Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Greetings

May the new year bring you unexpected joy!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Fan Mail

I just LOVE getting letters and pictures from young readers! This splendid drawing arrived in my mailbox today from a child named Maddie in Massachusetts. Her grandparents sent her Gobble, Gobble. In her note, Maddie, who is 7, said she thinks it's a "100% Awesome Book!"
Thanks, Maddie!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Play time

I'm taking a break from working on a book, but still need to find creative things to do. I am guilty of having WAY too much fabric--those "fat quarters" at the fabric store are soooo addictive!--plus leftovers from clothes, costumes, quilts and other projects. So to use them up, (as well as give me an excuse to watch old movies) I've been making things for the Holiday Fair at the Allen Avenue UU Church. The Fair is this Saturday, so after that I'll make a few things for presents.
These little cupcakes are pincushions

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

From Feast for 10,published in 1991 by Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin.

Wishing all who might find themselves visiting here a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Case of the Missing Carrot

Book cover, Feast For 10

Zane's letter and drawing
Page from hardcover edition
Board Book
Close-up of corner

A letter from a child came in the mail today. I'd wouldn't go so far as to say it was a complaint letter, but it wasn't exactly fan mail, either. It should probably be classified as a quality control query. "Where is the seventh carrot?" Zane, the letter's author, wants to know. A very fair question. I wondered this myself when my picture book, Feast for 10, was published as a board book. When the art was converted from the rectangular format of the hardcover and softcover editions to the more squarish board book format, a few things got carrots, for example. Very sad indeed, especially since this is a COUNTING book. So--I'm very sorry, Zane. The seventh carrot is actually there---but only a tiny bit of it shows. And I'm very impressed that you noticed! You must be an excellent counter. So Happy Counting, and Happy Reading!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

More Gobble fun

I just have to share this cute book trailer that the wonderful folks at Dawn Publications made for Gobble, Gobble!
They also posted a piece about how I made the illustrations for this book, in case you are interested. Click here.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Gobble fun at Audubon

What a great Apple Day at Maine Audubon at Gilsland Farm! In spite of dreary and rainy weather, over 350 people showed up for apple activities, crafts, great music, yummy food (best mac & cheese ever) and.....Gobble, Gobble fun!
We had story time, a printing demo, nature journal making, and the Gobble Trail Game, which proved to be a big hit. If you'd like to try this game with kids at your school, nature center, or library, scroll down to the last post and click on GOBBLE GAME & ACTIVITIES for a free download of posters, game cards, and related activities. I'd love to have your feedback if you try it!
For the event at Audubon, I had the posters enlarged to double the size: 11 x 17, and then laminated. Plastic zippered pockets held the game cards.

For more photos, see Curious City's photos here.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Along the turkey trail

Trot on over to Maine Audubon in Falmouth this Saturday, October 1st, for the annual Apple Day festivities. I'm very happy to be a part of the fun: I'll be reading my new book, Gobble, Gobble, and inviting children and their families to participate in other activities for the book: exploring the path of animal tracks for the Gobble Trail Game, collecting wildlife cards, and making their own nature journals.
There will also be lots of other activities during the day, including live music, a cider press, food, face painting, and a scavenger hunt. The festival runs from 10 -2.

NOTE: If you can't attend, but would like to set up the game, just click here to download and print: GOBBLE GAME & ACTIVITIES.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Razzle Dazzle

My late-season raspberries are still green, but there's a busy community on the bushes!
A garden spider busily wrapped it's prey, several wasps made the rounds, and a pair of dragonflies were... inspired by a beautiful day in Maine.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Audubon friends

A couple of days ago I met with my extraordinary marketing maven, Kirsten Cappy, and the wonderful folks at Gilsland Farm Audubon Center to make plans for my participation in their October 1st Apple Day festivities. I will have two story-time activities with interactive readings, searching games, and art activities during the day. One will be for Pond Babies, and the other for Gobble, Gobble. During our meeting to discuss plans, this fellow strutted right by the window. He must have know that Gobble, Gobble is all about wild turkeys!

After our meeting, Kirsten and I wandered down to the pond where the Pond Babies story time will happen, and met a local resident.

On our way back through the apple orchard, this little rascal and a few friends were happily lunching on windfalls. I'm looking forward to the event, and will post further updates.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Summer on the road

Summer time in Maine, and that means getting out and meeting with kids to share books, art and nature. Last week found me in Grand Lake Stream, Maine--way up "down east"--with the Downeast Lakes Land Trust's summer program for children. A few days later I was closer to home--at the North Gorham Library for "stories around the pond." Later this week I'll be at the Friend's School of Portland on Macworth Island for "stories by the garden."

A young hiker
A special find: a robin's egg shell!
After a production of Turtle Splash and some craft activities, Grand Lake Stream kids and parents headed out for a nature walk.

The North Gorham Library kids had a great time making turtle puppets.

UPDATE: We had nearly 50 children for stories on Macworth Island today! And then we made little critter stick puppets. The creator of these was too shy to have his photo taken, but he let me take one of his duck (left) and turtle (right).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Another New Baby at the Pond!

As I was heading toward the treehouse today, a nestful of baby phoebes flushed from beneath the floorboards. This little one perched on a nearby pear tree, and promptly began calling for mom. I hustled away to let the family settle down.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pond Babies!

Just in time for the release date of Pond Babies:
The wood duck ducklings have hatched on Frog Song Pond! Mama and the kids are rather camera-shy, but here's a glimpse of them shot from a distance. There are at least a dozen--maybe 13. We are thrilled to see them! In the fifteen years we've lived on this pond, this is a first. Many mallard duckling fleets have been raised here, along with a couple of Merganser families, but the elusive wood ducks usually only drop by for a few days. Please wish them well!
UPDATE: Just added another photo, taken by the dock this morning!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lady's Slipper update

In just a few days time, the faintly blushing green-tinged blossoms of the lady's slipper that appear in my previous post have deepened to a glorious rosy pink. Check out the bullfrog admiring their beauty.
To see him/her up close, check out my Frog Blog.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Morning Close-ups

Busy day ahead, but sunlight on turtle shells, and an eagerness to see if yesterday's chartreuse lady's slippers were blushing pink today, lured me to the pond this morning. Here are some of the wonders that greeted me.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Teeny Tiny Turtles!

From Pond Babies, to be released next week from Down East Books.
The new little Chrysemys picta picta I wrote about a couple of weeks ago apparently has peers!
Look closely at this photo (click to enlarge) and look for THREE baby turtles!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Scoot! StoryTrail

We were dodging raindrops through the gorgeous grounds of the Dawes Arboretum in Newark, Ohio for the opening celebration of their third annual StoryTrail installation. This year's book was one of mine! The pages of Scoot! are laminated onto signs that wind through a trail for kids and their families to follow---skipping, scooting, swinging and zinging.
Like Maine's StoryWalk project, StoryTrail is a great way to combine movement and literacy by getting kids outside to read, run, and have fun.
After following the trail, we had more story time inside, followed by crafts that were provided by the staff of the Licking County Library.

More phots are here: Columbus Dispatch, and on my Flickr site.
The StoryTrail at the Arboretum will be up through October.