Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Happy dance!

Sometimes dreams draw close enough to touch.
This is mine. 
Making books. 
I think I've whispered that dream to you, my friends. 
Maybe a few times. 
Over the past two years, I've been working as a paraeducator at an elementary school
while feverishly pursuing illustration and writing in all the extra corners, 
loving on my wildebeests,
and sometimes catching up on dishes.
I've put in late nights and early mornings, 
repeatedly fallen asleep 
with pencil in hand, 
and enjoyed a tumult of emotions 
while scrabbling between jobs and family, 
art and laundry. 

 And here it is. 
This wisp-ish dream has come close enough to touch. 
To folks who don't know me, it might seem like it all happened in a flash. 
Like I said, 
"Guess what? I want to make books!" 
"I got an agent!"
"I am going to have a book!"

But you know. 
It's been years. 
Fruitful in so many ways. 
Fruitful in some really hard things! 
And fruitful in thankfulness
and learning to savor the small beauties in life. 
Fruitful in trying to spread love like seeds. 

Fruitful in hunting for the sacred in the dirt.  
In being thankful for each day 
my family and I get to be healthy and alive. 

But still, years. 
It has been so long 
I started to think my dream would stay wishy, 
and that would have been okay, too.

But here it is! It's real!
I'm reveling in this strange and unfamiliar thrill
of having my bright dream come near. 

I am going to be a picture book author and illustrator. 

 I have so many thanks to all of you who have helped me reach for the stars.
Thanks to my teachers, my friends, my crew of writers and illustrators, my family.

And thank you to Molly O'Neill and Root Literary for believing in me. 
To Maria Modugno at Random House for believing in this story. 

Here's to dreams, my friends!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Spring Break!

Book heaps. 

 Signs of Spring Break.


Happy Spring, my friends!
Here's to finding our wings
in every wind and weather. 

My books this week:

Big Cat, Little Cat - Elisha Cooper
The Stray Dog - Marc Simont
Happy In Our Skin - Frann Manushkin, Lauren Tobia
The Journey - Francesca Sanna
Colette's Lost Pet - Isabelle Arsenault
Girl with a Brave Heart - Rita Jahanforuz, Vali Mintzi
Orange Pear Apple Bear - Emily Gravett
Deep in the Forest - Brinton Turkle
Sam and Jump - Jennifer K. Mann
Red Wagon - Renata Liwska
Flashlight - Lizi Boyd
The Sea Serpent and Me - Dashka Slater, Catia Chien
Doll Bones - Holly Black
Switch- Ingrid Law

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
Dear Genius: the Letters of Ursula Nordstrom - by Ursula Nordstrom & Leonard S. Marcus

Thursday, March 29, 2018


It's my stroke anniversary. 

Five years!

Because I had trouble finding my writing words 
after the stroke, 
I started making art in earnest. 

Isn't it beautiful 
that troubles can become the soil 
for new gardens? 

Friday, March 2, 2018

new news

I'm so thrilled to share my news with you:
I'm now represented by Molly O'Neill at Root Literary.
Here's to all the words ahead -
The scribbles, sketches, 
 fresh pages,
new chapters,
Here's to exuberance -
all those story seeds wishing their way into the world 
- and to hope.

If you're interested, I'd love to show you my new website:

I'll still tend this blog when I can, 
still share my lovely finds
 of life and books and story-making, 
wildebeest-wrangling, life-learning, and looking for joy in the daily dirt.
Thank you for supporting and encouraging and connecting with me
through the past eight years. 
Thank you.

Here's to our adventures ahead!  

Saturday, January 27, 2018

reading with Halmoni

Halmoni and her twins

She doesn't talk much about herself, and it is a rare treat
when my mother-in-law shares stories of her childhood in Korea. 
I love when she laughs.  
I love that she sparkles when she dresses up,
that she doses our ills with great pots of spicy soup,  
that she is delightedly happy when surrounded by grandchildren. 

Multicultural Children's Book Day is an international event created by children's reading and play advocates Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen to celebrate diversity in children's books, 
and to help get diverse books into classrooms and libraries. 
The theme this year is #ReadYourWorld.

Here's to our one world and the many people and stories that make it beautiful.   



The Twins' Blanket - Hyewon Yum
Wave - Suzy Lee
The Name Jar - Yangsook Choi
Bee-Bim-Bop! - Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Ho Baek Lee
This is Our House - Hyewon Yum
Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match - Monica Brown, illustrated by Sara Palacios
Happy in Our Skin - Fran Manushkin, illustrated by Lauren Tobia
The Sandwich Swap - Queen Rania Al Abdullah, Kelly DiPucchio, ill. by Tricia Tusa
Thunder Boy, Jr. - Sherman Alexie, ill. by Yuyi Morales

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Post

Happy Holidays, my friends!

I wish you joy, love, light, and a hopeful new year.

Be well! Have peace! Shine bright!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Caldecott Season!

It's Caldecott season!  

We're going more self-serve 
for our library Caldecotts this year.

 The entire library community gets to take part in evaluating our Caldecott Contenders.

 Here is the ballot: 

So many beauties! 
What a challenge to narrow down the favorites!

Have you read any of our contenders? 

What are your Caldecott predictions?

Here is lovely Librarian Martha. She is a fount of creativity, kindness, and wisdom. 
Plus, she lets me run with scissors and bookish ideas. 
She is adored by our entire community.
 Just a smattering of some of our books...
And this. 
Because my library is a book-happy place.


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