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Our local school is building a Natural Playground, and they are holding several fundraisers. I was recently asked to be part of a Really Good Idea for a fundraiser, which I think would make a fun library program! The idea, which was hatched and hosted by the owner of our local craft shop, was this: local artists would each lead a classroom in painting a large 2-foot square painting which would then be auctioned off.
I was happy to find out that I was chosen to work with the Grade Primary class (here in Nova Scotia that translates to Kindergarten). I went with a big flower for them to paint. I had them in groups of 3 — the painting had seven areas to be painted, and I had each group work on a section. I might be biased, but I love our painting the most. I love the colours and the freedom of expression that 4 & 5 year olds are unafraid to exhibit. I really didn’t paint much at all— I gave them tips, and once had to quickly grab a paintbrush from an over-exuberant artist who was about to turn the whole thing into a big smear.
I started in the classroom with a stack of books and talked to them about art in picture books. I read Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales to them and we talked about the art in that book. Their teacher had been part of some workshops I did earlier in the school year, and she had them looking closely at the art in picture books, so this group of 4-5 year olds were pretty savvy about examining the pictures. We had a lively discussion about the art and how everyone can do art. I was impressed that they were able to determine the medium, and talk a little about shape and colour.
I love to combine literacy with art lessons, and this project – and a Caldecott honour book – allowed me to do that. We also did a really great painting which will help raise money for a playground that will further their learning in the great outdoors.
So— to turn this into a library program, you could buy several large canvases (you can get them for a pretty decent price at dollar stores these days). Draw the outlines on the canvases, and have your program participants paint them in, using acrylic paint (again, a fairly inexpensive investment at dollar stores). These could hang in the children’s area, could be donated for charity fundraisers, or you could auction them as library fundraisers. Add a few books on art and a few art picture books, and you’ve got yourself a fairly simple, low-cost program that kids will remember each time they see those paintings. Host an art show in your library and you’ve got another program that will draw in the families of the kids who did the paintings. Art and literacy. They make good companions.
Award-winning author and illustrator Dan Yaccarino returns to Ready Set Draw to teach viewers how to draw Doug from Doug Unplugged. Doug is an inquisitive little robot boy who sets off to see the world beyond his home. After drawing Doug it is a good idea to go on a walk to explore your neighborhood.
Dan is joined by KidLit TV team member, Katya Szewczuk who learns to draw Doug too. Katya is an aspiring author and illustrator. You can find Katya’s work, here.
Did you, a child, or student draw Doug using this video? Share your images with us via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter! Use the hashtag #KidLitTV on Instagram and Twitter too. We can’t wait to see what you’ve drawn!
Written and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino
Published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Doug is a robot. His parents want him to be smart, so each morning they plug him in and start the information download. After a morning spent learning facts about the city, Doug suspects he could learn even more about the city by going outside and exploring it. And so Doug … unplugs. What follows is an exciting day of adventure and discovery. Doug learns amazing things by doing and seeing and touching and listening and above all, by interacting with a new friend. Dan Yaccarino’s funny story of robot rebellion is a great reminder that sometimes the best way to learn about the world is to go out and be in it.
ABOUT DAN YACCARINO
Children the world over know Dan Yaccarino from his children’s books, Parent’s Choice Award-winning animated TV series Oswald (Nick Jr) and Emmy-winning Willa’s Wild Life (NBC and Qubo) and character designs for The Backyardigans (Nickelodeon), as well as his many illustrated toys, games, and other children’s products. His bold, stylized illustrations add wit and energy to the work of such prestigious authors as Margaret Wise Brown, Jack Prelutsky, Kevin Henkes and Patricia MacLachlan in addition to his own stories.
Dan’s internationally recognized art style has earned him a large following in Japan, exhibits in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Bologna, and a visit to the White House. Dan’s books have been translated into many languages and have inspired ebooks, children’s musicals and video adaptations. People all over the world enjoy Oswald, Dan’s animated television series about the wonderfully whimsical world of a lovable octopus, which Time magazine chose as one of the top 6 shows to watch on cable. Animation Magazine hails him as “an American original.”
Dan’s work has been recognized with a host of prestigious awards including the Bologna Ragazzi, The New York Time 10 Best Illustrated, ALA Notable and the Parents Choice Award. Over 1.5 million of his books have been sold to date.
Author Julie Hedlund and illustrator Susan Eaddy collaborated on My Love for You Is the Sun, a beautiful book that celebrates the many ways we express love for others. In this craft-based episode of StoryMakers, Eaddy teaches Hedlund and host Rocco Staino how to make a relief sculpture based on the illustration style used in the book. The author and illustrator provide examples of additional activities parents, caretakers, and teachers can do with children. Viewers are encouraged to explore color and texture creation.
Julie Hedlund is familiar to many aspiring and established children’s literature authors. She is the founder of 12×12, a year long picture book writing challenge where members write 12 drafts in 12 months. Hedlund celebrated five years of the 12×12 challenge in early 2016.
We’re giving away three (3) prize packs for this episode of StoryMakers. Each prize pack includes a of copy of Julie Hedlund’s picture book, MY LOVE FOR YOU IS THE SUN and art supplies to make your own clay art inspired by Susan Eaddy’s work. The giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on May 31, 2016. ENTER NOW!
My Love for You is the Sun is a love letter from parent to child, written in verse and expressing that timeless and unconditional love through metaphors from the natural world. My love for you is the sun, a tree, the rain, a river but of course, its also about more than familial or parental love, its about the universal, infinite nature of love itself, and as such, will hold crossover appeal for all ages. Edited by best-selling childrens book author Emma Walton-Hamilton, and illustrated with the amazing clay art of Susan Eaddy, this melodious tour of parent-and-child animals in their various habitats will mesmerize children at bedtime, and help them feel a connection with the loved one sharing it with them. With soothing verses evoking the beauty and wonder of the natural world, combined with stunning, hand-sculpted clay illustrations, this book is one families everywhere will read again and again.
Finally, in the fall of 2009 I attended a regional SCBWI conference in Denver. I was swollen with inspiration, hope and desire to not only write, but to make a career from writing. On the drive home, I had an epiphany — “What if I could feel as inspired, driven and hopeful every day as I do today?”
So I made the decision to leave my job – right as the world economy collapsed. Everyone, myself included, thought I was crazy, but I no longer felt like I had a choice. I knew I needed to give a writing career a shot, and that I needed to start immediately.
I began writing my blog, signed up for a few social media networks, wrote another picture book manuscript, signed up for an SCBWI national conference in New York and never looked back.
People often ask me why I write for children. I write for children because I want to make their lives better through books. Yes, books educate children, give them adventures, escape, and entertainment. But books also give children hope. And what could be more important and profound than that?
One of the reasons I enjoy clay so much is that I don’t really know how to do it. Each illustration is a discovery process as I study nature and animals and try to figure out how to bring them to life in clay.
My finished clay critters live in pizza boxes, and I suspect that they play at night while we slumber.
I was an Art Director for fifteen years, and won some international 3D illustration awards and a Grammy nomination. But my passion is, and always has been, illustrating and writing for children.
I am the Regional advisor for the Midsouth SCBWI, and a member of the SCBWI Bologna Team. I love to travel and have done school visits anywhere in the world from Taiwan to Alabama to Hong Kong.
Because... of this poem by Children's Author Nicola Davies, and the #3000chairs project. It's worth every second it takes to read.
My husband and I had the opportunity to spend time in Kosovo with war survivors - refugees who returned to their homes carrying life-wrenching scars of war, with stories that ached in the hearing, and burned in the telling.
I wish a chair for every child running from war. I wish refuge. and hope. and light.
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The 100 Day Project begins today. I’m wary of committing (even in a vague personal challenge kind of way) to any non-work or -family task that lasts a hundred days, but I love following this project on Instagram and found a way I can make it work for myself. As a way to help keep my daily sketchbook practice going strong, my ‘project’ will be to put color down on paper every day for a hundred days. Paint, colored pencil, fountain pen ink, collage…whatever medium I feel like on a given day will count.
To participate in the project, you share your daily efforts on Instagram with the hashtag (#the100dayproject). Now, will I manage to keep up with that part for a hundred days in a row? Not likely. I generally only feel like sharing a tiny fraction of what goes into my sketchbook. But that’s okay. The rules are malleable in voluntary internet challenges, right?
So today is Day 1. This morning I was showing Huck the delights of wet-on-wet watercolors and this little fish turned up of its own accord. At least, I see a fish. My IG friends see a man’s profile.
Iceland, 2015 Being invited for an artist or author residency is such an honor. Last May I went to northern Iceland for a week long artist residency to help seventy kids in grades one to ten paint murals. The school was Valsárskóli in Svalbarðsströnd, which is across the fjord from where my son Eric and […]
You go to the museum. Stand in line for half an hour. Pay 20 bucks. And then, you’re there, looking at the exhibited artworks, but you get nothing out of it. You try hard. You read the little annoying labels next to the artworks. Even get the audio-guide. Still nothing. What do you do? Maybe you’re just not into this specific artist. Or maybe you’re not that into paintings in general. Or art.
It's been a while since I've done a picture book roundup. Here are three that struck my fancy:
Kind. This boy is the best!
Have you seen Elephant?
Written and illustrated by David Barrow. Gecko Press, 2016
A kind young boy plays hide-and-seek with his elephant friend and takes care to keep the game going, despite the fact that his friend is a very poor hider! Have you seen Elephant? is bright and cheerful and funny, and above all - kind. This is the first book I've seen from Gecko Press and the first by David Barrow. I love it!
Confined? Can the colortamer catch them all?
Swatch: The Girl Who Loved Color
Written and illustrated by Julia Denos Balzer Bray, 2016
Bright, bold, and expressive, Swatch is a color tamer - trapping and using colors in the most fantastic of ways. A bold and fearless artist, no color had escaped her artistic eye ... no color but one,
"Morning came, and there it was, fast fading and fierce, the King of All Yellows, blooming in the sidewalk crack in spite of the shadows. Swatch was ready .... At last, Yellowest Yellow would be hers."
Or would it?
This is the first book that Julia Denos has written as well as illustrated. I would love this book even if my favorite color were not the hero of the story!
Find. Where is that cat?
Spot, the Cat
Illustrated by Henry Cole Little Simon, 2016
A beautifully detailed, wordless book - more than just a seek-and-find, it follows the path of an adventurous cat in the city and the boy who wants to find him. Join the young boy and search the city for Spot, the cat.
Well this is pretty cool, and has flown mostly under the radar of my usual comics sites: Roz Chast has an exhibit up at the Museum of the City of New York. It runs from April 14th until October 9th, so you have plenty of time to go see it...and you should. Best known for her 2014 award winning 2014 memoir Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, Chast's droll cartoons capture urban foibles of dread, fatalism and UES (upper East Side, to non New Yorkers) neuroses with a levity that barely masks how deep they cut. One of the exhibits mentions that one of her biggest influences was Charles Addams, and it easy to see how Addams' loose penwork and gallery of characters informs her work. She also shifted his emphasis on the lugubrious and horrific to internal anxieties over health, parental guidance, mid-life crises and geographic uncertainty.
Today’s guest blogger is Emily Townsend, an Elementary School Counselor at Lowrie Primary School in Wilsonville, Oregon.
Last year I worked daily with a fourth grade student whose father passed away right before Christmas break. He grieved mostly internally, and became increasingly distant, disengaged, and behind in school.
After feeling like I had tried almost all the tools in my toolbox, I remember setting a velvet poster in front of him – one of the Melissa & Doug Sea Life Reveal posters I purchased from First Book.
I think I was hoping for a calm moment when we could both color and just spend some no-pressure time together being mindful. Although this student had never mentioned any affinity or affection for art, as soon as he picked up the markers to begin filling in the poster he started talking about his father and his feelings for the first time ever at school.
He and I made paper airplanes, learned how to draw jungle animals using the Kids Art Series: How to Draw book I ordered from First Book, and made intricate tangles of doodles while looking at the Draw What! Doodling Book I received in the same order. And he talked. And eventually started feeling better.
Guess what came in the mail? Here's a hint: they rhyme with "host-guards" and "wizness-bards."
Don't they look exciting?
I'm pretty smitten with the packaging from Moo. I think they know about the little party that happens whenever new cards come. Happy dance. Confetti. They even send encouraging little notes that say things like, "you're delightful." And can you see the cutest little business card box ever? Even the postcards come in their own box. Genius.
My husband heard me squealing to the postcard boxes, "You are so cute! You are so clever! I love you. You are fabulous!" He thought I was talking to my art. Nope, just the gorgeous packaging. And I do love the way my cards look and feel, so I suppose I was cheering for me, too.
Well done, Moo. But maybe I'll keep my crowing in until everyone's asleep.
How I Lost My Novel And Discovered Free Data Recovery
One of the amazing things that I will always be grateful about in my 10 years of writing experience is free data recovery software that rescued my already complete novel that I almost lost after my computer crashed. I didn’t begin writing from a young age until later when I developed interest for reading novels. The twist, suspense and outcome of most fiction stories I read really fascinated me.
Juggling between family life, paying bills and writing my novel were real challenges for me when my writing career was in its budding years. The burning desire to write really pushed me to overcome all odds over the years. I started with publications that paid me quite well to meet my basic needs. I also wrote for several travel magazines. As the passion for writing developed I discovered that I could actually write stories that most people could relate to and put them in novels. My love for novels and life experience keeps my writing passion alive which is a hobby that I favor most. The time I lost one of my complete novels that I had saved in my PC is however fresh in my mind.
It was an ordinary morning when I settled in my study with a cup of coffee to begin my day’s work. I started my computer and it just send me a string of error messages. I knew that my computer had crashed and that my hard drive was dead. This was a big frustration because my latest complete novel that I had not published was right in there. I frantically checked for any loose cables but everything seemed fine. I booted my computer into a safe Mode and amazingly gained access to the system. My joy was however short-lived because I couldn’t find even a paragraph of my novel. The thoughts of losing my novel that I had painstakingly written were racing in my mind and I panicked. I had heard about free data recovery tools but I didn’t know any credible source that could help me.
My best friend Tim recommended me to use a free data recovery program and directed me on finding one that had once saved him when he had lost his thesis paper before his final examination in college. I navigated through the software’s website at binarybiz and found out that the software could recover lost files from hard drives, memory cards, mobile phones and other storage media. I checked for an option to get the software and found the downloading option which I quickly used.
The first thing I did after downloading the free data software was to specify the file I was looking for to get precise search results and then activated the scanning process. This was through after a few seconds. With the software, I could preview the details of the file that I wanted to recover. I then went ahead and followed the simple instructions on the interface to help me recover the file containing my novel. This was through soon than I had expected. The software did not overwrite data and was very brief and easy to use.
I recovered my novel and successfully published it which would have been impossible without the free data recovery software. I have so far attended and hosted numerous book talks. I am currently working on another novel and on my website. I also find time to write for other websites and recommend the data recovery software for users looking for solutions to recover lost files.
After a road trip to the wildly successful Silicon Valley Comic Con, it is good to have a local con (even if it means putting up with the dreaded downtown LA traffic) this weekend. So WonderCon has moved for this year from Anaheim, which is in the middle of some heavy renovations and expansions, to downtown Los Angeles. Some will say this is good, others will say it is bad; nonetheless we shall be there ready to go on Friday.
Our booth will be set up in artist alley this year at D-16. We will being trying to cram our ever expanding wares upon a single table, which we may expand to two tables for next year. One of the new items will be 13″x 19″ sizes of some of our more popular prints due to growing interest in the larger sizes. These are printed on high quality paper and will sell for $30 apiece or 3 for $70. Due to limited space we will only have a limited amount of prints in that size available.
More to come next week as we will have a small break before we head up to Seattle for Emerald City Comicon.
In 2003 Paul Bahn led the team that discovered the first Ice Age cave art at Creswell Crags in Britain. In recent years, many more discoveries have been made including the expanding phenomenon of 'open-air Ice Age art'. In the slideshow below, you can see some of the earliest examples of art on the planet, and take a tour of prehistoric art throughout the world.
The New Yorker has been on a recent run of covers by cartoonists, with Chris Ware and Daniel Clowes doing recent covers. Now Jaime Hernandez has joined the gang with a cover for the annual food issue. “I put both mustard and ketchup on my hot dogs,” Jaime Hernandez says of his image for the […]
Via this month’s solicits. I had the pleasure of hanging out with Kyle a bit and interviewing him for an upcoming “More to come” podcast. Circuit Breaker, his long brewing series written by Kevin McCarthy for Image is just out, and Baker is reprinting his graphic novels in a handy smaller size. You can […]
BuzzFeed exclusively revealed a first look at Jim Kay’s new work on the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The pop-culture news site revealed the cover art, as well as one beautiful diagrammed image of a Phoenix.
StoryMakers host Rocco Staino caught up with Mo Willems at the preview for The Art and Whimsy of Mo Willems, a retrospective of Willems’ work at the New-York Historical Society. The Art and Whimsy of Mo Willems exhibit contains many pieces that show Willems’ process as he created some of kid lit’s most memorable characters. He hopes children create their own art after they leave the museum. The author and illustrator briefly discussed The Thank You Book, the 25th and last book in the Elephant and Piggie series.
Mo Willems has had a huge impact on the lives of children. As a television writer for Sesame Street he garnered six Emmys. His witty one-liners inspired children to quote characters from Codename: Kids Next Door amongst other familiar cartoons. In 2003 his first picture book, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, was published and since then it’s been a stream of accolades; three Caldecott Honors, two Geisel Medals, five Geisel Honors, and a place in the Picture Book Hall of Fame.
Willems’ surly pigeon, the mismatched pair of Elephant and Piggie, and everyone’s favorite Knuffle Bunny are a few of the characters visitors will get to see evolve via the exhibit.
The Art and Whimsy of Mo Willems exhibition brings together original art, sketches, and inspirational drawings from Willem’s most popular series, plus stand-alone classics such as Leonardo the Terrible Monster and That is NOT a Good Idea!. It displays the efforts behind the effortlessness, the seriousness behind the silliness, and the desire, as Willems says, “to think of my audience, not for my audience.” His ability to crisply weave together life lessons and humor creates artful volumes that speak to all, regardless of size.
The Art and Whimsy of Mo Willems is open now, until September 25, 2016. Click here for ticket information, directions, and more.
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art organized the exhibition, which is supported by Disney Publishing Worldwide.
LIKE IT? PIN IT!
Click the images or links below to access fun activities with characters from Mo Willems’ books!
Gerald is careful. Piggie is not. Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can. Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to. Gerald and Piggie are best friends. In The Thank You Book!, Piggie wants to thank EVERYONE. But Gerald is worried Piggie will forget someone … someone important.
ABOUT MO WILLEMS
#1 New York Times Bestseller Mo Willems began his career as a writer and animator for PBS’ Sesame Street, where he garnered 6 Emmy Awards for his writing. During his nine seasons at Sesame Street, Mo also served as a weekly commentator for BBC Radio and created two animated series, Nickelodeon’s The Off-Beats and Cartoon Network’s Sheep in the Big City.
While serving as head writer for Cartoon Network’s #1 rated show, Codename: Kids Next Door, Mo began writing and drawing books for children. His debut effort, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! became a New York Times Bestseller and was awarded a Caldecott Honor in 2004. The following year Knuffle Bunny: a Cautionary Tale was awarded a Caldecott Honor. The sequel, Knuffle Bunny Too: a Case of Mistaken Identity garnered Mo his third Caldecott Honor in 2008.
In addition to picture books, Mo created the Elephant and Piggie books, a series of “Easy Readers”, which were awarded the Theodor Suess Geisel Medal in 2008 and 2009 and Geisel Honors in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. For older audiences he has published an illustrated memoir of his year-long trip around the world in 1990-91 entitled You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When it Monsoons and Don’t Pigeonhole Me!, a collection of 20 years of his annual sketchbooks. His books have been translated into over 20 languages.
The New-York Historical Society, one of America’s pre-eminent cultural institutions, is dedicated to fostering research, presenting history and art exhibitions, and public programs that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world of today. Founded in 1804, New-York Historical is the oldest museum in New York City. New-York Historical has a mission to explore the richly layered political, cultural and social history of New York City and State and the nation, and to serve as a national forum for the discussion of issues surrounding the making and meaning of history.
New-York Historical is recognized for engaging the public with deeply researched and far-ranging exhibitions. Supporting these exhibitions and related education programs are one of the world’s greatest collections of historical artifacts, works of American art, and other materials documenting the history of the United States and New York.
The New-York Historical Society’s museum is the oldest in New York City and predates the founding of the Metropolitan Museum of Art by nearly seventy years.
Emily Isabella is an illustrator from Hudson Valley, her work varies from book illustrations, packaging designs to textile designs. Her work reflects on the delights of the everyday, in a very beautiful way. Her clients have included Anthropologie, Frankie Magazine and Birch Fabric to name a few.
To see more from this illustrator visit her website