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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: child, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 104
1. Wheels


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2. Merry Christmas!

From Illustration For Kids!

































Paula's Blog
Paula's Website

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3. Baby Love Picture Books

When our little ones begin to show a curiosity for the world around them, this may include exploring nature; its particular features, elements of growth and change, as well as discovering their own individual attributes and the differences in one another. Understanding and appreciating these fascinating aspects can be facilitated through gentle and nurturing guidance, […]

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4. Small


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5. Window


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6. Soft

Grass Angel

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7. Common questions about shared reading time

By Jamie Zibulsky, Anne Cunningham, and Chelsea Schubart


Throughout the process of reading development, it is important to read with your child frequently and to make the experience fun, whether your child is a newborn or thirteen. This may not sound like news to many parents, but the American Academy of Pediatrics is just announcing their new recommendation that parents read with their children daily from infancy on, and it is expected that this announcement will serve as a reminder to many parents and a call for educators and policymakers to help parents who lack the time, resources, and skills to read with their children encourage reading development. We are so excited about this new development because the benefits of shared reading accrue over time and we believe that this announcement will create the energy needed to help many young children become successful, motivated readers.

Although reading together is important at all ages, the specific strategies parents use will change dramatically as their children get older. The strategies parents use will also be dependent upon their children’s interests, temperament, and abilities. There is no one “right” way to read together.

parent reading to children

Figuring out the best way to engage in shared reading with a child while he or she is young gives parents an opportunity to use cuddle time together as a way to also help a child understand a book more deeply, and to simultaneously teach specific reading skills. Perhaps as important, children who have an enthusiastic reader as a role model may stay determined to learn to read, even when facing challenges, rather than becoming easily discouraged. The magic of shared reading comes from this combination of warm, interpersonal experiences, playful and captivating storytelling, and opportunities for learning. This winning combination helps children not only learn to read, but learn to love and value reading.

There are many questions that parents often ask about reading together with their children, and some of those questions are answered below. We hope that thinking through these issues inspires parents to start reading with their children regularly (even if they are already a bit older), and create family reading rituals that last a lifetime!

How can I get my child more engaged in reading time?

If you are having difficulty engaging your child in reading time, try searching for books on topics that she finds interesting (even if those topics are not ones that you find engaging). If your child enjoys looking at comic books, embrace this type of reading, rather than discouraging it. Although it might be surprising to hear, they include much richer language than we encounter in a typical day. Reading any printed material also helps children get comfortable turning pages, and give you the chance to talk with your child about new ideas and vocabulary words.

Many children also respond well to having some freedom and getting to make choices during reading time. You may want to let your child to choose the book you will be reading, whether you are picking books out in the library or off your own bookshelf. You can also let your child select where and when you will read…within reason, of course.

Most importantly, try to make the reading experience enjoyable by focusing on what goes well. Praise your child just for sitting down with you to read, even if she only wants to sit briefly. The next day, try to get her to sit through a few pages of the story and sit a bit longer. Reading time should be a time to relax and bond with your child. If she acts up, simply end reading time, but do so calmly and try again later.

How do I know if my child is actually listening while I am reading to him/her?

Asking questions throughout the story that actively engage your child in the reading process should encourage him to listen more closely while you are reading. If you think your child is not listening as you read, try asking a question or two on each page in order to get your child to interact with the story and actively express himself. If he seems particularly distracted, simply end reading time, but do so calmly and try again later.

How long should I spend trying to explain something to my child if they get frustrated?

Reading time should be a relaxing, bonding experience for both you and your child. Rather than trying to teach many new skills during any one reading session, pick just one idea to focus on each day, whether it is a new vocabulary word or letter to identify. Setting manageable reading goals will help make this time feel fun, rather than stressful, for you both.

If you ask a question about a book that your child is having trouble understanding, respond calmly and either restate your question in a simpler way or give a clue regarding the correct answer. If she seems to be frustrated, move on and return to the concept at another time. Story concepts might become clearer to children with repeated readings of the same story.

What if my child wants to read the same book every night?

Repeated readings of a story actually help children to more deeply understand the plot. In addition, your child will grow more familiar with the story and the words that make it up. You can even try having your child read to you. If he is familiar with the book, he might be able to decode words he would not be able to decode in an unfamiliar context. If your child is not ready to actually read the words on the pages, have him retell the story to you using the pictures and what he recalls from other readings of the story. By asking questions and making comments, you can continue to build his vocabulary and background knowledge, even while reading a familiar story.

Anne E. Cunningham, Ph.D. and Jamie Zibulsky, Ph.D. are the authors of Book Smart: How to Develop and Support Successful, Motivated Readers. Anne Cunningham is Professor of Cognition and Development at University of California Berkeley Graduate School of Education and Jamie Zibulsky is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Learn more at Book Smart Family. Suggestions are adapted Book Smart: How to Develop and Support Successful, Motivated Readers by Anne E. Cunningham and Jamie Zibulsky. Read their previous blog posts.

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8. New Dragon Slippers Cover Art


I was asked by Bloomsbury Publishing to create new covers for a reissue of Jessica Day George's "Dragon Slippers" trilogy. This is the art for the first book.

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9. Recent Sketch: Paint Break!!


Been working like crazy this last year, but so much has been digital. Every so often I have to just step away from the monitor and splash some paint around in my sketchbook. Here is the result.

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10. Theater Poster: Gathering Blue

A theater poster for "Gathering Blue" for Oregon Children's Theater. Such a great production!

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11. Imagination Station: new book cover



The cover art for the upcoming entry in the Imagination Station series.

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12. Theater Poster: The Boy Who Cried Wolf


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13. Picture Books: Trust the Writing Process



A friend and I are working on an idea for a picture book based on a true life event. The challenges in doing this are multiple.

First, it has to has to interest the audience of small children and adults, because picture books really have two audiences, the kids and the adults who read to the kids. It means that there has to be a surface story and a deeper story.

Second, while I must remain true to the events, there still needs to be a story. I know there is a lot of discussion about some kids wanting “straight up science”, you don’t have to use a narrative arc; nevertheless, narrative nonfiction is my preference. The biggest challenge, though, is to find a story in the facts, one that resonates with the audience(s).

Third, one reason to write a nonfiction picture book is to educate readers about topics that are important. In this case, the topic is endangered species and how loss of habitat is putting stress on certain populations of animals. It’s also about some successful intervention strategies that are current and could be a hot topic. Oh, wow, that sounds SO boring, even to me. And therein lies the challenge: how do you make the information accessible to a picture book audience, i.e. put it in words they can understand? And how do you make them care about the issues at stake?

Fourth, all the while, you must tell a story and it must be under 1000 words. It must have a beginning, middle and end, setting up a conflict and resolving it someway.

I kept asking my friend: “Where is the story?”
She had no answer. I had to find it myself.

To do this, I looked at primary source materials: I looked up the exact place the event occurred on Google Earth and looked at photos uploaded from nearby locations; I read original reports on the event from scientists involved; I researched the animal in question and its habitats. I immersed myself in everything I could for 48 hours. I slept. Then, I wrote.

I didn’t outline, because the story line was totally clear. What was at stake was the writing itself. How you write it is everything.

And the process worked. This is a time when I could not have predicted that the story would turn out as it did. Sometimes, you simply have to write a first draft and see where it goes, let your subconscious do its work. But at the same time, my analytic side was watching: where was there a spark of emotion? where did something get written that might create a pattern?

In the end, I am thrilled with the draft. I didn’t think the story would work as a picture book. But I trusted the process: I wrote.

What do you need to write today? Trust the process.

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14. Illustratiion Friday ~ Talent

Talent
...for this week's Illustration Friday

When you purchase an item from MY STORE, 10% of your purchase price will be donated to my favorite animal charities; Last Chance Animal Rescue and Horses Haven, both in lower MI. Which charity the donation goes to, will depend on the item purchased and I will love you forever from the bottom of my little black heart. ...and even if you don't purchase anything from me, you can go to their site and make a donation! They deserve a chance too!
Have a seat and browse through the pages of my website

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15. Sheep Lessons Part 3

A bit of a jump in the narrative. Suffice to say our heroine has enjoyed her first day of Kindergarten.


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16. Sheep Lessons Part 2

Part 2 of "Sheep Lessons".
Our heroine has a nightmare

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17. Sheep Lessons Part 1

Did this project for Spider Magazine that was published a couple months ago. I enjoy working for magazines because (especially Spider) because the art direction is fairly light and I can try out different techniques. I was happy with how this series of illustrations turned out. I'll post my favorite three over the next few days.

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18. Recent Sketches: Out on the playground


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19. Franken-Piggy

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20. Cow-Boy Kitten

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21. Animal Orchestra

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22. Ferret Ballet

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23. Illustration Friday: “Explore”

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24. My new model

Been a while since I updated this blog.
I do have a good excuse, and we will be seeing more of him over the years.

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25. More of my model

Sketches from our various outings over the last few months.

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