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The blog of children's book illustrator, Roberta Baird
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26. SkADaMo 2014


Scut Farkus! What a rotten name!
We were trapped. There he stood, between us and the alley.
Scut Farkus staring out at us with his yellow eyes. He had yellow eyes! So, help me, God! Yellow eyes!

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27. SkADaMo 2014


Well I double-DOG-dare ya!

NOW it was serious. A double-dog-dare. What else was there but a “triple dare you”? And then, the coup de grace of all dares, the sinister triple-dog-dare.

I TRIPLE-dog-dare ya!

 Schwartz created a slight breach of etiquette by skipping the triple dare and going right for the throat!

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28. SkADaMo 2014


Preparing to go to school was like getting ready for extended deep sea diving….

Come on mom, we’re going to be late!

My kid brother looked like a tick about to pop!

What’s wrong?

I can’t put my arms down!

Put your arms down when you get to school!

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29. SkADaMo 2014

Today starts SkADaMo 2014, a month long Sketchathon started by the UBER talented Linda Silvestri.

There are no rules. There are no winners. Sketch what you want, as often as you can. It’s really fun to find out what everyone comes up with. Post your sketches or links to your blog on facebook, twitter, instagram, tumblr, flickr or pinterest,  and add the  hasthtag #SkADaMo

Me, I like to come up with a theme to keep me motivated. Last year I did a Cajun theme and enjoyed the heck out of it. This year I’m feeling a little more Christmasy, so this is my theme for SkADaMo 2014. They won’t all be finished, after all this is a sketchathon and/or colored but this is what I’ve got on the brain. It’s one of my favorites!

red rider72_RBairdskadamo-2014-post-monkey


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30. This is Halloween


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31. Silver Moonbeam Award Winner


2014 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards Results are in and Picture Book – 4-8 Year Old – SILVER Award goes to: The Swamp Where Gator Hides, by Marianne Berkes; illustrated by Roberta Baird (Dawn Publications)

This book was a joy to work on. I now know more about gators that I ever dreamed I would.

Beautiful creatures really!

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32. It’s a Hard Knocks Life

He smells.

– What’s his name? – Guess.


That ain’t a name for this mutt.


She’s coming. She’s coming.

Hide him.

I love you, Miss Hannigan.

And you will love the paddle closet.

And this…

…will love the sausage factory.

– No, Miss… – What?

We love you, Miss Hannigan.


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33. New work


“Glorious, stirring sight! The poetry of motion! The real way to travel! The only way to travel! Here today–in next week tomorrow! Villages skipped, towns and cities jumped–always somebody else’s horizon! O bliss! O poop-poop! O my! O my!”
– Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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34. Winter postcard

10534597_10203176422424025_3483332701413905403_ncandy cane peek2 candy cane peek

It seems that those who hire love the speed of digital rendering, but want the look of traditional work.  So, in an ever continuing effort to make my digital look more traditional, I’ve been working on some new techniques. I’ve been leaving in the pencil lines, and in fact, adding a lot more of it…..more detail and hatching before coloring them in Photoshop. I also use Kyle T Webster brushes. They’re fantastic! I highly recommend them!

I like the look. You can see the person behind it. This will be my winter promotional postcard.

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35. Dude Looks Like a Lady!

“Dear Mrs. Doubtfire,

Two months ago, my mom and dad decided to separate. Now they live in different houses. My brother Andrew says that we aren’t to be a family anymore. Is this true? Did I lose my family? Is there anything I can do to get my parents back together? Sincerely, Katie McCormick.”

Oh, my dear Katie. You know, some parents, when they’re angry, they get along much better when they don’t live together. They don’t fight all the time, and they can become better people, and much better mummies and daddies for you. And sometimes they get back together. And sometimes they don’t, dear. And if they don’t, don’t blame yourself. Just because they don’t love each other anymore, doesn’t mean that they don’t love you. There are all sorts of different families, Katie. Some families have one mommy, some families have one daddy, or two families. And some children live with their uncle or aunt. Some live with their grandparents, and some children live with foster parents. And some live in separate homes, in separate neighborhoods, in different areas of the country – and they may not see each other for days, or weeks, months… even years at a time. But if there’s love, dear… those are the ties that bind, and you’ll have a family in your heart, forever. All my love to you, poppet, you’re going to be all right… bye-bye.  ~Mrs. Dountfire


Remembering Robin Williams.

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36. 2014 Tomie de paola Award Contest Entry


This is my entry for the Tomie de paola Award contest. This year we were to develop a character through a series of panels to show character development. Mine is more of a storyline, I guess. It was fun creating it though.

Good luck to the ten finalists who are moving on to the next round. Especially our Houston illustrator, Cheryl Pilgrim. Loved her entry… so clever!


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37. New Work

furry baby_RobertaBaird
How strange that Nature does not knock, and yet does not intrude!  ~ Emily Dickinson

I’ve been working on a Halloween book for Pelican Publishing so I’ve been a little absent from the blog.  I just popped in to say hello! Hello!

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38. I’ve missed you!

Long time no see!

Actually… I’ve been busy working on a new Halloween book that will be released in 2015.

But Sometimes you just have to stop and say hello to old friends.
Like Fairy Mary here. She’s one that has gone through several designs.

Hello Mary!


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39. Independence Day

Where liberty dwells, there is my country. ~Benjamin Franklin
Happy 4th of July!

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40. The Swamp Where Gator Hides as an App


The Swamp Where Gator Hides written by Marianne Berkes and illustrated by me, Roberta Baird is now an app!! Click here to download it at 20% off!  Dawn Publications Book App

Preview it now!

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41. 2014 Houston SCBWI Conference

Saturday, April 27 I attended the Houston SCBWI annual conference.
I started out earlydriving. Houston is a pretty big city and it takes a while to get across town.

Our keynote speaker was Gary D. Schmidt, the author of the Newberry Award winning book, The Wednesday Wars, and many other wonderful books.                                                                                                                                               His talk was brilliant and his depth of feeling was so inspiring.          “Our stories are complicated ones…they are never one dimensional.”  His bio reads, ” He lives with his family on a 150-year-old farm in Alto, Michigan, where he splits wood, plants gardens, writes, and feeds the wild cats that drop by.”   I know… pretty cool all around guy, right!

The_wednesday_warsNext….”Qualities of a writer: humility, good humor, grace, patience and gratitude” says Stephen Fraser, literary agent with the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. That’s good advice you can apply to all aspects of life!

He’s been voted the top agent for both picture books and Middle grade fiction. …and he rocked and awesome bow tie!

Other speakers included Kendra Levin, Senior Editor at Viking Books,  “Don’t save anything for the next book, you may get hit by a bus tomorrow” Lol!

Julie Ham, spoke about The Elements of Award Winning Non-fiction.

Jim Hoover, Associate Art Director at Viking books, walked us through the process of making  picture books and how the direction of a book can change.                                                          Then he lead a very informative illustrator break out session about what makes a good promotional postcard. The following morning he presented a story boarding workshop.
What a fun guy, great personality, and he dances too!
20140426_133732        IMG_20140430_124926
These are some of the postcards I picked up at the conference.

But the best part about the conference…and something I didn’t see coming at all …                       I was the 2014 Grand Prize winner of the illustrator showcase!!                                                        So thank you  Jim Hoover, I’m so grateful!                                                                                                  And thank you to the SCBWI conference staff, it was one of the best!


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42. Houston SCBWI Conference

Whose ready to paint the town red?

See you there!

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43. Animal Parade


The next group to follow,
Was a most marvelous band,
Playing marvelous music,
In this most marvelous land.
~Robert Ball

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44. Cowboy

There is a young cowboy, he lives on the range,
His horse and his cattle are his only companions.
He works in the saddle and sleeps in the canyons,
Waiting for summer, his pastures to change.
~ James Taylor

I’ve been experimenting with technique, texture and palette lately. This feller came out of my experimenting…. and who doesn’t love a cowboy! :)

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45. Spider ~ Exotic

The spider’s touch, how exquisitely fine!
Feels at each thread, and lives along the line.
~Alexander Pope

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46. Happy Groundhog Day!

Once a year the eyes of the nation turn to this tiny hamlet in western Pennsylvania, to watch a master at work. The master, Punxsutawney Phil, the world’s most famous weatherman, the groundhog. Who, as legend has it, can predict the coming of an early spring. So I guess the question we have to ask ourselves today is, does Phil feel lucky?

~Ground Hog Day

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47. Anne Frank

Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!
~Anne Frank

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48. The Swamp Where Gator Hides

Swamp_RobertaBairdrb2Under the algae that carpets the swamp, near the duck who paddles in ooze, close to the turtle who takes a snooze . . . hides a gator! Still as a log, only his watchful eyes can be seen. But when gator moves, he really moves! What happens to the duck, the turtle, the egret, the deer, and the many other critters of the swamp when gator makes his move!
swamp water
A great time was had with the kids at The Lighthouse! We learned about the plants and the animals that inhabit the Everglades and studied the layers of swamp water that enables gators and other animals the ability to hide. What a great time we had!


“Here’s a fun tale that introduces young readers to concepts of camouflage and predator-prey interactions. And kids will love searching for the hidden alligator in the beautiful illustrations.”

–Annie Oxarart, Board Member, League of Environmental Educators in Florida                           Available HERE

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49. Berry Love


Strawberry fields …. forever.

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50. A House for a Mouse

mouse perspective_RobertaBaird1a

For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.  ~Martin Luther

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