Wednesday, March 31, 2021
The summer I was eight years old, I discovered “chapter books” in the library, falling in love with Henry Huggins (1950), Ellen Tebbits (1951) and Henry and Beezus (1952) by Beverly Cleary. She was my favorite author. Beverly Cleary went on to write many more books and became a favorite author of my children and grandchildren. I was saddened to learn of her passing last week at the age of 104. As one headline said, she was the last of her generation.
I was lucky to meet Beverly Cleary several times. We shared the same publisher–Morrow Junior Books–and took part in dinners and receptions that accompanied national conferences such as ALA and IRA. At one of these dinners my editor assigned me to host Beverly and her husband, which I found to be an uphill battle, as both were quite reserved. I met Beverly Cleary another time when she came to Los Angeles to speak at the SCBWI summer conference. It was the only time my husband Art came to the conference. As a family, we had been reading her books aloud in the evening, chapter by chapter. He too was a Beverly Cleary fan and wanted to hear her in person. His favorite book was The Mouse and the Motorcycle (1965).
Beverly Cleary’s stories were inspired by her own childhood in Oregon in the 1930s, but the themes of school, friendship and family are universal. I believe that they are just as meaningful to children today as they were in my generation. Beverly Cleary is no longer with us, but she will live on in her books.
Monday, March 29, 2021
I was delighted to discover that the CSLA Blog this month is featuring the image from my book A Panda's World that I donated for use on products in the Library Advocacy Store. Many thanks to the California School Library Foundation and to Dr. Lesley Farmer, Professor of Library Media at California State University Long Beach, for her lovely description of my work. I am just one of many children's book authors and illustrators who have participated in this project.
I encourage you to visit the Library Advocacy Store and treat yourself to a cup, bag, pillow and more, or buy gifts for your friends and family. Every purchase supports California libraries!
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
With thanks to the Craft Train, here is an easy way to make decorative butterflies with yarn, craft sticks and pipe cleaners. https://www.thecrafttrain.com/woven-craft-stick-butterflies/
Learn about raising real butterflies in my book Butterflies in Room 6: See How They Grow!
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
|Newgrange Passage Tomb, circa 3200 BC|
HAPPY SAINT PATRICK'S DAY!
I've only been to Ireland once, and that was in October 2004. It was, indeed, an Emerald Isle. Here is a repost of my report of that visit from my travel blog, The Intrepid Tourist.
Day 2. The next morning we woke up to a light rain, which soon cleared to patchy sun. We booked a tour of Knowth for 11:45 and then picked up picnic food for lunch. After the tour, it began to rain again, so we ate our lunch in the car in the parking lot at remains of Mellifont Abbey, the first Cistercian monastery in Ireland, founded in 1142. When the rain let up and we walked around a bit before taking back roads to Monasterboice to see the high crosses and round tower.
|Celtic Cross, Monasterboic|
Day 4. While Art was at his meetings I went to the National Museum to see the real finds from Newgrange and Knowth–the visitor center at the site only had reproductions–and a huge collection of Celtic gold jewelry. In the evening, we took a chartered bus to Dublin Castle for a reception.
|Georgian House, facing St. Stephen's Green, Dublin|
|Trinity College, Dublin|
Day 6. On our last day we visited an exhibit of the Book of Kells at Trinity College. It was the perfect ending to a short, but full visit to Ireland.
(update June 2012)
Here's a recent note from an Irish friend about observing the summer solstice in Ireland.
(update August 1, 2012)
My Irish friend recently wrote to me about another festival, Lughnasadh.
(update October 31, 2012)
The Origins of Halloween
My Irish friend Michael Fox sent me this Halloween message:
(update from Michael Fox, Feb 3, 2013)
Celebration of Imbolc
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Soon it will be butterfly season! To grow your own butterflies, you can order caterpillars from Insect Lore or other companies on the internet.
To learn about raising butterflies, you can read my book BUTTERFLIES IN ROOM 6.
With thanks to Insect Lore, you can get the link HERE to download directions for making your own folded paper butterfly to use as a bookmark or for decoration.
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
You can attract butterflies to your yard by planting flowers. You can buy packets of seeds at your local garden store. Then find a sunny spot and follow the directions on the seed packet for planting. In a few months, when the flowers bloom, you will find butterflies visiting your garden and sipping nectar from the flowers.
Learn about raising painted lady butterflies in my book Butterflies in Room 6: See How They Grow.