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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Hats, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. summer reading challenge + a royal reading adventure

SELFIE WITH CAMILLA! ^____^


Photo by Sarah Reeve

Yesterday the Summer Reading Challenge team took me and the Medusa fascinator to Exeter Library to talk and draw with children from St Leonard’s Primary School ...and the Duchess of Cornwall! (Camilla is no stranger to the Medusa hat; you can see hers on a Royal Hats blog here.) I talked with the kids about the Mythical Maze characters I'd drawn, then they helped me draw a four-panel comic about an yeti-Medusa adventure, showing them how easy it is to make a story. Then we all drew Medusa (one kid had something like 46 snakes on his Medusa - it looked like an explosion!).



I talked a bit about how we are still creating myths and legends; no one can second-guess which will be the stories remembered for thousands of years, but we can try our creative best and who knows, perhaps people will still remember our characters for generations to come. I introduced them to my Oliver and the Seawigs co-author Philip Reeve and we pointed out the little Sea Monkey on the poster, saying it was our contribution this year to myth making. Then I invited Camilla to come help me draw a Sea Monkey and she was such a good sport about it! I liked her monkey, it's very cheeky.



And we all sang the Sea Monkey song! Camilla said she wouldn't be able to get the chorus our of her head, and I apologised. (It does have an annoying catchiness to it.)


Photo by Sarah Reeve

By the time we got back to London, people were already sending us links to news reports! Camilla wasn't the only one giggling, after I'd read this Daily Mail article:








Organising this visit was quite a feat! Big thanks to Head of Libraries, Culture & Heritage for Devon Ciara Eastell:


Photo by Sarah Reeve

And to Head Librarian Karen Bowdler and her son Connor:



And to Philip! He's not part of the Summer Reading Challenge but he's a Devon local, and it was SO much more fun doing the event with him helping me draw a bit and singing the Sea Monkey song with me.



And we were both able to dedicate a copy of Seawigs to the Duchess:



Thanks to Philip's wife, Sarah Reeve for taking lots of these photos!



Here's our Summer Reading Challenge gang: Reading Agency director Anne Sarrag, writer Damian Kelleher and publicist Annabel Robinson and gleeful Sea Monkey.



Phew, what an odd day! Now back to work on my picture book... Read the rest of this post

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2. Guest Post from Author Angela Shelton

  Kid Lit Reviews welcomes Angela Shelton, author of The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton Book 1: Crash-landing on Ooleeoo. Kid Lit Reviews generally does not delve into articles for authors unless there is something of interest to the young reader. Today will be an exception. Ms. Shelton is writing on the importance of the teacher-writer [...]

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3. Adverts in ebooks. Why I am putting adverts in my ebook.

I think judiciously placed advertisements relevant to the content of the ebook can enhance the reader's experience. Obviously this must be done with taste and flair. Imagine, for instance, if you were reading an ebook about a chocolate factory. When you reached the end, you would probably quite fancy a bit of chocolate. Imagine your surprise and pleasure, therefore, to find placed elegantly before you an opportunity to place an order for, say, Fishblanket's Luxurious Chocolate Fancies! Delivered to your door within an hour by helicopter, and at the cost of a mere one thousand guineas. Would that not be a fitting finale to your reading experience. Who could resist?

In just such a spirit of maximising reader pleasure I have partnered with several esteemed online purveyors of hats, and have added adverts (or hatverts, as I call them) for their wares to the end of my children's ebook Happy Hat Day.

Here they are if you are interested in such things.
(I am quite willing to disclose that I earn one shilling for every one thousand hats sold. Ker-ching!)

Hat advertisement from Happy Hat Day, an illustrated children's ebook

Hat advertisement from Happy Hat Day, an illustrated children's ebook

Hat advertisement from Happy Hat Day, an illustrated children's ebook

Hat advertisement from Happy Hat Day, an illustrated children's ebook

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4. Yes, Wear a Silly Hat!


I love this photo. At least one young lady knows that her photo is being taken, while wearing her silly hat and a smile. Some schools outlaw hats. They are considered it a distraction to education. Rather sad, eh? I've been in such schools. I always like schools that allow all kinds of hats better?

What do you think?

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5. Minature landscapes and giant hats

My girls are going through a phase where what they most want to do pretty much all of the time is create miniature landscapes, with building bricks, playmobil, sylvanian family furniture and animals, supplemented by all sorts of knick-knacks that little children have a magical ability to accumulate. These “set-ups” as the girls call them are often inspired by the books we’re reading, and the latest book to be given the landscape makeover is The Children of Hat Cottage by Elsa Beskow.

In a nutshell, The Children of Hat Cottage tells the sort of tale many parents will recognise – about children trying to be helpful, but ending up making a bigger mess than there was before.

A mother lives with her three young children in a cottage shaped like a hat. One day she has to leave them at home whilst she goes off to buy yarn to make new clothes (isn’t it liberating and exciting how in fairytale-like stories, it’s perfectly possible to leave children at home alone!). Whilst their mother is away the children decide to do something nice for her; they clean the cottage chimney. But one thing leads to another and disaster strikes… their beautiful little hat home burns down.

Fortunately there is a friendly neighbour who comes to the aid of the children, and together they work to save the day. The mother returns, and though initially shocked, everyone shows great composure, makes the best of the situation and out of hard times, lots of love (and a new home) flourishes.

This is a sweet little story with simple, but lovely illustrations. The themes of independence, triumphing over adversity, and keep one’s cool in the face of disaster are great for shared storytime. The fairytale aspects of the setting will delight children who want to believe in gnomes and little spirits, and the poise with which the mother picks up the remains of her burnt-out life and makes the best of it is something I shall aspire to when things are higgledey-piggeldy in my life.

There’s plenty to like about this story, but hand on heart, I don’t believe this is one of Elsa Beskow’s greatest books. The illustrations are somewhat sparse compared to some of her work. They are quick, fluid sketches rather than the detailed images you find in, for example, Around the Year or Children of the Forest. Still, we’ve enjoyed it and it has inspired plenty of play in our family, as I’m sure it will in yours.

Here are some scenes from one of M and J’s “Hat Cottage set-ups”, including a little cottage we made inspired by the one in the illustration above.

3 Comments on Minature landscapes and giant hats, last added: 2/8/2012

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6. Tomtebobarnen

As we continue Reading Round Europe my first offering from Sweden is by a classic, much loved (and widely translated) author/illustrator, Elsa Beskow.

Born in 1874 Elsa Beskow published 40 odd books in her lifetime, many featuring children exploring fairy tale worlds where respect for nature plays a major role. She is credited with having been the first author to bring Swedish children’s literature to an international readership and her books are nowadays particularly popular with followers of Steiner and Waldorf education methods.

Two of Elskow’s books feature in 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before you Grow Up, Peter in Blueberry Land and Children of the Forest (Tomtebobarnen in Swedish, a word I just love the look and sound of!) and it is the latter I bring you a review of today.

A family of forest people live under the curling roots of an old pine tree, deep in a forest. They go about their lives playing, exploring, observing nature and overcoming danger and the book follows their simple and happy lives through the course of the four seasons. They make friends with frogs, fight (and kill) a snake, collect mushrooms, harvest cotton grass and feed their animal friends when the snow comes. Their life is almost carefree and idyllic, in harmony with nature and their surroundings.

Children of the Forest

The original Swedish text was written in rhyme, but this has not been retained in the English version. Perhaps this was a wise decision, for the text certainly never feels like it is a translation. One of my favourite quotes is “They paddled and splashed in the stream, damming it to build a water mill. No one card how wet or muddy they were for no child of the forest can catch cold“. This made me think of the forest kindergarten movement, a type of preschool education which is held almost exclusively outdoors.

The illustrations will delight you if you like Beatrix Potter or Jill Barklem. They are the perfect mix of reality (in so many details, such as the mottling on the silver birch bark used as a shield by the father of the family) and fantasy (pint sized people, trolls and fairies). There is nothing modern, avant garde or unsettling about

3 Comments on Tomtebobarnen, last added: 1/23/2011
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7. What makes a home?

Earlier this month Jutta Bauer received the Hans Christian Andersen Illustrator Award at the at the international IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) congress in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Interested to find out more about this German illustrator I tracked down one of the books she has illustrated – When We Lived in Uncle’s Hat By Peter Stamm.

Just as the book arrived I found out that Tutti Frutti Productions, a UK theatre company whose work is aimed specifically at family audiences was about to start touring with a stage version of When We Lived in Uncle’s Hat. Such a lovely coincidence ensured we read the book straight away, and were then quick to buy tickets for the production which is touring to a theatre local to us in a few weeks’ time.

The auspicious signs didn’t end there – upon reading the book for the first time with M and J I experienced a rather strange sense of deja-vu – as if the book had been written for me, right here, right now.

Photo: erix!

When We Lived in Uncle’s Hat is a series of cameo descriptions of different homes a family has lived in, in their search for the right place for them, the home that would suit them all. They try living in the forest, on the church roof, in a hotel and even on the moon, amongst many other places, before finally ending up in a house that makes the perfect home for them. The book closes with the lines:

Now our house has four corners.
And our year has four seasons.
We moved here four years ago…
So … this is where we’ll live for a very, very long time.

This book spoke to me as I too have moved very many times in my life – on average staying in any one place for only three years. But it just so happens that this month we’ve been in this home, where we are now, for four years. A funny case of life mirroring art, but one which further endeared me to this book.

The structure of the book opens up lots of opportunity for flights of imagination and connective moments of empathy. What different places could you live in? What would it be like to live in given circumstances? For example, at one point the family find themselves living under a bridge, where “it smelt strange and the names of people we didn’t know were written on the pillars.

The simple illustrations using a lot of coloured pencil (in addition to watercolour and collage) didn’t immediately grab me. Perhaps my expectations were too high given her recent accolade? They did, however, intrigue me. I imagine there were some interesting editorial discussions as a result of the content: several illustrations include German words, and these have been left in German in the English language translation, and there is also a (very small) drawing of a naked woman sunbathing – not something I imagine would be welcomed with open arms by most English publishers of picture b

3 Comments on What makes a home?, last added: 9/30/2010
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8. Will the Real Joe Sottile Please Stand Up?




I love this photo, and if had started reading at his age, maybe my whole life would have been different. As it was, my life is more complicated than I ever thought it would be. That is, because I wear many hats in my so-called "retirement." 

We all wear different hats in life, especially as weget older. My hats include those of a husband, father, grandparent, uncle,friend, teacher, essayist, instructor, tutor, performer, golfer, biker,children’s poet, and an adult poet.

Over the pastthree decades I have written many children’s poems.  During that time, I sometimes have playedthis recording in my head, “Someday I am going to get more serious aboutwriting adult poetry and join an official writing group.”  Now I feel old enough, and I have taken theplunge. I am more than willing to share my poetry for adults and chase aroundfor publishers.

I feel passionately about poetry, whether it’swritten for children or adults. Exactly how passionately? Well, I have strongbeliefs about the value of poetry. I am working on a poetry handbook forhomeschoolers, and what follows is an excerpt from the introduction:

“Poetrycan help you understand the world better and yourself better. Poetry canprovide an avenue for you to untangle mixed-up feelings. Poetry can make youlaugh and encourage you to take problems in stride. Poetry can give you wordsof courage to remember in times of stress.


Poetrycan be a friend that goes wherever you go. Poems can be tucked into your bookbag or your brain matter, and taken with you on any journey, short or long. Inother words, poetry can play an important part in your life as a road map tocourage, compassion, laughter, fun, success, and self-knowledge. This willbecome clearer as you read on.
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9. WORK IN PROGRESS - Lady Birds

Here's a quick update on the piece I'm doing for my brothers impending twins. I spent much of last week in the hospital, so progress has slowed considerably.

Feeling much better though - thanks for asking.

Overall I like how the piece is coming along. There's a lot of work to do though, and they are due to pop out sometime in August.

I need to get my keyster moving.

Steve



1 Comments on WORK IN PROGRESS - Lady Birds, last added: 6/23/2010
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10. Outdoor Cat Festival - sruble

After I sketched this out, it occurred to me that Dr. Seuss had already drawn a cat wearing a hat. I decided to finish the picture anyway.

Cats Wearing Hats

These cats are obviously on their way to an outdoor festival. Why else would they be wearing hats? Please visit sruble.com to learn more about my art and projects, or my blog to see more recent art.

3 Comments on Outdoor Cat Festival - sruble, last added: 5/27/2010
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11. Love the Baby by Steven L. Layne, illustrated by Ard Hoyt

Love the Baby by Steven L. Layne, illustrated by Ard Hoyt (Pelican, 2007). Who needs a new sibling who can't "play marbles or soccer or animal safari?" Who needs a new sibling that everyone else--Mommy, Nana, Daddy, everybody--loves...the same way they love big brother? What's more, who needs a baby sibling that cries all the time? Guess who. An emotional spot-on choice for new big brothers and sisters. Ages 4-up. See more on this title from Pelican.

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12. Illustration Friday: Hats











My submission for Illustration Friday's "Hats" is from artwork I create for Fred Segal Fun Style. I love working with them because they simply say: make the art fun, colorful and festive. The art work is used as stickers and cards that are attached to each purchase. I always include a hat in each piece. Hats have really made a comeback too! For the first time in my career as an artist I was legally allowed to draw Mickey Mouse for FS because they are one of the companies that licensed Disney characters for apparel. The third postcard and sticker is loved so much by FS that we have reprinted it almost 5 years in a row.

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13. SFG ~ Hats


I wear so many hats in my profession and found this a fun illustration to create.

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14. Stormy's Hat



How happy am I to find a picture book that melds perfectly with a curriculum piece?! Woot, indeed.

Stormy is a hardworking railroad man. But he has one problem. He cannot find a hat to suit his needs. The derby that he has been wearing, goes flying off his head every time that he leans out the window! So Stormy decides to ask his friends for some suggestions. After all, there are hats for policemen, sailors and coat miners...why not for railroad men?

First on the list comes the suggestion from cowboy Tex. A cowboy hat is what Stormy needs! The bonnet strings will keep it from flying off. But Stetson's are tall, wide and white. These all cause problems for poor Stormy.

Next comes the suggestion from Nate the pressman. He thinks a folded newspaper hat is exactly what Stormy needs. But, a paper hat and sparks? You can imagine the results.

On to fireman Mike's suggestion of his fire hat. This seems like the perfect solution. Too heavy to blow off, easy to clean, fireproof! All of these attributes equal hot and heavy, which ends up with Stormy with a headache.

Between all of the suggestions, Stormy's wife Ida has been trying without success to get a word in edgewise. She is, after all, a seamstress who has some great ideas about how to get Stormy the hat he needs. Will Stormy finally listen.

This true story of the invention of the railroad worker hat by Stormy and Ida Kromer. With reference to American tall tales, and a little feminism thrown for good measure, Stormy's Hat is a delightful read aloud with a little something for everyone!

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15. you can't dance alone

Click on image to view.

Well, today is my blogs second birthday. I did have something planned for it, but didn't quite pull it off in time. Ambitious but rubbish, that's me. It will still happen - just not when I intended. Anyway, all will be revealed in the next couple of weeks so stay tuned folks. My excuse, for not getting my act together, this time, is that I am frantically trying to get some of this children's book down on paper. The aim is five drawings by the end of the month. Yikes.

This birthday is a good opportunity to say another big thank you to all you guys. For all the visits, the comments and the encouragement that you've given me over the last couple of years. I've learnt so much in that time. On lots of levels. It has been quite a journey. The fact that you choose to join me makes me happier than you'll ever know. Cheers.

34 Comments on you can't dance alone, last added: 9/29/2008
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16. one day it'll all make sense

Nearly there folks. I've nearly finished the children's book drawings that have been taking up all my time over the last couple of weeks. I'll tell you more about it in my next post and then, I promise, back to 'normal' drawing and posting.

Oh, yeah, and this is a collection of hat pins that I found cluttering up the old dusty attic. The old dusty attic in my head.

26 Comments on one day it'll all make sense, last added: 10/18/2008
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17. dawn gives me a shadow i know to be taller

Well, folks. Sorry there's no new drawing this week (I've got one on the go) but I wanted to re post these and to share something with you, too. Yesterday I found out that I have been selected to exhibit at the Bologna Children's Book Fair. Anyone who's involved in children's books will know that Bologna is THE event of the calender. I am so excited, I still can't believe it. I keep checking the website to see if that really is my name. This has been a dream of mine for at least a decade. These are two of the drawings that I submitted.

Also, I'd like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who visits my blog. I wouldn't have realised this dream if it hadn't been for all the support and encouragement you give me on a daily basis.

Just one more thing, my email has been acting really screwy recently. For anyone who has tried to contact me and hasn't received a reply 'sorry'. I try to get back to everyone within a week, so if I haven't done it's my stupid email account not getting messages through to me. Either, leave a comment here or send me a Flickr mail and I will try and get back to you via my new account.

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18. Michael Jackson



My family is really into hats. My mother-in-law is always a really good sport with her grandkids. Center is the big guy's latest hat, followed by his never to be left out little bro. They're really styling now.


Puppy love.


The gates of Neverland ranch. We were only 10 minutes away, so we decided to visit. It was a sad experience. I'm guessing this will become the next Graceland.


I can never resist a beautiful tree!

2 Comments on Michael Jackson, last added: 7/14/2009
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19. Marina


ps, inks.
"Marina"

www.anitamejia.com

2 Comments on Marina, last added: 8/21/2009
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20. Marina


ps, inks.
"Marina"

www.anitamejia.com

1 Comments on Marina, last added: 8/21/2009
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21. Millie’s Marvelous Hat

Millie’s Marvelous Hat by Satoshi Kitamura

When Millie spots the hat with the colorful feathers in a shop window, she stops in to try it on.  But when she decides to buy it, it turns out to much too expensive.  After all, she is looking for a free hat.  The gentleman at the store thinks a bit and then comes up with a hat that can be anything that Millie wishes it to be, all it takes is a little imagination.  Millie imagines a peacock hat, with the gorgeous tail.  She passes a bakery and the hat turns into a cake hat.  A flower shop turns it flowery.  The park turns it into a fountain hat!  Then she realizes that everyone she passes has their own special hat if she only looks for it.

The exuberance of this book is great fun.  Kitamura takes great pleasure in creating different sorts of hats and bringing them to stunning realization.  Kitamura’s art is whimsical and very friendly.  His story is filled with imagination and a sense of fun.  The book is sure to get everyone thinking about what their own personal hat would look like. 

Mine?  Oh, my hat changes of course, but right now it is autumn leaves that blow about with gusts of wind that catch in the hair of people I pass by.  What about you?

Crafty teachers and librarians will be able to create hat crafts to go with this book. It will pair nicely with other hat books like Caps for Sale.  Appropriate for ages 3-6.

Reviewed from copy received from publisher.  The copy will be placed in library collection.

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22. who knows what's going to happen?

From shoes to hats. This may look a little familiar. I have posted some photos of this drawing in the past, but I've not posted the actual drawing until now. I got it scanned at a print shop and wasn't too happy with the results. It's a little too bright for my taste. The photos are much better, the colours are more true to the original. See them and read about how I created this drawing HERE.

From now on I promise to stop plugging my children's book blog and drawing shoes. Possibly maybe.

You do have to click on the drawing for a better view.

6 Comments on who knows what's going to happen?, last added: 3/21/2010
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