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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: animals, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 1,964
1. 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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2. Animals Playing Instruments – #kidlitart's Twenty-Eight Day Challenge

The folks over at #kidlitart* wanted to help illustrators find their voices as illustrators, so they set up this challenge.

The idea is to draw something every day for the month of February featuring a theme, creature, idea, character, etc. that you LOVE. 'To illustrate things that you are ALL ABOUT – not just as an artist. As a person. What tickles your fancy? What do you geek out about? What stories would you tell if you just had the chance?'

I've had this idea for a while to illustrate the alphabet with animals playing instruments, since I love art, animals and music. I started out innocently enough, then I got to researching both animals and instruments I've never heard of, and it starts to get really exotic! I am having a lot of fun with this!

Here are the first batch:










* #kidlitart is an hour-long Twitter chat on Thursday nights at 8 pm Central, where children's illustrators talk about anything to do with kidlit art.

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3. Book Review: Olive and the Great Flood, by Connie Arnold

Book description:

Olive is a gentle, friendly dove who wants to help her friend Noah, his family and the other animals with her on the ark. She tries to soothe them during the rain and has an important assignment, to discover when it's safe to venture from the ark after the flood. Suggested age range for readers: 4-8

My thoughts...

This is a lovely picture book to read and enjoy. In her simple, lyrical language, most appropriate for young children, talented children's author Connie Arnold tells the story of Noah, his Ark, and the Flood. At the heart of it is Olive, the beautiful dove, who has a most important job to do in this already most important tale. The tone is calming and peaceful, making this book not only educational but also perfect as a bedtime story. I really enjoyed the colorful illustrations by Kathleen Bullock. They really fit and suit the story. Children will have fun pointing out all the animals both in the Arc and under the seas. I truly recommend this delightful picture book for young children!

Purchase from Amazon and Guardian Angel Publishing

Visit the author's website at: http://childrenbooks.webs.com 

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4. Book Review: The Last Wild/The Dark Wild

I read both of these books together, so I'm going to do what I rarely do and review them together. If you haven't read the first book, you might want to stop after my review of The Last Wild, because my review of The Dark Wild will, of necessity, have spoilers for the first book.

The Last Wild
by Piers Torday

In a dystopian future, all animals have died out from an illness called "red-eye" that mutated to spread throughout the animal populations. The only animals still living are a few hardy species like cockroaches. Even the bees are dead, which means that there are no more food crops. The only food left is a synthetic food called Formul-A, and the only supplier of Formul-A is the Facto corporation, essentially giving them control of the remaining human population.

Twelve year old Kester Jaynes has been incarcerated in Spectrum Hall Academy for Challenging Children for six years. The Academy is just as horrible as its name makes it sound: the children live regimented, restricted lives, and breaking the rules is punished by solitary confinement. Kester can't even complain: he hasn't been able to speak since his mother died. The words just won't come out.

Kester keeps company with a cockroach at lunch, but one day he's surprised to hear the cockroach speaking to him in his head. Shortly after that, one hundred pigeons break through his window and help him escape from Spectrum Hall. Kester discovers that Facto lied: the animals are not all dead. There is a group of them — a Wild — still living on the edge of civilization, and Kester has a unique ability to talk to them through a kind of mental connection. Between the red-eye virus and the cullers sent out by Facto to kill any remaining animals, the Wild is in grave danger. Kester sets off with the pigeons, the cockroach, a stag, and a wolf cub to find his father, who used to be a vet, and try to find a cure for the red-eye.

If all this sounds a bit unbelievable, it is, but that's ok. This isn't the kind of book that has to be realistic. The characters and the situations are somewhat exaggerated, like you might find in a Roald Dahl or a Lemony Snicket book, with the same kind of dark humor found in those books.

The main characters are Kester and a girl named Polly, whom he meets along the way, and various animals. Kester and Polly are good characters, but the animals are really the best thing about this book. Torday has done an outstanding job of giving the animals unique voices that really fit their personalities. Kester develops through the story, as he learns to be self-reliant and to take responsibility.

The pacing is good, and the plot keeps you turning pages, as Kester, Polly and the animals go from one situation to another as they try to make their way to the city to find Kester's dad. The Last Wild is a unique and interesting book, and a good read. I've read a lot of books, and I can honestly say that I haven't read anything quite like it.


There isn't really any diversity that I saw in the book. In fact, in a few cases I was bothered that some of the villains had impediments or physical characteristics exaggerated in a negative way for comic effect. For example, the evil headmaster stutters.

Who would like this book?

Middle-grade readers, particularly those who like animal fiction. Be aware that The Last Wild is a dark book, and there are deaths; some animals are killed by evil people in front of Kester and Polly. Sensitive children who are bothered by such things may want to give it a pass.

I suspect that this book would have strong appeal for fans of the Warriors series. It's a very different kind of book, but I think that Warriors fans would appreciate not only the animal characters, but also the dark conflicts in a dangerous world, the Wild community, the theme of personal sacrifice, and the well-paced plot.

The Dark Wild
by Piers Torday

Kester and Polly have saved the Wild, and helped Kester's dad find a cure for the red-eye virus. But the Facto corporation isn't going to give up their control of the world and everything they've worked for so easily. Selwyn Stone, the head of Facto, wants something more than to kill all the animals. He wants what Polly has, the secret she swore to her parents that she'd never reveal.

Other factions are also after the secret, and Polly escapes into the city to protect the secret. Kester sets off after her, to help and protect her, but before he can find her he discovers another Wild — an army of bitter, angry animals living under the city, who are determined to destroy the human race. Kester is caught in the middle, and must try to find a way to stop the Dark Wild, while also saving Polly and the animals of his Wild from Facto.

The Dark Wild is a gripping read, and just as thrilling as The Last Wild. In the first book, Kester had to learn to be a leader, but in this one he learns something much more difficult: the value of loyalty, personal heroism, and sacrifice. Other characters develop as well, particularly the wolf cub, who is beginning to grow up and become an adult wolf.

It's also just as dark as the first book, if not more so. In one painful scene, Kester, as a prisoner, has to watch Selwyn Stone taxidermy a squirrel who had been one of Kester's friends. The squirrel was already dead, killed earlier in the book, but it's quite a horrifying scene.

Some things are not resolved by the end of the book, so there may be another book on the way.

FTC required disclosure: Review copy sent by the publisher to enable me to write this review. The bookstore links above are affiliate links, and I earn a very small percentage of any sales made through the links. Neither of these things influenced my review.

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5. The Sleeping Dogs of Cecil Aldin

Cecil Aldin (1870-1935) was a British illustrator who loved to draw dogs.

He illustrated a book called Sleeping Partners featuring his dogs "Cracker," a white bull terrier, and "Micky," a dark Irish wolfhound. 

Micky was the tolerant type who would let his buddy walk all over him.

One of Aldin's teachers was Frank Calderon, who wrote one of the best books on animal anatomy. 

Aldin drew for the Illustrated London News, where he developed a following that later translated into print sales.

He used his own dogs and those of his friends for models. 

He called his own dogs "The Professionals" and visiting dogs "The Amateurs."

He would let them run loose in his big studio and wait patiently for them to settle into a sleeping position. He often did a quick outline from life and then elaborated it from memory later.

Aldin's dogs became so famous from his drawings that they received their own fan mail. When at last the bull terrier died, The Times wrote an obituary:
Cracker, the bull terrier, for many years the beloved companion and favourite model of the late Cecil Aldin, died July 31st, Mallorca. Deeply mourned.
On the Web


Sleeping Dogs on GurneyJourney

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6. Giant Rodent Painting in the News

Scientists at York University in the UK and Montevideo in Uruguay have published some new ideas about Josephoartigasia, the extinct giant rodent that I reconstructed a few years ago. They asked if my painting could be used for the press announcement. The idea of these creatures using their teeth as powerful weapons has been very popular. 

I would love to imagine two male Josephoartigasia in a rutting contest, with David Attenborough narrating.

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7. Manatee Mom & Calf

This remains one of my all time favorite illustrations.  Not so much for the technical aspect but I feel I captured the love of mother and calf when they are reunited in the story.  I love illustrations, by any artist, that go beyond the words and capture the feeling.

illustration from
by StevenJames Petruccio

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8. No Landscape but...More 3/5 Challenge Art

Here are a few more of my early illustrations, moving between whimsical and more realistic.

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9. The Case of the Vanishing Little Brown Bats

The Case of the Vanishing Little Brown Bats: A Scientific Mystery  by Sandra Markle Millbrook Press, 2015 ISBN: 9781467714631 Grades 4-7 Sandra Markle's third book in the Scientific Mystery series is just as engrossing as The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs and The Case of the Vanishing Honey Bees.  In The Case of the Vanishing Little Brown Bats readers are introduced to a problem: bats are

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10. Chernobyl's Wild Kingdom by Rebecca L. Johnson

Chernobyl’s Wild Kingdom: life in the Dead Zone By Rebecca L. Johnson Twenty-First Century Books. 2015 ISBN: 9781467711548 Grades 5-12 To review this book, I borrowed a copy from my local public library. On April 26, 1986, Reactor Number 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded sending extremely high levels of ionizing radiation into the atmosphere that would cover the area.

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11. Winnie: the true story of the bear who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh by Sally M. Walker

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12. Manfred Schatz — Wildlife in Action

Manfred Schatz (1925-2004) was a wildlife artist who captured the energy and movement of living animals.

He developed a distinctive motion-blur effect in his oil paintings, using large fan brushes to soften edges in the direction of movement. The wings of these flying ducks are nearly lost, and the water is suggested with a few deft strokes.

Manfred Schatz, From the Shadows 
Manfred Schatz was born in 1925 in Stettin, Germany, and attended the Academy of Arts in Berlin before the age of 18. He was unable to escape the war and was drafted in the German army, fighting on the Russian front. 

He was taken prisoner in Russia and spent more than four years in a prison camp. He suffered from exhaustion, tuberculosis, and near starvation. After he was set free, he recuperated at a hunting preserve with his brother, a game warden. 

There he fell in love with nature and with observing the movement of animals. Though it may appear he was influenced by studying photographic effects, he primarily relied on his knowledge, memory, and imagination to convey fleeting impressions of the human observer.
According to one biographer, he was "unhindered by the use of technical equipment like cameras, which Schatz believed would only impede his true viewing of wild creatures." He started exhibiting in 1953, and by the 1960s, his work began to win international awards.

He said that his greatest influences were Anders Zorn and Bruno Liljefors. 

You can find the work of Manfred Schatz in some public collections, including the Genesee Country Museum in Mumford, New York, the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin, and the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming.
Book on Amazon: The Moving Art of Manfred Schatz
Prints by Manfred Schatz at National Wildlife Galleries and Art Barbarians Gallery
Previously on GurneyJourney: Motion Blur

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13. Animal Teachers

Animal Teachers  by Janet Halfmann illustrated by Katy Hudson Blue Apple, 2014 ISBN: 9781609053918 Grades PreS-2 The reviewer received a copy of the book from the author. Janet Halfmann shares interesting facts about how animals learn from their parents in her latest nonfiction picture book. Children will enjoy learning how otters teach their young to swim, mother kangaroos teach joeys to kick

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14. Lemur Dreamer by Coutney Dicmas

Last year was (unofficially) the Year of the Sloth.

There was Sloth Slept on by Frann Preston-Gannon, Sparky! by Jenny Offill and Chris Appelhans, The Power of Sloth by Lucy Cooke and The Lazy Friend by Ronan Badel to name but a few.

I wonder, however, if perhaps 2015 will be the Year of the Lemur

lemurdreamercoverLemur Dreamer by Courtney Dicmas (@CourtneyDicmas) stopped me in my tracks when I first saw it; the bold beauty and energy of its cover, with a silver foil moon is genius. I immediately wanted to know where the lemur is off to, and then I noticed that actually he was in a rather perilous situation (can you see the board he’s stepping off?)…

We all know the power a good opening line to reel us into a story, but with picture books, front covers can have the same task; a single snapshot to seduce us, to pique our curiosity and get us to turn inside. And Lemur Dreamer manages to do that perfectly, drawing us into a tale of an innocent lemur whose habit of sleepwalking takes him on all sorts of adventures but also puts him in danger. He’s got some great friends, however, who keep an eye out for him and come up with an ingenious solution to the trouble he finds himself in.

Dicmas believes her superpower is “drawing crocodile eyebrows“. She certainly has a real knack for fluid, expressive and joyous animal illustrations, drawn with simple outlines and filled with washes of colour, reminding me at times of the brilliant Polly Dunbar. Dicmas also has a self-confessed addiction to the the colour blue, and this gives the book a perfect soothing tone, ideal for a giggly yet calming and reassuring bedtime read.

Harold Finds A Voice, Dicmas’ début picture book, was shortlisted in the UK for the 2014 Waterstones Book Prize and I suspect more official recognition of her work will follow swiftly. I certainly will be on the look out for future books by this talented artist.

Inspired in particular by the shiny cover and one of the interior spreads we turned our hands to creating a Dicmas inspired picture.


First the girls gave their paper a watercolour wash and once dry, they stuck tissue paper on in the shape of simple buildings. On a separate piece of baking paper (tracing paper would have worked too), they drew another row of buildings, in outline with a few windows and other details.


M and J stuck the baking paper over the watercolour-washed paper, and then cut out a moon from silver foil, a length of string for a washing line, and copied the lemur’s legs and a pigeon to stick onto the top layer of their image.


These are the latest additions to our home gallery, alongside last week’s printing and fishing nets:



Whilst painting, drawing and sticking we listened to:

  • I like Blue Lemurs by Baby Loves Jazz
  • The REM-esque Walking in My Sleep by Sierra Lion
  • You’ve Got a Friend in Me by Randy Newman
  • Other activities which could work well alongside reading Lemur Dreamer include:

  • Drawing on silver foil. The front cover of this book is so alluring with its big silver moon, and that reminded me there’s something quite magical about drawing on silver foil. You’ll need permanent markers (eg Sharpies), and could use foil baking cases instead of sheet foil paper. Here’s some lovely silver foil bunting from Along Came Cherry to give you some ideas to get started.
  • Playing ‘Follow the leader’. Choose a leader and then get the family/group of children to all line up behind the leader. As the leader moves around everyone behind the leader has to mimic the leader’s actions. Anyone who fails to copy the movement is “out”, continuing until just one person is left behind the leader. This person then becomes the new leader. This could merge into one of my favourite games, doing The Ministry of Silly Walks.
  • Making your own lemur with a fluffy, stripy tale, using black and white pompoms and a pipecleaner, just like we did here.
  • What book cover has recently made you stop in your tracks?

    Disclosure: I was sent a free review copy of Lemur Dreamer by its publisher.

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    15. Insect Vision

    Thomas Shahan - Eye Arrangement of a Hogna Wolf Spider
    What can insects and other arthropods see through their compound eyes?

    Quick answer: they can see definite, resolved images. Some compound eyes yield a single erect image and others produce multiple inverted images. Those images are lower resolution than the images we see with our single-lens vertebrate eye. Each optical cell in a compound eye can't form a very sharp image because the focal point always lies behind the retina.

    But the view through compound eyes is not necessarily the low-resolution hexagonal pixels or the kaleidoscopic multiplication effect that we've often seen in cartoons.

    Arthropod eyes have certain advantages over our vertebrate single-lens eyes. They have a wider angle of view, infinite depth of field, fewer aberrations, and extreme sensitivity to motion. Their visual system operates within a tiny package, sometimes smaller than the head of a pin.

    Most arthropods have not only the more familiar compound eyes, but also other kinds of optical sensors distributed on their bodies. These sensors may be specialized for perceiving light levels, movement, polarized light, expanded color vision, dim illumination, or heat signatures.

    Eye structures vary among arthropods, a group that includes insects, spiders, crustaceans, and horseshoe crabs, plus extinct trilobites.

    Engineers are working on artificial vision systems that enjoy the benefits of arthropod eye systems. They have been experimenting with imaging technology that delivers a full hemispheric field of view, using sensors crammed with hundreds or even thousands of individual imaging elements.

    Artificial eye by CURVACE: Curved Artificial Compound Eye
    Wikipedia on compound eyes
    Wikipedia arthropod eye

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    16. Line of Action in Art

    The "line of action" is a simple, usually curving, line that travels through all the forms of a pose. A Disney animator, possibly Bill Tytla or Art Babbitt, used an S-shaped line passing through the pose of this character model drawing of Geppetto from Disney's Pinocchio.

    Other artists have applied the principle, including the cartoonist T. S. Sullivant (1854-1926), who was a big influence on the Disney animators.

    Here's another example from a Victorian painter, Herbert Draper (1863-1920), in his canvas "Flying Fish."

    Feel free to leave links of other examples in the comments.
    More in the books:

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    17. Star Bright Title Makes Headlines

    A local newspaper based out of Manchester, Indiana has written an article profiling Neil Wollman and Abigail Fuller, the co-authors of the recently published What Animal Needs a Wig?! The article (which can be expanded above) highlights both the lives of the co-authors, as well as the background on their hilarious new book.

    In contrast to the research-based academic reports and activism publications that both Neil Wollman, a former psychology professor, and wife Abigail fuller, a current sociology professor, are accustomed to working on, What Animal Needs a Wig? came about much more casually. During long trips to visit Fuller's family in Massachusetts, Wollman would make jokes and puns with his family regarding animals. Curious to see if anything could come of it, Wollman decided to team  up with Fuller and her sister, illustrator Frances Baldwin, to construct a compilation of well-researched, interesting, and funny factoids and puns about nature.

    Everyone at Star Bright Books would like to extend congratulate Neil Wollman and Abigail Fuller for writing such an amazing book, and our warmest thanks to writer Eric Seaman for writing this article. For more information regarding What Animal Needs a Wig?, please visit our website, starbrightbooks.com

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    18. Pitter and Patter

    I have a lot of books that fit under the theme "landscape" so here's some more artwork. This is from Pitter and Patter, written by Martha Sullivan, published by Dawn Publications, and illustrated by me, Cathy Morrison. It comes out this spring and is about the water cycle.

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    19. Big Cat Safari

    Together with a company of dedicated wildlife artists, Spanish paleoartist Mauricio Antón has been leading sketching safaris to northern Botswana in search of the big cats.

    Mr. Antón also makes splendid videos of the experience. In this one, he talks about the structure of the lion's head and what it's like to see lions in the wild. "In order to get a different view of the cats," he says, "we need to see them moving and behaving naturally in the wild." (link to YouTube).

    There's information about joining the next safari at the end of the video.
    "Chasing Sabretooths" blog

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    20. Rubber Stamping and a College Project

    It's the holidays! I hope you're all having a fantastic time with friends and family. I've taken a couple of days off after finishing up projects for this first term, but now I'm back to work. College has been wonderful ... so far it has been a huge, rewarding, re-learning curve, and I'm still digesting the feast of new creative ideas that I've been fed.

    One of them was learning how to rubber stamp. I'm pretty hooked, and am contemplating getting my own carving bits and pieces so that I can experiment further at home. Here, though, is what I managed to get done in class using mini erasers:





    And here's a look at one of my college projects. Definitely out of my comfort zone, and I'm a bit uncomfortable with the end result, but love the fact that I'm doing something so new to me. Eventually things will come together, I'm sure. Meanwhile ...






    I was given 3 words: shoes, woven and dissect, and after much research, hair-pulling, distracting red herrings, and tons of experimentation -- all loads of fun -- this is what I came up with. Very childish and simplistic I know, but there are a lot of layers and depths hidden behind this sweet creation, so I'm more than happy with it. It's a good start ...

    Enjoy the holidays! Cheers.


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    21. And Santa Brought A Ferret....

    I am sharing -- with permission -- the letter that my niece wrote that resulted in her getting a ferret for Christmas.

    Names have been changed.

    Friday is almost here, the second best day of my life.* I am beyond excited to get my second ferret.  I know you're a little hesitant to allow me to buy and take care of a second ferret. I am begging you to let me get a second angel, and i’ll tell you why. Many people on instagram, and youtube support the idea of getting a second ferret, I hope you can too.

    When I get my second ferret I will not ignore or neglect Oliver**, I will continue to care for both of them with the same love and affection. Maybe even additional affection. The second ferret is not replacing Oliver in any shape or form. Its just an additional ferret, the reasons are to improve Oliver’s health and to improve my joy levels as well. I have showed you that I am responsible for my ferret. I clean his cage every week, I scoop his litter each day. I change his food and water, and give him lots of toys and playtime. I can handle a second ferret. Its really no more daily effort to care for a second ferret. Additional costs and care do not show through until you have at least 6 ferrets.

    I know what you're thinking, “This one can just get sick too.”*** You are absolutely correct, it can get sick just like Oliver. Although, the chances of that happening so early are slim. Adrenal Disease normally does not affect ferrets until they are at least 4 years old. If Oliver does indeed have this awful disease its a rare case. Whatever is going on with Oliver is an issue with his hormones and immune system. Its genetic and is not contagious. While the new ferret can become sick, he cannot catch any illnesses from Oliver.

    Let me go ahead and answer some questions for you. “Will I have to take care of it?” No, it will be the same for when I am at dads, and the same when I return. “Do we need a second cage?” No, Ferrets are social animals who love to be together, Its recommended to house 2+ ferrets together. “What if its not trained?” Ferrets will actually do the training for you. Once you have one litter trained ferret, it will train everyone else. Same for tricks and obedience.

    Just think for a second, how often do you see Oliver? Not often, he’s in my room unless I bring him to see you. If I didn't bring him out to see you might not even know I had a ferret. This second ferret will be the same. Please understand its not a huge deal to have multiple ferrets. Imagine Oliver was a hermit crab, if I added a few hermit crabs**** to my tank would there be any difference in cost or care? No not really, once you have a system you keep that system with no added fees. When I got Oliver it was costly because I was still getting on that program. Now, I am that program. Getting a second, or even a third ferret would not affect you in a negative way. They eat so little food it doesn't even have a dent in the bills. Each week I take a drinking glass and take one scoop of cat food and that lasts a week, he eats very little. I think that since i’m the caregiver I should decide how many ferrets I can handle.

    To continue, I think the high cost of a ferret deters you from allowing me to get more. While yes they are exotic pets they are easy to care for pets. Some hermit crabs and fish cost well over $100. The high cost of ferrets is because they are difficult to breed and have a high demand so pet stores can charge more. Don’t let the cost steer you away. Ferret’s aren’t like cats. Getting an additional cat costs a lot more monthly, an additional cat is a big deal*****. But an additional ferret is like getting another frog******, fish,******* or hermit crab.  I already have the supplies its really not that big of a deal,

    The ferret won’t just be fun for me, it will be fun for Sam******** and oliver. 2 ferrets is twice the fun, me and sam will have so much fun with them. Sam loves Oliver, he is always playing with him. Imagine the joy on his face when hes playing with 2 carpet sharks. And Oliver will have so much fun with a friend of his own. I am even planning to bring oliver to Petco so he can pick out the friend he wants.

    So please mom let me get this Christmas present, I understand it would be my only present from Nana and Lizzy. Please mom, It would mean a lot, the Magic 8 ball said yes, can you too?

    *The best day -- in anticipation that the second ferret will be joining the family on Friday.

    **The niece already has a ferret. Whose name is Oliver. Oliver Dixon, actually: I chose the Dixon. For Daryl. This plea is for a second ferret.

    ***Oliver may or may not be sick. Diagnosis so far has been by Internet. 

    ****She also has hermit crabs. I've lost track how many.

    *****Current cat count: three.

    ******Frog count: two.

    *******Well, there are the fish in the pond that used to be a hot tub. And the multiple tanks in the house. Mainly beta fish. Count? A lot.

    ********Sam is my nephew. His name isn't Sam. Names were changed, remember?

    Did the letter work? Well yes, it did!

    Amazon Affiliate. If you click from here to Amazon and buy something, I receive a percentage of the purchase price.

    © Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy

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    22. A Merry Christmas Alpaca from Floating Lemons

    Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a fantastic New Year!




    This alpaca is one of two that friends of mine are looking after at the moment. I've taken some creative liberties with proportions and perspective, but I'm sure they will forgive me for it. They are sweet, playful, and perfect for wishing everyone a warm, woolly Christmas and a friendly, positive, wonderful end of 2014. Have fun and be safe! Cheers.


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    23. Don't


    Written by: Litsa Trachatos

    Illustrated by: Virginia Johnson

    Published by: Groundwood Books

    Published on: October 14, 2014

    Ages: 3+

    This is a great, silly picture book for preschoolers that introduces animals and grammar, all while giving the reader the giggles.

    Trachatos comes up with some amazingly illogical scenarios, starting with "Don't start a food fight with an octopus." Not only does the reader then have to think about that animal (hints are given on the next page) but they also get to laugh about the situation which would never happen. This is a huge deal in the preschool world, and this has been the best read aloud I have had at my library sessions in the last couple of years.

    Johnson's watercolour illustrations deserve mention as well. Watercolour is a perfect medium for non-threatening depictions of threatening situations (nobody wants to find a bear in their bed!) and the simple children's faces frame the reactions to the ridiculous very well.

    Highly recommended for anyone with a preschooler.

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    24. January's theme is Landscape!

    Our theme for January is Landscape so here you go. These are from This Land Is Your Land, a picture book about land forms. It's by Catherine Ciocchi, published by Arbordale Publishing and illustrated by me, Cathy Morrison. You can see more about this and other projects on my Studio With A View Blog.

    Happy New Year and thanks so much for taking a look!

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    Johnny Appleseed
    Steven James Petruccio
    Opening spread from Johnny Appleseed for Scholastic, Inc.
    Watercolor on Arches Paper

    Lake at Night
    Steven James Petruccio
    Natural Science book for  Parachute Press
    Watercolor on Arches Hot Press Paper

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