Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Project: Easter Island Mural

A number of years ago I did an author visit at Mission Avenue Elementary School in Sacramento and saw this wonderful mural of one of the giant Easter Island statues called moai.  It was made by the sixth graders after they read my book Easter Island: Giant Stone Statues Tell of a Rich and Tragic Past. After making a grid pattern on a small photographic image of the moai, each student colored one piece of 9" x 12" paper with the corresponding shapes and colors. When assembled on the wall, the mural depicted one of the moai close to actual size and made an impressive image for everyone in the school to see.
Easter Island is out of print but new and used copies are available on Amazon. You may also be able to find it in your library.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

PROJECT: Crayon Resist Petroglyph Art

Shortly after my book Stories in Stone: Rock Art Pictures by Early Americans was published, I visited a school and saw some wonderful art the students had made after reading the book.  After looking at the photographs of the petroglyphs each student wrote a haiku. Then, with pencil, the student drew the outline of one of the animals on a piece of white paper. Many of them drew bighorn sheep, one of the most common images in the Coso Mountains where the story takes place. The students filled in the shape of the animal with white crayon and then painted over it with brown watercolor paint. The white crayon resists the paint, making the image stand out from the darker background, just as the petroglyph designs in nature stand out from the darker rock around them.
When the paint was dry the picture was carefully torn around the edges to give it a rough-hewn look. I loved the art and haiku by Abby. What she wrote is a central theme of the book:
These petroglyphs show
ceremonial beliefs
that are clues to life.

Stories in Stone is out of print but you can look for it in your library.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Tip for the Day, filmed by Tina Nichols Coury

My friend Tina Nichols Coury, author of Hanging Off Jefferson's Nose, did a series of short videos of children's book authors and illustrators giving advice based on their own experience. She interviewed me several years ago at the annual Breakfast With the Authors in Santa Barbara. My tip for the day boiled down to this:
If you are an writer/illustrator and illustrating your own book, make sure you don’t write something that you can’t illustrate. In other words, think of the actions that move the story forward as you write. The beauty of being an author/illustrator is that if you discover a section that doesn't work with the illustrations, you have the option of rewriting the text to improve the flow.
You can see the whole video by clicking here:

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Listen to A WOMBAT'S WORLD on YouTube

On a recent search of the internet I discovered a YouTube video of Dr. Mira Reisberg reading my book A Wombat's World. It is part of her Mondays with Mira blog. Mira is the founder of the Children's Book Academy.
A baby wombat is born deep in an underground burrow. After seven months in his mother's pouch he is ready to explore. As evening falls, the mother and baby wombat come out of their burrow. Using their sharp claws, they spend the night digging up grasses and roots to eat. Soon the young wombat will be big enough to live on his own. 
Click on the link above and enjoy learning more about wombats! 
A Wombat's World is available on Amazon and as an e-book at Capstone Publishers.