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I needed to take a short break from the books that I’m illustrating. And inspired by seeing some illustrations by of one of my favorite artists, Garth Williams, at the Eric Carle Picture Book Museum thought it would be fun to practice my penwork. Aaaand of course, my mind wanders to chickens.
is always a nice way to start the day!
Nerdy With Children:
Happy Punks 1 2 3: A Counting Story
Who says that punks have to be human? Beats me. In the world of New Flip City, home to the care-free, talented, fun-loving, and creatively exciting group of punks known as the Happy Punks, they redefine this oh-so-conventional rule.
Spending their nights and days attending shows and making a ruckus, the Happy Punks are always partying hardy with a group of their best friends who just so happen to be snowmen, zombies, robots, animals, and so many other types who comprise the majority of residents who live in New Flip City. And since they all love to dance and make merry through the eclectic rage and beat-rific peppiness of punk rock, slam dancing is always in abundance.
From authors Jana Christy and John Seven comes Happy Punk 1 2 3: A Counting Story that tells the tales of these 12 awesome punks as they punk it up with other ilk-minded rebels, explore the confines and weird alleyways of their city, meet new friends, and mosh the night away as they teach toddlers how to count to 12 in the most punk rock ways possible.
As an alternative to boring, mainstream counting books, Happy Punks is a brand-new revised take on an old-school lesson that every child eventually has to learn. And as a parent who loves punk as much as any other hardcore enthusiast of this genre, sitting down with your kids to count to 12 in the same way that The Ramones would count to four is an imaginative teaching technique that will teach kids the importance of learning stuff. “To call Happy Punks 1 2 3 ‘adorable’ would be an understatement. It tells us ‘Welcome to Planet Earth!’ and ‘Here’s some cool stuff you could do in life!’”—Teresa Taylor, B*tthole Surfers. That pretty much says it all.
ALSO! This totally sweet review of A Year with Friends! from
A Year with Friends is a month by month compilation of a friendship. From January’s snowy sled day to December’s hot cocoa by the fire, you’ll be mesmerized by each glimpse of a girl and her sweet companion.
The illustrations by Jana Christy are so precious and delightful it could put any reader in a good mood at once. Her characters have sweet faces, the colors are vibrant, and the movement in each piece really takes this book to a new level.
It’s not too late to start the year off right with A Year with Friends.
Good seasons start with good beginnings. -Sparky Anderson
This is a very exciting week for me! Four books that I illustrated in 2012 are being released!
The first! A Year With Us written by my husband/ creative partner, John Seven and Published by Abrams Appleseed! This is what Kirkus had to say about it: ”While lots of books about seasons are available, this one is as fresh and crisp as a cool fall breeze…The charm is in the narrative’s simplicity and the breezy, soft-edged artwork that captures the special wonder of each month…This expressive childhood tribute to the joys of nature throughout the year warmly conveys the message that anytime is best when shared with a friend.” -Kirkus Reviews
The 2nd- my first Little Golden Book!!! Yippeeeee!
Whew! I’ve been busy! Time for some tea!
I’m happy to announce the opening of my store! I’m currently set up to sell some select prints, but soon hope to add some small handmade books and cards. Please let me know if you’ve seen something of mine and would like a print of, I will print to order. I’m using really lovely, 65 lb. archival fine art, lightly textured paper and archival pigment inks.
The first snowflakes fell tonight in New England and I went out to hang with the girls in their coop. It’s starting to get pretty cold. I can’t help but worry about them, in my kind of lame, new-chicken-owner way. I worry they get too cold, even though i selected winter hardy breeds. I sat on their hay bale and one by one tucked them into my wool coat and warmed them up. Tatty fell asleep, Buffy looked comfy, Polly escaped and flew on top of my head. Luna wanted none of it and flew away. I came to terms with the fact that they’re not my farm animals- not only do i not have a farm, I only have four. I worry about them like I worry about any other creature I’m besotted with. They’re my outside pets. And if my neighbors looked out their window, they would’ve seen my sitting inside my lit chicken coop, with one girl on my head, another two sticking out of my coat and would’ve heard me singing to them. So be it. I’m the crazy chicken lady.
I listen to music pretty much all the time while i work. occasionally, the music bleeds in to the art. this time, i wanted to just give in to the music and draw the creator of the songs i listen to the most. i love Australian/ British band Allo Darlin‘– Elizabeth Morris’s voice and words always conjure up lovely images in my head. Here she is with her ukulele.
“While lots of books about seasons are available, this one is as fresh and crisp as a cool fall breeze.
Each month is jauntily illustrated with a two-page spread of panels and one pertinent line: “January is time for rolling down hills”; “February is time for snuggling.” A boy and a girl alternate in the scenes from January through July up to August, when they meet at the beach, build a sand castle and become friends for the remaining months. “April is time to get messy” is depicted with the boy in a yellow slicker and red boots jumping in a puddle. In July, the girl carries popcorn and a blanket as she and her dog walk to a grassy spot to watch fireworks. The narrative ends: “A new year is time for fun with new friends!” The charm is in the narrative’s simplicity and the breezy, soft-edged artwork that captures the special wonder of each month. There are lots of ideas for displays and monthly themes for story times.
This expressive childhood tribute to the joys of nature throughout the year warmly conveys the message that anytime is best when shared with a friend.”
From: A Child’s Guide to Anarchy!
SF Cartoon Art Museum
Hammer Museum (Los Angeles)
Portland Art Museum (Oregon)
Berkeley Art Museum (California)
Menil Collection Musem (Houston)
Walker Art Center (Minneapolis)
YAYS! And of course, check out your local indie bookstores (or via the interwebs)
I want to do a comic about my favorite character on Call the Midwife, Chummy. I love her.
I was recently contacted by a graphic designer who is working with a school district in South Carolina, wanting to know if they could use this image for an anti-bullying program they’re putting together. It’s also being used by Kansas State University and was on a playbill in London for an anti-bullying production. I’m always happy to donate my illustrations to a good cause- but bullies- get the message already!!
So, a few years ago we ripped up our yard in order to grow lots of vegetables, fruit and wildflowers. It’s been a pretty awesome and rewarding experience. The backbreaking part is over- now it’s a matter of planning, planting and weeding.
This year, we decided to add some chickens. We ordered them from MyPetChicken and yesterday they arrived. We picked up a very noisy package from the post office- and now- here they are! 4 new members of the family! Backyard pets, fertilizer-makers and egg layers! We opted for 4 different breeds- all based on winter-hardiness, disposition, and egg laying capability.
Polly is beautiful. Officially, She’s an Easter-egger chicken. Which means she’ll lay green or green-blue eggs. But right now she mostly just eats, sleeps and occasionally tips over. She totally stole my heart.
John, Harry and Hugo & I will all participating in MOCCA Fest this year! Among many other things that we’ll be selling, will be these guys!