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Viewing Blog: lizjonesbooks, Most Recent at Top
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I am an illustrator, a children's writer, a high school writing coach, a part time prof in children's literature, a bluegrass and oldtime fiddler, a farmer, a newbie blacksmith, and a highly distractible but loving mother of three.
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26. Watch this space....


Cybils organizer elves are busily composing lists of judges and panelists...
Announcement of names coming soon!

Start choosing your favorite books for this year-- nominations open October 1st!!

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27. Illustration Friday-- Mysterious

Fall woods have a mysterious feel... or maybe it's the inhabitants.

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28. Illustration Friday--Disguise

Another from vacay... loving the gouache and watercolor paper Dan got me last month!

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29. Union of sky and sea

One of a few I did on vacation this week-- I'm thinking that maybe this is where this story was headed-- not sure.

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30. Illustration Friday-- Stay

I love it when the Illustration Friday word dovetails with a concept I was already playing with. Couple days ago, I thought about drawing this octopus, and today(miracle) I actually had time to ink him while the kids were swimming. Something about his pose makes me think he's meditating.

I bet it's hard to concentrate when you can't remember which tentacles to cross to assume the position, though.

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31. Come find me on facebook!


Promote Your Page Too

Not quite sure what I'm going to add here down the road... more art for sure...possibly some print sales... "Like" to find out!

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32. Illustration Friday--Stir

Lots of strange things stirring in the waters here.

This image is my contribution to Ascender Rises Above's Challenge to redo a paint by number image.

Here's the paint by number I started with, entitled Archway to Venice, easily available online, if you want to try a makeover all your own:

The picture struck me as a bit empty and flat, somehow, despite the boats and the canal.
For my makeover, I knew I wanted to move from day to night, knew I wanted a lot more things going on inside the archway, but really only discovered what I wanted this to *be* after googling images and stories of Venice itself, with its rich Carnival history, and its sense of bordering two worlds--one all dark water, full of dragons and demons, one dry, bright and and focused on the divine.

Carnival seems to be a good metaphor for that line between dark and light.
If you look carefully, you can find angels and dragons here, manuscripts illuminated and otherwise, some of the lions that guard the city, and quite a few people dressed for Carnival.

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33. Illustration Friday-- Swarm

One of these years, we're going to get beehives again. There's nothing like the sweet smell of beeswax and honey... and they're so amazing to watch.

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34. Illustration Friday-- Layers

Been quite awhile since I did one of these-- started this one playing in artrage, then layered photoshop brushes and erases to build up the forest around the light. Snowing here, but I'm looking forward to spring!

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35. Congrats to Jason Shiga and Greg Neri!

The Cybils Winners are here!  Jason Shiga and Greg Neri are our graphics winners in middle grade books and young adult, respectively-- check out the Cybils page to read more  about why they won.

Here's a link to an interactive version of Meanwhile from the author's site:

And this will take you to Greg Neri's page where you can learn more of the story behind Yummy:

Wonderful books-- so happy they won!

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36. In celebration of Lisa(aka Mo)

I just learned some very sad news.

Lisa, for so long, I have enjoyed reading your reviews, funny notes and family stories, and seeing your beautiful photography here. You have been a champion and cheerleader for all of us, and  along with many others, I was so excited to celebrate your rising light-- when your first book was accepted, then published... earned awards... and as you moved on to other stories and wonderful experiences.

So many of us are grieving over what you're going through, and those sore feet seem a cruel added insult for such a strong and joyous swimmer. The ocean has a way of reminding us how very small and temporary we are, sometimes.

But what I take most from your most recent post is how much you are a woman filled with grace and wisdom. Those of us who have known you in any capacity are richer for the experience--- and through your stories, I know that the wake of your presence in the world will expand for many years.

Lots of love.

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37. My favorites among the runners-up-- Midgrade edition

I thought I'd do a bit here on some of my favorite titles that didn't make the cut-- it's always so difficult to choose, and I know each of us had at least a few that we'd have included if we could!   Today, I'm doing titles from the midgrade list.

Sequels are often a pale disappointment after a dazzling first book, but Calamity Jack, the follow up to Shannon and Dean Hale's Rapunzel's Revenge really delivers on the action and intrigue. Jack's backstory is a compelling combination of fairytale, nursery rhyme and history with a sturdy emotional core. Steampunk scenery seamlessly incorporates Jack's American Indian heritage and the cannibalistic giant of Jack and the beanstalk, and provides an exciting setting for the budding romance between Jack and Rapunzel. Wonderful stuff!

Kazu Kibiushi's Copper is a comic in the serial style-- you can open it at random and enjoy a complete story in a page or two, but as with comics like Calvin and Hobbes or Bloom County, there are themes and stories that run through the book if you read it from cover to cover. Copper and his talking dog Fred inhabit a gentle, contemplative space. The book's beautiful art and wry observations delighted all members of our family, ages 9 to 52.

During the day, I work as a therapist for families who have a child diagnosed with mental illness. It's probably no surprise that we spend a lot of time helping families redefine themselves after divorce or re-marriage-- blending families can be a stressful time, even without mental illness added into the equation. So when I read Mr. Badger and Mrs. Fox :The Meeting, by Brigitte Luciani, I knew I'd found something wonderful that I could bring to the families I work with. This is a lovely way to help kids navigate the confusing feelings that arise when families combine, and to help the adults understand their children's distress during an occasion which seems wholly happy to them.

I've added this one to the list only because I loved the first one so much, and was really looking forward to reading it. Unfortunately, like most of the panelists, I was never able to locate a copy either in bookstores or libraries near me (our area is a graphic novel desert). The two people who*were* able to locate copies on the panel loved the story and added it to their shortlists... others were still waiting for library holds to read it by the time we were voting... and some of us couldn't find it at all. Since we already had such wonderful books on our list that most of us were able to read, we didn't feel that we could include it on the final list. But I really wish we'd had the opportunity to give it a fair shake, as a group.

So I guess this last could be a cautionary tale to publishers, even large ones with wide distribution of their titles--books may not be available in a particular panelist's area, so review copies are always welcome. I was able to read a few titles on this year'

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38. Cybils finalists are up!

You'll notice that we have two lists for the graphics this year-- YA and Middle Grade. I encourage you to go check them out-- we had some wonderful titles this year! 

All of us on the nominations panel felt that the books we chose as a group were outstanding... however, I'm sure each of us has a few that we really wished had made the cut as well. In that spirit, I will review a few of my faves among the books which didn't quite make the finalists in upcoming posts.

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39. Art: the next generation?

My oldest just started posting his artwork on a blog right here:

Time flies... :o)

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40. Welcome to my friend Teri!

I just found out that my friend Teri Willochel Eckels, a poet who's only recently decided to put her work out there, just started a blog here:


Go! Friend!
Read her lovely work!

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41. Apropos of nothing

Did this on the plane to Texas back in June-- sort of thinking about the way that it feels to carve through the different layers of atmosphere, then to see the ocean-like expanse of the tops of the clouds, cloud-landforms sticking up beyond foamy flat cloud-shorelines... the eternal distance of things.

Thanks for the nudge, Jayme!

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42. It's the most wonderful time...

It's that time of year again! We're putting out the call for volunteers for Cybils judges and panelists for this fall. Be sure to read the article carefully, so you know what you're getting yourself into... it *is* a lot of work. But very worth it.
We look forward to hearing from you!

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43. Illustration Friday-- Satellite

This is a very belated illo friday-- I think this topic came up when we were in Texas last month, and I actually had time to draw! The idea here is that there's this creature living in space-- it collects stray radiation and dust, and that's how it lives, cruising the void. When it's time to lay eggs, it leaves them in orbit around a star, where they'll have lots of energy to feed on as they grow...

Hoping to have a few more of these in the next couple weeks-- We'll see. Hope everyone's having a good summer!

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44. Happy Birthday, Sharon!

Hope you have a lovely day among the flowers!

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45. Cybils Grapic Novel committees 2009

I'm this year's Cybil's graphic novels organizer. For the past few weeks, we've been hard at work getting things started... fighting over bloggers for our committees :o), emailing to get everyone's preferences aligned... and Ta da!

I'm happy to finally be able to announce the names of the volunteers who will be reading and judging the Cybils graphic novels this year!
Here you go:

Panelists (Round I Judges):

Alyssa Feller, The Shady Glade
Maggi Idzikowski, Mama Librarian
Liz Jones (that would be me, right here)
Nicola Manning, Back to Books
Kim Rapier, Si, se puede! Yes we can
Gina Ruiz, AmoXcalli
Alysa Stewart, Everead

Judges (Round II):

Walter Biggins, The Quiet Bubble
Justin Colussy-Estes, Guys Lit Wire
Sarah Sammis, Puss Reboots
Sarah Stevenson, Finding Wonderland
Casey Titschinger, Bookworm 4 Life

Want to read more?

Head on over to the Cybils site-- we're looking forward to hearing your recommendations!

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46. The cybils finalists are up!

Here's the link to the Graphic Novel nominees

And to the Whole List.

We had a *really* hard time choosing finalists this year-- so many great titles! I'm adding titles to my "plan to read" pile from all of the  categories... hope you do the same!

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47. Illustration Friday-- Renewal/confined

Here's a belated Happy New year to everyone! So far, it's been very happy 2010 for me, though busy. I'm settling into a new job while retaining the old jobs, which means I'm still going to be crazy-busy through spring-- but things are looking up on all fronts.

So while my time to draw is still fairly Confined, The Renewal factor is bringing back my inspiration. Don't know as I can promise weekly postings yet, but...
it's good to be back.

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48. I got hacked...

FYI-- anyone who got a "Dear Friends" email from me with an advertisement in broken English-- not from me. Someone pwned my gmail.
My apologies.

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49. And the Cybils winners are here!

Click on through to check them out!

In Graphic Novels, our judges chose

...Gunnerkrigg Court as the YA winner, and

...Secret Science Alliance for the midgrades.

Great choices-- and it was a tough decision. We had many wonderful books nominated this year!
Click images for links to the reviews!

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50. Attention all CYBILS fans!

Cybils finalists and owners of books that made the finals...
Add a shiny silver award sticker to your books!


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