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Viewing Blog: A Mouse in the House, Most Recent at Top
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The blog of children's book illustrator, Roberta Baird
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1. Thankful


“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.”

_W.T. Purkiser

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2. Happy Halloween


Miranda Mummy groaned in despair…
“When I open my coffin, I’ve nothing to wear!”

Then she looked in her mirror and said with a pause….
“Does my bottom look bigger when wrapped up in gauze?”

Her very best ghoul friend knew just the right trick.
“I’ll pull on this string and you’ll soon look less thick….”

……. OOPS!

~by Roberta Baird

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3. Aladdin


This is a piece I did for a Educational reader a little while back. It’s interesting how the original story differs from the Disney version that so many of us are familiar with. It’s much darker.

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4. Inktober ~ Green Fingers


greenfingers72bThere once was an old woman who possessed a remarkable “green thumb.” Flowers bloomed, trees bore fruit, the  grass was always green on her small half an acre lot…. and yet the land that surrounded her oasis was barren, dry and void of life. The only interruption in the landscape was the lifeless and cumbersome machinery poised to devour the small Eden she had tenderly cared for.

The man who spearheaded the conspiracy, had many times been dismissed. In his gluttony, he conceived a plan to torture the woman by detaching a part her anatomy each time she denied him access to her property. The intent was not to kill, but to terrify.

The first surprise encounter resulted in the loss of a thumb.

When the ambulance arrived to hasten the woman to the hospital for medical treatment, they found her drenched in blood still tending her garden amidst her great pain. Sadly, the woman died en route to the hospital.

While the villain in this evil ambush remained anxious about the woman’s death, the  glee in his victory absorbed any thoughts of humanity he  had left.

As he surveyed his newly acquired property, he became aware of a  sound.  A familiar mumbling, a quiet sing song voice of adoration. As he moved into the garden he found her… busily  tending to herself in the garden. “You see” she said  “Everything I touch grows…. even me ……..”

Adapted from a story first shown on the television series The Night Gallery, to read the original story, Green Fingers, which is so much better, by RC Cook go Here
Beware it’s a spooky one!

To view the Night Gallery Episode go HERE

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5. In the Garden of Your Mind


“Did you ever grow anything in a vegetable garden, or a flower garden?  Do you ever grow anything in the garden of your mind? Sure, you can grow ideas in your mind. You can think about things and make believe things. That’s like growing something of your own. You have wonderful ideas, all you have to do is think about them and they’ll grow.” _Fred Rogers

If we all thought like Mr. Rodgers….what a beautiful world it would be.

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6. A House for a Tink

I’ve been working on some readers that have kept me pretty busy.  Mostly fairy tales which I really enjoy creating. But when work is done and I have a few spare minutes, I let my pencil wander. This is where it goes, to the land of little creatures, where fairies collect the things that go missing in the house, and whose friends are the crickets and the mice in the woods. Won’t you join me?snailshell_House_RobertaBaird_72

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7. Fireworks

Let your colors burst!

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8. The Swamp Where Gator Hides Travels

I was delighted to receive this new edition in the mail from the publisher Dawn Publications. What a joy to see that children all over the world are reading and learning about alligators and other swamp creatures in The Swamp Where Gator Hides written by Marianne Berkes. This book is available on Amazon



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9. Fun with The Swamp Where Gator Hides


swamp5-1swamp4 1swamp3_1swamp2_1 sawmp1_1hiding gator

Look at these wonderful drawings created by the students of Ms. Crowley, Media Specialist at St. John Vianney School. I love to see these. These are true artists! A big thank you to the students who created these lovely illustrations. I’ve enjoyed all of the extra details you’ve added. So Fantastic!  

Just to let you know that if there are other little artists that have enjoyed the book, I would love to see your drawings as well! You send, I’ll post!
The Swamp Where Gator Hides, Dawn Publications, Marianne Berkes, Author, Roberta Baird Illustrator

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10. Robin Hood

mouse hoodRBaird_1
“Underneath this little stone
Lies Robert Earl of Huntington;
No other archer was so good -
And people called him Robin Hood.
Such outlaws as he and his men
Will England never see again.” 

_Roger Lancelyn Green

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11. Sub It Club Interview with Roberta Baird

sic-badge-square1Sub It Club is a blog/community that supports writers and illustrators to get their work “out there”. Whether you create illustrations or are a writer of kidlit, adult novels, non-fiction, screenplays, or poetry, Sub It Club provides the knowledge and inspiration to keep going strong.

In my interview, I get to talk a little about the process of creating a promotional postcard. If you’re interested, here’s the link!  https://subitclub.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/the-postcard-post-roberta-baird/

post card

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12. HoHoDooDa 2014

Now, it is a fact, that there was nothing at all particular about the knocker on the door, except that it was very large. It is also a fact, that Scrooge had seen it, night and morning, during his whole residence in that place; also that Scrooge had as little of what is called fancy about him as any man in the City of London, even including — which is a bold word — the corporation, aldermen, and livery. Let it also be borne in mind that Scrooge had not bestowed one thought on Marley, since his last mention of his seven-year’s dead partner that afternoon. And then let any man explain to me, if he can, how it happened that Scrooge, having his key in the lock of the door, saw in the knocker, without its undergoing any intermediate process of change: not a knocker, but Marley’s face.
Marley’s face. It was not in impenetrable shadow as the other objects in the yard were, but had a dismal light about it, like a bad lobster in a dark cellar. It was not angry or ferocious, but looked at Scrooge as Marley used to look: with ghostly spectacles turned up upon its ghostly forehead. The hair was curiously stirred, as if by breath or hot-air; and, though the eyes were wide open, they were perfectly motionless. That, and its livid colour, made it horrible; but its horror seemed to be in spite of the face and beyond its control, rather than a part of its own expression. ~Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

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13. HoHoDooDa 2014

I started this challenge in November with #SKADAMO, a sketch a day challenge. No rules, just a way to get those creative juices flowing. I like to give myself a theme and this year I decided to highlight The fun and totally relatable, A Christmas Story, based on the original work of Jean Shepherd. I’ve come to the end of it now with #HoHoDooDa.  This has been fun. You can see the original illustrations with the text as you scroll through by blog. I just thought it would be fun to see them all together.

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14. HoHoDooDa 2014

Next to me in the blackness lay my oiled blue-steel beauty.
The greatest Christmas gift I had ever received… or would ever receive.
Gradually, I drifted off to sleep, pranging ducks on the wing…
and getting off spectacular hip shots.

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15. HoHoDooDa 2014

All right.
Everybody upstairs.
Get dressed.
We are going out to eat.
No! Not, “ra ra ra ra ra.” “La la la la la.”
Sing like this:
Try again.    Stop!
Sing something else.
No!       Stop!
Kitchen. Bring food. For customers.
Oh, I’m sorry.
It’s a beautiful duck.
It really is.
But you see…
It’s smiling at me.
That Christmas would live in our memories…
as the Christmas when we were introduced to Chinese turkey.

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16. HoHoDooDay 2014

Sometimes at the height of our reveries, when our joy is at its zenith…
when all is most right with the world…
the most unthinkable disasters descend upon us.
Oh, turkey!
turkey dogs
The heavenly aroma still hung heavy in the house. But it was gone.
All gone. No turkey. No turkey sandwiches.
No turkey salad. No turkey gravy, turkey hash, turkey a la king…
or gallons of turkey soup.
All gone.
All right.
Everybody upstairs.
Get dressed.
We are going out to eat.

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17. SkADaMo 2014 and HoHoDooDay 2014

Oh, it was beautiful. I could hardly wait to try it out.
Can I try it out, Ma? Can I?
But outside.
shotmyeye out
Okay, Black Bart, now you get yours.
Oh, my God! I shot my eye out!
You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.
You’ll shoot your eye out, you’ll shoot your eye out!
Ralphie, you be careful out there. Don’t shoot your eye out!
She hadn’t seen! She didn’t know!
My eye’s all right. The BB must’ve hit my glasses.
My glasses! Oh, no!

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18. SkADaMo 2014 or HoHoDooDay 2014

Aunt Clara had for years labored under the delusion that…
I was not only perpetually four years old, but also a girl.
She just always gives you the nicest things, Ralphie.
Oh, isn’t that sweet?
Ralph, go upstairs and try it on you–
I don’t want to!
Go upstairs right now and try on that present!
Immediately my feet began to sweat as those two fluffy little bunnies… with the blue button eyes stared sappily up at me.
Come down here so I can see you better.
I just hoped Flick would never spot them…
as the word of this humiliation could easily make life… at Warren G. Harding School a veritable hell.
Isn’t that cute?
That is the most precious thing I’ve ever seen in my life.
Shut up, Randy.
He looks like a deranged Easter bunny.

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19. SkADaMo 2014


Aaah! Fra-GEE-leh!” It must be Italian!

 Uh, I think that says FRAGILE, honey.

Huh? Oh, yeah.


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20. SkADaMo 2014

xmas_leg lamp_rbaird

The snap of a few sparks, a quick whiff of ozone, and the lamp blazed forth in unparalleled glory.

Oh, look at that! Will you look at that? Isn’t that glorious? It’s… it’s… it’s indescribably beautiful! It reminds me of the Fourth of July

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21. SkADaMo 2014

Oooh fuuudge!
Only I didn’t say “Fudge.” I said THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the “F-dash-dash-dash” word!
*What* did you say?
Uh, um…
That’s… what I thought you said. Get in the car. Go on!
It was all over – I was dead. What would it be? The guillotine? Hanging? The chair? The rack? The Chinese water torture? Hmmph. Mere child’s play compared to what surely awaited me.
Over the years I got to be quite a connoisseur of soap. My personal preference was for Lux, but I found Palmolive had a nice, piquant after-dinner flavor – heady, but with just a touch of mellow smoothness.
Life Buoy, on the other hand…

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22. SkADaMo 2014

The weeks of drinking gallons of Ovaltine, in order to get…
the Ovaltine inner seal to send off for my Little Orphan Annie…
secret decoder pen, was about to pay off.
Remember, kids, only members of…
Annie’s secret circle can decode Annie’s secret message.
Remember, Annie is depending on you.
Set your pins to B-2.
Here is the message.
12. 11. 2…
I am in my first secret meeting.
…25. 14. 11. 18.
16. 23…
Pierre was in great voice tonight.
I could tell that tonight’s message was really important.
…3. 25.
That’s a message from Annie herself. Remember, don’t tell anyone.
Ninety seconds later I’m in the only room in the house…
where a boy of nine can sit in privacy and decode.
Ah! “B.” I went to the next.
“E.” The first word is “be”!
“S.” It was coming easier now. “U.”
“T. O.”
“Be sure to.” Be sure to what?
What was Little Orphan Annie trying to say? Be sure to what?
I was getting closer now.
The tension was terrible. What was it?
The fate of the planet may hang in the balance.
Almost there! My fingers flew.
My mind was a steel trap.
Every pore vibrated.
It was almost clear.
A crummy commercial?

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23. SkADaMo 2014

Deep in the recesses of my brain…
a tiny red-hot little flame began to grow.
Something had happened.
A fuse blew and I had gone out of my skull.
I’m telling my dad!
Hey, Ralphie!
Beat him up! Beat him up!
Did you hear what he said?
I have since heard of people under…
extreme duress speaking in strange tongues.
I became conscious that a steady torrent of obscenities…
and swearing of all kinds was pouring out of me as I screamed.


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24. SkADaMo 2014

kill ralphie
The light was getting purple and soft outside.
Almost time for my father to come home from work.
What’s the matter? What you crying for?
Daddy’s going to kill Ralphie.
No, he’s not.
Yes, he is, too.
No, he’s not.
I promise you Daddy is not going to kill Ralphie.
Why don’t you come on out of there?
Would you like some milk?
You would?
Here you go.
All right?
I’ll see you later? Okay. Bye.
I heard the car roar up the driveway, and a wave of terror broke over me.
He’ll know what I said, the awful things that I said.

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25. SkADaMo 2014

Attention shoppers! It is now 9:00 and our store is closing.
9:00! Great Scott! The store is gonna close!
Santa can’t wait all night.
Come on up on Santa’s lap.
Get moving, kid. Quit dragging your feet.

And what’s your name, little boy?
Hey, kid, hurry up, the store’s closing!
Listen, little boy, we got a lot of people waiting here, so get going!
What do you want for Christmas, little boy?
My mind had gone blank.
Frantically I tried to remember what it was I wanted.
I was blowing it, blowing it.
How about a nice football?
Football. What’s a football?
Without conscious will, my voice squeaked out:
Okay, get him out of here.
A football!    Oh, no. What was I doing?
Wake up, stupid, wake up!
I want an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot… range model air rifle.

You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.

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