cotton. Unnerving to say the very least. Here are just a few of Harriet's fine quilts.

0 Comments on as of 9/16/2014 8:26:00 AM
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I have no hair, but she does. It's called, " Good Hair Day". A collaged piece that I have been working on and finally finished. Hope you like it! Hope you're having a good hair day too!

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Happy Monday Beautiful Bloggers! Have a great day!

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Sketching is something that I really need to embrace. Sketching is very hard for me sometimes. I'm really trying to enjoy the process.

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Morning Blogger Friends, Just doing some sketching and trying to get back into blogging a bit. Hope that you are having a wonderful day! Fresh start to the week! May it be full of giggles and surprises!

0 Comments on as of 9/1/2014 10:29:00 AM
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Hope that your weekend is MAGICAL!! "ABRACADABRA" Do you know what it means?? "Abracadabra" is a hebrew word meaning, It is so or make it so. So, Abracadabra and have a wonderful weekend people!

0 Comments on as of 8/29/2014 8:17:00 AM
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Hello Beautiful People!

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Hello Friends, Hope that you all are doing well. Summer is just about over, but I hope you all had fun. I would love to know what you did over the summer? I have been working all summer long. Work is a good thing. I'm not complaining. Here is a new character that I am working on. I don't know who she is or what her name is. Maybe you could tell me? Anyway, thank so much everyone for your kind comments Sending you ALL hugs!

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I wanted to thank you all for your comment on the last post. It's so nice to hear from you all. My desk is full, but I miss you all so much! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Hope that you all are well and living well. Have a beautiful weekend everyone!

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Hello Bloggers, I have been missing in action and I really am sorry about that. I'm up to my armpits in work and taking care of family and honestly Blogging has taken a back seat for the moment, but I wanted to come by and tell you that I just finished my first Golden book called, " I Can Do It"! It's about about a little girl that tries to dress her self and do everything by herself or at least she tries. Right now you can find it here. I hope that you are doing well these day. Can't believe how fast the Summer has flown by. Wishing you all smiles and happiness. Best to you.

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12. Just Posting

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13. Lots Going On in My Studio

Hello Blogger Friends, Hope that you all have been doing well. It's been super busy for me with family and work. I feel bad because I haven't really been around. Sometimes life happens so fast that the things you love to do get passed over. I miss you all so very much and I long to come back and start blogging again. I am making time to do so. Wish me luck. Sending you all best wishes and creative thoughts today and everyday. Shalom

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14. Carol Baldwin post, "Where are the People of Color in Children's Literature? An Answer from Vanessa Newton As a member of SCBWI, I follow topics of interest through LinkedIn. Recently the question, "Where are the People of Color in Children's Literature?"

Author Carol Baldwin asked if she could post some of my comments from a recent SCBWI chat on Linkedin.com. When you get a chance please run over to her site and read it. Please leave a comment or two if you are so inclined. Have a great day.

0 Comments on Carol Baldwin post, "Where are the People of Color in Children's Literature? An Answer from Vanessa Newton As a member of SCBWI, I follow topics of interest through LinkedIn. Recently the question, "Where are the People of Color in Children's Literature?" as of 5/13/2014 3:36:00 PM
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Happy Mother's Day!

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As a child of the 60's, I really didn't see myself in many picture books. I didn't see me reflected in Jack and Jill, Humpty Dumpty Magazines or Golden Children's books. My parents would buy my sister and I these wonderful books and magazines because it was important to be a kid, but it often saddened and frustrated them that the books didn't reflect the people in our home. One day, I went to school and a teacher named, Mrs. Russell, put me on her lap and showed me a wonderful book by Ezra Jack Keats. That book would change my life. "The Snowy Day". Mr. Keats would be one of the first illustrators of children's books that would have a chocolate boy center stage in his book. Peter looked like me. He was beautiful. I never heard a word Mrs. Russell read honestly. It was the pictures that told me the story. It was Peter's cute little brown face against his cozy red snowsuit. It was his mama who looked just like my mama! It had everything to do with his daddy that looked like my daddy. Peter and I were sister and brother in my head and the pictures that Ezra created proved it. The Snowy Day is 50 years old and I just turned 50 last year. It saddens me deeply that we still don't see children of color in books as often as I would like. Of the 3,500 pictures books created last year, only 95 represented people of color. We live in a very multicultural world and it is my joy to be reflected this in the books and product that I create. I would hope that others would begin to feel the same. Don't get me wrong, we have a few, but not enough. I love Mr. Keats's reply to an editor. She asked," Why did you make Peter black? Are you trying to make a statement or something?" Mr. Keats answered, "I put Peter there simply because he should have been there all along." I feel the same way. I believe that ALL children should be represented in Children's book! They all need to see themselves in everyday situation that encourage imagine, diversity , problem solving and community. Every child deserves this. #WENEEDDIVERSEBOOKS

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I love the colors, sounds, and taste from India! Have a wonderful week People!

0 Comments on as of 4/21/2014 9:13:00 AM
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Shelly wanted to get away from it all and Orangangmini wanted his heart fixed so they figured out a way to make it work for the two. Hope your day works out too.

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I have learned that the only person who is responsible for your happiness and joy is YOU. Find your fun spot and enjoy! Have a great day.

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Awesome Sauce kind of day. Hope you are having one. HUGS ALL AROUND!

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There are many books about Martin Luther King Jr. for reading aloud with children in celebration of his birthday on Jan. 15, including picture-book biographies like “Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” by Doreen Rappaport, with illustrations by Bryan Collier, published in 2001. But the trend for looking at big events through the prism of small things (“The Civil War in 50 Objects,” “A History of the World in 100 Objects”) is particularly attractive for children, who may have an easier time understanding the parts than the whole. “The Cart That Carried Martin,” by Eve Bunting, with illustrations by Don Tate, and “We Shall Overcome,” by Debbie Levy, with illustrations by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, take this approach, telling the story of the day of King’s funeral through the mule-drawn wagon that carried his coffin, and the story of the civil rights movement through a popular song. RELATED COVERAGE Times Topic: Children's Books Reviews Even adult readers may not know that Martin Luther King’s body was carried from Ebenezer Baptist Church “through the streets of Atlanta, past the Georgia State Capitol” to Morehouse College on a battered old wagon borrowed from an antiques shop. In an author’s note, Bunting writes that she first learned about the wagon in an article by Jim Auchmutey in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Bunting’s suspicion that the tale would make a good book for children proves to be accurate. Launch media viewer From "We Shall Overcome" Though her narrative — following the cart from the shop to its current home at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic site — has a simple trajectory, Bunting’s writing brings out the emotional weight of the day: “The cart was not heavy. The coffin was not heavy. The man inside it was not heavy. His great spirit had been the heaviest part of him. It could not be kept in a coffin.” Later, someone standing on the street asks, “Is it over?” And the response is: “It will never be over. . . . What he stands for lives on.” Along the route to Morehouse College, people sang “We Shall Overcome,” and that song, so closely identified with the civil rights movement, receives its own history in Levy’s book of the same name, which traces its powerful, inspiring message back to the slaves who “suffered, yet they sang — to soothe the hurt, to fight the cruelty, to declare that — yes! — they were human beings.” As protesters for the rights of African-Americans brought the church song “I Will Overcome” to the streets, Levy writes, the words changed slightly, to “We Will Overcome” and eventually to “We Shall Overcome.” Brantley-Newton’s cheerfully colored illustrations go on to represent the populations that have sought strength from the song in places as distant as South Korea, the Middle East and South America. For readers ready for the hard facts, Levy includes a timeline with notable dates when the song was sung, including Sept. 23, 2001, when the Boys and Girls Choir of Harlem sang it in remembrance of the victims of the events of Sept. 11. It’s a nice touch, reminding readers that “We Shall Overcome” still has plenty of work to do. THE CART THAT CARRIED MARTIN By Eve Bunting Illustrated by Don Tate 32 pp. Charlesbridge. $16.95. (Picture book; ages 6 to 9) WE SHALL OVERCOME The Story of a Song By Debbie Levy Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton 32 pp. Disney-Jump at the Sun Books. $16.99. (Picture book; ages 4 to 8)

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Wishing You All a very blessed and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Hugs, V

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23. If's "Spirit

Sarah told Ethan that her Great, Great Granny had the Christmas spirit in her mouth! Ethan did believe her. When Sarah's Great, Great Granny opened her mouth snow came out and so did the spirit of Christmas! Ethan is now a believer.

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24. Hula Hoopin' Queen

Hello All, It's been ages since I have posted anything and I am soooo very sorry about that. I have been working and taking care of family. It's been super duper busy in my world. I wanted to come by and share a few things that are happening here in Charlotte. I have this wonderful book coming out in few days called, "Hula Hoopin Queen", written by Thelma Lynne Godin. I did the illustrations for this wonderful book and I wanted to share a couple of pages with you.You can get the book here Hope that you will get a chance to see it. Again, I am so sorry for missing in action. Hopefully I will be able to blog more soon. Best to you all of you.

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Hello Bloggers, Hope that you all had a wonderful weekend. Today, working like crazy, green tea and honey, and lots and lots of MUSIC MADDNESS. Whatcha doin'?

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