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.

Sunday, August 13, 2017


I've been so riled up this week, reading headlines of outspoken racism 
and wondering what my place is 
in this world of angry torches and dim fear. 
I've been brooding, thinking, praying, heartbroken, wondering. 

How do we fight hatred?
How do we stand up for what is so clearly wrong?
How do we stand up to corruption in the grand scheme?

This is my small thing - making small art that says:
"Love. Love. Love."

Love does not divide. 
Love does not spit out hatred. 
Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is faithful. 
Love is gracious. 

Love is humble. 
Love doesn't shout, "I'm the best!"
Love gives the best part of the cookie to that hungry kid over there.
Love gives its socks and its coat and its last pennies. 

Love is ancient. 
Love is before and beyond us. 
Love lives on and on with each small gift,
with each humble word,
kind action, 
each forgiveness.

Love. Love. Love. 

Friday, June 30, 2017

Running with Wolves

No, we do not run with wolves in the summer. 
It's something slightly less scary, but nearly as tangled and free.
School's out! Tide's in! 

It's our creative breath and bread, 
embracing this warmth of days that ease into night.
Time to experiment.
Time to paint.
Time to play. 
Paint pens + plastic animals
+ eye screws + beads.
 Sometimes you just need to wear a rhino around your neck.
Time to read.
The wildebeests and I have retreated into our reading cozies. 
These beauties are in my stack:
Plot Whisperer by Martha Alderson
The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maass

Happy sunshine, my friends!
Our summer story awaits!


A few book favorites so far:

The Inquisitor's Tale by Adam Gidwitz, illustrated by Hatem Aly
Papillon, the Very Fluffy Kitten by A.N. Kang
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
Tippy and the Night Parade by Lilli Carre


Monday, May 8, 2017

Teacherly treats

I've been gussying up these tiny friends for Teacher Appreciation Week.

...because we like a good party.

Especially one with pencils.

Especially one with teachers.

And because I'm so grateful to teachers
for sparking me to be the curious person that I am,
I'm sharing a few printables for educators and their fans everywhere.

Feel free to print and share.*

{*Please keep the love vibes going. Please don't sell these for profit.
Please keep my name credited with my work. Thanks!}


Thank you, Miss. B, Mrs. Walters, Mrs. Kelly, and Ms. Chu for sparking a love of words and books that still fire me up every day.

Thank you, teachers everywhere.


Chrysanthemum - Kevin Henkes
My Name is Yoon - Helen Recorvits, Gabi Swiatkowska
The Dot - Peter H. Reynolds
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse - Kevin Henkes


 Love That Dog - Sharon Creech
Word After Word After Word - Patricia MacLachlan
A Year Of Miss Agnes - Kirkpatrick Hill
Ramona the Pest - Beverly Cleary
Frindle - Andrew Clements
Murder is Bad Manners - Robin Stevens

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Conference snippets, and ducks

As promised, here are gems from the SCBWI-WWA Spring conference (that's the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Western Washington division, in case you wanted to know).
Ducks... in the pool!
That's the way we do conferences in the Pacific Northwest.

Celebrity sightings!
Author-illustrator Dana Sullivan and the wildebeests showed off some of his book magic.
Richard Jesse Watson encouraged us to question our characters:
           What do they do for fun? What do they think about marmalade? Do they like chickens?
           What would they be like in dinosaur times?
Sketch notes.
Maybe perseverance is worth it. - Patricia Hruby Powell

The writing process is really about revision. - Stephanie Pitts
I'm thankful for the reminder this weekend that writers are more aptly called rewriters.

Don't be afraid to do a bad job. Just jump in and do it! - Laurie Ann Thompson 

Sometimes I mire down, stuck so hard looking for the perfect story.  
I love this permission from author Laurie Ann Thompson to loosen up.
I was smitten with Sarah Stewart and David Small, the author and illustrator team behind the books The Gardener, The Library, The Friend, The Journey. Both Sarah and David are so gracious, their words stirring and deep.

Kazu Kibuishi, creator of The Amulet books, got into writing 
because a high school teacher believed in him.
Thanks to a teacher's words- "You can DO this! You can be a writer!"
he got serious about making stories.
It just goes to show you that words
can transform the entire course of a life!
Yay for teachers! Yay for words!

Speaking of encouragement, I got to enter a juried portfolio show.
Gorgeous portfolios!
Stunning illustrations!
And here's one surprise that blew me away:

{quote from the SCBWI WWA Chinook blog:
A jury of faculty judges reviewed all of the portfolios for our 2017 SCBWI Western Washington Juried Portfolio Show.
           Booster Award winner: Faith Pray
           2nd runner up: Margaux Meganck
           1st runner up: Alexander Mostov
           Grand Prize winner: Tracy Subisak    }

What a gift!
I'm so thankful for this honor.

I am thankful to the lovely SCBWI Western Washington circle
of illustrators and authors.

What a dazzle of people!
I'm inspired by their diligence and heart.


The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken
Bloom by Doreen Cronin, ill. by David Small Digger and Daisy Plant a Garden by Dana J. Sullivan
Be a Changemaker! by Laurie Ann Thompson
Pickle by Kim Baker
Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi


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