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Deciding what to draw or paint every day can be just as worrisome as wondering what to write. That's why I rely on my grab-bag of prompts for both activities, whether they're from magazine cut-outs, art history books, or my handy pile of themed index cards.
The Illustration Friday word of the week is “voice.” So I decided to redraw yet another oldie. I better get off my duff and come up with some new ideas I suppose, eh?
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I received a proof copy of my book "I Fell Through The Crack" today. I got it printed by MILK books, (I'm testing various printers and formats). I must say they've done a very good job. Contact me if you want to buy a signed copy.
COTTONTAILS IN SPACE
After successfully landing on the moon, Neil “Cottontail” Armstrong was famously quoted as saying, “One small step for a bunny, one giant hop for rabbitkind.
Space is the “Illustration Friday” word of the week. So I dusted this old chestnut off and redrew it.
Go. Run. Be strong.
1) What’s motivating YOU this morning?
2) Anyone race this weekend?
3) What is a mental mantra you like to think of to keep you running strong?
Little known fact: The Easter Bunny moonlights, filling in for Cupid, to get some extra scratch.
He says, “They don’t call me Dead-Eye Cottontail for nothing!
(Actually, they don’t really call him that, shhhhhh.)
For some reason I felt compelled to redraw this little guy from a few years ago when the Illustration Friday word was “adapt” Perhaps more appropriate? You decide.
Well, it must be karma… get it… karma karma karma karma karma chameleon. No? Oh come on! How can you see the word chameleon without that song going through your head?
Unless you’re under 30.
We just discovered the Dog Loves ... series, and my 3 1/2 year old daughter and I are both hooked. We actually started with the third book, then realized that we had the second one hiding out on our shelves, and naturally had to purchase the first. To be fair, I was vaguely aware of having read the second book when it came out, and I liked it enough to keep it, but I didn't appreciate it until I had actually read it with my daughter. Because it is the interactivity that is beautiful about the Dog books.
These books are of the genre that I would classify as "sneakily educational", and which can totally work if done well. Because let's face it, preschoolers are little sponges, looking to soak up learning wherever they can find it. Give them a cute dog with a vivid imagination and an appreciation for books to help them along the way, and they are all set.
Dog Loves Books is the first of the series. You can't really go wrong with a book that starts out: "Dog loved books. He loved the smell of them, and he loved the feel of them. He loved everything about them...", accompanied by a series of illustrations of Dog glorying in his books.
In this installment (the least educational of the three, but the one that introduces readers to Dog's personality and preferences), Dog decides to open up a bookstore. Sadly, no customers come. But once he gets over the initial disappointment, Dog realizes that he's perfectly happy to sit in his bookstore, reading books. A lovely series of pages shows Dog surrounded by dragons and giraffes and spaceships, as he dwells inside of his books. And in the end, all of his experience reading books turns out to be useful, when he finally gets a chance to make recommendations.
In Dog Loves Drawing, Dog still has his bookstore. He is initially surprised when his Aunt Dora sends him a book with blank pages. A note from his aunt tells him that it's a sketchbook. Once again demonstrating his ability to immerse himself in a story, Dog draws several friends, and then travels with them through a series of adventures. Throughout these adventures, Dog and his friends are shown drawing the next steps, coloring things in on their own, etc. At the end, the reader sees Dog with his filled sketchbook, and only then is it confirmed that the adventures were all in Dog's imagination.
My daughter had a bit of trouble grasping the concept here - that the friends weren't real, and the adventures weren't actually happening. But I think it will become more clear on future readings. And she still enjoyed it. She also learned things like what doodling is, and how to make scenery look like it's going by "FAST!". This one is a good companion book to I'll Save You, Bobo! by Eileen & Marc Rosenthal, in which Willy draws similar stories.
Dog Loves Counting is the most overtly educational of the three. But still totally fun. Dog is having trouble getting to sleep, and counting sheep doesn't seem to work. So he decides to count creatures that he meets in his books, like a dodo and three-toed sloth. He marches merrily along, collecting creature after creature.
In addition to there being a running total of the creatures, each creature also has an attribute that Dog can count, like the bands on the nine-banded armadillo. The illustrations show small numbers about each band, encouraging young readers to both recognize the numbers and practice counting. And once the numbers are all counted up to 10, the animals go off for a bit, and Dog has a chance to count backwards, too. We end with:
"When Dog woke up the next morning and looked at his books, he knew that friends and adventures were never far away--that was something he could count on."
The thing about these books, particularly the last two, is that they simply beg for interaction between the reader and the child listener. My babysitter used the first one to teach my daughter how to spell Dog. I used the third one to practice counting to 10 forward and backward with her. I let her count things on each page. She counted things that weren't directly part of the story, like the number of leaves on the ferns shown on one page, etc. Her only disappointment was that the book didn't continue to 11, 12, etc.
Yates' watercolor illustrations are perfect for these stories. Dog is rendered mostly in outline, a white dog against a white background, as counterpoint to the vividness of the animals and settings that he imagines. You can tell from his perky ears and big smile that he's friendly. His eyes are often closed (probably because he is busy imagining things).
The animals with which Dog surrounds himself are colorful and big-eyed. They're not realistic, exactly (how often do you see a dodo anyway?), but they welcome Dog, and the reader, to their fanciful world. The pictures in Dog Loves Drawing are particularly fun, including a big green monster, furry with sharp teeth and four feet clad in red sneakers. It looks exactly (and in the best possible way) like something that a six-year-old would draw.
So we have a series of books that celebrate reading and the imagination, and incorporate concepts like drawing and counting without being even the least bit dull. All with warm, surprise-filled illustrations. No wonder these are a hit with my daughter and with me. I wonder what Dog will love next? We'll be waiting!
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (@RandomHouseKids)
Publication Date: July 2010, August 2012, September 2013
Source of Book: Review copies from the publisher (2/3) and purchase
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This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).
Life’s just better with color.
More running motivation HERE
1) Where do most of your runs take you? ie: roads, trail, track, etc.
2) What are typical Friday and weekend night plans for you?
3) Running brings color into my life by…
With running, actions will ALWAYS speak louder than words. Though if we put some words to those actions…
[click to enlarge, but please contact me if you'd like prints! ]
In case you missed last Sunday’s Morning Running Inspiration
1) What are you grateful for this Sunday?
2) Take a minute and dedicate at least one mile of your run to a friend, person, or injured running NOT able to run today. Who are you running that mile for?
3) What is one line of text you’d add to this picture?
Felt like it was time for a nice animal idiom.
“Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing:
One would use this idiom to describe a person or thing appearing to be good but is, well, not so much. There seems to be a few different ideas about it’s origin, but here is what Wikipedia has to say about it.
You’re a runner. You’re special. It’s okay to think that.
[Click to enlarge, but please if you'd like prints of any work you see here contact me! ]
PS- For all you runnerdudes just pretend that the hair isn’t there. Unless you’ve got long hair, double points if you’ve got a mullet! The words still apply, maybe the could be added on to the arms…
MENTAL head games tips HERE
1) What are your Sunday plans? Sunday runday status?
2) Come up with a line of text you would add to this.
RACE AGAINST TIME
Despite strenuous training and conditioning, Murgatroid found it difficult to beat the clock.
The Illustration Friday theme for this week is “Time.” So, since it is 11:00 pm on Thursday, with only an hour left to post… time is running out!
(Click for larger view of Santa and his crew gettin’ down with their bad elves.)
Why not hip hop over here and see what the other HoHoDooDa Doodlers are up to!
Undaunted by his recent breakup, Murgatroyd continues to troll for love.
Murgatroyd and myself wish y’all a Merry Kissmas! Also a Happy Egg Snog (for our friends in the UK!)
Ok now, if you can tear yourself away from these groan-worthy puns, come on over here to see what my fellow HoHoDooDa doodlers are doing.
(Click to enlarge.)
Nothing says Holidays like a wiener dog. Am I lying?
Anywho, why not stroll on by here to see what the other HoHoDooDa Doodlers are doing!Display Comments Add a Comment
Didn’t get a doodle done today because I was finishing up my holiday cards. (Yeah, it’s tradition to be this late, thank you very much!)
So although it’s a bit of a cheat I decided to repost this from a couple of years ago. Thought it might be appropriate.
I love holiday cards. I love getting them, but most of all I like making them.
At least it starts out that way.
There’s the initial concept. Fun!
Sketching it up. Fun!
Drawing, painting, tweaking. Fun! Fun! Fun!
But then, there is the whole standing in line at the post office because I absolutely must have those special snowman stamps.
Followed by an attempt at addressing the cards and the subsequent admitting to people that I wrote their address on a scrap piece of paper last year and my cat batted it under the couch and apparently a spider drug it away to it’s nest, so could you pleeeeeeease give me your address for the fifteenth time… and I promise I’ll key it safely into my iPhone this time!
Couple that with the fact that I waited until pretty much the last minute, even though I promised last year and the year before that and the year… ok, the past ten years that I would start in August.
Before you know it, I’ve got a holiday card meltdown on my hands.
Does any of this sound familiar? Am I alone with this?
Anywho, fun? Not so much.
But despite the griping and moaning, after all is said and done, the truth is, it’s just not Christmas until I’ve sent off all my cards and, of course, I receive that very first card in the mail, be it Christmas, Hanukkah or Festivus (I’m still waiting for my first Kwanza card.)
I just love holiday cards!
It’s tradition! Every bit of it, from fun to meltdown and I hope it never goes away!
Now get yer elfin shoes over here to see what the other doodlers have in store for you!
Another wee redraw of last year’s “Mice Skates”
Skate on over here and check out my fellow HoHoDooDaers!
HoHoDooDa got a bit waylaid for me about midway. So completely caught up in the wonder the whimsey the crazy that is Christmas but now re-emerging from the holiday wackiness with a huge list of resolutions clutched in my fist.
This here fella is a redraw from a couple of years ago… or a re-gnu-ed drawing, if you will. He seemed eager to return and join in the last party of 2013. So I threw him a bone.
Along with 2013 ending, so too concludes HoHoDooDa 2013! A hearty thanks to all of you talented participants for the camaraderie, encouragement and fantastic art you have put forth this December. It’s not easy to commit to a sketch a day at any time of the year, but around the holidays… hoooooo boy! What an inspiration!
A big thanks also to everyone who followed along and cheered us on. You can’t know how helpful and incredibly uplifting that is!
All y’all really made this holiday season heartwarmingly special! May 2014 bring each and every one of you all the love, health, prosperity and creative inspiration there is to be brought!
Happy Happy Happy New (and Gnu) Year to everyone!!!
P.S. Why not take one more peek at all the cool HoHoDooDaers right here before dipping into the cheese ball and pouring that celebratory glass of bubbly!