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.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


Welcome Sign on the Hawes School Marquee
Once again I was pleased to participate in the Huntington Beach Authors Festival, which was held on Tuesday, January 31st in Huntington Beach, California. This was its 29th year and I have been part of the festival almost every year since it began.  In the morning I did an author visit at Hawes Elementary School where I gave four presentations to children in grades two through four. Librarian Jennifer Mulvania did a great job of organizing the day and preparing the students. She had read my book Wiggle and Waggle to every class so I got out my worm puppets and we had fun singing the Wiggle and Waggle song together.

At the Huntington Beach Library for the Afternoon Reception
And, as always, I enjoyed the afternoon reception at the Huntington Beach Library where I had the chance to sell my books and to meet children, parents and teachers from all the schools in Huntington Beach and to chat with the other authors. Many of the children who came were the winners of the writing and illustrating contest. I thank everyone on the Friends of the Library (FOTL) Festival Committee, especially Gail Page, Co-Chair, for all the hard work in preparing for and assisting at the Festival. It is wonderful to see this community event grow and get better over the years! Thank you!

Friday, February 3, 2017

AUTHOR-GO-ROUND, Santa Barbara: A Fun Week with Students, Teachers, Librarians

Reading The Terrible Hodag and the Animal Catchers at my Author-Go-Round Station
A week ago I was one of four authors participating in the annual week long Author-Go-Round in Santa Barbara put on by the Santa Barbara County Education Office (SBCEO). This was the 47th year! It was more than thirty years since I last participated and it was just as much fun as I remembered.
Authors Lee Wardlaw, Eugene Yelchin, Kristen Kittscher and Me at the SBCEO Author-Go-Round
Each day about 125 students came to the Santa Barbara County Education Office on Cathedral Oaks Road and assembled in a large auditorium. After registering, the students did short writing activities and collected autographs from the authors in the booklets they had received. Each author had a special autograph page in the booklet as well as a page with “cool facts” and a list of recent books.
Writing Activity: One student's Mixed-Up Animal, inspired by my book The Terrible Hodag and the Animal Catchers
There were four authors–Lee Wardlaw, Eugene Yelchin, Kristen Kittscher, and me-- and we each had our own corner to set up our "station". (I was the yellow station, decorated with yellow balloons and a yellow carousel horse.) The students then heard each of us make a short (15 min) presentation. After that they rotated around the room in smaller groups, spending 15 minutes at each station asking questions and interacting with the authors. Almost every group wanted to know what was my favorite animal and my favorite book. (I like them all!) At the end, students received prizes for the best writing activity. One activity was to create a mixed-up animal like the Hodag in my book The Terrible Hodag and the Animal Catchers.
With our cut-out heads made by Fred Borchers
The students who attended were from all over Santa Barbara County. A limited number came from each school and in many cases they had competed to be selected. The kids were in grades 4-8.
Every year the planning committee at SBCEO works really hard to put the Author-Go-Round together and make sure that everything runs smoothly. I thank Matt Zuchowicz, Director of Educational Technology Services, Scott Spector, Coordinator of Innovation and Academic Events, and the Educational Technology Services staff, Fred Borchers, Doris Buchanan, Rose Koller, Homer Morro, and Kristen Walker for doing a fantastic job. For the students and teachers who come, it is a highlight of the year. For authors like me, it is an ideal opportunity to interact with the students, teachers and librarians who are reading my books at home and at school. THANK YOU!
With our souvenir T-Shirts!