Monday, June 29, 2015

Book Signing: American Library Association Conference, San Francisco

Signing A Day and Night in the Forest in the Capstone Booth, ALA, San Francisco
The American Library Association Conference met in San Francisco at the Moscone Convention Center June 25-30, 2015 and I spent two very full and exciting days in the Exhibit Halls signing books, meeting friends, and roaming the aisles to attempt at view all the new books. In the Capstone booth, on Saturday, June 26, I signed A Day and Night in the Forest, one of four new books in the Caroline Arnold’s Habitats series. There was a long line and I signed furiously until all the books were gone. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet librarians and fans from all over and I thank Jennifer Glidden, the marketing manager at Capstone, for making all the arrangements, taking photographs, and for helping everything go smoothly. I enjoyed the chance to meet the other Capstone people in the booth as well and to chat with editor Michelle Bisson.
Outside the Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco
The ALA convention was also an opportunity to meet with my agent, Andrea Brown, with whom I had a delicious lunch, and my editor at Charlesbridge, which will be publishing my book Living Fossils next year. I have already seen the proof pages with terrific illustrations by Andrew Plant. And I stopped by the StarWalk Kids booth to find out the latest news about the StarWalk Kids digital library, which includes many of my older books. Their catalogue, which continues to grow, now has more than 500 titles!

I went to the convention with my friends and fellow authors Joanne Rocklin and Susan Meyers (who both live in the Bay Area) and as we roamed the aisles we kept running into many of our other author friends as well as many of the librarians we have gotten to know over the years. That is one of the great things about ALA–the chance to meet and renew friendships, all in the midst of thousands of new and wonderful books from publishers big and small. I came home with a bag full of books, catalogues, posters and more. I only go to ALA when it meets in California, which occurs every five years or so. This conference brought back memories of my very first ALA, also in San Francisco, back in 1981, when I was a new author. I remember being overwhelmed by the wealth of books and publishers. I still am.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

ALA: Upcoming Signing in the Capstone Booth, Sat. June 27, 10am

I will be autographing my book A Day and Night in the Forest in the Capstone Booth #3118 at the American Library Association convention in San Francisco at the Convention Center, Saturday, June 27th at 10:00 am in the Exhibit Hall.
If you are planning to be at ALA, please stop by and say hello!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

IMAGINE: The Art of Children’s Book Illustration at the dA Center for the Arts, Pomona, CA

Illustrations from A Day and Night in the Rain Forest
Last Friday evening was the gala opening of IMAGINE: The Art of Children’s Book Illustration at the dA Center for the Arts, Pomona, California. It was a special event with lots of people, great art, delicious food, an art table for kids, and a book sale table so guests could buy the artists’ books and have them autographed at the reception. It was a wonderful opportunity to see old friends, meet new ones, and talk about art.
Opening Reception of IMAGINE and Lisze Bechtold, whose new book is Buster Finds a Kitten
I am proud that two of my illustrations from my book A Day and Night in the Rain Forest are part of the show. I thank Gina Capaldi and the other members of the SCBWI OC/IE Gallery Committee, QL Pierce, Priscilla Burris, and Francesca Rusackas, and Margaret Aichele, Executive Director of the dA Center for the Arts, for all the hard work that went into organizing this wonderful show. It is not often that so much children’s book art is on view in one place!
Mary Anne Fraser and art from her book Heebie-Jeebie Jamboree
I am one of twenty-one illustrators participating in the show: Caroline Arnold, David Barneda, Lisze Bechtold, Diane Browning, Priscilla Burris, Gina Capaldi, Cliff Cramp, Mary Anne Fraser, Diane Greenseid, Soma Han, Naomi Howland, Max Kornell, Irina Mirskaya, Lori Mitchell, Rodolfo Montalvo, Jennifer Gray-Olsen, Atilio Pernisco, Carla Roque, Beth Spiegel, Frans Vischer and Marianne D. Wallace. Joe Cepeda, winner of the Caldecott Medal and a Special Guest Illustrator in this exhibit, gave a short but inspiring talk at the opening. I encourage you to make a trip to Pomona to see this terrific show!
Diane Browning, author and illustrator of Signed, Abiah Rose
IMAGINE will be on view June 13-July 18, 2015.
Gallery hours: Wednesday, Friday, Noon - 4pm; Thursday, Noon - 9 pm.
Author/Illustrator Gina Capaldi

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

GILA MONSTER: Coloring Page

Here is a coloring page of a hungry Gila monster coming out of its desert burrow. It is looking for nests containing eggs or small animals to eat. The Gila monster kills its prey with a venomous bite and is the only venomous lizard that lives in the United States. Its bright colors warn predators to stay away. A Gila monster can live without food for up to one year by living on fat stored in its tail.
Two desert bighorn sheep are climbing a rocky slope in the background in this scene from the Sonoran Desert.
Click HERE to download the coloring page.
You can find out more about plants and animals that live in the Sonoran Desert in the Southwestern United States in my book  A Day and Night in the Desert.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

AMAZING ANTLERS: Moose Coloring Page

In North America, moose live in Canada, Alaska, northern New England, the Rocky Mountains, northern Minnesota, and northern Michigan. Only male moose have antlers.  New antlers are grown and shed each year and each new set is bigger and heavier than the last.  The largest known moose antlers are 81 inches (2 meters) across and weigh 95 pounds (43 kilograms)!  No two sets of moose antlers are alike.
Antlers first appear in April as small bumps on the head. They are full grown by mid-August. They are the fastest growing bones of any mammal.
To download a coloring page of a male moose, click HERE.
You can learn more about moose in my book A MOOSE'S WORLD (Picture Window Books, 2010.)  Look for A Moose's World in your library.  Or look for the interactive e-book at http://www.capstonepub.com/library/products/moose-s-world-2/ .

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Cut Paper Art Workshop with Fifth Graders at St. Timothy’s School, Los Angeles, CA

A week ago I conducted an art workshop with fifth grade students at St. Timothy’s Elementary School in Los Angeles, California, sharing some of the techniques I use when I am creating the illustrations for my own books.
Earlier in the year the students had written poems about animals. For the workshop they were asked to bring a printout of a photograph of the animal which they would use as a pattern for their cut-out art. The animal in the picture should be about 6-8 inches long and preferably a side (rather than a front) view. So the pictures needed to be expendable--either a Xerox copy of a picture in a book or other source or a picture of the animal printed from their computer.
The students then cut out the animal and traced around it on a piece of construction paper chosen to match the main color of their animal. They then cut out the animal, added details and chose a large piece of paper for the background.
I was amazed at the variety and creativity of the students’ pictures. Everyone had chosen a different animal so no two pictures were alike. Some had chosen to focus on just the head of the animal while others chose the whole animal and placed it in an environment. We had allotted an hour for the project. When the bell rang not everyone was finished although most had made a significant progress. They would have a chance to finish the following day.

Supplies needed for this project: animal picture, scissors, paper punch to make spots and eyes, glue sticks and pencils and a supply of 9 x 12 colored construction paper, especially blue, green and brown.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Zebra Stripes Art Project at Haynes School, Los Angeles, CA

Last week I spent a very enjoyable hour with Jennifer Best’s kindergarten class at Haynes Center for Enriched Studies in Los Angeles, California--reading my book A Zebra’s World, going on a “Lion Hunt” and working with the children as they made their own zebra art. For the art project each child received a cut out shape of a zebra–but without any stripes. We looked at a picture of a zebra to notice which way a zebra’s stripes go, and then the children glued black strips of paper onto their zebra shapes to give them their stripes. Black dots made with a paper punch were glued on for eyes.
Then they chose green and blue paper (for grass and sky) for the background and cut out suns, clouds, butterflies, trees and other objects of their choice to include in their pictures. I was impressed with the variety of ways they chose to create their art and how each child’s picture was unique. Before I became a children’s book writer I was an art teacher, and projects like this remind me of the joys of doing art with children. I thank Jennifer Best and the children in her class for sharing their time with me!
The template for the Put the Stripes on the Zebra project can be downloaded from my website on the zebra book page.