Thursday, November 24, 2016

A little birdie told me...

 Here's a peek at some of my new treats:
 Tiny buttons! 
Prints!
More batches of sight word cards - in new boxes to boot!
Plus greeting cards, stickers, 
and small, gifty surprises
that I'm still finishing.   
If you are local, you're welcome to come visit me downtown this Friday or Saturday.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. 
I hope your day is rich and deep. 
surrounded in love, 
bright in gratitude.

Friday, November 18, 2016

The way we stroll...

Some of us are supposed to be getting ready for a pop-up art sale next week
but we keep getting lost the woods!

The good news: new art flashcard sets are coming!
 I'll keep you posted.

Here's to finding light and joy in the midst of the wild & woolly this week.




Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Kids' Caldecott Club, Part 1

Kids' Caldecott Club is up and running!

In our first session, we talked about the Caldecott award, and about how the Caldecott committee works. We talked about layers, theme, and tone in story, and what we will look for as we hunt for the most distinguished picture books of 2016.

 
Here's one - Alan's Big Scary Teeth by Jarvis.
I asked the kids to tell me what kind of tone or mood they predicted it might have.
"Funny."

 
The Tree in the Courtyard by Jeff Gottesfeld, ill. by Peter McCarty
shows a different tone - historical, poignant.

 
The Night Gardener by the Fan Brothers
feels mysterious and intricate

Henry and Leo by Pamela Zagarienski
has a soft and ethereal mood.

We're starting with about 28 books this year because we only have so much time.
It would be lovely to absolutely roll in a roomful of books, but considering that we are working with after-school hours, 28 books is perfect. 


Our wonderful librarian Martha helped as we evaluated two books with our ballots this week.

First, we examined the cover, jacket flaps, endpapers, copyright page.
We looked for interesting notes about the making of the book.

Next, we "read" the pictures all through, page by page, without words.
We searched for themes, color, mood, point of view, excellent details.

Then, I read the book aloud.

We asked ourselves what the book was about.
We asked what else it was about.
We looked for details to support our ideas,
nuances in text and art, in layout, in font.
We asked ourselves if the text and illustrations wove well together, or clashed.

We asked if the book would appeal to kids, if kids would be excited about that book.

We filled out our ballots and put them in their matching envelopes.

Exciting!

Here are the books we examined this week:

We All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel
 
I'm utterly wowed by the mind-explosions They All Saw a Cat creates. 
I love the details our kids' committee noticed - 
like balance in layout, patterns in text that echo in the illustrations, 
exuberant differences in perspective throughout this book.
Genius!


The Music in George's Head : George Gershwin Creates Rhapsody in Blue
by Suzanne Slade, illustrated by Stacy Innerst
Another wowzer!

Kids pointed out that the illustrations are done in browns and blues,
which seemed fitting considering that it's about Rhapsody in Blue.
They liked the playful hand lettering,
and the way the story begins, crescendos, and ends.
We listened to Rhapsody in Blue as we tidied up.
What a jazzy bright delight!

I love my library!



Stay tuned for updates as our Caldecott Club continues.
I'll post notes on our ballot and criteria next time.

If you're a local friend, you're welcome to join us!

We're meeting Thursdays 

at the Jefferson County Library in Port Hadlock

from 3:45-4:45 p.m.

See more info here.

Except on Thanksgiving.
That's reserved for the turkey eating club.












Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Caldecott Club

It's Mock Caldecott season!

Beginning November 4, 
we'll meet Thursdays 
at the Jefferson County Library in Port Hadlock,Washington
from 3:45 - 4:45 p.m.
 
Get ready to be wowed by beautiful reads,
learn about the Caldecott selection process,
grow your critical thinking skills, 
and help choose the stand-out picture books of 2016.
Read more about it here.
I'm so honored to get to join our stellar children's librarian
Martha Ashenfelter and the Jefferson County Library 
for a second helping of Caldecott Soup.



I'll keep you posted on all the book deliciousness!



A few of the books we'll be looking at:

They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel
They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel: I'm wowed by how this book plays with visual point of view. Clever in the extreme.

The Storyteller by Evan Turk: Set in Morocco, this layer-upon-layer story is intricate and deep. The illustrations are done in ink as well as indigo and sugared green tea. Striking.

Sam and Jump by Jennifer K. Mann: Soft and sweet, this is a poignant book about loss and connection.
There is a Tribe of Kids by Lane Smith: I love how this book deals with the concept of collective nouns simply and efficiently, but the illustrations tell a deeper story.

Ada's Violin by Susan Hood, illustrated by Sally Wern Comport : This is an amazingly uplifting true story that starts in a garbage dump. Gorgeous illustrations!
Before Morning by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes: Here is another beauty with simple text and visual story that begs to be followed again and again.







Friday, October 28, 2016

boo !

I'm playing with tiny paper people lately.
It seems easier to figure out than real Halloween costumes.
I keep hoping the wildebeests will agree to dress up like book characters.
Easy characters.
Like Baghead by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
That sounds reasonable, right?
Grocery bag?
A costume that doubles as a trick-or-treat bag!
Okay I'm mostly kidding.
The tiny guys are my way of getting ready for a virtual boo party
with Puddle Jump Collective.
Coming soon!

 Do you have any easy costume ideas to share?


Friday, September 23, 2016

The Art of Mess

My camera likes to find the glowy bits, the sacred more than the dirt.

I got to talking with my sisters-in-law recently about the pressure of keeping up with
Western "mom-culture," as seen through the filters of Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and their ilk.
 
As an artist, I promote myself. I show my best side.
As media-savvy socialites, we most of us show our best sides.

We share our successes, because... who wants to share the flops?

But regular scans of others' tidy homes, clean kids, and glorious creations
can feed into a suffocating sense of failure, especially among mamas.

{It's so clean out there! So tidy! So productive! So creative! So delicious!
So overwhelming! }
With such a tide of seeming success out there, how can one stay afloat? 
In truth, my house is so messy from life and work that I don't want to open my doors.

And yet!
I think the secret to staying afloat is being honest.
Maybe the rest of everyone is as clean and productive and delicious as they seem, but I am not.
And I have a hunch that there are a few lovely souls out there like me, too.
So here is me, letting you in past the front door.
I am cobwebbed and sloppy.
I don't like to sweep or clean the windows.
I don't remember to dust.

I like to read. I love to make art. I want to write.

I love to snuggle with my family. I like to watch sunsets.
When all those things are accomplished for the day, I breathe.
Sometimes I clean up.
 
And the thing about the mess is
that we live here.

We, with all our strings and nests.

We, with our hive of buzzing. our endless scraps of paper
our mountains of books.

We, with our jars of pencils. Our oddball sorts of tape and fabric and library card and rubber band and broken watch.

We, with our shuffle-off-your-shoes and slough off the backpacks, hunker down with a good book, snuggle in for a daydream or a few minutes of escape and forget the chores.

What does our mess represent?


That dinner happens here.
Not elegant. Often blacky on the edges.
But family and chatter and real plates and silverware.

That health happens here.
Not spit-spot. Often grimy. with mildew creeping on the fringes.
But fresh, running water and soap. Running shoes. Soccer gear. Bikes. Laundry.

Music happens here. More practice than polished. But honest and earnest.

Art blooms here.
With scribbles and smudges. With paper crowding all the corners.
With story starts and muddy middles.

This is us.
This is our mess.
A haven. A canvas. A library.
for dreamers, athletes, artists, readers.

Life is a beautiful mess.
Here's to enjoying the sacred and the dirt, my friends.

What does your mess represent?



Our latest reads:




Also an Octopus by Maggie Tokuda-Hall, ill. by Benji Davies
Leaves by David Ezra Stein
Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson, ill. by Tiphanie Beeke
Book Scavenger - by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

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