Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Egg-Citing Activities for Kids, Part 1: Eggshell planter

In celebration of spring and my new book Hatching Chicks in Room 6, I will be posting a series of egg and chicken related projects and activities for kids. I'm starting with a repost of my Eggshell Planter project from June 1914:

One of my first illustration assignments was for a book about gardening activities with children.  At that time, most books for children were illustrated with black and white art so I made pencil drawings.  Here is one of the activities meant for younger children.  It would work well with pre-school or kindergarten children.

Break away 1/4 of the pointed end of an egg shell, and empty the contents.  Have the children draw a face on the shell using felt pens, then fill the shell with moist soil and plant chives or wheat seed.  Make a stand from a cardboard egg carton. Place the egg head in the stand.  Water lightly each day.

Materials needed: Cardboard egg carton, eggs, felt pens, soil, chives or wheat seed.

From Children’s Gardens: A Field Guide for Teachers, Parents and Volunteers by Elizabeth Bremner and John Pusey, Illustrations by Caroline Arnold

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

MIXED UP ANIMALS and MORE: Four Fun Writing Activities

Yellow cards were provided for each writing activity at the Santa Barbara Author-Go-Round
At the Santa Barbara Author-Go-Round in January, students spent the morning with four authors-- Kristen Kittscher, Lee Wardlaw, Eugene Yeltsin, and me. Before the program began the students could do four short writing activities, each based on one of the author’s books. Then at the end of the morning, students who wrote the most creative piece in each category received a prize of an autographed book by the author. We were impressed with their creative imaginations. Here are the four activities they did.

Create a Mixed-Up Animal (Based on The Terrible Hodag and the Animal Catchers by Caroline Arnold).

Describe a place you might go to Solve a Mystery (inspired by Kristen Kittscher’s book Tiara on the Terrace),

Invent a Wacky Disease (inspired by Lee Wardlaw’s “101 Ways to Bug...” series.)

Create a setting for a story in Another Country (inspired by Eugene Yeltsin’s book The Haunting of Falcon House.)

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

HATCHING CHICKS IN ROOM 6 is a Junior Library Guild Selection

I am pleased to learn that HATCHING CHICKS IN ROOM 6 is a Junior Library Guild selection for March 1917.
"The JLG editorial team reviews more than 3,000 new titles each year, in manuscript or prepublication stage. We’ve developed a keen sense for finding the best of the best. Over 95 percent of our selections go on to receive awards and/or favorable reviews. And, according to statistics provided by Collection HQ, from 2013 to 2014 JLG Selections circulated 81% more than other books published for children and teens."
Find out more about the Junior Library Guild HERE.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DR. SEUSS! Celebrate Read Across America Day

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! Today would be his 113th birthday! And in honor of him, people are celebrating Read Across America Day all across the nation! Hurrah for books and reading!
What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book? I have fond memories of reading The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins when I was growing up. It was originally published in 1938 and is illustrated with black and white drawings. Only the hats are red. I still have a copy!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I SEE A STORY: The Art of Eric Carle at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta

Picture Book Art Exhibit at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia
Colorful caterpillars greeted me as I entered the High Museum of Art through the revolving doors and made my way downstairs to view I See a Story: the Art of Eric Carle, a fascinating exhibit of author/illustrator Eric Carle’s work. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, a children’s classic, was published in 1969. The exhibit shows various factors in the creation of a lifetime of work since then. It is a delight for both adults and children.
The Very Long Train (a wordless picture book)
The art is hung low enough to be at eye level for most children and in the corner of the room there was a bin of Eric Carle’s books available for reading. Children could also play a “seek and see scavenger hunt” following a guide they could take home. For adults, and artists like me, it was fascinating to get a glimpse into Eric Carle’s working method. 
Sampling of art supplies
One display showed a sampling of papers, brushes and tubes of paint and another display had a photograph of him applying the paint to the paper with a broom to create unique patterns. 
Dummy page from Friends
I was particularly intrigued by samples of his artist’s dummies–the label noted that each book goes through many dummy stages.
Illustration from Have You Seen My Cat?
To date, Eric Carle has published 70 books for children, all illustrated with his signature style of art–cut paper collage created from pieces of colorful painted tissue paper. They are amazing. The exhibit at the High Museum of Art ended February 12th. You can see more art by Eric Carle at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Hatching Chicks and Living Fossils at Kite Tales Blog

See my books this week at Kite Tales, the blog published for the SCBWI Tri-Regions of Southern California. The publication of Hatching Chicks in Room 6 is in the Toot Your Horn! section and Living Fossils, Clues to the Past is in the Great News section.
Thanks SCBWI!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Visit to Atlanta Fulton Public Library, Atlanta, GA

Entrance to the Children's Room, Atlanta Fulton Public Library, Central Branch
Last week, when I was in Georgia on a business trip with my husband, I stopped in at the Atlanta Fulton Public Library Central Branch, just around the corner from our hotel in downtown Atlanta.  I went downstairs to visit the Children’s Department and had a nice chat with Kevin Brown, the new children’s librarian and Michelle Bennett, Manager of Youth Services. I shared my new book Hatching Chicks in Room 6 with them. I was pleased to discover that they have 119 of my books in the library system and to hear about special programs, such as a weekly story hour, that bring children to the library. In the future, they told me, they are planning to increase partnerships with local schools in an effort to expand use of the library.